Las Vegas, NV, Oct. 23, 2013 – The FAA today is updating the equipment suffixes for domestic flight plans to more accurately indicate the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) capabilities of aircraft. Effective Thursday, Oct. 24 at 0001Z, the closing day of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA2013), the /R, /Q, /E, /F, /J and /K suffixes will be removed and replaced with new suffixes, according to the aircraft’s equipage for RNAV capability, GNSS capability and RVSM approval.
When filing a domestic flight plan, operators that have been using the removed suffixes should determine the new equipment suffix for their aircraft as follows:
• RNAV capability with GNSS and with RVSM: /L
• RNAV capability with GNSS and without RVSM: /G
• RNAV capability without GNSS and with RVSM: /Z
• RNAV capability without GNSS and without RVSM: /I
Operators should only use the new suffixes when they have RNAV capability, but do not require performance-based navigation (PBN) routing (for example RNAV SIDs and STARs). Operators that desire PBN routing should file an International Civil Aviation Organization format flight plan including PBN information in Field 18 per instructions.
The information reflected by the new suffixes will allow controllers to make better routing decisions; for example, a controller will now be able to clear a GNSS-equipped aircraft for a more direct route through non-radar airspace. Previously, routings through non-radar airspace were not available. Aircraft that are RNAV-equipped but without GNSS capability will still require radar monitoring.
The new suffixes also address the ambiguity caused by the continued availability of “advanced navigation” equipment suffixes on the domestic flight plan, although the FAA has required an ICAO format flight plan for PBN routes since 2008.
For a complete list of changes to the equipment suffixes for domestic flight plans, consult the FAA’s Aeronautical Information Manual insert page.
For more information, contact the FAA at firstname.lastname@example.org.