Pilots Should Now Call ATC Directly for IFR Clearances from Non-Towered Airports

The new system is designed to streamline the IFR clearance process and cut down on the chance for errors.

Cessna taking off
Rather than calling Flight Service to obtain an IFR clearance at a non-towered airport, pilots can now phone ATC directly.Textron Aviation

It's an effort designed to cut out the middle man. Pilots departing IFR from non-towered airports should now call the appropriate ATC facility directly for their clearance rather than dialing 1-800-WX-BRIEF, a change that should speed the process and reduce the chance for errors, according to the FAA.

The change comes as the FAA has completed its Clearance Relay Initiative to streamline clearance delivery procedures at uncontrolled airports.

A clearance delivery telephone number, direct to the appropriate approach control facility or Air Route Traffic Control Center, is now published for all public and private-use airports listed in the chart supplement, formerly known as the Airport/Facility Directory. These numbers will ultimately replace the current Leidos Flight Service clearances number.

The FAA launched the Clearance Relay project in 2018, initially publishing phone numbers for 30 approach control facilities covering 667 public-use airports. That effort quickly expanded to include all public and private-use airports with a chart supplement entry.