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October 26, 2012
ICAO 2012 Flight Plan Filing Changes
Starting at 0001z on Thursday morning November 15th, the ICAO will begin requiring the use of the new Filed Flight Plan (FPL) for all international flights. The present format will not be supported after November 15th of 2012. The new FPL will include several important changes to the flight plan and associated messages. The two most drastic changes will be to Item 10 and Item 18. Item 10, which represents the Equipment and Capabilities, will have changes to the alphanumeric qualifiers that cover enhanced operational capabilities and surveillance equipment. Some of the changes reflect equipment such as Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast or Contract (ADS-B and ADS-C). Item 18, which represents Other Information, will include significant changes including formatting, indicator definitions, specific grammar for special handling and new Performance Based Navigation (PBN/) qualifiers for Area Navigation (RNAV) and Required Navigation Performance (RNP). Additional changes include the Delay, Change, Cancel and Arrival message formats. Also, there is a specific format for airports not included in the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP). Finally, operators now have the ability to file a flight plan up to 120 hours in advance. For more information, please browse the Flight Plan Filing Resources included in the upper right hand corner of this page.
ICAO Flight Plan Filing for Assignment of RNAV Procedures
On June 29, 2008, the FAA implemented changes in all en route Host computer systems. These changes permit automatic assignment of Area Navigation (RNAV) Standard Instrument Departures (SID), Standard Terminal Arrivals (STAR) and preferential routes, based on the airborne equipment and capabilities filed in an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Filed Flight Plan (FPL). These changes were made to facilitate the transition from the current Host computer system to the planned En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) system at the 20 domestic Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCC).
Since eligibility for assignment of RNAV procedures is now based on information filed in the ICAO flight plan, these procedures will only be available to operators filing ICAO flight plans. However, those operators who continue to file the NAS Flight Plan (FP) will remain eligible for assignment of non-RNAV SIDs, STARs and preferential routes.
Members of NBAA's Access Committee and NBAA staff have been working with FAA officials to ensure that the flight plan transition to the ICAO format runs smoothly for all of business aviation. In a Q&A dialog with FAA on routing, the FAA offered responses to NBAA Member questions on the topic.
En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM)
The FAA began replacing the 40 year old En Route Host computer system (Host) in 2008. This started in the Pacific Northwest and will end at Miami Center after they have replaced the old Host technology with the new En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) technology in all 20 Air Route Traffic Control Centers nationwide. This is one of the most ambitious transitions in FAA history. The ERAM technology will allow the FAA to make the transition to the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). It will allow the FAA to use new programs such as System Wide Information Management, Data Communications, and Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast. ERAM should increase capacity and improve efficiency throughout the National Airspace System (NAS), but it will require participation from the air traffic controllers, the facilities and the operators in order to realize the full potential of this NextGen system.
ICAO Flight Plan Filing Changes in 2012
On November 15, 2012 the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Filed Flight Plan (FPL) will undergo significant changes regarding Item and Field contents for FPLs and related messages. The FAA is emphasizing the importance of properly filing ICAO flight plans in advance of these changes. This will allow the automatic assignment of RNAV Standard Instrument Departures (SID), Standard Terminal Arrivals (STAR) and preferential routes, based on the airborne equipment (field 10) and capabilities (field 18, other information) filed in an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Filed Flight Plan (FPL). This not only benefits controllers by reducing their workload but also insures operators are able to use the many new RNAV procedures that have been published over the past few years.