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Aviation Sri Lanka 

Flight Plan (FPL)

This page is intended to explain the contents of a correctly filled in flight plan and their meaning to relevant personnel. It is a extract of the full information contained in the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) published by the Civil Aviation Department Sri Lanka. The information is provided here as guidance, but for the full instructions you should refer to a copy of the latest AIP.


The, flight planning is presented according to the VCBI and EGLL route.    


Each aircraft has an official designator, not more than 4 characters, allocated to it by ICAO and these are published in ICAO Doc 8643.


Completing a Flight Plan

The diagram depicts a actual flight plan filled for the flight ALK505 which departs from BIA(VCBI) to London Heathrow (EGKK). The copies of the flight plan should be dispatched to all the relevant Flight Information Centers(FIC) to make the flight possible at the given times, routes and levels.

In addition, for massagers transmitted over the AFTN, there are four characters added to the indicator to determine the destination agency at the location. A few of the usual ones are listed below:

ZTZX - Air Traffic Control - Tower.
ZAZX - Air Traffic Control - Approach.
ZQZX - Area Control Center.


Click on the image for a larger view


7 - Aircraft Identification Maximum 7 characters

Insert one of the following:

The registration marking of the aircraft (ALK505),


8. Flight Rules (1 character)

The flight rules which the pilot intends to comply

I           = if IFR first
         = if VFR first
         = if IFR first *
         = if VFR first *

- specify in item 15 the point or points at where a change of flight rules is planned.


Type of Flight (1 character)


S    = scheduled services

        = non-scheduled Air Transport Operations

   = General aviation

  =  Military

   =  Other than any of the defined categories above


9. Number and Type of aircraft.

Number of aircraft (1 or 2 characters.)

Insert number of aircraft, but only if more than one


Type of aircraft (2 to 4 characters)

The designator as specified by ICAO,

Wake Turbulence Category (1 character)


         = Heavy, to indicate an aircraft type with a MTOW of 136000 Kg (300000lb) or more.

        = Medium, to indicate a MTOW less than 136000 Kg but more than 7000 Kg (15500lb)

         = Light, to indicate a MTOW of 7000 Kg or less.


10. Equipment.

Radio Communication, Navigation and Approach Aid equipment.

Preceding the oblique stroke, insert one letter as follows:

N          = No equipment for the route to be flown is carried, or the equipment is unserviceable.

S          = Standard COM/NAV equipment for the route to be flown is carried and serviceable.

Following letters indicate the COM/NAV equipment available and serviceable:




            E - DECCA



I - Inertial Navigation


M - Omega


P - Doppler

R - RNAV route equipment




Z - Other equipment; specify in item 18, preceded by COM/ or NAV/

then, following the oblique stroke, insert one of the following to describe the serviceable SSR equipment carried:

N - Nil

A - Transponder - mode A - 4096 codes

C - Transponder - mode A - 4096 codes and mode C

X - Transponder - mode S - without pressure altitude and without aircraft identification transmission

P - Transponder - mode S - with pressure altitude but without aircraft identification transmission

I - Transponder - mode S - without pressure altitude but with aircraft identification transmission

X - Transponder - mode S - with both pressure altitude and aircraft identification transmission 

Departure Aerodrome (4 characters)

Location Indicator of the departure aerodrome(Every airfield has a Location Indicator like Bandaranaike International Airport is VCBI)., or if no location indicator assigned, insert ZZZZ and specify in item 18, the name of the aerodrome, preceded by DEP/



V:                               The region.                             

C:                               Sri Lanka - The country within the region.

BI:                               Bandaranaike International  - the facility within the country.


