The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today unveiled a new educational initiative to help the general aviation (GA) community understand the increasing importance of filing timely and accurate flight plans, and how doing so benefits as those using GA aircraft, as well as Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation-system managers.
Called “FileSmart,” the initiative promotes three specific tasks GA aircraft operators should incorporate into their flight planning: File early, file accurately and check the conditions in the National Airspace System (NAS).
According to Jim McClay, a specialist with NBAA Air Traffic Services,“The GA community can benefit, because when FAA air traffic planners are aware of operator flight intentions in advance, they will be able to tailor their approach in managing the air traffic flows so as to minimize overall delays, utilize more efficient routes, and so forth. The FAA will benefit when operators use this approach, because air-traffic managers will have a better understanding of what overall aviation-traffic demand looks like on a given day.”
As the FAA continues implementation of various Next Generation (“NextGen”) air-traffic procedures and other initiatives, the availability and reliability of advance information concerning each aviation segment’s activity, with regard to expected traffic demand, mission profiles and other data, has become increasingly essential to aviation-traffic planners in government and industry.
In development for more than a year, FileSmart seeks to educate aircraft operators including pilots, schedulers/dispatchers and flight department managers about how filing timely and accurate flight plans can help aviation-system managers anticipate need, so that significant delays and other disruptions to aviation traffic flow can be avoided.
“FileSmart demonstrates for GA aircraft pilots how to use the most up-to-date information available on the NAS, so that their planning is as well-informed as possible,” McClay said.
A dedicated Internet microsite for FileSmart was unveiled during an NBAA Regional Forum held June 6 in White Plains, NY. Available at filesmart.org, the site provides the following information on its three key areas of emphasis:
• File Early: Filing as early as possible ensures that a flight plan is entered into the FAA's traffic flow management system in sufficient time for FAA traffic managers to account for them in daily NAS planning.
• File Accurately: Filing an accurate departure time and appropriate route, taking into account possible traffic management initiatives (TMI) along the route, means less time spent negotiating with air traffic controllers.
• Check the NAS: Pilots are encouraged to make checking the status of the NAS a standard operating procedure when planning a flight, much like checking Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) and the forecasted weather.
McClay noted that even experienced pilots might not be aware of how the FAA processes flight plan information, or how seemingly minor oversights or filing errors can result in significant delays.
“Understanding the larger picture is invaluable to knowing how your particular flight fits into that picture,” he added. “Information is lacking about what operators should be doing right now to improve their planning and filing, and about programs coming in the future that will further impact how they conduct their preflight planning FileSmart is intended to provide that information.
NBAA Air Traffic Services (NBAA ATS) developed FileSmart with support from the FAA, as well as industry groups, including the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA).
Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA.org) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 9,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, the world's largest civil aviation trade show.
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