Air Traffic Organization Policy

JO 7210.3
Effective Date:
April 3, 2014
Subject:  Facility Operation and Administration

Section 21. National Playbook

17-21-1. PURPOSE

The National Playbook is a collection of Severe Weather Avoidance Plan (SWAP) routes that have been pre-validated and coordinated with impacted ARTCCs. The National Playbook is designed to mitigate the potential adverse impact to the FAA and customers during periods of severe weather or other events that affect coordination of routes. These events include, but are not limited to, convective weather, military operations, communications, and other situations.

17-21-2. POLICY

National Playbook routes must only be used after collaboration and coordination between the ATCSCC and the TMU(s) of affected air traffic facilities.


The National Playbook is a traffic management tool developed to give the ATCSCC, other FAA facilities, and customers a common product for various route scenarios. The purpose of the National Playbook is to aid in expediting route coordination during those periods of constraint on the NAS. The National Playbook contains common scenarios that occur during each severe weather season, and each includes the resource or flow impacted, facilities included, and specific routes for each facility involved. These routes may include any combination of the following NAS elements: Navigation Reference System (NRS) waypoints, RNAV waypoints, RNAV fixes, NAVAIDS, DPs, and STARs. The playbooks are validated by the individual facilities involved in that scenario. The National Playbook is available on the ATCSCC Web site at http://www.atcscc.faa.gov/Operations/operations.html.


a. The ATCSCC must:

1. Manage the National Playbook program.

2. Operate as OPI at the national level.

3. As a minimum, conduct a yearly review of the National Playbook routes and procedures.

4. Facilitate the validation process for additions, modifications, updates, and corrections.

5. Coordinate the activation/deactivation of National Playbooks.

6. Maintain a listing of all National Playbook routes on the ATCSCC web page.

b. The NFDC must forward to the ATCSCC point of contact (POC) any changes to published navigational database, (i.e., SIDs/STARs, NAVAIDs, preferred routes, etc.) contained in the National Flight Data Digests (NFDD) that are effective for the subsequent chart date. This data must be provided at least 45 days before the chart date.

c. The En Route and Oceanic Operations Service Area and Terminal Operations Service Area offices must:

1. Ensure facilities submit data as required.

2. Resolve discrepancies and issues identified.

3. Submit suggestions for improving the process, when applicable.

d. The ARTCCs must:

1. Identify, develop, and coordinate National Playbook routes as needed, in accordance with this section.

2. Supply a POC for the ATCSCC to contact regarding National Playbook routes.

3. Participate in the validation process of National Playbook routes impacting their facility. The validation of a National Playbook route is considered complete when all facilities affected by that route have confirmed the route as acceptable. Validation may also be accomplished by responding through the Route Management Tool (RMT), where it is available.

4. Report unusable, inaccurate, or unsatisfactory route data contained in the National Playbook to the ATCSCC Strategic Operations office. Reports must include the National Playbook designation and specific description of the data error and, if appropriate, suggestion for modification.

5. Recommend improvements in the process, if applicable.

e. Terminal Facilities must coordinate with their parent ARTCC for all matters pertaining to the National Playbook.


a. All ARTCCs must develop and update the National Playbook in accordance with the following:

1. All National Playbook routes that specify the use of an arrival and departure procedure must have that procedure number (SID/STAR) included as part of the route string.

Examples of acceptable procedure numbers are: LGC8, OTT5, and SWEED5. Examples of unacceptable procedure numbers are: MINKS#, MINKS STAR, and MINKS %.

2. Approved database format:

(a) Route string data must include only uppercase characters (A-Z) or numbers with spaces separating each element (i.e., J48 ODF MACEY2 ATL.)

(b) No dots, dashes, asterisks, plus signs, or placeholders are to be included.

(c) No leading zeroes are permitted in victor or jet airways (J12 is permitted, J012 is not).

b. National Playbook routes will be published on the ATCSCC Web site. Updates to the National Playbook will coincide with the normal 56-day chart updates.

c. Changes to the National Playbook must be processed in accordance with the following timelines:

1. All changes require validation with affected facilities and therefore must be submitted to the ATCSCC POC at least 35 days prior to each chart date.

2. All National Playbook additions, deletions, and significant route modifications require coordination with FAA facilities and customers, and must be coordinated with the ATCSCC and validated at least 35 days prior to each chart date to be eligible for inclusion in that update.

1. The ATCSCC will conduct an annual meeting or telecon to coordinate the National Playbook additions, deletions, and significant route modifications. This coordination will include FAA facilities and customers.

2. Seven days prior to the chart date, a preview version of the National Playbook will be made available to FAA facilities via the ATCSCC Web site.


a. National Playbook routes are considered active when the ATCSCC has completed coordination with all impacted facilities. An ATCSCC numbered advisory will be sent by the ATCSCC describing the route being used.

b. National Playbook routes may be modified tactically to achieve an operational advantage. The ATCSCC will coordinate these changes verbally with all impacted facilities and ensure that the published advisory contains the modifications.

c. Facilities must monitor and provide real-time reports of the impact and continued need for the use of the National Playbook routes through the ATCSCC.

d. A National Playbook route is no longer active when the expiration time stated on the advisory has been reached without an extension coordinated or a decision to cancel the route has been reached. If the route is cancelled prior to the expiration time, the ATCSCC will coordinate with all impacted facilities and publish an advisory stating that the route has been cancelled.

e. If there are circumstances that prevent the use of a National Playbook route, then the air traffic facility involved must inform the ATCSCC. It is the responsibility of the impacted facility and the ATCSCC to ensure the route is not utilized until the circumstances preventing its use are corrected or the route is deleted.

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