Are flt plans public ?

Philip Greenspun's Homepage : Philip Greenspun's Homepage Discussion Forums : Aviation : One Thread
Notify me of new responses
Are flight plans opened by a pilot then available to whole world ?
Will FSS give out info to public or available to newsmedia or
anyone just by calling/asking FSS or FAA ?
Mainly asking about VFR flt plans but is there any difference how
IFR flt plans are treated by FSS ?

Is this how newsmedia get info on accidents/crashes ?

What if spouse or family needs to get in touch or pilot overdue -
can they get info from FSS on pilot's flt plan ?

I know website like has closed some companies or
celebrity pilots' flgt plans from public availability.
But I think mostly all IFR flt plans are public viewable.

So how private are the flight plans with FSS ?

Does FSS require to confirm ID of person calling before they will
give any info out ?

Does FSS keep them or archive them for any length of time in case
FAA or NTSB needs to investigate ?

-- jim kenn, March 11, 2010


You can do an experiment. Go over to FlightAware and find a few planes that are in the air, then call Flight Service and see if they'll give out any information. Then let us know what you learned.

As for VFR flight plans, I am not aware of any online source for those. FlightAware does show aircraft that have requested VFR advisories, whether or not a flight plan was filed.

As far as Flight Service asking for identity, they've never asked me for more than a tail number.

-- Philip Greenspun, March 13, 2010