The FAA’s Clearance Relay Initiative has changed the way pilots obtain IFR clearances from non-tower airports. For pilots calling for a clearance on the telephone, they can now obtain their clearance by calling the overlying Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) Flight Data Units or an approach control facility, according to the FAA. The reason for the switch, the FAA said, is to reduce the risk of potential errors.
Previously pilots would telephone Leidos Flight Service, the contractor that provides flight service information for pilots flying in the U.S., which would relay the request to FAA facilities. Leidos, however, will still relay clearances over remote-communications outlets (RCO) located on the airport. Leidos also will continue to provide full weather briefings and flight plan filing services, along with the relay and cancellation of IFR clearances, for medevac pilots via telephone (877-543-7433).
Pilots on normal flight plans can call ARTCC Flight Data Unit or approach control phone numbers to obtain their IFR clearance and also cancel clearances.
The applicable phone numbers are published in the FAA’s Chart Supplement, US (the former Airport/Facility Directory). The Chart Supplements for various regions are available for free online from the FAA and also from various pilot tablet app providers. Some apps also include the clearance delivery phone numbers in their airport information sections.