Pilots filing RNAV SIDS, STARS need to use ICAO flight plan

June 25, 2008

Starting June 29, pilots filing instrument flight plans requesting RNAV standard instrument departure and arrival routes (SIDs and STARs) will need to file an ICAO flight plan form.

Those who file VFR flight plans, IFR flight plans without RNAV SIDs or STARs, or RNAV routes to fly direct can still use the FAA flight plan form.

The switch is part of an FAA upgrade to en route air traffic control software designed for pilots who navigate using RNAV-qualified equipment. The ICAO flight plan form asks for more equipment information than the FAA’s form. To help you determine which equipment suffix to enter in the flight plan form, the FAA has issued a letter to airmen with a chart listing the suffixes.

For more information, see AOPA’s detailed brief on filing an ICAO flight plan for domestic operations.