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Flight Plan

Asked by: 544 views ,
FAA Regulations, General Aviation

How long does a flight (VFR and IMC) stay in the system if not activated? And how early can you activate your flight plan prior to the scheduled time of departure? 

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1 Answers



  1. John D Collins on Jun 16, 2017

    In the US, a VFR flightplan can be activated any time prior to the ETD and up to two hours after the ETD. After ETD +2 hours, the VFR flightplan is deleted from the system if it has not been activated.

    For an IFR flightplan, they are also deleted two hours after ETD. Usually a flightplan that has been delivered to the ATC computer can be accessed by controllers, but the local facility does not get a printout of the flightplan strip until a half hour prior to ETD. If the flightplan is in the ATC computer, it may be accessed by local controllers, but not all flightplan processors deliver the flightplan to the ATC computer at the same time. One system I work with delivers flightplans to the ATC computer up to 23 hours in advance, while another does this 3 hours in advance, and a third does it 2 hours in advance. So the time before ETD that a controller can access a flightplan varies depending on the filing system.

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