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Just heard this on LiveATC:

  • ATC has cleared the pilot for an ILS approach
  • ATC then said something to the pilot, to which the pilot replied, "Roger, will cancel with you on the ground, call sign."

What did ATC say to the pilot? What are they cancelling? I didn't catch what ATC said because the audio quality was pretty bad.

The only possible "cancellation" I can think of is the flight plan, but I don't see why they would want to cancel the flight plan if the aircraft has already landed at the destination airport. Any thoughts will be appreciated.

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    $\begingroup$ Could you add a link to the audio on LiveATC? It'd be easier for someone to tell what ATC actually said than to guess what it might have been, and that way you might get a definitive answer. $\endgroup$ – Dan Hulme Dec 18 '18 at 10:25
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If the airport is non-towered, then ATC may not be able to have radio contact with the aircraft after landing. However, the flight plan still needs to be cancelled or closed after landing. Usually this is done by the pilot calling ATC on the phone, but in this case it seems ATC offered to do it without the call.

Without closing the flight plan within approximately 30 minutes after the scheduled arrival time, the Flight Services will start looking for you. They will try to contact you by phone call and if that goes unanswered, eventually a search and rescue will be started.

On ATC controlled airports the flight plan will automatically be closed after the aircraft landed.

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  • $\begingroup$ Some airports have an RCO for Clearance Delivery that can also be used to cancel on the ground. I notice this mainly at part-time towered airports, for use only when tower is closed. $\endgroup$ – StephenS Dec 18 '18 at 14:36
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    $\begingroup$ You seem to be confusing "cancelling IFR" with "closing flightplan". The two are completely unrelated. $\endgroup$ – J. Hougaard Jan 3 at 10:42
  • $\begingroup$ @J.Hougaard I confused the two in linking to the question indeed. I've updated the answer. Thank you for the heads up! $\endgroup$ – DeltaLima Jan 16 at 23:08

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