The flight plan is the confirmation by the airline company of the use of an assigned slot. The flight plan represents the linkage item between the agreed planning and the execution of the flight so that Air Traffic Services (ATS) can be provided during the flight in order to ensure safe operations. Typical strategy in regular flights is to submit a repetitive flight plan to the authorities.
Figure 10.18: Flight Plan FAA International Form 7233-4.
Regulation establish that the flight plan must be presented/submitted prior departure (except for some cases of VFR in non-controlled airspace class E, F, G) via two procedures: presentation at the Airport Reservation Office in the origin airport, or the presentation at the Integrated Flight Plan Service (dependent of Eurocontrol in Europe). The flight plan must be submitted within a minimum time prior departure (Estimated Off-Block Time [EOBT]). For IFR subject to ATFM, 3 hours before EOBT. Figure 10.18 presents a FAA’s flight plan form.