Filing ICAO flight plans for domestic operations

June 25, 2008

Filing ICAO flight plans for domestic operations

Overview

Pilots desiring automatic assignment of preferred IFR routes containing RNAV arrival and departure procedures, including RNAV SIDs or STARs, will need to file an ICAO flight plan after June 29, 2008.

The FAA’s new computer system will be able to look at an aircraft’s equipment capabilities and then assign the best available routing based on those capabilities. The ICAO flight plan will allow the pilot to specify which capabilities the GPS or RNAV unit is capable of flying.

The only routings affected by this change are advanced RNAV arrival and departure procedures including RNAV SIDS or STARs. Others such as T-Routes, Q-Routes, routes utilizing GPS waypoints, and GPS direct operations are not affected by this change.

Pilots who do not file ICAO flight plans may still accept and request RNAV SIDs and STARS directly from ATC.

Eligibility

Advanced RNAV arrival and departure procedures, including RNAV SIDS or STARs, are typically found only at very large airports. In order to fly these procedures, pilots need a system that is specifically qualified to a high standard, called RNAV-1.

To determine if your aircraft has RNAV-1 capability, see column I in the compliance table of Advisory Circular 90-100A.

For most AOPA members, these are the Garmin 430, 530, and G1000 systems. Other advanced systems typically found only in large aircraft may also be eligible.

Q: I have a KLN-94, and I fly out of small or medium airports. Does this change affect me?

A: No. The KLN-94 is not qualified for RNAV-1 operations. You can confirm this in the compliance table. Also, it is very unlikely that your smaller airport has advanced RNAV arrival and departure procedures.

Q. I have a Garmin 430 that meets the specification of AC 90-100A, and I fly out of very large airports and use RNAV SIDs and STARs. Do I need to file an ICAO flight plan for a domestic operation?

A. If you would like RNAV SIDs and STARs automatically assigned, you should file an ICAO flight plan.

Filing ICAO flight plans

Call flight service
Inform the briefer that you would like to file an ICAO flight plan for a domestic operation and provide your flight information in the ICAO format to the briefer. Instructions for the ICAO Flight Plan form can be found in FAA Order 7110.10: Appendix A.

If you would like RNAV SIDs or STARs, for Item 10, list all of your navigation equipment and the letter Z, which will let the briefer know you need to place remarks in Item 18. In Item 18, specify your are RNAV-1 capable by having the briefer insert NAV/RNVD1E2A1.

File electronically with a flight plan filing service
Direct User Access Terminal Systems (DUAT) is an FAA-contracted service, which provides direct access to weather briefing, flight planning, and flight plan filing information online through two vendors, DUAT and DUATS. The service is free to pilots, dispatchers, and other authorized users. Help for filing ICAO flight plans is provided.

Posted Wednesday, June 25, 2008