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An aircraft is operating under IFR outside of controlled airspace. It is in the cruise phase of the flight, and shall be flown at a cruising level appropriate to its…

  • A
    true heading.
  • B
    magnetic heading.
  • C
    magnetic track.
  • D
    true track.

ICAO Annex 2
5.3 Rules applicable to IFR flights outside controlled airspace
5.3.1 Cruising levels

An IFR flight operating in level cruising flight outside of controlled airspace shall be flown at a cruising level appropriate to its track as specified in:

a) the tables of cruising levels in Appendix 3, except when otherwise specified by the appropriate ATS authority for flight at or below 900 m (3000 ft) above mean sea level; or
b) a modified table of cruising levels, when so prescribed in accordance with Appendix 3 for flight above FL410.


SEMI-CIRCULAR RULE:

The default worldwide semi-circular rule is the East/West orientation of the flight level parity. Cruising levels are based on magnetic track:

  • Your aircraft has track between 0° and 179° => your flight level or altitude must be odd (FL50, FL70, etc.);
  • Your aircraft has track between 180° and 359° => your flight level or altitude must be even (FL40, FL60, etc.).

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