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FAA Flight Planning Information

The purpose of this site is to provide FAA flight plan guidance for both domestic and international filers. Information and documentation contained within this site support existing FAA, ICAO, and Flight Services agreements and procedures.

Should you have filing questions, you can email us at 9-AJE-FlightPlanQuestions@faa.gov.

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Flight Plan Filing Updates

International flight plan updates

  • The transition to exclusively utilize the International (ICAO) Flight Plan format domestically is being developed, and only applies to those who file through Flight Service Stations. Refer to the Flight Service web page for additional information regarding recent and upcoming changes.

International (ICAO) Flight Plan Filing

Criteria for use

The FAA prefers users to file ICAO format flight plans for all flights. An ICAO format flight plan MUST be used when:

  • The flight will enter international airspace, including oceanic airspace controlled by FAA facilities.
  • The flight expects routing or separation based on Performance Based Navigation (PBN), e.g. RNAV 1.
  • The flight will enter RVSM airspace.
  • The flight expects services based on ADS-B.

How to prepare your international flight plan form

  • Use FAA Form 7233-4 – Information needed when filing this form is described in Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) Section 1, Paragraph 5-1-9.
  • You will need to provide certain information, such as:
    • aircraft identification
    • special equipment
    • departure/arrival points
    • cruising altitude
    • route of flight
  • Domestic flights with no advanced capability can use simplified instructions to file their International Flight Plan format. See guidance on page four of the Simplified Guidance for ICAO Flight Plans (PDF).
  • Review additional guidance as appropriate:
    • Aircraft Type Designators – Use only 2-4 character aircraft type designators from FAA Order 7360, Aircraft Type Designators, for your flight plan. Note: This should predominantly align to ICAO 8643 with some minor differences – defer to FAA Order 7360 in such a case.
    • Performance Based Navigation – Operational approvals (Op Specs\MSpec\Part 91 LOA) are required for many Performance Based Navigation operations. You can find guidance on required approvals and which codes to file for various PBN capabilities in this Operational Approval Guidance Table (PDF, 196 KB). If you have any trouble with filing PBN capability, consult this file for useful tips.
    • Updated (2018) Flight Plan Filing Quick Reference Brochure – This brochure (PDF, 301 KB) provides an overview of the content requirements for each item in the flight plan. For printing be sure to select print on both side, flip on short edge option from your printer settings
    • Domestic filers – If you are flying only in the domestic United States, without entering international or oceanic airspace you can follow these tips (PDF) and simplify your flight plan and remove data not required by the FAA.
    • Filing Advanced Broadcast (ADS-B) – Refer to Filing for Advanced Surveillance Broadcast Capability (PDF) in an FAA ICAO Flight Plan. Guidance is included for both Field 10b and Field 18 ("SUR/" and "CODE/"). The AIM also provides guidance on filing for ADS-B.
    • Filing NAV/Data – FAA Systems no longer require use of NAV/ information to convey PBN/ capability; indicating PBN capability in the PBN/ indicator is sufficient. For more information, refer to Filing Performance Based Navigation Capability in an FAA Domestic ICAO Flight Plan (PDF).
      • You can still file NAV/ information in addition to the PBN/ information if desired. Including the NAV/ information allows you to request PBN procedures for only the departure, en route, or arrival phase. If you elect to provide the NAV/ information, you must include "Z" in Field 10 of the FAA ICAO Flight Plan.
    • Filing PBN/Data – Systems require that PBN/ information must be filed in Field 18 when an "R" is filed in Field 10.

Domestic Flight Plan Filing

Criteria for use

Flights that remain wholly within domestic United States airspace, and do not meet any of the criteria above requiring an ICAO format flight plan, may use an FAA domestic format flight plan.

How to prepare your domestic flight plan

You may choose one of the following options:

How to file your flight plan (domestic or international)

After gathering the appropriate information for FAA Form 7233-4, or FAA Form 7233-1, you may use any of the following means to file your flight plan:

ICAO Guidance for Service Providers

FAA hosts a monthly telcon – held the first Wednesday of each month – for numerous stakeholders, including FAA, Flight Services, Military, International and other entities. Visit the Flight Plan Filing Service Telcons page for more information.

The FAA ICAO Flight Planning Interface Reference Guide (PDF, 814 KB) provides detailed guidance on the use and content for FPL, CHG, DLA, and CNL messages.

Detailed ICAO Guidance on PBN (PDF, 256 KB) describes what to do when more than 8 codes are applicable.

For each FAA En Route Center there are pertinent flight plan filing times built into FAA automation. These include the Filer Lock-out Time and Proposed Flight Plan Deletion Time. Filer Lock-out Time is the time prior to the proposed departure time at which the filer can no longer amend the flight plan without manual coordination. Proposed Flight Plan Deletion Time is the time after the proposed departure time or Expected Departure Clearance Time (whichever is later) that the automation system no longer retains the flight plan. Both of these times for each facility can be found in the following attachment (PDF, 83 KB) .

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This page was originally published at: https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ato/service_units/air_traffic_services/flight_plan_filing/