Flight Plan and Destination Waypoint

Question about what ATC “sees” when a flight plan is shown by ATIS as being required before departure (taxi).

I was given a warning a little while back, although it was subsequently withdrawn. I was confused as to what the misunderstanding was, but noticed although I had full SID/enroute/STAR/Approach in my plan, I hadn’t tagged the last few hundred meters to the destination airport waypoint (and the airport waypoint is not included in the standardized approach).

So the question: Is ATC likely, at first glance, to see the flight plan as not filed if the destination airport waypoint is left out?

No we do not. We just don’t see a destination airport. We can still se the path, however so he should not have issued a warning.

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Thank you! Another reason I asked this was because after takeoff and frequency change, I checked the command for, I think it was, “request vectors to”, (which I didn’t necessarily want to use) and to my surprise, it was blank - no option to select. The blank disappeared when I tagged the final waypoint. That’s why I wondered if the FP was somehow invisible to ATC (at least in a first-indicator-type screen or something).

Anyway, thanks again for your answer!

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That’s because you need to select the destination as waypoint too. But don’t request rader vector, just request flight following as you want to follow your fpl (:

Thank you. And incidentally, just to confirm from a related post I just read from 2015, between the three ATC request options:
“Flight Following”
“Radar Vectors”
For commercial IFR, FP filed operations, the only correct option from the above is “Check-in”?

Yes, once you have departed in an IFR flight, you just need to check in, nothing else

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Thanks for that. At the risk of splitting hairs, within the IF environment, is it true it wouldn’t be cause for a violation if the pilot who has filed like it’s IFR, to morph unrealistically into VFR-like behaviour somewhat by asking for one of the other two options, “flight following” or “radar vectors”? I know (or I assume maybe) in the real world, filed IFR means full IFR compliance is required until the IFR flight plan expires or is cancelled.

I guess the question is - is IFR compliance mostly within the mind of the pilot within IF, or do the controllers clearly separate flights into VFR vs IFR and expect commands to be used accordingly?

IFATC will usually avoid giving out violations for actions that do not interfere with other aircraft and/or activity on the frequency. This is not always the case for other situations, but is what you’ll usually encounter if given one. As long as you follow ATC instructions no matter what kind of flight you’re operating, you should be peachy.

We separate VFR and IFR and use commands accordingly for each type. 6.2-6.6 in the ATC Manual of the User Guide below should help expand your understanding of the source material.

Happy reading! :)


I greatly appreciate your comprehensive reply, and the link. I will be reading. Sincere thanks!


Questions answered.