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AIM 

12/2/21 

with a flight service station, or use an assumed 
departure time procedure clearly communicated with 
the flight plan filing service. 

g. 

Although position reports are not required for 

VFR flight plans, periodic reports to FSSs along the 
route are good practice. Such contacts permit 
significant information to be passed to the transiting 
aircraft and also serve to check the progress of the 
flight should it be necessary for any reason to locate 
the aircraft. 

h. 

Pilots flying VFR should fly an appropriate 

cruising altitude for their direction of flight. 

i. 

When filing a VFR Flight plan, indicate the 

appropriate aircraft equipment capability as pre-
scribed for an IFR flight plan. 

REFERENCE

 

AIM, Para 5

1

6, IFR Flights. 

j. 

ATC radar history data can be useful in finding 

a downed or missing aircraft; therefore, surveillance 
equipment should be listed in Item 18. Pilots using 
commercial GPS tracking services are encouraged to 
note the specific service in Item 19 N/ (survival equip 
remarks) of FAA Form 7233

4 or DD Form 1801. 

5

1

6.  Flight Plan 

 IFR Flights 

(See Appendix 4, FAA Form 7233

4 – International 

Flight Plan) 

a. 

General

 

1. 

Use of FAA Form 7233

4 or DD Form 1801 

is mandatory for: 

(a) 

Assignment of RNAV SIDs and STARs or 

other PBN routing, 

(b) 

All civilian IFR flights that will depart 

U.S. domestic airspace, and 

(c) 

Domestic IFR flights except military/ 

DOD and civilians who file stereo route flight plans. 

(d) 

All military/DOD IFR flights that will 

depart U.S. controlled airspace. 

2. 

Military/DOD flights using FAA Form 

7233

1, or DD Form 175, may not be eligible for 

assignment of RNAV SIDs or STARs. Military flights 
desiring assignment of these procedures should file 
using FAA Form 7233

4 or DD 1801, as described in 

this section. 

3. 

When filing an IFR flight plan using FAA 

Form 7233

4 or DD Form 1801, it is recommended 

that filers include all operable navigation, communi-
cation, and surveillance equipment capabilities by 
adding appropriate equipment qualifiers as shown in 
Appendix 4, FAA Form 7233

4, International Flight 

Plan. 

4. 

ATC issues clearances based on aircraft 

capabilities filed in Items 10 and 18 of FAA Form 
7233

4 or DD 1801. Operators should file all 

capabilities for which the aircraft and crew is 
certified, capable, and authorized. PBN/capability 
must be filed in Item 18, Other Information. When 
filing a capability, ATC expects filers to use that 
capability; for example, answer a SATVOICE call 
from ATC if code M1 or M2 is filed in Item 10. 

5. 

Prior to departure from within, or prior to 

entering controlled airspace, a pilot must submit a 
complete flight plan and receive an air traffic 
clearance, if weather conditions are below VFR 
minimums. IFR flight plans may be submitted to an 
FSS or flight plan filing service. 

6. 

Pilots should file IFR flight plans at least 30 

minutes prior to estimated time of departure to 
preclude possible delay in receiving a departure 
clearance from ATC. 

7. 

In order to provide FAA traffic management 

units’ strategic route planning capabilities, nonsched-
uled operators conducting IFR operations above FL 
230 are requested to voluntarily file IFR flight plans 
at least 4 hours prior to estimated time of departure 
(ETD). 

8. 

To minimize your delay in entering Class B, 

Class C, Class D, and Class E surface areas at 
destination when IFR weather conditions exist or are 
forecast at that airport, an IFR flight plan should be 
filed before departure. Otherwise, a 30

minute delay 

is not unusual in receiving an ATC clearance because 
of time spent in processing flight plan data. 

9. 

Traffic saturation frequently prevents control 

personnel from accepting flight plans by radio. In 
such cases, the pilot is advised to contact a flight plan 
filing service for the purpose of filing the flight plan. 

10. 

When requesting an IFR clearance, it is 

highly recommended that the departure airport be 
identified by stating the city name and state and/or the 
airport location identifier in order to clarify to ATC 
the exact location of the intended airport of departure. 

5

1

10 

Preflight