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Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:02 am

Flight Plan/Overflight Fees

Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:30 pm

I am very interested in learning about the process of filing a flight plan for a route that passes through the airspace of many countries. The nonstop flights between Newark and Singapore come to mind as certain routings require overflight of many countries. Recently, SQ21 passed through the airspace of the following 22 countries: United States, Canada, Ireland, Great Britain, Belgium, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Malaysia and Singapore.
Does each country have to be notified independently or is a flight plan filed with the aviation authority at the point of origin and that entity takes care of notifying all others along the route. I am also curious about how fees are paid to overfly countries that charge them. Thanks.
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Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Flight Plan/Overflight Fees

Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:12 pm

The airspace over sovereign territory requires the flight to met that nation’s permitting requirements, if any. The process ranges from merely flight plan filing to a permit requiring flight details, crew, aircraft specifications, and prior notice requirements. Airlines usually have blanket permits for their common routes and account for weather and wind effects. Private flights usually are more troublesome, as they are “one-offs” and require more prior coordination.

Once airborne, the ATC system passes the flight’s ETA at each boundary. It’s not unheard of for the controller to ask for verification of permit number.

Billing is a mess, you’d have to talk to a specialist. Basically, weight, distance and route traveled.

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Re: Flight Plan/Overflight Fees

Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:23 pm

Interesting topic. I assume this is part of the Dispatcher's duties, to make sure all permits are in line with the flight plan? It sounds like this would be fairly normal for an airline on a scheduled route as Galaxy Flyer mentioned, but what about Cargo ops? Not UPS or FedEx, but more like Atlas, Western Global, Kalitta, Volga Dnper, etc. Perhaps some of their routes are 'normal' but what about the more obscure routes? Regarding weight, is it based on the aircraft type and maximum weight or something different?
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Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Flight Plan/Overflight Fees

Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:04 pm

Yes, the dispatchers or international trip planners research and apply for the permits. My department uses Jeppesen Int’l Trip Planning in San Jose. They’ll run a flight plan when the trip is scheduled, look at overflights and make the applications by email, either directly to the applicable CAAs or thru an agent. If one nation has very restrictive rules, the routing will be frozen so it doesn’t change, even origin or destination changing can require notification or new permit. There’s a validity period, commonly begins with the ETA plus 72 hours to account for delays. Israel has a very stringent process and security protocol, for example. I’ve been denied overflight due to irregularities on a military flight, but not civil.

An interesting example is operating an experimental aircraft on a tour like the 787 to air shows or Mitsubishi going from Japan to the US for test flying. Overflight permit then might require specifics on handling, emergency ops, etc.


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