SERA.4001 Submission of a flight plan

(a) Information relative to an intended flight or portion of a flight, to be provided to air traffic services units, shall be in the form of a flight plan. The term ‘flight plan’ is used to mean variously, full information on all items comprised in the flight plan description, covering the whole route of a flight, or limited information required, inter alia, when the purpose is to obtain a clearance for a minor portion of a flight such as to cross an airway, to take off from, or to land at a controlled aerodrome.

(b) A flight plan shall be submitted prior to operating:

(1)  any flight or portion thereof to be provided with air traffic control service;

(2)  any IFR flight within advisory airspace;

(3)  any flight within or into areas, or along routes designated by the competent authority, to facilitate the provision of flight information, alerting and search and rescue services;

(4)  any flight within or into areas or along routes designated by the competent authority, to facilitate coordination with appropriate military units or with air traffic services units in adjacent States in order to avoid the possible need for interception for the purpose of identification;

(5)  any flight across international borders, unless otherwise prescribed by the States concerned;

(6)  any flight planned to operate at night, if leaving the vicinity of an aerodrome.

(c) A flight plan shall be submitted, before departure, to an air traffic services reporting office or, during flight, transmitted to the appropriate air traffic services unit or air-ground control radio station, unless arrangements have been made for submission of repetitive flight plans.

(d) Unless a shorter period of time has been prescribed by the competent authority for domestic VFR flights, a flight plan for any flight planned to operate across international borders or to be provided with air traffic control service or air traffic advisory service shall be submitted at least 60 minutes before departure, or, if submitted during flight, at a time which will ensure its receipt by the appropriate ATS unit at least 10 minutes before the aircraft is estimated to reach:

(1)  the intended point of entry into a control area or advisory area; or

(2)  the point of crossing an airway or advisory route.