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ICAO and Domestic Flight Plans

ICAO 2012 New Flight Plan Format

Starting on November 15th, 2012, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) flight plans will follow a new format. These changes are meant to more accurately convey the capabilities of an aircraft to air traffic control, and allow for more efficient use of airspace. The new format requires pilots/filers to include additional equipment codes and comments about equipment installed in their aircraft. Garmin wishes to offer general guidance to our customers on deciding what information to include when using the new flight plan format. A linked excel spreadsheet has been created to summarize the changes, found on the tab marked ICAO Flight Plans & Eligibility.

Currently, two flight plan forms exist: FAA Form 7233-1 for domestic flight plans, and FAA Form 7233-4 for international flight plans. After November 15th, 2012, the new ICAO flight plan format (FAA Form 7233-4) will be required for all flights that meet the following criteria:

Domestic flights that do not meet the criteria listed above can continue to use the domestic flight plan form. See the section below outlining changes to the FAA Domestic Flight Plan Format.

The portions of the ICAO flight plan format that will likely affect most owners of Garmin products include Item 10 (Equipment and Capabilities) and Item 18 (Other Information). Item 10 is reserved for equipment codes based on the avionics installed in the aircraft. It consists of two parts, one for navigation equipment and one for the type of transponder installed, separated with an oblique stroke (/). Depending on the options entered in Item 10, you may also be required to enter information into Item 18. This field covers Performance Based Navigation (PBN) and RNAV Specifications. If the aircraft and crew are approved for RNP operations, you can also use RNP codes for Item 18. This page, along with the links below, outlines what information is expected to be entered in your flight plan for Items 10 and 18. The capabilities of your Garmin avionics may also be outlined in your Approved Flight Manual Supplement (AFMS).

FAA 2013 New Domestic Flight Plan Format

Starting October 23rd, 2013, the FAA has updated the equipment suffixes for domestic flight plans. The goal is to more accurately indicate the Global Navigation Satellite System capabilities of aircraft flying domestically. The /R, /Q, /E, /F, /J, and /K suffixes have been removed and replaced with new suffixes. The new suffixes are /L, /G, /Z, and /I. The new suffixes are based on aircraft having RNAV capability, GNSS capability, and RVSM capability. Operators should utilize the new suffixes for operations that require RNAV capability but not Performance Based Navigation (PBN). If routing based on PBN is required, an ICAO flight plan should be filed. The linked excel spreadsheet outlines the changes on the tab marked ‘FAA Domestic Flight Plans.’

In order to determine Part 91 operational approval for the capabilities found on the Garmin Flight Plan Information Excel File, you will need to access your AFMS, as well as the spreadsheet available for download below. This spreadsheet contains the specific FAA documentation that outlines the different RNAV and RNP capabilities, as well as what is required to conform to the requirements. In most cases, familiarity or an AMFS statement is all that is needed. Some cases require a Letter of Authorization (LOA) from the FAA. This information should be considered as a guide only, and is not guaranteed to be complete. It is up to the operator to determine if approval is required, to seek approval and to ensure compliance.

Download the Garmin Flight Plan Information Excel file now.

It should be noted that the information outlined on this page and contained in the links below regarding compliance with various Advisory Circulars (AC) are to be used for reference only. Since the capabilities of your avionics vary depending upon the installation, it is solely up to the aircraft operators to determine what certifications pertain to them. These certifications are outlined in your AFMS. Additionally, Letters of Authorization (LOA) may also be required to be in compliance with certain operations. The information below is only intended to provide general guidance to a user to determine the qualifications of their Garmin avionics. To the extent allowable by law, Garmin is not liable for any damages resulting from the aircraft operator’s failure to properly file a flight plan in the new ICAO or domestic flight plan format.

For more information on the ICAO flight plan changes, please utilize the links in the "Useful Links" sidebar.