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6/17/21 

AIM 

site. For additional flight information at foreign 
locations, pilots should also review the FAA’s Prohi-
bitions, Restrictions, and Notices website at 

https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/us_re-
strictions/

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. 

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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. 

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13.  Change in Proposed Departure 

Time 

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. 

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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 

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2

 hour after your ETA, search and rescue 

procedures are started. 

REFERENCE

 

14 CFR Section 91.153. 
14 CFR Section 91.169. 

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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. 

NOTE

 

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 
established. 

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. 

Preflight 

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