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Change of Flight Plan (ARTCC).
Refer to the back cover of the IFR Enroute Supplement for the correct format. Call ARTCC with
"request change of route/destination." If ARTCC can handle it, read the request. If they are too
busy to take your request, attempt to get clearance to an intermediate point on the route. This will
allow you to continue towards the new destination while contacting FSS.
Change of Flight Plan (FSS).
Write the change down in correct sequence as specified on the IFR Enroute Supplement back
cover. Utilize a second radio and contact FSS on 255.4, or the charted VHF frequency. Use a
VOR if required to establish communication. On the initial call, always identify which frequency
you are transmitting on (and if applicable, which VOR you are listening to). Make the request for
change of flight plan after establishing contact, not on the initial call. The FSS specialist has a
copy of the flight plan form to be filled in. Do not read the block headings, only the information
required. After filing the flight plan, request a weather update if required. Allow reasonable time
for FSS to input the flight plan, then call ARTCC for further clearance. You may need to state
which FSS you filed with. Be ready to copy.
Closing Flight Plans. The following two regulations establish guidance on closing flight plans.
Airman's Information Manual (AIM). The AIM specifies procedures based on whether or not the
field at which you land has a functioning control tower.
Functioning Control Tower. If operating on an IFR flight plan to an airport with a functioning
control tower, the flight plan is automatically closed upon landing.
No Functioning Control Tower. If operating on an IFR flight plan to an airport where there is
no functioning control tower, the pilot must initiate cancellation of the IFR flight plan. This can
be done after landing if there is a functioning FSS or by other means of direct communications
with ATC. In the event there is no FSS and/or air/ground communications with ATC is not
possible below a certain altitude, the pilot should, weather permitting, cancel the IFR flight plan
while still airborne and able to communicate with ATC by radio. This will not only save the
time and expense of canceling by telephone but will quickly release the airspace for use by other
OPNAV 3710.7. OPNAV 3710.7 guidance is slightly different and is based on whether you land at
a military field or a civilian field.
Military Installations. At military installations, the pilot shall either verbally confirm the closing
of the flight plan with tower or base operations personnel or deliver a copy of the flight form to
base operations.
Nonmilitary Installations. At nonmilitary installations, the pilot shall close the flight plan with
flight service through any means of communication available. Cancellation of an instrument
flight plan does not meet the requirement for "closing out" the flight plan. When a landing
report has been properly delivered, the flight plan will be considered closed out.
Bottom Line. It is always pilot-in-command's responsibility to ensure the flight plan is closed. If you land
at a non tower-controlled facility, you must initiate cancellation of your flight plan (VFR or IFR) and
ensure that it is closed. If you land at a tower-controlled facility (military or civilian) they should close
your IFR flight plan, but it is still your responsibility to ensure this is done. There are numerous ways to
accomplish this, e.g. a radio call, telephone call, visit to base ops, etc.
(1). Cancellation in the air is always an option while in VFR conditions outside Class A airspace by stating,
"CANCEL MY IFR FLIGHT PLAN" to the controller. Immediately after canceling an IFR flight plan, the
pilot should change to the appropriate radio frequency, VFR beacon code (1200), and appropriate VFR
altitude. In this case, you will no longer have flight following through ATC for the remainder of your
flight. However, if enroute to a military field, you will still receive flight following through the destination
Base Ops facility (provided a departure message was properly sent from your departure location--either

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