What does FL stand for?

First of all before anyway says “how can you not know that”
I’m only 15 and my dream job is to be a pilot.
I’m currently learning all the language that is required to be a pilot.
I’ve heard this during a PilotEye flight !
Thank you and have a good flight :)

FL stands for “Flight level”

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FL012 is 1,200ft
FL120 is 12,000ft
Generally FL is not used until 18,000ft (FL180)


So it’s for the altitude ! Thank’s for your reply !
Very useful to me !
Have a good day


It basically stands for altitude by the thousands. It’s there because it’s easier to say and understand clearly “Climb and maintain Flight Level 340” instead of saying “climb and maintain 34,000 feet”. Flight Level only comes in place when an aircraft is at or above 18,000 feet or FL180. Anything below that you will say it’s number in number in full (12,000 feet instead of FL120) instead of flight level. To determine a flight level, you take your current altitude (say 22,000 feet) and take away 2 zeros from the number hence FL220. If you have anymore questions feel free to PM me and good luck on your dreams :)!

IFATC Specialist

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Hope you do too. Welcome to the community by the way, if you have any questions, feel free to PM me :)

I’m not that new as i’ve been playing IF since 2013 ahahahah ! But don’t worry it’s always nice to see people willing to reply to any of my question without saying how can’t you know that… !

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Thank’s Benny ! I would love to fly with you beeing on the ATC , if you fly now tell me which server and map !
I’ve clearly understand now with the help of benny and Potato_Pilot thank’s guys :)

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I think some of you guys have missed the point that FL starts to be used only above 18000 only in the US. Different procedures applies in other countries in Europe for example, where FL can be used all the way to FL70.

Where the airport begins using FL is stated on the chart as the Transition Altitude.


Yes that detail was missed. Thank you for including it

You can find and other IFATC on the expert server :)

And even this varies country to country. In the UK it’s normally 3000ft, but some airports that is changed (EGNX for example is 4000ft)

Transition altitude at EGNX is 6000ft not 4000ft… 6000ft or 5000ft is typical in the UK. I think (from memory) EHAM is down at 3000ft so quite low.

Yes are correct about EMA sorry, but the UK’s standard level is 3000ft. It is 6000ft in the London CTA, and also some CTA’s change it (Bournemouth is 4000ft.)

3000ft is what you use if one isn’t given in the charts. For most major UK airports a TA is given and tends to be 5000ft or 6000ft.

Where are you seeing 4000ft for EGHH? EGHH is 6000ft - see the charts here http://www.nats-uk.ead-it.com/public/index.php%3Foption=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=35&Itemid=84.html

EGHH: just noted it states “Outside hours of operation of Solent CTA the transition altitude is 3000.”

Admittedly that info came from another forum; it seems the info is a little outdated.

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Come on guys…Not the whole world flies by US rules! :p


They should. We already have them all speaking English. (Wilbur and Orville cackle in their graves)

Why does a German pilot in Germany have to speak English? Because they lost the war 😂

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Answered above. No more discussion needed.