For every flight in European skies, pilots intending to depart from, arrive at or fly over one of the countries part of the operational area of the EUROCONTROL Network Manager (NM) must submit a flight plan to our operations centre (NMOC). Flight plans from aircraft operators (AOs) are received by the NMOC, which validates, corrects (if necessary), and distributes them to the air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and operational partners concerned.
To ensure efficient flight plan management at European level, a centralised flight plan processing and distribution function is operated by the NMOC. This service is supported by the Integrated Initial Flight Plan Processing System (IFPS) - a central system which collects initial flight plans, processes the related messages and distributes them to ANSPs including the flight plan pre-validation service provided by the IFPS validation system (IFPUV). It covers that part of the ICAO EUR Region known as the IFPS zone (IFPZ) and is supported by fully redundant infrastructure and disaster recovery mechanisms.
Regional centralising flight plan management contributes substantially to improving both the consistency and predictability of flight demand information. It simplifies operations, improves flight efficiency and reduces overall transactional costs for both ANSPs and airspace users.
Various interfaces are available to access the flight plan (FPL) filing and management service and to interface with the integrated Initial flight plan processing system (IFPS). This can be done through the aeronautical fixed telecommunication network (AFTN/SITA), the Network operations portal (NOP) or through the IP/VPN connections for accessing the Network Manager business-to-business (NM B2B) web services.