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ForeFlight (merged thread)

As discussed many times before: the problem with routings in VFR flight plans is that every country has its own rules regarding what they accept and what they don‘t.

Switzerland wants city names and hates 5-letter waypoints.
Germany formally bans all geographic names but accepts 5-letter waypoints.
Italy works a lot with geographic names.
Other countries ban coordinates.
And so on.

The fun thing is: what matters here is the country of departure, because it‘s that country‘s ARO which has the task of receiving and checking the flightplan. So, if you fly from Germany to Switzerland, you could use 5-letter waypoints throughout, and Switzerland won‘t be able to object, because they are merely at the receiving end of the flightplan. Likewise, if the flight is the other way round, you can put only geographic names (as per the Swiss ICAO chart, how quaint) in there (and the Swiss AIS will be happy), even if the German AIS wouldn‘t normally accept it (if they had to check and distribute it). The „correct“ pilot would put in geographic names for the Swiss part, and then 5-letter waypoints for the German part. But that would nevertheless run the risk of getting the flighplan rejected by an overzealous AIS employee who only knows his very own country‘s rules. (I know, VORs work everywhere, but the problem is the are too few and far between to half accurately depict a VFR route, particularly in the mountains).

All VFR flightplanning programs have this problem. It‘s impossible for them to please everybody. Skydemon just insists that coordinates are ICAO-compliant and are not interested in the fact that some countries will not allow them. It‘s a mess.

Last Edited by boscomantico at 05 Mar 21:36
Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

Interesting. I filed multiple flight plans for flights within Germany and from Germany to Switzerland with geographic names and never got a flight plan rejected.

Given all this differences it seems like there is no easy way to validate VFR route so you are adding to my point that VFR route validation in FF should not be done or at least not enforced.

Switzerland

Does FF try to validate a VFR route? That is not possible. In the UK for example you could put Upper Warlingham in there

Skydemon, when used to file some “random” VFR route, it uses lat/long coordinates, which ATC ritually ignore because nobody can be bothered to plot it. Also AFAIK most ATC / AIS units have no software capability for plotting such routes.

In light of what Bosco says, you could use the VORrrrddd notation. That’s quite easy to plot manually, too.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

Does FF try to validate a VFR route? That is not possible. In the UK for example you could put Upper Warlingham in there

Last time I tried it did. And when I change my custom waypoint to the city name it wouldn’t let me file the flight plan because it could not validate.

Switzerland

boscomantico wrote:

Switzerland wants city names and hates 5-letter waypoints.
Germany formally bans all geographic names but accepts 5-letter waypoints.

Is this specified somewhere in the AIP/VFR manual?

Switzerland

I spoke with DFS staff about this a while ago. In fact, they understand that these differences in rules are nonsense (since VFR flightplans are usually an international thing by nature), so they tend to accept flightplans anyways, even if they don‘t fully comply with the German rules.

But other AISes are less pragmatic. I have heard about flightplans being rejected by French SIA because the route contained coordinates (which is what SD makes of VFR (non 5-letter) waypoints…

Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

Is this specified somewhere in the AIP/VFR manual?

Yes of course. Every country generally specifies in ENR 1.10 of their AIP what they expect in the flightplan, including item 15.

Last Edited by boscomantico at 05 Mar 21:47
Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

boscomantico wrote:

Yes of course. Every country generally specifies in ENR 1.10 of their AIP what they expect in the flightplan, including item 15.

Right. Found it. E.g. for Switzerland:

Route
The planned route. Geographical location names as
given on the aeronautical chart ICAO 1:500 000
2253-B Switzerland are accepted by Swiss ATS units.
Switzerland

@Josh Are you aware of the VFR flight plan validation issue?
I would be happy with just removing the requirement for the flight plan to be valid to be filed for VFR.

Thanks,
Jonas

Switzerland

Hi @PepperJo,

I’ll need to go back to the team and check. As far as I’m aware, we are not validating VFR flight plan with Eurocontrol, however, there could limitations with filing using city names. I’ll get with the team and look into it further. I have some catching up to do on the conversation above.

Thanks,
Josh

Last Edited by Josh_Tahmasebi_ForeFlight at 06 Mar 18:14
ForeFlight - Project Manager Europe
KAUS, United States
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