Pre-Flight Planning resources

Pre-Flight Planning

Pre-flight briefing and notification

Notification general

Flight notification — methods of SARTIME nomination AIP ENR 1.10

Pilots of VFR flights nominating a SARTIME to ATS, and those intending to operate in controlled airspace (except for VFR flights in Class E airspace) must submit flight details to ATS.

The order of preference for pilots to submit comprehensive flight notification is:

  • through pilot access to NAIPS (via the internet)
  • in writing
  • by telephone, or
  • by radio to ATS.

Pilots submitting SARTIME flight notifications by fax must confirm receipt of the notification with the briefing office. Airservices strongly recommends that when any flight notification is submitted by fax, the pilot or operator telephones the briefing office before departure to confirm that it has been received.

Abbreviated details for operations in controlled airspace may be advised by radio if the flight is to operate locally, or operations will be for a brief duration. However, prior contact with ATC may avoid delays. Pilots may submit details by radio to ATS when associated with a clearance request, or to nominate a SARTIME.

When submitting flight notification by radio, pilots should be mindful of the need to minimise frequency congestion and transmit only that information required by the ATS for the current flight stage. Acceptance is subject to ATS workload and may be delayed.

Submission of comprehensive travel flight notification by radio is not a preferred method and should not be used when submission by some other means is available. Flight notification by radio for travel flights requiring the submission of comprehensive details will not be accepted at controlled aerodromes.

Pilots of VFR flights wishing to operate in other than class C or D airspace, and who wish to nominate a SARTIME, may submit details in the NAIPS SARTIME flight notification format (via the internet). If submitting the flight notification by fax or via telephone, the only form available is the Australian Domestic Flight Notification form.

Pilots may cancel a SARTIME via:

  • telephone to CENSAR on 1800 814 931
  • Flight Service or ATC when telephone facilities are not available, or
  • relay through another pilot.

Flight notification — SARTIME requirements for VFR flights AIP ENR 1.10

VFR flights in the following categories must submit a SARTIME flight notification to ATS, or, as an alternative, leave a Flight Note (see example on page 2.106) with a responsible person:

  • Regular public transport and charter flights
  • overwater flights
  • flights in designated remote areas and
  • flights at night proceeding beyond 120 nm from the aerodrome of departure.

VFR flights which are required to, or wish to, use a SARTIME may do so by providing ATS with the following details:

  • callsign
  • aircraft type
  • departure point
  • route to be flown
  • destination
  • POB and

VFR flights may operate on reporting schedules in the following circumstances:

  • mercy flights
  • flood, fire or famine relief flights
  • overwater flights
  • search and rescue flights and
  • military flights.

Submission of flight details at least 30 minutes before estimated off blocks time (EOBT) is recommended./span>

Where notification of flight details, or changes to details, are submitted less than  30 minutes before EOBT, delays will be encountered when an ATC unit requires that the data be programmed into the computerised SSR Code/callsign management system.

The following table identifies flight notification options for the various classes and types of operations when flying IFR or VFR:

Flight category

Class of operation

Type of operation

Summary of flight notification options


Regular public transport and charter

All operations

SARTIME or Flight Note


Airwork and private

Over-water flights

SARTIME or Flight Note

In Designated Remote Areas

SARTIME or Flight Note

At night proceeding beyond 120 nm from the aerodrome of departure

SARTIME or Flight Note


Airwork and private

All other operations

SARTIME, Flight Note or  no notification

To assist in managing the airways system, pilots should always warn ATS of any flight notification amendments by utilising appropriate alerting phraseologies, for example: ‘Flightwatch, delta mike golf, SARTIME flight plan amendment’.

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New rules come into effect from 2 December 2021 that cover the general operating and flight rules. We are currently updating this guide to reflect the new rules. A new version will be available to download from 2 December.
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