The way some IFR flight plans are filed is changing, and Garmin is here to help! New International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) 2012 Flight Plan filing requirements go into effect today. What does that mean for those of you planning an IFR flight soon? If you want to file an international flight plan, or wish to fly an RNAV arrival or departure procedure, you must file your flight plan using the new FAA Form 7223-4. This form is in addition to FAA Form 7223-1, which is still used for domestic VFR and IFR flights that do not wish to utilize RNAV SIDs or STARs.
The primary difference between the old and new flight plan form is the use of additional alphanumeric codes in certain sections of the flight plan. While most of you are probably familiar with filing /G for the equipment suffix, the new form will require more information to be entered in this field. The expanded number of flight plan codes specifies not only what type of equipment is installed, but also the capabilities of that equipment. The changes are designed to gather more information about how your aircraft is equipped, and to offer the best procedures available, based on your capabilities.
For many of you, these changes specifically address your certified Garmin avionics. To make the transition easier on our customers, we have created a useful website within our flyGarmin webpage that will help you identify what to include in your new flight plan. While every installation is different, Garmin hopes to offer general guidance and additional resources to assist you with filling out the new ICAO Flight Plan.