I'm used to using squawk 7000 for VFR flight. But lately I've seen 1200 also being used. I don't know which one is the default for VFR flying, because it seems like both codes are widely used.

  • $\begingroup$ What country are you flying in? $\endgroup$ Commented May 10 at 6:53
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, I knew you would ask that. The thing is I fly in multiple countries, and I need to determine what are the different codes in general. I mainly fly in the US and Canada, and I've seen both 7000 and 1200 there. $\endgroup$ Commented May 10 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ Are you on flight following or not? ;) $\endgroup$ Commented May 10 at 16:29
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelHall Nope. I guess I could use flight following and then they would tell me a squawk :) $\endgroup$ Commented May 11 at 20:42

1 Answer 1


It depends.

Generally, when receiving air traffic service (such as air traffic control) a specific SSR-code will be assigned, allowing ATS to identify the flight using surveillance equipment such as RADAR.

If flying in an area without ATS or when no specific code has been assigned, each country will have one or more specific codes the pilot should transmit by default. These codes can be different in different parts of the world, and you would need to check the AIP for the country in question in order to find the correct code. This is an example from AIP Denmark (ENR 1.6):

f. Pilots, who have not received specific instructions from ATS concerning the setting of the transponder, shall operate the transponder as stated in the following:

  • IFR flights within København FIR:
    Mode-A, Code 2000.

  • VFR flights within København FIR:
    Mode-A, Code 7000.

  • MIL VFR flights within København FIR:
    Mode-A, Code 0001.

  • Helicopter engaged in off-shore operations:
    Mode-A, Code 0040.

In many parts of the world - like in Denmark - the default code for VFR flights is 7000. One notable difference is the USA, where 1200 is used. However, again, you need to check the rules for the actual country in which you are flying, as regional rules can be different.

  • $\begingroup$ 1200 in US, CA, AU. 7000 in ICAO, EASA. $\endgroup$ Commented May 10 at 7:00
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @300D7309EF17 ICAO isn't a region. ICAO procedures apply worldwide, including in US, CA and AU. Individual countries decide which parts of ICAO SARPS to implement. $\endgroup$ Commented May 10 at 7:54
  • $\begingroup$ @300D7309EF17 So basically north america and australia uses 1200, and the rest of the world 7000? $\endgroup$ Commented May 10 at 16:15

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