VCCA                          Anuradapura

VCCB                          Batticaloa

VCCC                          Ratmalana

VCCG                         Gal Oya/Amparai

VCCJ                          Kankasanturai/Jaffna

VCCT                          Tricmalee/China Bay

VCCW                        Wirawila


Time(4 characters)

The estimated departure time


Cruising Speed (maximum 5 characters)

True Airspeed for the first or whole portion of the flight, in terms of:

         Kilometres per hour, expressed as K followed by 4 figures (e.g. K0350)

         Knots, expressed as N, followed by 4 figures (e.g. N0220)

        Mach number, when so prescribed by the appropriate ATS authority to the nearest hundredths of unit mach, expressed as M followed by 4 figures (e.g. M082)


Level [Cruising] (maximum 5 characters)

planned cruising level for the first or the whole cruising portion of the route to be flown, in terms of:

         Flight level expressed as F followed by 3 figures (e.g. F085, F330)

         Altitude in hundreds of feet expressed as A followed by 3 figures, (e.g. A045, A100)

         *Standard Metric level in tens of meters expressed as S followed by 4 figures (e.g. S1130)

         *Altitude in tens of meters expressed as M followed by 4 figures (e.g. M0840)

         or, for VFR flights where the flight is not planned to be flown at a specific cruising level, the letters VFR.

         When so prescribed by the appropriate ATS authorities.



Including changes of speed, level and/or flight rules. (note that this is an abbreviated instruction)

Flight along designated ATS routes
Designator of the first route, or the letters DCT followed by the point of joining the route
then insert each point at which a change of route, speed, level or flight rules is planned, followed by the designator of the next route segment.

Flight outside designated routes
points not normally more than 30 minutes flying time, or 200 nm apart, including each point where a change of speed, level, track or flight rules is planned.



Destination Aerodrome (4 characters)

Location indicator of the destination aerodrome


EET (4 characters)

Total estimated elapsed time


Alternate aerodromes

Location indicator of not more than two aerodromes.


18. Other information

0 (zero) if no other information, or, any other necessary information in the preferred sequence shown below.
















19. Supplementary Information

This information is not filed with the plan, but is kept at the unit where the plan was filed. In case of emergency the supplementary information will be transmitted to the appropriate rescue agencies.


After -E/  a 4 figure group giving the fuel endurance in hours and minutes


Persons on Board 

After -P/ insert the total number of persons (passengers and crew) on board, when required by the appropriate ATS authority.


Emergency and Survival Equipment


         cross out U if UHF on frequency 243.0MHz is not carried

         cross out V if VHF on frequency 121.5 MHz is not carried

         cross out E if emergency location beacon - aircraft (ELBA) is not available


-S/ (Survival Equipment)

         cross out all indicators if survival equipment is not carried

         cross out P if polar survival equipment is not carried

         cross out D if desert survival equipment is not carried

         cross out M if maritime survival equipment is not carried. Note: this refers to equipment in addition to the lifejackets listed in the following section

         cross out J if Jungle survival equipment is not carried


J/ Jackets

         cross out all indicators if lifejackets are not carried

         cross out L if lifejackets are not fitted with lights

         cross out F if jackets are not equipped with fluorescent

         cross out U or V or both as in R/ above to indicate radio capability of jackets, if any.


-D/ (dinghies) (number) cross out indicators D and C if no dinghies are carried, or insert number of dinghies carried and;

         (CAPACITY) insert total capacity, in persons, of all dinghies carried, and

         (COVER) cross out indicator C if dinghies are not covered and

         (COLOUR) insert colour of dinghies if carried.


A/ (AIRCRAFT COLOUR AND MARKINGS) insert colour of aircraft and significant markings


N/ (REMARKS) cross out indicator N if no remarks, or indicate any other survival equipment carried and any other remarks regarding survival equipment.


C/ (PILOT) insert name of pilot in command


Location Indicators are a 4 letter code used by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to identify Aerodromes and aeronautical facilities around the world.

The code starts by dividing the world into a series of regions, and allocating each region a letter. Most regions contain several countries, while some regions are considered large enough to have a letter allocated to a single country,


The second letter then indicates the country within the region, while the third and fourth letters are then used to identify the particular facility within the country. Taking Bandaranaike International identifier as an example, it decodes as follows:


Nowadays flight plans are computer generated. The information of the fields of FLPs  are stored and updated at regular intervals. A computer generated FLP is shown below and it contains additional information such as weather and fuel information.