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2 Answers

Filing a VFR flight plan from DC SFRA

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I'm planning a VFR flight from the DC SFRA.  I filed the DC SFRA as described in the FAA training, which requires IFR and the departure gate to be specified as the destination.  I'd like to have a standard flight plan covering the remainder of my flight, so I tried to file a second VFR flight plan for the entire trip.  DUATS did not accept my flight plan because it said I needed to file an IFR flight plan from the SFRA.  Should I file the second flight plan with the SFRA gate as my departure point?

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2 Answers

  1. John D Collins on May 26, 2017


    Yes. Remember to open the second flightplan with FSS.

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  2. bluesideUP on May 30, 2017

    Hi Dave, yes, as John stated, you simply file a second flight plan that originates at your DC SFRA egress gateway and goes onward to your destination. When you reach the limit of the SFRA, Potomac Tracon will usually terminate your radar services and tell you to squawk 1200, at which time you can flip over to FSS and activate your second VFR flight plan that starts at the egress gateway and goes onward to your destination.
    Depending on the work load of the sector, you can also try informing the SFRA controller of your intended destination before you get to the end of it and she can arrange for flight following after you leave the SFRA if desired. There is one very helpful woman in the Chesapeake sector who actually asks if you want flight following, which is very considerate

    Basically the SFRA flight plan is just filed as “IFR” as a kludge to allow ATC get your info into the ATC computer system and issue you a squawk code while in the DC SFRA. Its trying to put a square peg in the round hole of the existing computer system, and it has no ATC function other than its “security” features. So if you are VFR within the DC SFRA , the SFRA flight plan only gets you from your airport to the gateway, with no official requirement for ATC to provide any level of services or (usually) any formal ATC clearance.

    -Jim, CFI, ATP

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