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FAA completing clearance delivery modernization effort

The June 20 issue of the chart supplement included a new batch of air traffic control facility phone numbers that pilots can call to receive or cancel IFR clearances as the FAA ends the practice of flight service “relaying” clearances to pilots from ATC.

The phone numbers for 27 approach/departure control facilities and 20 air route traffic control centers, added to dozens published since 2017, put pilots in direct contact with the ATC facility that issues their clearances—both to streamline and reduce the risk of error in the clearance-delivery process, the FAA said.

The FAA is not currently publishing a phone number if the airport has a frequency located on the field for pilots to contact either the tower, approach control, air route traffic control, or flight service. AOPA is requesting these numbers be published for locations with remote or ground communication outlets, or for locations without 24/7 tower operations, to ensure a backup communication is listed.

Existing options to receive clearances by radio from ATC or flight service radio frequencies are not affected by the change.

AOPA reported on the program at its outset in May 2017, when clearance delivery phone numbers were published for 30 FAA facilities covering approximately 660 public-use airports. Phone numbers for about 26 more FAA facilities were added in the fall of 2018.

Leidos, the FAA’s flight service contractor, also can provide pilots with the name and phone number of the facility to contact to obtain or cancel an IFR clearance. “Pilots may continue to request clearances via radio from air traffic control or Flight Service,” the FAA said in a notice on the FAA Safety Team’s website.

This initiative, a component of the Flight Service NAS Efficient Streamlined Services (FSNESS program), does not affect pilots operating in Alaska.

Dan Namowitz
Dan Namowitz
Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is a 35-year AOPA member.
Topics: Advocacy, FAA Information and Services, ATC

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