A DC SFRA (Special Flight Rules Area) flight plan is a flight plan filed for the sole purpose of complying with the requirements for VFR operations into, out of, and through the DC SFRA (a circle around the DCA VOR/DME with a 30 nm radius). The circle's perimeter has eight gates that are used for filing purposes.
You do not need an IFR rating to file a DC SFRA flight plan. Flights that operate outside of the DC SFRA are not allowed to use the DC SFRA flight plan type.
This flight plan is separate and distinct from a standard VFR flight plan. It does not include search and rescue services. With a VFR DC SFRA, there isn't a user option to activate and close the flight plan because it is activated by radio with Potomac Approach when they give a squawk code and automatically closed when the flight exits the SFRA. Nothing is sent to FSS with a VFR DC SFRA flight plan.
When filing within the Washington DC SFRA, IFR flight plans are filed normally. Please note that pop-up IFR clearances are not allowed for entrance into the DC SFRA.
IMPORTANT: You cannot use ForeFlight to file flights into the FRZ.
Filing a DC SFRA flight plan in ForeFlight Mobile
Before filing an SFRA flight plan, or flying into or out of the SFRA, be sure to complete, review, and understand the material that the FAA has provided in the mandatory FAA SFRA Training Course. View the handy Kneeboard Checklist published by the FAA for helpful information on the DC SFRA.
To file a DC SFRA flight plan, follow these steps:
STEP 1. Go to the FLIGHTS page.
STEP 2. Select the [+] button to start a new flight plan.
STEP 3. Set the departure or destination field for the arrival or departure gate you will be using. Note the following:
- For a flight into the DC SFRA, you must file from the appropriate entry gate to the destination airport.
- For a flight out of the DC SFRA, you must file from the departure airport to the appropriate exit gate.
- For a flight through the DC SFRA, you must file from the appropriate entry gate to the appropriate exit gate.
STEP 4. Tap FLIGHT RULES.
STEP 5. Select VFR (DC SFRA).
STEP 6. Enter the remaining details for your flight.
STEP 7. Tap PROCEED TO FILE in the bottom right to copy the flight information into the filing form.
STEP 8. Review all the information in the form for accuracy.
STEP 5. Tap the FILE button to submit the SFRA flight plan.
Example of a VFR DC SFRA flight plan