Clarification on In-flight re-planning

Iry Razafintsalama • 20 October 2023
in community Air Operations

Hi all,

I have a doubt on how to understand the 

GM1 CAT.OP.MPA.181(l)

In the context of fuel policy, in-flight re-planning means voluntarily changing the destination aerodrome, any alternate aerodrome, or the remainder of the route after the flight commences, even when the flight can be completed as originally planned. In-flight re-planning has a broader sense than being obliged to change the intended course of action due to safety issues (remaining fuel, failures, bad weather conditions, etc.). In-flight re-planning allows the operator to modify the filed flight plan after flight commencement for commercial or other reasons. However, the modified flight plan should fulfil all requirements of a new flight plan. The use of en route alternate (ERA) aerodromes to save fuel should comply with the in-flight re-planning requirements.

 In-flight re-planning should not apply when the aircraft no longer continues via the flight plan route to the intended destination for reasons that could not be anticipated. In such cases, the in-flight fuel management policy dictates the commander’s course of action.

How does it apply exactly ? 

If there is a safety issue and the crew need to go back to departure airport, Is the flight  considered in in-flight fuel management or in-flight re-planning ?

Comments (6)

André Weber-Juds

If it's a safety issue - which usually cannot be anticipated - then in-flight re-planning does not apply, see the second paragraph.

An example of in-flight re-planning would be:
You have a half-empty aircraft 1 enroute from MAD to ARN. Then you have an aircraft 2 AOG in NUE, which was also scheduled to fly to ARN. You apply in-flight re-planning and divert aircraft 1 to NUE to pick up the stranded payload there.

Christophe Nivet

I understand that in flight re-planning is a voluntarily change even when the flight can be completed as originally planned. It can be for a commercial reason, but not for an issue in the fuel management.

Iry Razafintsalama

Let's say, we depart from a station. In flight there is an issue (not emergency) and an action of maintenance is needed. The pilot decide to go back to the main station because the maintenance is needed (it is more practical compared to wait for a mechanics to arrive to the other planned arrival station). Is it considered as a voluntarily change ?

Iry Razafintsalama

Thank you for your comment, when in-flight re-planning applies, this should be considered as a new flight (see GM1 CAT.OP.MPA.180(l) )
Thus the crew must have a new operational flight plan and nav log. Do you confirm ? Do you have such feature in your system and procedures ?

Iry Razafintsalama

I am asking because I had a look into the icao doc 9976 and all re-planning scenarii seem to have a decision point or critical point calculated in advance. So that when the crew is just before this point, he can decide (voluntarily) to change its course of operations.
In our case, as nothing is pre-calculated (no decision point), I was assuming the re-planning cannot be anticipated.. thus in-flight fuel management applies. This means, no operational flight plan to follow, am I right ?

André Weber-Juds

Yes, crews would get an OFP update e.g. via ACARS, from any suitable point en-route. Lido/Flight and many other modern flight planning systems have that ability.

You are not allowed to comment on content in a group you are not member of.

View group