Regulation 1033/2006 Procedures for Flight Plans in the Pre-Flight Phase

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1033/2006 of 4 July 2006 laying down the requirements on procedures for flight plans in the pre-flight phase for the Single European Sky - text published in the Official Journal of the European Union


This regulation is aimed to ensure the consistency of flight plans, repetitive flight plans and associated update messages exchanged between aircraft operators, pilots and air traffic services units via the Integrated Initial Flight Plan Processing System.


The general framework of the Single European Sky (SES) needs to be completed by more specific and detailed implementing rules. The European Commission has adopted this regulation in order to support the implementation of the Interoperability regulation, which forms part of the first package of legislation on air traffic management designed to create the SES.

A number of studies undertaken by the European Commission and EUROCONTROL identified significant inconsistencies between flight plan data held by parties concerned by the safe conduct of flights, notably air traffic services units, aircraft operators and pilots. Such inconsistencies may have a negative impact on the safety and efficiency of the European ATM system thus on the safety of flight operations in Europe.


Interoperability and Performance Requirements

The Regulation mandates compliance with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) provisions, referred to at annex, relating to the submission, acceptance and distribution of flight plans and changes thereto for all flights conducted within ICAO EUR and AFI regions, where EU Member States are responsible for the provision of air traffic services.

All flight plans (the IFR related part) and related changes shall be exchanged via the Integrated Initial Flight Plan Processing System (IFPS) which is a centralised flight planning processing and distribution service, responsible for the reception, validation and distribution of flight plans. IFPS shall ensure the compliance of flight plans with the format and data conventions and carry out completenes and accuracy checks to the extent possible.

Aircraft operators (agents), pilots and ATS units shall, during the pre-flight phase, make available through IFPS any necessary changes affecting the route or flight level key items of a flight plan that could affect the safe conduct of a flight.

ATS units are required to provide to the IFPS basic flight plan data (aircraft identification, aircraft type, point of entry to their area of responsibility, time and flight level at that point, route and destination aerodrome) for all flights entering the airspace under their responsibility without a flight plan received by the unit in advance.

Safety Requirements

EU Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that any changes to the existing procedures for flight plans in the pre-flight phase or any introduction of new procedures are preceded by a safety assessment, including hazard identification, risk assessment and mitigation processes, conducted by the parties concerned.

Additional Requirements

EU Member States are required to take all necessary measures to ensure that the IFPS and ATS units develop and maintain operations manuals containing all necessary instructions and information to enable their operations personnel to apply the provisions of this Regulation. Operations personnel shall be made duly aware of the relevant provisions and adequately trained for their job functions.

Regulation (EC) No 1033/2006 laying down the requirements on procedures for flight plans in the pre-flight phase (OJ, 7.7.2006)

Amendments to the Regulation

Regulation 2016/2120 amended relevant references to ICAO and EU provisions.

Regulation 2018/139 amended relevant references to ICAO provisions.

Points 1, 2 and 3 in the Annex - ICAO provisions referred to Article 3(1) in Regulation (EC) No 1033/2006 are replaced by the following text:

  • 1. Chapter 3, Section 3.3 (Flight plans) of ICAO Annex 2 – Rules of the Air (10th edition of July 2005 including all amendments up to No 42).
  • 2. Chapter 4, Section 4.4 (Flight plans) and Chapter 11, Paragraph (Movement messages) of ICAO PANS-ATM Doc. 4444 (15th edition of 2007 including all amendments up to No 2).
  • 3. Chapter 2 (Flight plans) and Chapter 6, Paragraph 6.12.3 (Boundary estimates) of Regional Supplementary Procedures, Doc. 7030, European (EUR) Regional Supplementary Procedures (5th edition of 2008 including all amendments up to No 2).

Article 3(1) from Regulation (EC) No 1033/2006 states:

The ICAO provisions specified in the Annex shall apply to the submission, acceptance and distribution of flight plans for every flight subject to this Regulation and to all changes to a key item in a flight plan in the pre-flight phase in accordance with this Regulation.

Further Reading

European Commission



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