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NBAA Introduces New International Flight Plan Format Guide

NBAA International Flight Plan Format Guide

March 27, 2024

NBAA introduced a tool for complying with international flight planning requirements that were announced at the 2024 NBAA International Operators Conference in Orlando, FL.

NBAA’s International Operators Committee developed the “International Flight Plan Format Guide” to help operators navigate varying requirements for flight plans from the FAA, ICAO and foreign regulators. View the guide.

“This document is a guide that operators and flight planning providers can use to align on flight plan format and language,” said Clement Meersseman, vice president of strategic partnerships at AviationManuals, who added that all major flight planning vendors participated in the document update, recognizing the need for harmonization.

Flight planning vendors have dozens of flight plan formats available for clients, who might choose a particular format based on familiarity or preference, but now most vendors will have at least one flight plan format built on the industry recommended format described in this guide.

The FAA’s recent initiative to streamline the Letter of Authorization (LOA) application process demonstrated the need for a standardized international flight plan format, as a sample international flight plan is a requirement of most LOA applications.

While use of the format is not required, having an industry recommended format not only helps operators demonstrate compliance with international flight planning requirements in the LOA application process, but ensures international compliance in future operations.

“A standardized flight plan removes one LOA application challenge and could also make demonstrating compliance with international flight planning easier in the event of a ramp inspection,” said Brian Koester, CAM, NBAA director of flight operations and regulations.

And the initiative goes further, as Meersseman explained.

“We also are collaborating with the FAA to gather feedback on what inspectors are seeing on LOA applications and with the air traffic office to get data on errors they see, for example, incorrect equipment codes,” Meersseman said. “This is not just a guide. We now have a process in place to enhance collaboration with the FAA to mitigate errors and work towards continuous improvement across the industry.”