Here are some guidelines that you may find helpful for filing, amending, delaying, and canceling flight plans in Canada, Europe, and the USA.

In the USA

IFR flight plans can be filed up to 28 days in advance and will be transmitted to ATC up to 22 hours before the proposed departure time. Any flight plan filed less than 22 hours before the proposed departure will be sent to ATC immediately.

Amendment/Change (CHG) or Cancel (CNL)

IFR flight plans can be amended or canceled up to 47 minutes before the proposed departure time (in most cases), but some centers are over an hour (New York Center is 61 minutes). Once inside the “Filer Lock-out” window and the proposed departure time approaches the Center requires “Manual Coordination” to amend or cancel the flight plan, and you have to coordinate directly with ATC via phone or radio.

Delay (DLA) a Flight Plan

If your new departure time is within 2 hours of your original departure time, just ask for your clearance, and as long as you are within that time frame, ATC should not have any problem obtaining your clearance for you. If your requested delay is more than 2 hours, we recommend filing a new flight plan as the previous one will expire.

ARTCC ARTCC ID Filer Lock-out Time (minutes)
Unless listed below Multiple 46
Anchorage KZAN 43
Boston KZBW 55
Honolulu KHNL Manual Coordination
Indianapolis KZID 61
New York KZNY 61

In Canada

IFR flight plans can be filed up to 28 days in advance and will be transmitted to ATC up to 22 hours before the proposed departure time. Any flight plan filed less than 22 hours before the proposed departure will be sent to ATC immediately.

Amendment/Change (CHG), Cancel (CNL), or Delay (DLA)

IFR flight plans can be amended, canceled, or delayed up to 45 to 60-minutes prior to departure. Once inside the “Filer Lock-out” window and the proposed departure time approaches the FIR requires “Manual Coordination” to amended or cancel the flight plan, and you have to coordinate directly with the appropriate FIR.

When you need to amend your destination or route of flight, Nav Canada recommends a “cancel-refile” instead of amending.

Flight Information Region (FIR) FIR ID Filer Lock-out Time (minutes)
Edmonton CZEG 60
Gander CZQX 60
Moncton CZQM 45
Montreal CZUL 60
Toronto CZYZ 45
Vancouver CZVR 45
Winnipeg CZWG 55

In Europe

Eurocontrol allows flight plans to be filed up to a maximum of 120 hours in advance of the Estimated Off-Block Time (EOBT+120 Hours).

Amendment/Change (CHG) or Cancel (CNL)

IFR, YFR, and ZFR flight plans can be amended or canceled up to 2 hours after the Estimated Off-Block Time (“EOBT”). We do not recommend amending to change routing or significantly changing any part of the flight plan as this can lead to a higher probability of the change being rejected.

Delay (DLA) at Flight Plan

IFR, YFR, and ZFR flight plans can be delayed no more than 20 hours in advance of Estimated Off-Block Time (“EOBT”). It is not necessary to notify changes of the EOBT of less than 15 minutes unless expressly notified by EUROCONTROL for specific reasons. If a delay greater than 20 hours is required you must cancel and refile.