Not sure what an IFR Clearance is? What about limit, cruise, and abbreviated clearances?

Not to worry.

They are easy to learn and remember.

What is an IFR Clearance?

An IFR clearance is issued by ATC and is the authorized route or path that a pilot can follow when flying under Instrument Flight Rules.

A clearance is based on known traffic and airport conditions and is mandatory if you want to fly under IFR.

What Is an IFR Clearance Limit?

An IFR clearance is the point or location to which is aircraft is cleared to operate in, under Instrument Flight Rules, when issued by air traffic clearance.

A clearance limit can be the intended landing airport, intersection, NAVAID, or waypoint.

If you need to continue your flight beyond the IFR clearance limit, you need to contact ATC at least 5 minutes before the clearance limit and request further clearance. If clearance is not granted before reaching the clerance limit, you need to enter into a holding pattern

What Is an IFR Cruise Clearance?

IFR cruise clearance is the block of airspace a pilot can operate IFR aircraft in. This block covers the minimum IFR altitude to the altitude in your clearance.

IFR cruise clearance can either be issued by ATC or requested by you as the pilot. It is most often issued in areas that are sparsely populated and have little air traffic.

What Is an Abbreviated IFR Clearance?

An abbreviated IFR clearance can be issued when the route filed in an IFR flight plan requires little to no revision.

As a requirement, an aircraft either has to be on the ground or has departed visual flight rules and is airborne while requesting IFR clearance.

An abbreviated clearance cannot be accepted if the flight plan’s destination or route has been changed in any way, either by pilot, company, or operations officer.

How Do I Get IFR Clearance?

Getting IFR clearance is done by connecting to a Clearance Delivery Controller and simply asking for it.

In almost all instances, you will need to fill an IFR flight plan, and submit it to the nearest Flight Service Station (FSS) or Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT). Either a pilot or flight dispatcher can file and submit this plan, either in person, by telephone, or by radio.

To ensure you get an IFR clearance as quickly and smoothly as possible, you should state the city and state and/or the airport location identifier of the departure airport, so ATC will know the exact location you intend to depart from.

For non-tower, non-FSS, and outlying airports, clearance depends on a few factors, including geographical features, weather conditions, and the complexity of the ATC system. In this case, it is therefore a good idea to ask the nearest FSS what would be the best way to obtain the IFR clearance.

John Myers - Flight Instructor

John is a Certified Flight Instructor who teaches students of all ages how to fly and takes enormous pride and satisfaction seeing his students become licensed pilots.