AIFP – Advanced International Flight Planning

North Atlantic Airspace Boundaries

North Atlantic Airspace Boundaries [from North Atlantic MNPS Airspace Operations Manual]

2024 note: There are no AIFP classes currently scheduled.

Our 2-day Advanced International Flight Planning (AIFP) course begins on the weekend immediately following the Aircraft Dispatcher Course, providing valuable information for those individuals who may become dispatchers for an airline conducting international operations. Sheffield School of Aeronautics was the first school to conduct a formal international flight planning course. Sign-up includes FREE unlimited Refresher Training!

Curriculum

Our advanced course goes well beyond the requirements and scope of our comprehensive FAA-approved Aircraft Dispatcher course and includes such topics as:

  • Introduction, general information, ICAO, international references, publications and articles
  • International definitions & abbreviations
  • Q-NOTAM and SNOWTAM and ASHTAM codes
  • International differences on Jeppesen airport charts, approach plates, and en route/flight planning/special charts
  • North Atlantic Track planning including North American Routes (NARs), North Atlantic High Level Airspace (NAT HLA) – formerly known as Minimum Navigation Performance Specifications Airspace (MNPSA) – basic & advanced planning with special routing applications (more below)

Additional Training

  • Computer flight planning using Navtech-loaded aircraft and track messages and weather using JetPlan.
  • World Geography
  • Meteorology, focusing on International-based weather services with regional and terminal Climatology
  • Equal Time Point computation and application
  • ICAO Annex’ 3 and 6 discussion and application
  • Long range communications and surveillance methods, including CPDLC and ADS-C
  • Redispatching using long range aircraft including optimization of redispatch points
  • Regional considerations, including operations within Europe, Central and South America and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
  • Atlantic, Pacific, and Polar flight planning including oceanic track structures (Organized, Fixed and Flex-Tracks), oceanic procedures, route and altitude planning, en route procedures/communications, diversion procedures, emergency procedures, and terminal procedures

You may sign up for this course with or without ETOPS any time. However, it is recommended to attend both courses to facilitate the transition from general international concepts (AIFP) to a specialized international flight planning concept (ETOPS).

What Is International Flight Planning? 

International Flight Planning is a nuanced discipline within the realm of aircraft dispatching that involves meticulous coordination and strategic foresight for flights crossing international borders. Aspiring dispatchers are trained to navigate the intricate web of global airspace regulations, customs procedures, and diverse meteorological conditions that characterize international travel. This multifaceted process encompasses optimizing fuel efficiency, selecting optimal routes, and ensuring compliance with international aviation standards.

Proficiency in interpreting NOTAMs (Notices to Airmen) and understanding the implications of geopolitical events on flight routes is paramount. International Flight Planning, therefore, demands a thorough understanding of global aviation intricacies, emphasizing the critical role dispatchers play in ensuring the safety, efficiency, and compliance of flights on the international stage.

What Goes Into Planning International Flights? 

Planning international flights poses unique challenges that demand a heightened level of skill and knowledge from aircraft dispatchers. In essence, the multifaceted nature of international flight planning demands a comprehensive understanding of a myriad of factors, making it inherently more intricate than planning domestic flights. This is why making sure that these flights are planned correctly is invaluable. 

To ensure the seamless execution of journeys across borders, planning international flights involves a meticulous orchestration of diverse elements. International flight planners need to delve into a comprehensive curriculum that encompasses understanding global airspace regulations, diverse meteorological conditions, and intricate customs procedures.

Moreover, students gain proficiency in coordinating with various international aviation authorities and navigating the nuances of time zones. The culmination of these skills enables dispatchers to craft flight plans that prioritize safety, efficiency, and regulatory compliance, marking a crucial intersection of knowledge and expertise in the realm of international aviation.

Who Should Consider International Flight Planning Courses?

An AIFP course is tailor-made for individuals aspiring to excel in the dynamic field of aviation and those seeking a specialized skill set to navigate the complexities of global air travel. Pilots, aspiring dispatchers, aviation enthusiasts, and professionals in the air transport industry looking to broaden their expertise should consider these courses.

Our aircraft dispatcher school is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills required for crafting efficient, safe, and compliant international flight plans. The curriculum ensures that participants gain a competitive edge in the industry by mastering the art and science of international flight planning, contributing to the safe and efficient movement of aircraft on a global scale.

More About Sheffield School of Aeronautics

We are proud to be one of the premier flight dispatching schools in the industry. Our program has decades of experience in helping students achieve the career of their dreams. This can be seen through our good reviews and testimonials. We are also proud to be a school that offers our students a well-rounded view of the industry and profession.

Our airline dispatcher training school offers the following courses in addition to our AIFP courses: 

Contact us today to learn more about airline dispatcher training and what we can offer you.

Course Fees

Course Fees Tuition $600.00 [$900 for non-Sheffield graduates] – check for discounts.

Course ScheduleTestimonialsApplication FormsFAQs
Courses are scheduled throughout the year. All upcoming courses are shown below.

Sorry, there are no courses scheduled at this time.

April 6, 2018

“Excellent courses (AIFP, ETOPS, EWINS), compliment initial class perfectly. Many thanks!”

C.R.

October 6, 2017

Very thorough. Great jokes!

September 28, 2017

“Brilliant instructors, first class education.”

S.

February 14, 2014

“The AIFP, ETOPS, & EWINS courses provided additional information and understanding on the topics that I did not have (earlier). The courses were worth attending and I would recommend that others attend.”

