FlightAware Discussions

Flight Tracking and FAA Flight Service Changes

I just thought about this, and am just going to throw it out there, hoping that it isn’t a problem for FA.

Last week, I posted a Squawk about the changes to the FAA’s Flight Service program that will be going into effect in October.

Well, one of the changes is the flight plan format, as it will go from FAA format to ICAO format. How will this effect the route shown when you are tracking a flight? I haven’t seen the format of it yet to know how the actual route would look, but I’m guessing there are obvious changes to it. Will FA be ready for that change when it starts, and if so, how will the route of the flight plan shown appear after the changes take effect?


The flight plan change has been in effect for international arrivals and departures for a couple of years so I suspect FA is used to them by now.

I’m not sure if you’re referring to the waypoints dotted line on the map or the textual route in the flight status, but either way, there won’t be any change.

We’ve been dealing with ICAO format flight plans for about 5 years now in various parts of the world.

Perfect. Thanks!

I was referring to the textual route in the flight status, as you would be parsing the flight plan for that particular string, and if you’re dealing with two different formats altogether (FAA vs. ICAO), I didn’t know if both were being allotted for, or if rules for both formats were being applied… And since the ICAO format would be “new” to the US, I didn’t know if FA was accounting for that.

Thanks for being ahead of the game!