background image





locations, pilots should also review the FAA’s

Prohibitions, Restrictions, and Notices website at


f. When customs notification to foreign locations

is required, it is the responsibility of the pilot to

arrange for customs notification in a timely manner.

g. Aircraft arriving to locations in U.S. territorial

airspace must meet the entry requirements as

described in AIM Section 6, National Security and

Interception Procedures.

5−1−12. Change in Flight Plan

a. In addition to altitude or flight level, destination

and/or route changes, increasing or decreasing the

speed of an aircraft constitutes a change in a flight

plan. Therefore, at any time the average true airspeed

at cruising altitude between reporting points varies or

is expected to vary from that given in the flight plan

by plus or minus 5 percent, or 10 knots, whichever is

greater, ATC should be advised.

b. All changes to existing flight plans should be

completed more than 46 minutes prior to the

proposed departure time. Changes must be made with

the initial flight plan service provider. If the initial

flight plan’s service provider is unavailable, filers

may contact an ATC facility or FSS to make the

necessary revisions. Any revision 46 minutes or less

from the proposed departure time must be coordinat-

ed through an ATC facility or FSS.

5−1−13. Change in Proposed Departure


a. To prevent computer saturation in the en route

environment, parameters have been established to

delete proposed departure flight plans which have not

been activated. Most centers have this parameter set

so as to delete these flight plans a minimum of 2 hours

after the proposed departure time or Expect

Departure Clearance Time (EDCT). To ensure that a

flight plan remains active, pilots whose actual

departure time will be delayed 2 hours or more

beyond their filed departure time, are requested to

notify ATC of their new proposed departure time.

b. Due to traffic saturation, ATC personnel

frequently will be unable to accept these revisions via

radio. It is recommended that you forward these

revisions to a flight plan service provider or FSS.

5−1−14. Closing VFR/DVFR Flight Plans
A pilot is responsible for ensuring that his/her VFR or

DVFR flight plan is canceled. You should close your

flight plan with the nearest FSS, or if one is not

available, you may request any ATC facility to relay

your cancellation to the FSS.


Control towers do not

automatically close VFR or DVFR flight plans since

they do not know if a particular VFR aircraft is on a

flight plan. If you fail to report or cancel your flight

plan within 




 hour after your ETA, search and rescue

procedures are started.


14 CFR Section 91.153.

14 CFR Section 91.169.

5−1−15. Canceling IFR Flight Plan

a. 14 CFR Sections 91.153 and 91.169 include the

statement “When a flight plan has been activated, the

pilot-in-command, upon canceling or completing the

flight under the flight plan, must notify an FAA Flight

Service Station or ATC facility.”

b. An IFR flight plan may be canceled at any time

the flight is operating in VFR conditions outside

Class A airspace by pilots stating “CANCEL MY IFR

FLIGHT PLAN” to the controller or air/ground

station with which they are communicating.

Immediately after canceling an IFR flight plan, a pilot

should take the necessary action to change to the

appropriate air/ground frequency, VFR radar beacon

code and VFR altitude or flight level.

c. ATC separation and information services will

be discontinued, including radar services (where

applicable). Consequently, if the canceling flight

desires VFR radar advisory service, the pilot must

specifically request it.


Pilots must be aware that other procedures may be

applicable to a flight that cancels an IFR flight plan within

an area where a special program, such as a designated

TRSA, Class C airspace, or Class B airspace, has been


d. If a DVFR flight plan requirement exists, the

pilot is responsible for filing this flight plan to replace

the canceled IFR flight plan. If a subsequent IFR

operation becomes necessary, a new IFR flight plan

must be filed and an ATC clearance obtained before

operating in IFR conditions.