No Money Mondays: EDI-GLA, A Real-World Flight Plan Database

September 13, 2021

Improving realism in flight sim is a general strive for most who take the hobby seriously. There are various means to achieve this universal goal such as adopting airline SOP or improving the sims visuals itself, but an often overlooked part of this is the flight planning stage of flight.

I have been using a lesser-known website over the past year to discover real-world routes, and look at the real-world flight plans for those respective routes. Introducing: EDI-GLA, a massive database of real-world flight plans, mainly orientated around European routes.

The website has a huge database with over 281,000 flight plans having been added to the site since its creation in the mid-2000s. The website can even be a blast to the past, containing many older airlines’ flight plans, some of which can no longer be found in today’s skies, such as Globespan and FlyBe. 

Each flight plan found on the website contains much of the basic information such as the callsign used, aircraft type and the routing. For more advanced users, aircraft data can also be found, with data such as aircraft selcals, PBN and ICAO Mode-S Codes all being accessible. This more specialist information can be used to create custom Simbrief configurations with correct real-world weights, to ensure flight planning is completely accurate.

It is worth noting that an account is required to access the website, but once you have registered once, all the information is available free of charge forever!

If you are looking for a routing that you cannot find on the website, you can put a request in for contributors to fulfil your request for it to be added. Requests are a simple process where you specify the departure and arrival airports, date of the flight and the flight number (not callsign). Requests can be submitted up to 5 days in advance of the flight, but only 3 requests can be opened by one user at once, as to not overload the system. 

Once the flight is scheduled to depart, the flight will be fulfilled by one of the team of volunteer contributors. It is worth noting that sometimes contributors will be unable to fulfil your request for various reasons (I once submitted a request a few days in advance and the flight was cancelled on the day of the flight).

If your flight plan is fulfilled please thank the contributor for their time, it is a common courtesy on the platform and they aren’t paid to fulfil it for you!

Once you find a flight plan you’d like to use, it is simple to save the flight plan to your library for later use, as well as prefile it on live ATC networks such as VATSIM. The most useful of these options though is the option to import all data straight into SimBrief. The routing, callsign, aircraft type, flight time and all other relevant data will automatically be imported in for instant use, saving time compared to if you were to manually input the data. 

If you fancy learning more and are looking to take your flight planning to the next level, EDI-GLA is available to be accessed free of charge on their website, after quick and free user registration. Find out all that the platform has to offer by signing up here.

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