What are FIRs and ETPs and how they impact the process of planning a flight?
Most of us travelers, at some point, have probably flown through a Flight Information Region (FIR), although we may not have known it. But what exactly is an FIR and what is its function?
What is an FIR?
An FIR is a designated region of airspace established by an aviation authority (usually an air traffic control) to monitor and manage air traffic. FIRs are typically divided into smaller sections known as Control Areas (CTAs) and other areas of responsibility, and the boundaries of these FIRs often overlap with those of other nations.
What are ETPs?
In addition to the FIRs, air navigation is further broken down into Equal Time Points (ETPs). ETPs are imaginary points in an aircraft’s flight path that are used to measure the progress of a flight. ETPs are calculated based on two different parameters—track, which is the direction in which the aircraft is heading, and distance, which is the distance the aircraft has traveled from its departure airport to the point in which it is currently. When a flight reaches a specific ETP, it indicates that the aircraft is half-way through its flight, and this helps air traffic controllers to better monitor and regulate air traffic.
ETPs are very important because they allow pilots to plan for contingencies such as engine failure or adverse weather conditions. By identifying the ETPs along a planned route, pilots can ensure that they have sufficient fuel and resources to divert to a suitable airport in the event of an emergency.
Impact on Flight Planning
When planning a flight, it is important to consider the impact of FIR and ETP contingencies on the route, fuel requirements, and overall safety of the flight. Here are a few tips to help private aircraft operators plan for these contingencies:
- Research the FIR regulations:
Before planning a flight, it is important to research the regulations and requirements of each FIR along the planned route. This will help ensure the air carrier complies with all relevant regulations, and avoids any potential issues or fines.
- Identify ETPs along the route:
Flight planning software aid the flight dispatchers and pilots to identify the ETPs along the planned route. This will help ensure the aircraft has sufficient fuel and resources to divert to a suitable airport in the event of an emergency.
- Plan for contingencies:
When planning a flight, it is important to consider potential contingencies such as adverse weather conditions, engine failure, or other issues that may impact the safety or efficiency of the flight. Planning for these contingencies in advance ensures that both the crew and the air carrier have the resources and information needed to handle them effectively.
In conclusion, Flight Information Regions and Equal Time Points are very important when planning a flight. By researching the regulations of each FIR along the planned route, identifying ETPs, and planning for contingencies, private aircraft operators can help ensure the safety and efficiency of their flights.
You can rely on MoonJet for your flight planning needs, our certified dispatchers are equipped with the knowledge and the software required to plan safe and complaint flights for any mission type.
- Research the FIR regulations: