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Flight Plan Transition to ICAO Format – Routing Q&A with FAA

June 26, 2008

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 recent Q&A dialog with FAA on routing, the FAA offered the following responses to NBAA Member questions on the topic.

Q: NBAA members would like to know what is meant by the term “Conventional Routing.” If pilots continue to use the FAA NAS Flight Plan (old flight plan), can they expect to receive direct routing between SID end-points and STAR begin-points or can they expect route assignments via jet airways and VOR’s?

A: When we use the term “Conventional Routing,” we mean a route which does NOT require Area Navigation (RNAV) capability to fly that portion of the route.  Pilots who continue to use a NAS Flight Plan (FP) [FAA Form 7230-1, Domestic Flight Plan] after June 29, 2008 can expect to receive:

Q: To help illustrate the questions being asked, here are some filed route examples. Assume that the NAS FP (old domestic flight plan) is used for each; the aircraft is GPS equipped and meets AC 90-100A requirements for terminal RNAV procedures.

  • STL > IAD
    SID: BLUES2.IIU
    Direct HVQ
    STAR: HVQ.ROYIL2 (Non-RNAV STAR)

    A direct, RNAV route is filed between IIU and HVQ. Could the pilot be expected to receive an revised clearance to include jet airways between IIU and HVQ?

    A: Yes - the pilot can expect to be cleared via airways, or other conventional routing, because the filed route requires RNAV. To be assigned RNAV routing, an ICAO FPL should be filed with appropriate entry in Item 18:
    • NAV/RNVE2 for advanced RNAV in accordance with AC 90-100A, or
    • NAV/RNVE99 for basic RNAV in accordance with 90-45A
  • ICT > IAD
    Direct ROKNE
    Direct HVQ
    STAR: HVQ.ROYIL2 (Non-RNAV STAR)

    A direct, RNAV route is filed between ROKNE and HVQ. Could the pilot be expected to receive a revised clearance to include jet airways between ROKNE and HVQ?

    A: Yes - the pilot can expect to be cleared via airways, or other conventional routing, because the filed route requires RNAV. To be assigned RNAV routing, an ICAO FPL should be filed with appropriate entry in Item 18:
    • NAV/RNVE2 for advanced RNAV in accordance with AC 90-100A, or
    • NAV/RNVE99 for basic RNAV in accordance with 90-45A
  • ICT > IAD
    Direct ROKNE
    Direct HVQ
    STAR: HVQ.SHNON2 (RNAV STAR)

    Will the flight be assigned the ROYIL2 conventional STAR in place of the SHNON2 RNAV STAR? Will airways be assigned between ROKNE and HVQ?

    A: Yes - the pilot can expect to be cleared via a conventional STAR and airways, or other conventional routing, because the filed route and the STAR requires RNAV. To be assigned RNAV routing, an ICAO FPL should be filed with appropriate entry in Item 18:
    • NAV/RNVE2A1 for the RNAV STAR / advanced RNAV in accordance with AC 90-100A, or
    • NAV/RNVE99 for basic RNAV PTP in accordance with 90-45A; the STAR would not be assigned in this instance

Q: These questions all revolve around what the FAA means by the term “Conventional Routing.” Does it mean no direct routing between the departure gate fix and the arrival gate fix?

A: Direct routing can be filed/assigned via a NAS FP after June 29, 2008 if RNAV is not required for any portion of the route filed; PTP or other routing requiring RNAV will not be assigned.

Q: If the route assignment in these examples is changed to airway routing, will the pilot be able to request amended routing prior to departure that might include direct to route between the departure gate and the arrival gate?

A: A pilot who desires RNAV routing for any portion of a flight after June 29, 2008 should file an ICAO FPL in accordance with our guidance to receive RNAV route assignment.

Q: Would the pilot be able to request and expect to receive direct routing once airborne? Finally, will the pilot be able to request and expect to receive clearance for an RNAV STAR once airborne?

A: The pilot can request RNAV assignment when airborne; however, the ability of the controller to make and coordinate the required changes in our systems to enable that assignment will depend on workload. This should not be used as a workaround for filing an ICAO FPL in accordance with our guidance, but rather is to be used when equipment capability is gained/lost in flight which enables/changes RNAV assignment.

The NAS is dependent on users following the guidance we provide on flight planning. We expect users who desire RNAV route assignment after June 29, 2008 to file an ICAO FPL in accordance with our guidelines.

For more information, contact NBAA's Operations Service Group at [email protected].