Section 2. Flight Plans and Control Information

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  • Section 2. Flight Plans and Control Information


    1. Record flight plan information required by the type of flight plan and existing circumstances. Use authorized abbreviations when possible.

      NOTE: Generally, all military overseas flights are required to clear through a specified military base operations office (BASOPS). Pilots normally will not file flight plans directly with an FAA facility unless a BASOPS is not available. BASOPS will, in turn, forward the IFR flight notification message to the appropriate center.

    2. ENROUTE. When flight plans are filed directly with the center, record all items given by the pilot either on a flight progress strip/flight data entry or on a voice recorder. If the latter, enter in box 26 of the initial flight progress strip the sector or position number to identify where the information may be found in the event search and rescue (SAR) activities become necessary.


    1. Except during EAS FDP operation, forward the flight plan information to the appropriate ATC facility, FSS, or BASOPS and record the time of filing and delivery on the form.
    2. EN ROUTE. During EAS FDP operation, the above manual actions are required in cases where the data is not forwarded automatically by the computer.

      NOTE: During EAS FDP operation, data is exchanged between interfaced automated facilities and both the data and time of transmission are recorded automatically.

    3. EN ROUTE. Forward proposed tower en route flight plans and any related amendments to the appropriate departure terminal facility.



    Forward aircraft departure times to FSSs or military operations offices when they have requested them. Forward other VFR flight plan data only if requested by the pilot.



    Forward departure times on all DVFR departures from joint-use airports to the military operations office.

    • NOTE:
    • 1. Details for handling air carrier and nonscheduled civil DVFR flight data are contained in FAA Order JO 7610.4, Special Operations.
    • 2. Civil pilots departing DVFR from a joint-use airport will include the phrase “DVFR to (destination)” in their initial call-up to an FAA-operated tower.


    Request a pilot to contact the appropriate FSS if the pilot informs you of a desire to change from an IFR to a VFR flight plan.


    Forward control information from controller to controller within a facility, then to the receiving facility as the aircraft progresses along its route. Where appropriate, use computer equipment in lieu of manual coordination procedures. Do not use the remarks section of flight progress strips in lieu of voice coordination to pass control information. Ensure that flight plan and control information is correct and up-to-date. When covered by a letter of agreement/facility directive, the time requirements of subparagraph a may be reduced, and the time requirements of subparagraph b1 and paragraph 2-2-11, Forwarding Amended and UTM Data, subparagraph a may be increased up to 15 minutes when facilitated by automated systems or mandatory radar handoffs; or if operationally necessary because of manual data processing or nonradar operations, the time requirements of subparagraph a may be increased.

    • NOTE:
    • 1. The procedures for preparing flight plan and control information related to altitude reservations (ALTRVs) are contained in FAA Order JO 7210.3, paragraph 8-1-2, Facility Operation and Administration, ALTRV Flight Data Processing. Development of the methods for assuring the accuracy and completeness of ALTRV flight plan and control information is the responsibility of the military liaison and security officer.
    • 2. The term facility in this paragraph refers to centers and terminal facilities when operating in an en route capacity.
    1. Forward the following information at least 15 minutes before the aircraft is estimated to enter the receiving facility's area:
      1. Aircraft identification.
      2. Number of aircraft if more than one, heavy aircraft indicator “H/” if appropriate, type of aircraft, and aircraft equipment suffix.
      3. Assigned altitude and ETA over last reporting point/fix in transferring facility's area or assumed departure time when the departure point is the last point/fix in the transferring facility's area.
      4. Altitude at which aircraft will enter the receiving facility's area if other than the assigned altitude.
      5. True airspeed.
      6. Point of departure.
      7. Route of flight remaining.
      8. Destination airport and clearance limit if other than destination airport.
      9. ETA at destination airport (not required for military or scheduled air carrier aircraft).
      10. Altitude requested by the aircraft if assigned altitude differs from requested altitude (within a facility only).

        NOTE: When an aircraft has crossed one facility's area and assignment at a different altitude is still desired, the pilot will re-initiate the request with the next facility.

