Flight Planning Publications and Charts

Flight Information Publications (FLIP)

Complete aeronautical information concerning air traffic systems is published in FLIP. Published by the National Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), FLIP are divided into three phases of flight: planning, en route operations, and terminal operations. The en route and terminal phase publications have been divided into the following areas:

  1. CONUS;
  2. Alaska;
  3. Canada and North Atlantic;
  4. Caribbean and South America;
  5. Europe, North Africa, and Middle East;
  6. Africa;
  7. Pacific, Australasia, and Antarctica; and
  8. Eastern Europe and Asia.

General Planning (GP)

This document is revised every 32 weeks with planning change notices (PCN) issued at the 16-week midpoint. Urgent change notices (UCN) are issued as required. The FLIP GP document contains information that is applicable worldwide. It is supplemented by the information published in seven Area Publication Sections.

Area Planning (AP/1, 2, and 3)

Located behind GP in the FLIP Planning document binder, these publications contain planning and procedure information for a specific geographical area. Area Planning Documents 1, 2, and 3 are respectively North and South America, Europe- Africa-Middle East, and Pacific-Australasia-Antarctica.

Area Planning (AP/1A, 2A, and 3A)

Located behind their respective Area Planning documents, these publications contain a tabulation of all prohibited, restricted, danger, warning, and alert areas. In addition, they contain intensive student jet training areas, military training areas, and known parachute jumping areas within their specific geographical area.

Area Planning (AP/1B)

Located behind AP/1A in the FLIP Planning document, AP/1B contains information relative to military training routes in North and South America, including IFR and VFR military training routes.


Planning Change Notices (PCN)

Planning change notices (PCN) are in textual form and are used to update the FLIP Planning document.

Flight Information Handbook (FIH)

The fight informaton handbook (FIH) contains information for in-flight use. Sections include emergency procedures, national and international flight data and procedures, meteorological information, conversion tables and frequency pairings, standard time signals, and FLIP/Notices to Airmen (NOTAM) abbreviations and codes.

FLIP En Route Charts

Charts portray airway systems, radio aids to navigation, airports, airspace divisions, and other aeronautical data for IFR operations. FLIP En Route Charts are divided into high altitude (l8,000 feet mean sea level (MSL) through FL450) for use in the jet route system, and low altitude (1,200 feet above the surface up to but not including 18,000 feet MSL) for use in the airway systems. Packets of low and high altitude charts are available for each geographic area: CONUS; Alaska; Canada and North Atlantic; Caribbean and South America; Europe, North Africa, and Middle East; Africa; Pacific, Australasia, and Antarctica; and Eastern Europe and Asia.

FLIP En Route Supplements

A FLIP En Route Supplement is published for each geographical areas. Each supplement contains an airport or facility directory, en route procedures, special notices, and other textual data required to support FLIP En Route Charts. In the United States, there are two supplements. One supplement is designed for IFR operations and contains IFR airport and facility directory, special notices, and procedures required to support the FLIP En Route and Area Charts. The other supplement is designed for VFR operations and contains a listing of selected VFR airports with sketches and an IFR or VFR city and airport cross-reference listing. In all other FLIP areas, airport sketches are published for a limited number of selected airports and are provided with a separate section of the FLIP En Route Supplement. Airport sketch details include airport identification, city name, distance, direction, and elevation, as well as a diagram of each airport.


Area and Terminal Area Charts

These charts are large-scale graphics of selected terminal areas. In the United States, area charts are provided primarily as area enlargements; in foreign areas, the terminal area charts are published primarily to provide arrival and departure routings. The area and terminal charts are printed on the same size sheet as the FLIP En Route Charts (that is, the terminal or area sheet contains several terminal or area charts) and are distributed with the en route FLIP.

Approaches and Departure Procedures

FLIP terminal instrument approach procedures and departure procedures (DP) plates are divided into low altitude approaches (approaches initiated below 18,000 feet MSL), and high altitude approaches (approaches initiated normally at or above 18,000 feet MSL, such as high performance aircraft). Each instrument approach procedure shows an airport sketch, with additional data if necessary, for an approach under IFR conditions.

Terminal Change Notices (TCN)

Terminal Change Notices (TCNs) contain revisions to approach procedures and are published normally at the midpoint of the FLIP terminal booklets. The changes may be in textual or graphic form. In the United States, area TCNs revise only the low altitude approaches; however, in the Europe, North Africa, Middle East area, and Pacific, Australasia, and Antarctica areas, TCNs revise both low and high altitude approaches. In the other four FLIP areas, TCNs are not published and Notice to Airman (NOTAM) must be consulted for changes to approach procedures.

Standard Terminal Arrival Route (STAR)

Standard Terminal Arrival Route (STARs) contain preplanned IFR ATC arrival routes and are published in graphic and/or textual form. STARs provide transition from the en route structure to a fix or point from which an approach can be made. In Alaska, Pacific, Australasia, and Antarctica areas, STAR information is contained in the FLIP terminal booklets. In the United States, STARs are published in a bound booklet with civilian DPs.

Notice to Airman (NOTAM)

A NOTAM is a message requiring expeditious and wide dissemination by telecommunication means. NOTAMs provide information that is essential to all personnel concerned with flight operations. NOTAM information is normally in the form of abbreviations or a NOTAM code. The FIH contains an alphabetical list of these abbreviations.

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