How to create a IFR/ commercial flight plan

If your flying a commercial airliner you need to be filing a IFR (instrument flight rules) flight plan. Creating this type of flight plan will allow you more freedom in following your flight plan. Why? Because if all IFR aircraft are filing this type of plan it cuts down on vectoring instructions as your all on an airway.

So first what is an Airway. In the picture I have them labeled these are the highways in the sky.

These are what you should fly on during your flight other then to break off for an approach or enter after departure. These go hand and hand with the Plates for you advanced pilots out there.

Next the VOR, the intersections of the sky. In the picture below I also have them labeled.

In RL the VOR transmits a frequency in which you can follow a heading to or from. If you look in this picture below you will see the VOR selected and its frequency. Useful information if they ever add VOR tracking capability’s.

So if you follow the airways from VOR to VOR you get a flight plan that looks like this.

So now we have created our IFR flight plan. Now you maybe asking yourself ok that’s all well and great but how do we avoid flying into and thru each other if we are on the same airway, and it’s a excellent question that has a simple answer. Low level IFR seperation is 1,000 ft. To maintain this we follow a simple rule. If your heading is between 0-179 deg we fly a odd numbered altitude 11,000 13,000 and so on. If we are on a heading between 180-359 we fly a even numbered altitude 10,000 12,000 and so on. Avoiding conflict with passing traffic. If you need to overtake an aircraft simply decend or acend 2,000 ft from your altitude and overtake.

Now here’s where it gets fun. VFR traffic follow the same principles but add 500ft so odds between 0-179 deg 3500, 5500 and so on. And evens 4500, 6500 and so on up to FL180. Since VFR seperation is 500 ft, VFR and IFR have adequate seperation during every stage of flight.

Thanks for reading see you in the sky’s.


Nice tutorial. I never followed the airways strictly, some times I´d just go from an airway, to a waypoint without an airway and so on. Guess its time to follow them every time.


This was a really good read:)


Might help - only a suggestion.


Thank you very much, really helped me! Amazing tutorial! :)


Thank You Very Much For The Help! :)

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thanks @Brandon_Sandstrom, great tutorial and some useful tips for everyone!

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Good tutorial, but maybe including SIDs/STARs would have been good :). Most cannot be done in IF though


It was more of a generalization of an IFR flight plan you can still include the Sids and Stars if you wish.


Nice post. But I couldn’t help but notice you are in a one engined aircraft that has a two engine policy! Tut-tut…


😂 I just spawned in what I was in last. Good catch though

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Fine if you’re flying IFR. Here’s the rules for the UK.

Outside CAS, you can use quadrantal rules for cruising levels below FL 245. (and you can do it VFR as well as IFR)

This provides at least 500ft separation against traffic going in a different general direction to you (but not against traffic going in broadly the same 90 deg sector as yourself). It therefore does not remove the need for a lookout!

Taking a compass rose and dividing it into quarters:

  1. From 360 - 089 deg M: Odd levels (30/50/70/90/etc)
  2. From 090 - 179 deg M: Odd +500 ft (35/55/75/95 etc)
  3. From 180 - 269 deg M: Even levels (40/60/80/100 etc)
  4. From 270 - 359 deg M: Even +500 ft (45/65/85/105 etc)

It is based upon your magnetic TRACK, not HEADING.

In Controlled airspace and above FL245 we use the semi-circular rule. This means the 500ft bits are removed and we use whole even or odd levels depending upon the magnetic direction;

1)From 001-179 deg M: Odd
2)From 180-359 deg M: Even.


VFR at FL245? All alpha airspace traffic is required to fly IFR above FL180.


All UK airspace is Class C unless designated otherwise between FL195 and FL660. Below that unless designated otherwise it’s Class G.
In reality that’s very little… But them’s the rules ;)


This is an USA thing.


1000ft is enough when you need to overtake someone. If crossing traffics are flying VFR, both should do a right turn.

Also, avoid flying at FL420. That one isn’t used in real life. :)


Just the information I was looking for, it is very helpful as I continue to learn about infinite flight. It makes it easier to write flight plans in order to duplicate the route with various aircraft. Again thanks

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thank you,very helpfull!,whatis the fix?it is also for flight plans?

@MarcelloM fixes or waypoints are used for the approach and departure procedures and are also included in the SID’s and STARS. They are used to get you in and out of the airport.


thank you!today i learn something new!

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