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What is AFTN?

Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunication Network. A worldwide system for the exchange of messages between stations.


Where is the UKs Communications Centre based?



What categories of AFTN message are there and what are their indicators?

SS - Distress
DD - Urgency
FF - Flight Safety
GG - Meteorology
GG - Flight Regularity
GG - Aeronautical Information
KK - Aeronautical Administration
As Appropriate - Service


Which Flight Safety Messages does ATC routinely become involved with?

Emergency Messages
Movement and Control Messages
- Supplementary Messages
- Filed Flight Plan and Associated Update Messages


What are the component parts of an AFTN message?

Priority Indicator
Date and Time Group
Text (Up to 1800 characters)


With regards to Departures, how do pilots comply with Rule 20

Either book out or file a flight plan


What is the definition of a Flight Plan?

Specified information provided to Air Traffic Service Units relative to an intended flight or portion of flight of an aircraft


What are the 3 categories of Flight Plan?

Full, Repetitive and Abbreviated


What is an abbreviated flight plan?

Limited information required to obtain a clearance for a portion of a flight


When MUST a pilot file a flight plan?

i) For all IFR flights in Controlled Airspace
ii) For all VFR flights in Class B-D airspace (note not class E!)
iii) For flights wishing to receive an air traffic advisory service on an advisory route
iv) For all flights crossing a UK/International FIR Boundary
v) For flights where the destination aerodrome is more than 40km away from the departure aerodrome, and the aircraft exceeds 5700kg MTWA


When is a pilot ADVISED to file a flight plan?

i) For flights over the sea more than 10nms from the coast of when flying over sparsely populated areas
ii) If the pilot intends to fly into an area in which SAR operations are in progress


What methods are available for submitting a flight plan?

Direct Filing
Handing completed CA48 to ATSU
Using Parent units


What are the time limits for filing a flight plan?

On the ground - 60 minutes prior to start up / taxi
Airborne - 10 minutes before entering controlled airspace
North Atlantic and Flights subject to ATFM - 3 hours prior to start up / taxi


What is the maximum time in advance of a flight that a flight plan can be filed?

144 hours - In accordance with ICAO procedures
120 hours - For flights within the IFPS Zone


Who receives a copy of the Flight Plan?

Destination Aerodrome
En-route centres
Route charges
Airline or handling agents


How many IFPUs are there in the IFPS Zone?

Paris and Brussels


What does IFPS stand for?

Integrated Initial Flight Plan Processing System


What is the address to send a flight plan to both IFPUs?



What happens to supplementary information?

If handling agent closes before the aircraft's ETA at destination plus 1 hour, then the handling agent will pass details to the ATSU at the departure aerodrome. If there is not ATSU then handling agent will forward contact details of the person who holds the supplementary information to the parent ACC. If the ATSU at the departure aerodrome closes before the aircraft's ETA at destination plus 1 hour, then the senior controller will forward details to the parent ACC.


What is an ORM?

Operational Reply Message


Which 3 ORMs are used by IFPS?

ACK - Acknowledge Message
REJ - Reject Message
MAN - Referred for manual processing


What types of ACK message are there?

Short ACK - Flight plan processed with no modifications
Long ACK - Flight Plan processed with minor modifications


What does a MAN message mean?

Errors have been detected and flight plan has been referred for Manual Processing


What does a REJ message indicate?

Flight plan could not be successfully processed automatically or manually


What are an operator's actions if they receive and REJ message>

Amend flight plan accordingly and re-submit ti IFPS


When is a DEP message sent?

IFR - If CAP550 indicates that it is required
VFR - Sent for all VFR flights


When should an ARR message be sent?

i) To announce the arrival of a diverted aircraft
ii) To announce the arrival of an aircraft which had suffered a radio communication failure
iii) When it is requested in the flight plan


How long after arrival should an ARR message be sent?

Within 30 minutes


What Special Handling Messages are there?

STS/EMER - Emergency
STS/HUM - Humanitarian
STS/HOSP - Hospital Flight
STS/SAR - Search and Rescue Flight
STS/HEAD - Flight carrying head of state
STS/STATE - Flight specifically required for state authorities
STS/PROTECTED - For flights which are security sensitive


Where are the previous Special Handling Messages inserted on the flight plan

Field 18