The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has now overseen its transition to a new real-time aircraft flight plan.
ICAO's 191 Member States, in collaboration with International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), from 15 November 2012 have switched to the new flight plan.
The revamped plan aims to assist the aviation industry in managing air traffic volume efficiently and address associated capacity challenges, while reducing C02 emissions.
ICAO secretary general, Raymond Benjamin, said that the new flight plan format is necessary to maximise the capabilities of today's modern, high-performance aircraft.
"ICAO's Member States have been preparing diligently for this transition to ensure it was achieved without any impact on the ATM system," Benjamin said.
"The new flight plan will now permit flight crews and air traffic controllers to optimisze routes and shorten flight times, as well as minimise noise and emissions during departures and approaches."
Incorporating international characteristics, the new plan is claimed to be equivalent of an instantaneous system software upgrade for the whole global air transport network.
ICAO Air Navigation Bureau director, Nancy Graham, said that the initiative was aimed at avoiding any disruptions to international scheduled traffic.
"Thanks to the contributions of our member states, in addition to the important coordination and cooperation with IATA and CANSO, airlines and air traffic controllers now have the more detailed information they need to realise advanced operational benefits," Graham said.
ICAO, IATA and CANSO have also set up a special coordination centre at ICAO Headquarters in Montréal to assist in monitoring and managing the transition to the new flight plan format.
Image: Air navigation specialists of ICAO, IATA and CANSO managing the transition to the new flight plan format at the ICAO Command Centre. Photo: courtesy of ICAO.