U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION
Air Traffic Organization Policy

ORDER
JO 7210.3
Y
Effective Date:
April 3, 2014
 
     
Subject:  Facility Operation and Administration
 Includes:  Change 1 and its Errata effective 7/24/14

Section 16. Preferred IFR Routes Program

17-16-1. GENERAL

a. This section identifies responsibilities and establishes procedures for the development, revision, and cancellation of preferred IFR routes in the NAS. The objective of preferred routes is the expeditious movement of traffic during heavy demand periods and the reduction of TM initiatives and coordination. User acceptance will be greatly enhanced by the prompt cancellation of unnecessary routes and the prompt and thorough coordination of new or revised routes.

b. Preferred IFR routes should be established only when traffic density and safety makes such routes necessary for the expeditious movement of air traffic. Except for the short climb or descent segments between the terminal and the en route structure, preferred routes must be developed using designated airways/routes as depicted on en route charts. Preferred routes are normally established between two terminal areas, but routes may also be established between a terminal and an en route fix, an en route fix and a terminal, or two en route fixes.

c. The impact of airspace actions on preferred IFR routes must be considered. Retention of the most user desirable route(s), consistent with TM requirements, must also be considered.

d. Comments concerning problems or recommendations to improve the preferred IFR route program are encouraged and should be forwarded to the ATCSCC.

17-16-2. RESPONSIBILITIES

a. ARTCCs must be responsible for:

1. Identifying, developing, coordinating, and establishing preferred routes, as needed, in accordance with the provisions of this section. The originating ARTCC is responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the submitted route (e.g., checking for typographical errors) and for route connectivity and compatibility with NAS processing.

2. Maintaining and verifying route validity and accuracy by establishing, revising, and canceling preferred routes as operational needs dictate.

3. Identifying a single office of responsibility for their preferred IFR routes program. This office must act as the office of primary responsibility (OPR) for the facility and must be the focal point for coordination with the appropriate En Route and Oceanic Operations Service Area Office.

b. En Route and Oceanic Operations Service Area offices must be responsible for:

1. Reviewing proposed routes to ensure that NAVAID identifications, airway designations, route connectivity and fix names are correct.

2. Reviewing all preferred routes at least annually and revise or cancel routes as necessary.

3. Serving as the focal point for coordination with the ATCSCC and System Operations Airspace and Aeronautical Information Management.

c. The ATCSCC must be responsible for:

1. Managing the national preferred IFR routes program.

2. Operating as the OPR at the national level.

3. Providing operational review of submitted preferred routes to examine the routes for operational impact.

4. Acting as the approving authority for preferred IFR routes.

d. The NFDC must be responsible for:

1. Entering the route in the national database.

2. Forwarding errors noted during the validation to the ATCSCC for resolution.

3. Publishing the route as an add-on page to the National Flight Data Digest (NFDD).

17-16-3. DEVELOPMENT PROCEDURES

Routes and route segments must be defined by any combination of the following:

a. Type and number of the airway, jet route, or RNAV route (e.g., V43, J54).

b. NAVAID identifier, intersection name, or fix name codes (e.g., ARD, BELLE).

c. NAVAID radial/distance (e.g., ARD201113).

d. NAVAID radial (e.g., ARD201).

e. Portion of routes not necessary to comply with the preferred route objective should be contained within brackets [ ]. Any routing between the fixes inside the brackets is normally at the pilot's discretion. The first fix after the right-hand bracket is where the preferred portion of the route actually begins.

EXAMPLE-
[DFW GVE] GVE J37 J55 PVD V139 HTM BOS

f. When developing or reviewing preferred routes, considerations should include:

1. Terminal/en route traffic flow patterns and traffic density.

2. Radar coverage.

3. Beginning and termination fixes of SIDs/STARs and correlation with the SID/STAR program.

4. North American Route (NAR) System.

5. Special use airspace.

6. Computer-adapted preferential arrival routes, preferential departure routes, and preferential departure/arrival routes.

7. Lead time requirements for publication in the AFD, DOD flip, en route high/low altitude charts, area charts, SID/STAR charts, instrument approach procedure charts, and other flight planning publications.

8. NAVAID identifiers and name codes must be used in preferred route descriptions, except that intersection/fix names must be spelled out in the AFD, pending assignment of five letter name codes.

9. NAVAID radials or radial distance fixes must not be used to avoid airway/jet route rule making actions. NAVAID radials are used only where necessary. Radial/distance fixes must be used only for expediency pending assignment of intersection or fix name code by the NFDC. Route descriptions in the AFD should be compatible with the computer description, except as previously specified. When it is necessary to use NAVAID radials or radial/distance fixes to describe direct route segments, use one of the following:

NOTE-
The originator is responsible for verifying computer adaptation and NAS compatibility before using the above techniques.

10. All preferred IFR routes must have specified effective times of operation based on need. Effective times must be published in the AFD and, in the case of single direction routes, on en route charts as appropriate.

11. Low altitude preferred IFR routes must have inclusive altitudes. Minimum obstruction clearance altitude, minimum en route altitude, and minimum reception altitude must be considered when establishing inclusive altitudes.

12. Define points of transition from one airway/route structure to another by using NAVAIDs/fixes which are common to both structures and depicted on en route charts for both structures. When describing high altitude preferred routes, victor airways may be used to define climbing/descending segments provided that such usage does not exceed the service limitations of the NAVAID.

13. Low frequency nondirectional beacons must not be used except when absolutely necessary or when international routes enter/depart the NAS (e.g., routes in Alaska or oceanic control areas).

