We are processing some aviation data and I wonder if it is possible that flight plan message can be sent for an active flight (aircraft in the air)?

In the documentation we have the sentence: "Active flight plan, aircraft is in the air. For ARTS III indicates an overflight"


Your question is short on details, but in general, yes this is possible. A flight could be coming from anywhere, for example:

  • Another jurisdiction (FIR)
  • Uncontrolled airspace
  • A beach somewhere

In these sorts of cases, you may see the first FPL message after the aircraft has departed. The departure aerodrome, if known, may appear in the ADEP field (field 13a), or it may be ZZZZ for an unknown aerodrome, or it may be AFIL for an "air filed" flight plan.

  • $\begingroup$ I am trying to understand some flight plans in the data. Could you elaborate on FIR and "Uncontrolled airspace"? In those cases how is FPL message sent and by whom? $\endgroup$ – sacherus Feb 14 '19 at 23:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ FIR = Flight Information Region. Uncontrolled airspace refers to places where there is no ATC. An FPL message may be entered by a controller somewhere when the flight approaches your airspace. It's hard to give you much more detail than that without knowing what data you are processing from whom. $\endgroup$ – Greg Hewgill Feb 14 '19 at 23:57

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