D. Brogan

February 14, 2014

“Excellent complement after completing the (certification) course!”

A.

February 14, 2014

“Thanks for everything. I learned so much and can’t wait to go back to work & apply all the information I got at this school! Thanks!”

C.S. (Germany)

July 9, 2013

“Super courses!! Finally I made my 1st ETOP plan!!

Keep up!!

Matteo Roder

June 10, 2013

“I am deeply impressed about the knowledge transfer in the workshops. This really helps me to make decisions independently within the working dispatch environment. Also, our instructor showed at all times a very high standard of performance. He was just great! Thank you! R.P.

March 25, 2000

Hi. You would not believe it but I am working for Polar Air Cargo dispatching 747s internationally. I just completed basic indoc with the new hire captains and will start dispatch class next week. Good I took your international dispatch class. I think that got me hired. Everyone here are almost all Sheffield graduates. Thanks and tell Brett hello and the news.

 Dave Albright

Application Forms

  • Application Form (If enrolling in AIFP without the FAA certification course.)

 

AIFP (Advanced International Flight Planning) Course

  • Is it mandatory to enroll in this class?

    No. A graduate of the 5-week or an accelerated course may enroll at any time.

  • Does any other school teach an international flight planning course with a separate ETOPs course?

    To the best of our knowledge, no.

    There are those who claim to “teach” the same course “for free” in a half day. They have titled the course: “ETOPs”, then “International”, then “ETOPs/International planning”, then simply abandoned the course, etc.. They will list subjects that Sheffield covers during the regular 5-week course. We also have a separate ETOPs course due to the volume of material covered.

    You can sample a morsel, or purchase the 5-course meal. I know one course operator who will tell the students what the letters E-T-O-P-S stands for….and that’s about it.

  • By taking this course, will I enhance my job opportunities?

    Perhaps. Many hiring managers realize that what we teach is a great introduction to international planning and have hired many Sheffield graduates ahead of others based on their motivation to learn more.

    Other hiring managers may be indifferent due to their domestic type of operation or their own personal experiences. If you plan to work an international desk one day, this course is an excellent introduction to basic principles combined with advanced concepts.

  • When is this course taught?

    Following the 5-week course. See Calendar.

  • What percentage of your graduates enroll in this class?

    It has ranged from 20-90%, with a median of approximately 30-40%.

  • What is the AIFP course?

    Advanced International Flight Planning. It is a 2-day workshop that begins 2 days after the regular certification course ends.

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  • Testimonials

    “Sheffield School of Aeronautics is a highly recognized and respected organization throughout the airline industry. They only produce the highest quality of graduate…” P.W. Sidebar PW
    “While touring my company’s dispatch department before I had my license our OCC manager pointed out that 7 of the 10 dispatchers on shift had come from Sheffield. The overall consensus was that Sheffield grads were able to hit the ground running as they were better prepared.” K.O. Sidebar K.O.
    “This school came highly recommended by multiple past students and EVEN OTHERS FROM OTHER SCHOOLS. Reputation is fantastic from multiple companies that I have worked for.” A. – September 2020
    “If you want to be the best, first you need to be trained by the best!” P. Hill P.Hill – DHL
    “My experience at Sheffield and my exposure to other aircraft dispatchers that did not go to Sheffield has resulted in an awareness of the superior depth and quality of the training provided by the Sheffield instructors.” CD Sidebar CD
    “Your school has offered me an incredible advantage in the Dispatcher job market.” D.K. D. Kircher
    “After receiving my certificate, I joined a class of 4 experienced dispatchers for Part 121 initial training. Without experience, my preparation at Sheffield enabled me to become active at the same time after the initial training.” PR PR
    “I am a month into my new job at a airline coming out of reorganization, and am helping the training department by referencing the excellent and up to date course book provided to all Sheffield grads.” RW RW
    “Going to Sheffield prepared me for the real world challenges of Aircraft Dispatching. I certainly believe that the method Sheffield used is one not only for success in a real world career, but also one that prepares students to correctly dispatch aircraft.” T.Z. Sidebar TZ
    “Their reputation of excellence amongst the industry is second to none. Sheffield School of Aeronautics should be seen as the standard of how it can be done and how it should be done. I was hired at a major airline with no dispatch experience.” A.Z. Sidebar AZ
    “These men represented the highest caliber of professionalism and integrity. The education I received from these gentleman has afforded me to be gainfully employed while having the opportunity to use the education received, all over this country, and more than a few others.” WG sidebar wg
    “I am a graduate of the Sheffield’s Dispatcher Program. I have been a Captain-Part 121 Airline, Certified Flight/Grnd Instructor, and FAA Designated Check Airman and Sim Instructor (Part 121). From my experience I would rate Sheffield School as outstanding in their field.” PT PT
    “Sheffield School of Aeronautics is known worldwide for its quality training and has been recommended to me by our national airline Swiss International Airlines. Whenever I mention the name ‘Sheffield’ it rings a bell in people’s ears.” IW IW
    “As a graduate of the aircraft dispatcher program at the Sheffield School of Aeronautics…My training was intense and thorough and furnished me with the requisite skills for performing my current job as a Flight Dispatch Supervisor.” N.S. Sidebar NS
    Good afternoon Eric, I wanted to reach out to let you know that training at (airline) is in full swing and I couldn’t be happier that I chose Sheffield. My classmates, while very smart, definitely had subpar training and that has been very evident. I have waited to write a full scale review of the […] Attending Sheffield School benefits airline new hires in preparation for airline training
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