14. Single-direction routes may be established in the high altitude stratum to enhance safety and expedite air traffic. The routes may begin or end at any fix within the en route structure and need not serve a specific terminal area. Single-direction routes serving terminal/en route needs must be depicted on en route charts and those routes serving a terminal area must be listed in the AFD and may also be depicted on en route charts.

17-16-4. COORDINATION PROCEDURES

a. General: The coordination process accomplishes two things. First, it informs users/facilities/Service Area offices that a preferred route is being established or revised and solicits input. Second, it provides users, facilities, service area offices, and publishers with timely information so that the necessary actions can be initiated and accomplished within established schedules. Except for editorial corrections, proposed preferred routes must be fully coordinated well in advance of planned publication dates.

b. User coordination: Users must be allowed at least 30 days to review and comment on proposed preferred routes. Coordination should be through:

1. Designated user representatives.

2. Designated organization or association representatives when users are members.

3. FAA/user meetings.

4. The ATCSCC for user organizations at the national level.

c. Interfacility coordination:

1. The originating ARTCC must be defined as follows:

(a) New routes: The ARTCC identifying the need to establish a new preferred IFR route.

(b) Existing routes: The ARTCC identifying the need to change or delete a preferred IFR route.

(c) When establishment, change, or deletion of a preferred route is proposed by a facility other than an ARTCC, the requesting facility must coordinate with the parent ARTCC. The parent ARTCC must assume responsibility as the originator.

2. The originating ARTCC must:

(a) Coordinate with all affected ATC facilities and users at the local level.

(b) Forward the completed data to the En Route and Oceanic Operations Service Area office and Terminal Operations Service Area office.

3. Each Service Area office must:

(a) Resolve differences between its ATC facilities.

(b) Coordinate with the users at the Service Area office level.

(c) Forward the completed data to the ATCSCC.

d. The originating Service Area office must forward unresolvable controversial proposals, with all comments and objections, to ATCSCC for resolution. Proposals which are approved will be sent for processing. Disapprovals will be returned to the Service Area office originating the proposal.

1. The ATCSCC must:

(a) Complete coordination with the users at the national level.

(b) After the 30 day coordination forward completed preferred IFR routes to System Operations Airspace and Aeronautical Information Management for publication.

17-16-5. PROCESSING AND PUBLICATION

a. The airspace information cutoff dates listed in the AFD are the last date that preferred routes may be received by the NFDC to assure publication on the planned effective date. The following procedures must apply:

1. Plan “effective” dates to coincide with the issue date of the AFD.

2. Send approved preferred routes to the ATCSCC at least 15 weeks prior to the desired effective date. Include the desired effective date. Effective dates must coincide with the 56-day charting cycle due to airway changes affecting preferred routes.

3. ATCSCC must forward approved preferred routes to arrive at the NFDC at least 9 weeks prior to the desired effective date.

NOTE-
The importance of adequate lead time cannot be overemphasized. Experience has shown that early submission for publication reduces errors, workload, and printing costs. In the case of major or lengthy changes, additional lead time may be necessary. Facilities should coordinate with the ATCSCC to determine if the requested effective date can be met.

b. Preferred routes must be submitted to the NFDC on standard 8.5 by 11 (inches) white bond paper, camera ready, to be included in the NFDD. To facilitate editing and processing, it is recommended that the preferred route text be submitted as an electronic mail attachment. The specific format for preferred routes is noted in examples 1, 2, and 3 below. For those submissions not covered by example, the originator should contact NFDC for guidance.

c. The following three examples show the formats for the submission of preferred IFR route data. The first shows the addition of new routes, the second shows the modification of existing routes, and the third shows the deletion of existing routes. Compliance is mandatory to eliminate the possibility of error in publication.

EXAMPLE-
1. Adding new routes, use this format:

SPECIAL USE AIRSPACE

LOW ALTITUDE PREFERRED ROUTES
(or other applicable section)

NORTHEAST U.S.

EFFECTIVE HOURS

(applicable A/FD)

UTC

Effective April 28, 1994, the following routes are
added:

BALTIMORE TO NORFOLK

NEW: (70-170 INCL., NON-JET)

1100-0300

V93 PXT V16 V33 V286 STEIN

 

OR

 

(70-170), JETS) DAILY

1100-0300

V33 V286 STEIN

 

 

 

BALTIMORE TO ROCHESTER

 

NEW: V31 ROC154 CHESY

1100-0300

2. Deleting existing routes, use this format:

SPECIAL USE AIRSPACE

LOW ALTITUDE PREFERRED ROUTES
(or other applicable section)

NORTHEAST U.S.

EFFECTIVE HOURS

(applicable A/FD)

UTC

Effective April 28, 1994, the following routes are
deleted:

BALTIMORE TO NORFOLK

BALTIMORE TO ROCHESTER

NOTE-
Multiple routes are considered a set and the entire set must be deleted to be shown as in this example. If only one route of the set is deleted, use the modified format in example 3.

3. Modifying existing routes, use this format:

SPECIAL USE AIRSPACE

LOW ALTITUDE PREFERRED ROUTES
(or other applicable section)

NORTHEAST U.S.

EFFECTIVE HOURS

(applicable A/FD)

UTC

Effective April 28, 1994, the following routes are
modified:

BALTIMORE TO NORFOLK

OLD: (70-170 INCL., NON-JET)

1100-0300

V87 PXT V6 V73 V286 STEIN

 

OR

 

(70-170), JETS) DAILY

1100-0300

V33 V286 STEIN

 

 

 

BALTIMORE TO ROCHESTER

 

V81 ROC154 CHESY

1100-0300

Note - Notice that in the routes from Baltimore to Norfolk, there are two available routes and that only the first route changed. The two routes are considered a set and the entire set must be submitted, even if only one route is being changed.

 

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