      11. When flight plan data must be forwarded manually and an aircraft has been assigned a beacon code by the computer, include the code as part of the flight plan.

        NOTE: When an airborne aircraft that has been assigned a beacon code by the ARTCC computer and whose flight plan will terminate in another facility's area cancels ATC service, appropriate action should be taken to remove flight plan information on that aircraft.

      12. Longitudinal separation being used in non-radar operations between aircraft at the same altitude if it results in these aircraft having less than 10 minutes separation at the facilities' boundary, unless (otherwise) specified in a Letter of Agreement (LOA).
      13. Any additional nonroutine operational information pertinent to flight safety.
      14. NOTE: EN ROUTE. This includes alerting the receiving controller that the flight is conducting celestial navigation training.

    2. Forward position report over last reporting point in the transferring facility's area if any of the following conditions exist:
      1. Time differs more than 3 minutes from estimate given.
      2. Requested by receiving facility.
      3. Agreed to between facilities.


    When a flight plan is manually entered into the computer and a computer-assigned beacon code has been forwarded with the flight plan data, insert the beacon code in the appropriate field as part of the input message.



    When an aircraft is a part of an approved ALTRV, forward only those items necessary to properly identify the flight, update flight data contained in the ALTRV APVL, or revise previously given information.



    Unless your facility is equipped to automatically obtain acknowledgment of receipt of transferred data, when you transfer control information by computer message, obtain, via Service F, acknowledgment that the receiving center has received the message and verification of the following:

    1. Within the time limits specified by a letter of agreement or when not covered by a letter of agreement, at least 15 minutes before the aircraft is estimated to enter the receiving facility's area, or at the time of a radar handoff, or coordination for transfer of control:
      1. Aircraft identification.
      2. Assigned altitude.
      3. Departure or coordination fix time.
    2. Any cancellation of IFR or EAS generated VFR flight plan.



    1. Transmit proposed flight plans which fall within an ARTCC's Proposed Boundary Crossing Time (PBCT) parameter to adjacent ARTCC's via the Computer B network during hours of inter-center computer operation. In addition, when the route of flight of any proposed flight plan exceeds 20 elements external to the originating ARTCC's area, NADIN must be used to forward the data to all affected centers.
    2. During nonautomated operation, the proposed flight plans must be sent via NADIN to the other centers involved when any of the following conditions are met:
      1. The route of flight external to the originating center's area consists of 10 or more elements and the flight will enter 3 or more other center areas.

        NOTE: An element is defined as either a fix or route as specified in FAA Order JO 7110.10, Flight Services, para 5-3-3, IFR Flight Plan Control Messages.

      2. The route of flight beyond the first point of exit from the originating center's area consists of 10 or more elements, which are primarily fixes described in fix-radial-distance or latitude/longitude format, regardless of the number of other center areas entered.
      3. The flight plan remarks are too lengthy for interphone transmission.


    1. Forward any amending data concerning previously forwarded flight plans except that revisions to ETA information in para 2-2-6, IFR Flight Progress Data, need only be forwarded when the time differs by more than 3 minutes from the estimate given.
      • (Identification), REVISED (revised information).
      • EXAMPLE
      • “American Two, revised flight level, three three zero.”
      • “United Eight Ten, revised estimate, Front Royal two zero zero five.”
      • “Douglas Five Zero One Romeo, revised altitude, eight thousand.”
      • “U.S. Air Eleven Fifty-one, revised type, heavy Boeing Seven Sixty-seven.”
    2. Computer acceptance of an appropriate input message fulfills the requirement for sending amended data. During EAS FDP operations, the amendment data are considered acknowledged on receipt of a computer update message or a computer-generated flight progress strip containing the amended data.
      • NOTE:
      • 1. The successful utilization of automation equipment requires timely and accurate insertion of changes and/or new data.
      • 2. If a pilot is not issued a computer-generated ADR/ADAR/AAR and if amendment data is not entered into the computer, the next controller will have incorrect route information.
    3. Forward any amended control information and record the action on the appropriate flight progress strip. Additionally, when a route or altitude in a previously issued clearance is amended within 30 minutes of an aircraft's proposed departure time, the facility that amended the clearance must coordinate the amendment with the receiving facility via verbal AND automated means to ensure timely passage of the information. If the automated means of coordination are unavailable, then verbal coordination is sufficient.

