FAA Transitions to ICAO Flight Plan Format

The FAA has transitioned to mandatory use of the international flight plan format for all IFR and VFR domestic and international civil flights, effective August 27 at 0500 EST. The change is part of an effort to modernize and streamline flight planning and supports the FAA’s NextGen initiatives.

Benefits of the international form make it easier and more intuitive for pilots to use and will increase safety. 

An increase in the size of the departure and destination fields to allow a greater variety of entry types, including Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) flight plans

Transmission of the supplemental pilot data field, which contains pilot contact information, along with the VFR flight plan to the destination facility, to reduce search and rescue response times

Air traffic control gains access to detailed equipment codes to identify aircraft capability

The international format will also allow for integration of Performance Based Navigation (PBN) and enhance air traffic control services by allowing for easier identification of equipage, which can make greater use of airspace.

With the exception of military flight operations, the international format is required for all IFR and VFR flights across the NAS. Guidance on how to complete an international flight plan is available at www.faa.gov/go/flightservice.

Please contact Flight Service on our feedback email 9-AWA-ATO-SYSOPS-FS@faa.gov if you have any questions.