Route Assistance

General Information

 
AFOD does not provide routes from scratch but if necessary we will of course assist you to find a route that will be accepted by Eurocontrol and/or Air Traffic Services en-route. First you may want to check our list with preferential routes as it may already include the route you're looking for you. If you have a route already and need help validating it feel free to contact AFOD FDP. Be sure to include all necessary details like equipment and PBN.
 
Exceptions are made for urgent reasons e.g. short-notice humanitarian missions, evacuations, medevacs or if you have to divert and need help to continue or return home. Route assistance is provided for the USAREUR-AF/EUCOM AOR.

Helpful tools

Besides the DOD FLIP, Jeppesen Mil Planner or similar services and although it is not supposed to be used for navigational purposes skyvector.com is a valuable tool to plot a route on en-route charts.
 
Eurocontrol offers a validation tool which you can find on the following website:
 
On the right-hand side you'll find a section called 'Flight Planning' where you find links to a 'Free Text Editor' and a 'Structured Editor' as well as a Flight Planning Guide.
 
The 'Structured Editor' is like a flight plan form where you enter all data and start validating. In item 18 you don't have to enter all data but you should enter STS/STATE, your PBN/ and a date of flight (DOF).
 
 
For the 'Free Text Editor' you need to insert the correct formatted ICAO flight plan message like the ones below:
 
(FPL-TEST200-IM
-BE20/L-SDFGRTUY/S
-ETOU0800
-N0260F120
-EDDS0150
-STS/STATE PBN/B2D2 DOF/YYMMDD)
 
(FPL-TEST560-IM
-C560/M-SDFGHRTUWY/LB1
-EDDN0800
-N0400F410
-LRCK0150
-STS/STATE PBN/B2B3B4D2D3O2S2 DOF/YYMMDD)
 
(FPL-TESTH60-IM
-H60/M-SBDFGIRTUY/S
-ETIK0800
-N0120F070
-EDDC0120 
-STS/STATE PBN/C2D2O2S2 DOF/YYMMDD)

Basic Rules

 
Some general tips to create a route that reflects your mission and will pass validation:
  • If SIDs and STARs exist at the airport of departure/destination put in the SID final waypoint and/or the first point of the STAR. Flight plans not using those are usually rejected by Eurocontrol.
  • Airfields without SID and STAR usually have a direct limit (e.g. 40NM) so you have to choose a point close to the airport. Sometimes certain waypoints have been designated to serve for departures or arrivals which you have to file then.
  • Stick to the ATS Route network. In many European countries the DCT limit is set to 0NM so directs in item 15 will most likely cause a reject.
  • The numbers of countries introducing Free Route Airspace is growing making route planning much easier and more flexible.

Basic Rules for Free Route Airspace
Airspace users will be able to plan user-preferred trajectories using significant points - five-letter name-codes, and/or en-route radio navigation aids published in the respective AIP.  Segments  between  the  significant  points shall be defined by means of DCT (Direct) instructions.
 
The use of an unpublished point defined by geographical coordinates or by bearing and distance is usually not allowed.
 
FRA  relevant  significant  points  and  en-route  radio  navigation  aids  published  in  AIP are considered (where indicated so) as:
•FRA Horizontal entry (E),
•FRA Horizontal exit (X),
•FRA Intermediate (I),
•FRA Arrival Connecting (A),
•FRA Departure Connecting (D) points.
 

Overflying traffic 

  • Overflight traffic shall be planned directly between FRA entry, FRA exit and FRA intermediate points.

To/from airports

  • In  case  of  RNAV-capable  departing  flight  from  an  airport  where standard  instrument  departures procedures (SIDs) or departure connecting routes are published, flights shall be planned directly from the SID final waypoint or the last point of the departure connecting route to the FRA Horizontal exit or FRA Intermediate point.
  • In  case  of  RNAV-capable  arriving  flight  to  an  airport  where  standard  instrument  arrival  procedures(STARs) are published, flights shall be planned directly from the FRA Horizontal entry or FRA Intermediate point to the first point STAR or first point of the FRA Arrival connecting route.
  • The SID/STAR shall not be indicated in the filed route of the FPLs.
  • Where  SIDs  are  not  published,  the  flights  shall  be  planned  DCT to  the  FRA  Horizontal  exit  or  FRA Intermediate point.
  • Where STARs are not published, the flights shall be planned DCT from the FRA Horizontal entry or FRA Intermediate point to the airport.

For more information (points, maps etc.) sorted by country click here. (SharePoint access required)