      NOTE: The term “receiving” facility means the ATC facility that is expected to transmit the amended clearance to the intended aircraft/pilot.

    4. EN ROUTE. Effect manual coordination on any interfacility flight plan data that is not passed through automated means.
    5. EN ROUTE. When a controller receives a UTM notification to an FDIO only facility, they must effect manual coordination for the flight plan data. In addition, the controller must verify the flight plan data to the receiving facility within three minutes of the transfer of control point estimate.

      NOTE: FDIO only facilities are facilities with FDIO but without STARS.


    Forward to FSSs the following information received from airborne military aircraft:

    1. IFR flight plans and changes from VFR to IFR flight plans.
    2. Changes to an IFR flight plan as follows:
      1. Change in destination:
        1. (a) Aircraft identification and type.
        2. (b) Departure point.
        3. (c) Original destination.
        4. (d) Position and time.
        5. (e) New destination.
        6. (f) ETA.
        7. (g) Remarks including change in fuel exhaustion time.
        8. (h) Revised ETA.
      2. Change in fuel exhaustion time.

        NOTE: This makes current information available to FSSs for relay to military bases concerned and for use by centers in the event of two-way radio communications failure.



    1. Domestic.(Continental U.S./Canadian airspace except Alaska) Proposed departure flight plans and en route estimates will be handled on a 30 minute lead time (or as bilaterally agreed) between any ACC and ARTCC.
    2. International. Any route changes (except SIDs) must be forwarded to the appropriate Oceanic/Pre-oceanic ACC or ARTCC with an optimum lead time of 30 minutes or as soon as this information becomes available.
    3. Initially, if a flight goes from U.S. airspace into Canadian airspace and returns to U.S. airspace, the ACC will be responsible for forwarding the flight plan data to the appropriate ARTCC by voice transmission except for flights which traverse mutually agreed on airways/fixes. These airways/ fixes will be determined on a case-by-case basis and will be based on time and distance considerations at the service area office.



    The exchange of flight plan data between Canadian ACCs and U.S. ARTCCs must be made as follows:

    1. The U.S. ARTCCs will transmit flight data to the Canadian ACCs in one of the following formats:
      1. NADIN II input format as described in the NAS Management Directives (MDs) for:
        1. (a) Flight Plan Messages:
          1. (1) Active.
          2. (2) Proposed.
        2. (b) Amendment messages.
        3. (c) Cancellation messages.
        4. (d) Response Messages to Canadian Input:
          1. (1) Acknowledgment messages.
          2. (2) Error messages.
          3. (3) Rejection messages.
      2. Transport Canada (TC) ACC Flight Strip Format: Where the data to be printed on the ACC strip form exceeds the strip form field size, the NADIN II input format in 1 above will be used. Input sequentially fields 1 through 8 in para 2-2-6, IFR Flight Progress Data, subpara a.
    2. TC's ACCs will transmit flight data to the FAA ARTCCs in the following format:
      1. NADIN II input format as described in NAS MDs for:
        1. (a) Flight Plan Messages:
          1. (1) Active.
          2. (2) Proposed.
        2. (b) Amendment messages.
        3. (c) Cancellation messages.
        4. (d) Correction messages.


    1. “NRP” must be retained in the remarks section of the flight plan if the aircraft is moved due to weather, traffic, or other tactical reasons.

      NOTE: Every effort should be made to ensure the aircraft is returned to the original filed flight plan/altitude as soon as conditions warrant.

    2. If the route of flight is altered due to a pilot request, “NRP” must be removed from the remarks section of the flight plan.
    3. “NRP” must not be entered in the remarks section of a flight plan, unless prior coordination is accomplished with the ATCSCC or as prescribed by international NRP flight operations procedures.
    4. The en route facility within which an international flight entering the conterminous U.S. requests to participate in the NRP must enter “NRP” in the remarks section of the flight plan.
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