Atlantic Time Zone

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Atlantic Time Zone
UTC offset
Current time
09:52, 25 August 2019 ADT [refresh]
Observance of DST
DST is observed in parts of this time zone.

The Atlantic Time Zone is a geographical region that keeps standard time—called Atlantic Standard Time (AST)—by subtracting four hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), resulting in UTC−04:00. During part of the year, some portions of the zone observe daylight saving time, referred to as Atlantic Daylight Time (ADT), by moving their clocks forward one hour to result in UTC−03:00. The clock time in this zone is based on the mean solar time of the 60th meridian west of the Greenwich Observatory.

In Canada, the provinces of New Brunswick,[1] Nova Scotia,[2] and Prince Edward Island are in this zone, though legally they calculate time specifically as an offset of four hours from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT–4) rather than from UTC. Small portions of Quebec (eastern Côte-Nord and the Magdalen Islands) also observe Atlantic Time. Officially, the entirety of Newfoundland and Labrador observes Newfoundland Standard Time,[3] but in practice Atlantic Time is used in most of Labrador.

No portion of the continental United States currently uses Atlantic Time, although it is used by the territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. A number of New England states are considering a regional change to Atlantic Standard Time year-round (with no observance of daylight saving time), even though only a small portion of Maine lies to the east of the 67.5°W theoretical extent of this zone. Florida is in the process of enacting a similar change; in both cases any changes will need to be approved by the United States Department of Transportation and the United States Congress.

Areas covered[edit]

U.S. states considering a change to Atlantic Standard Time[edit]

A Massachusetts commission concluded in 2017 that the benefits of changing to Atlantic Standard Time year-round would outweigh the disadvantages, provided that a majority of northeastern states made the same change.[4] In May 2017, the Maine Senate approved a change to AST, on the condition that there would be a referendum, and that Massachusetts and New Hampshire decided to make the same switch.[5] Also in 2017, the New Hampshire House of Representatives approved a bill in favour of a regional change, but this was voted down by the state's Senate.[6] Similar bills have been put forward in Connecticut and Rhode Island.[5]

In 2018, Florida enacted into law the "Sunshine Protection Act", under which the state would observe daylight saving time year-round. Most of the state would permanently keep Eastern Daylight Time, which is equivalent to Atlantic Standard Time; the state's panhandle region would move to year-round Central Daylight Time / Eastern Standard Time.[7][8] However, the change cannot take effect until it is passed into federal law by the United States Congress.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "CHAPTER T-6 – Time Definition Act" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-12-07. Retrieved 2012-09-11.
  2. ^ "Time Definition Act". Archived from the original on 5 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-02.
  3. ^ "RSNL1990 CHAPTER S-23 – STANDARD TIME ACT". Retrieved 2007-11-16.
  4. ^ "Commission: Massachusetts Should Change Time Zones, But Not On Its Own". November 1, 2017. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Maine Considers Atlantic Standard Time". Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  6. ^ "Senate votes down push to switch N.H.'s time zone". May 11, 2017. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  7. ^ "Should Florida keep Daylight Saving Time all year? It could happen". miamiherald. Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  8. ^ a b Lemongello, Steven. "Florida's year-round daylight saving time law on hold in Congress". Retrieved 2019-03-12.

External links[edit]