Submission of a flight plan (FPL)
-Information relative to an intended flight or portion of a flight, to be provided to ATS units, shall be in the form of a FPL.
-A FPL shall be submitted prior to operating:
a) Any flight or portion thereof to be provided with ATC service;
b) Any IFR flight within advisory airspace;
c) Any flight within or into designated areas, or along designated routes, when so required by the
appropriate ATS authority to facilitate the provision of FIS, alerting and SAR services;
d) Any flight within or into designated areas, or along designated routes, when so required by the
appropriate ATS authority to facilitate coordination with appropriate military units or with ATS units in
adjacent States in order to avoid the possible need for interception for the purpose of identification;
e) Any flight across international borders.
NOTE: The term ’flight plan’ is used to mean variously, full information on all items comprised in the FPL description, covering the whole route of a flight, or limited information required when the purpose is to obtain a clearance for a minor portion of a flight such as to cross an airway, to take-off from, or to land at a controlled aerodrome.
-An FPL shall be submitted, before departure, to an ATS reporting office or, during flight, transmitted to the appropriate ATS unit or air-ground control radio station, unless arrangements have been made for submission of repetitive FPLs.
-Unless otherwise prescribed by the appropriate ATS authority, an FPL for a flight to be provided with ATC service or air traffic advisory service shall be submitted at least sixty minutes before departure, or, if submitted during flight, at a time which will ensure its receipt by the appropriate ATS unit at least ten minutes before the aircraft is estimated to reach:
a) The intended point of entry into a control area or advisory area; or
b) The point of crossing an airway or advisory route.
Contents of a FPL
A FPL shall comprise information regarding such of the following items as are considered relevant by the appropriate ATS authority:
– Aircraft identification
– Flight rules and type of flight
– Number and type(s) of aircraft and wake turbulence category
– Departure aerodrome (see Note 1)
– Estimated off-block time (see Note 2)
– Cruising speed(s)
– Cruising level(s)
– Route to be followed
– Destination aerodrome and total estimated elapsed time
– Alternate aerodrome(s)
– Fuel endurance
– Total number of persons on board
– Emergency and survival equipment
– Other information.
NOTE: 1. For FPLs submitted during flight, the information provided in respect of this item will be an indication of the location from which supplementary information concerning the flight may be obtained, if required.
NOTE: 2. For FPLs submitted during flight, the information to be provided in respect of this item will be the time over the first point of the route to which the FPL relates.
Completion of a FPL
-Whatever the purpose for which it is submitted, a FPL shall contain information, as applicable, on relevant items up to and including ’Alternate aerodrome(s)’ regarding the whole route or the portion thereof for which the FPL is submitted.
-It shall, in addition, contain information, as applicable, on all other items when so prescribed by the appropriate ATS authority or when otherwise deemed necessary by the person submitting the FPL.
Changes to a FPL
Subject to inadvertent changes, all changes to a FPL submitted for an IFR flight, or a VFR flight operated as a controlled flight, shall be reported as soon as practicable to the appropriate ATS unit. For other VFR flights, significant changes to a FPL shall be reported as soon as practicable to the appropriate ATS unit.
NOTE: 1. Information submitted prior to departure regarding fuel endurance or total number of persons carried on board, if incorrect at time of departure, constitutes a significant change to the FPL and as such must be reported.
NOTE: 2. Procedures for submission of changes to repetitive FPLs are contained in the PANS-ATM, Part II (Doc 4444)
Closing a FPL
-Unless otherwise prescribed by the appropriate ATS authority, a report of arrival shall be made in person, by radiotelephony or via data link at the earliest possible moment after landing, to the appropriate ATS unit at the arrival aerodrome, by any flight for which a FPL has been submitted covering the entire flight or the remaining portion of a flight to the destination aerodrome.
-When a FPL has been submitted only in respect of a portion of a flight, other than the remaining portion of a flight to destination, it shall, when required, be closed by an appropriate report to the relevant ATS unit.
-When no ATS unit exists at the arrival aerodrome, the arrival report, when required, shall be made as soon as practicable after landing and by the quickest means available to the nearest ATS unit.
-When communication facilities at the arrival aerodrome are known to be inadequate and alternate arrangements for the handling of arrival reports on the ground are not available, the following action shall be taken. Immediately prior to landing the aircraft shall, if practicable, transmit to an appropriate ATS unit, a message comparable to an arrival report, where such a report is required. Normally, this transmission shall be made to the aeronautical station serving the ATS unit in charge of the flight information region in which the aircraft is operated.
-Arrival reports made by aircraft shall contain the following elements of information:
a) Aircraft identification;
b) Departure aerodrome;
c) Destination aerodrome (only in the case of a diversionary landing);
d) Arrival aerodrome;
e) Time of arrival.
NOTE: Whenever an arrival report is required, failure to comply with these provisions may cause serious disruption in the ATS and incur great expense in carrying out unnecessary SAR operations.