AIFP – Advanced International Flight Planning

North Atlantic Airspace Boundaries

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

2023 note: In the next few months, we should be scheduling our AIFP course for later 2023.

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!


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!”


October 6, 2017

Very thorough. Great jokes!

September 28, 2017

“Brilliant instructors, first class education.”


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!”


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

    “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
    “now that I’ve been in an indoctrination class with students from other schools, I know I made the right choice with Sheffield.”   Kindest regards,  A.R.  All schools are created equal?! yeah…sure ;)
    “Being that half my new hire class dropped out over the course of training, I can confidently say that Sheffield helped to prepare me for the real world.” GT – abridged testimonial – school selection matters
    “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
    ” I have received 4 (job) offers…many of the interviews I have gotten have been because of my “pedigree”…going to Sheffield. I am amazed at the respect your school has….I am honored to be a graduate. Thank you for all the work you ..!”  Testimonial – J. Ganci
    “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
    “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
    “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
    “I am so glad they are like this because it made me a better dispatcher and I really appreciate their high standards. I would highly recommend Sheffield to anyone who is willing to study hard and is serious about obtaining a Dispatcher Certificate.” MC MC
    “I wanted to tell you I got the job offer from Expressjet, and start next month! I think a couple others from class were hired as well. It just shows the Sheffield reputation when I see graduates from other schools complaining that they can’t get an interview – I wasn’t even back home to Minneapolis […] Dan Gustafson
    “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
    “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
    “I entered my profession, with more knowledge and information than dispatchers who have been practicing their craft for more than ten years. Not only has Sheffield provided a top notch education, but they have also instilled in me the confidence to succeed.” A.Z. Sidebar AZ – Student Testimonial
    “This was an amazing class! Always interesting! It was like drinking from a fire hose, but I have never enjoyed a course more than this one. Thank you for a great 5 weeks & EWINS!” R.S. R.S. Testimonial – 5-weeks & EWINS
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