ICAO 2012 and NFP

ICAO 2012 and NFP

ICAO logoOn November 15, 2012, the standard ICAO format for airline flight plans will change.  This global ICAO initiative will mean that several new Fields in the ICAO Flight Plan format have been added and/or modified to reflect current aircraft navigational and communications capabilities, facilitating enhanced service delivery. NFP is fully ICAO 2012 compliant.

The successful submission, acceptance and management of airline Flight Plans and associated information is critical for flights to operate.  Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) are required to ensure they are able to accept and manage the new ICAO format as per the ICAO transition plan.  ICAO is responsible to ensure industry readiness and it is working individually with US States and running regional workshops to help ensure an effective transition.  It is extremely important that airlines are in communication with their appropriate Air Navigation Service Provider(s), and where appropriate, Flight Plan system vendor, to understand and comply with the transition.

The Standards of ICAO Annex 2 and Annex 11 govern the application of the Procedures for Air Navigation Services - Air Traffic Management (PANS-ATM, Doc 4444).  Although the contents of a flight plan are an Annex 2 Standard, the format is not.  Flight planning automation systems of airlines and the flight data processing systems of Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) are totally dependent upon clearly defined fields and format.  Current and future needs require a high degree of automation to support operations.  It is essential that a uniform application of the ICAO flight plan into a specific electronic format be adopted for the interests of safety and regularity of international aviation.

The ICAO Flight Plan (FPL) form and format is prescribed in Doc.4444, Procedures for Air Navigation Services- Air Traffic Management (PANS ATM), and Appendix 2.  Although the ICAO FPL format is well known, used globally, and remains as the single universally accepted guideline, some minor variations in the manner in which several US States have implemented these regional data adaptations within their local host data processing units has resulted in non-standard compliance.

As airlines operate on a global basis, the onus is on the user airlines to understand and comply with different US State requirements and local data host systems.  These diverse global requirements must be fully understood and complied with as failure to do so will result in a flight plan rejection, where such a system of validation exists.  In most cases, non-compliance for an airline would be recognized only at departure time, which in turn results in the start-up clearance being delayed or refused.  This will adversely influence the flight departure creating an unacceptable commercial situation which no airline wants or can afford.

NFP is fully ICAO 2012 compliant, but in order for customers to take advantage and file the NEW format, they must make some preparations.  Primarily, customers must update your aircraft records (FOM220) to include the new item 10a and 10b codes.  Guidance material to assist in converting existing codes to the new codes can be found at the following link: http://www2.icao.int/en/FITS/FITSLibrary/FPL%2020102%20Generic%20Guidance%20Material.pdf

In speaking with both ICAO and FAA, we have been encouraged to allow our users the ability to file the NEW FPL format in those areas that have declared their readiness to accept the NEW format.  To that end, we will be configuring the NFP FIR database to accept the NEW format in those areas that are ready to accept it - this change will go live on 11/15/2012 at 1700Z.  What this means to the flight plan customer is:

  1. If you have updated your aircraft to include ICAO 2012 equipment codes, then flights you operate entirely within an ICAO ready FIR or FIRS will be filed in the NEW format.
  2. If you have not updated your aircraft, then the flight plan will be filed using the PRESENT format.
  3. If the flight is planned to operate in an FIR (at any point on the route) that is not ready for the NEW format, then the FPL will be filed in the PRESENT format.

If you have questions or require some assistance then please contact your account manager.

Note 1: NFP Users can manually change the FPL format during the planning process by selecting the format they desire in the expanded view of the "Flight Info" group.

Note 2: DispatchPro users do not have the option to change the filing format during the planning process.

For a complete list of countries that are currently accepting the NEW format, please visit the following link: http://www2.icao.int/en/FITS/Pages/home.aspx

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