Air Traffic Organization Policy

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

Section 18. Coded Departure Routes

17-18-1. PURPOSE

This section prescribes policies and guidelines for Coded Departure Route(s) (CDR).


The CDR program is a combination of coded air traffic routings and refined coordination procedures designed to mitigate the potential adverse impact to the FAA and users during periods of severe weather or other events that impact the NAS.

17-18-3. POLICY

Abbreviated clearances must only be used with CDRs at locations covered by a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the customers and the FAA that specifies detailed procedures, or with general aviation customers who include in the remarks section of their flight plan, “CDR Capable”.

Air Traffic Control Facilities will determine which city pairs will be included in the database.


a. The ATCSCC must:

1. Manage the national CDR program.

2. Operate as Office of Primary Interest (OPI) at the national level.

3. Conduct a review of the submitted CDRs and facilitate necessary corrections.

4. Notify activation/deactivation of CDR usage through the ATCSCC Advisory System.

b. The National Flight Data Center must:

1. 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 Digest(s) (NFDD) that are effective for the subsequent chart date. This data must be provided at least 45 days before the chart date.

2. Error check all submitted route elements and forward errors noted during the validation to the ATCSCC for resolution.

c. ARTCCs must:

1. Identify, develop, coordinate, and establish CDRs, as needed, in accordance with this section.

2. Supply a POC for the ATCSCC to contact regarding CDRs.

3. Ensure that all affected facilities have approved newly created CDRs, or CDR route amendments, prior to inclusion in the operational database.

4. Ensure CDRs in the national database are limited to 20 per city pair.

5. Notify the originating Center when a CDR must be modified to accommodate changes within your airspace, e.g., traffic flow changes, airway realignments, and navigational aid designator changes. Exceptions - revisions to Standard Terminal Arrival (STAR) Procedure and Standard Instrument Departure (SID) Procedure numbers will be entered at the ATCSCC.

6. Ensure EAS Stereo Flight Plans utilized for CDRs and CDRs published in the operational database are identical.

7. Report unusable, inaccurate, or unsatisfactory CDRs to the ATCSCC POC or via Planning Team (PT) feedback form available on the ATCSCC web page. Reports must include the CDR designator, affected sectors, and specific description of the impact, and, if appropriate, suggestion for modification.

8. Facilitate the coordination necessary for the usage of abbreviated clearances, when requested.

d. The terminal facilities must coordinate with their host ARTCC for all matters pertaining to CDRs.


All Centers must develop and update CDRs in accordance with the following:

a. Eight-Character Designator. All facilities must use the eight character naming convention. The eight character name must comply as follows:

1. Characters one through three are the three-letter ID of the origination airport.

2. Characters four through six are the three-letter ID for the destination airport.

3. Characters seven and eight are reserved for local adaptation and may be any two alphanumeric characters other than O or I.

O and I must not be used to preclude confusion with numbers zero and one. (Examples of the naming convention are: ATLLAX9N, BOSLAX01, and EWRSFOGR).

b. CDRs may be developed for aircraft with basic navigational capabilities or with advanced RNAV capabilities. When developing or amending CDRs, the RNAV STAR is preferred. Facilities may include both conventional and RNAV CDRs in their CDR database.

c. All CDRs must have current procedure numbers (SID/STAR) included as a part of the route string.

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

d. All CDR route strings must tie into normal arrival routings into the destination airport.

e. Approved database format:

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

2. No dots, dashes, asterisks, plus signs, or placeholders are to be included, because most flight planning systems will not accept them.

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

f. CDRs for each location must be published via the national CDR database. Updates to the CDR database will coincide with the normal 56-day chart updates. There are two segments of the CDR database. The operational database is a read-only record of all the current CDRs. The staging database is read-only to users but amendable by FAA facilities. The staging database replaces the operational database on each chart date.

g. CDRs must be processed in accordance with the following timelines:

1. All changes must be entered into the staging database at least 36 days prior to each chart date. The staging database is closed to changes 35 days prior to each chart date.

The timeline for the staging database is available under the Options drop-down menu. In addition to the drop-down menu, the status of the staging database is given at each login to the CDR database.

2. 30-35 Days Prior to the Chart Date. During this period, the staging database is checked for errors. Any errors are forwarded to the POC designated at each facility for correction. If the error cannot be corrected immediately, the route involved will be deleted from the database for that cycle. Once the error is corrected, the route may be reentered for a future date.

30 days prior to the Chart Date the staging database is available to FAA and users for downloading or updating of their files.

3. On each chart date, the staging database replaces the operational database and a mirror copy becomes the new staging database. The staging database is available for changes until it is locked 35 days prior to the next chart date, and the cycle starts over.


a. Facilities must notify ATCSCC when implementing and terminating CDRs.

b. The ATCSCC must issue an advisory when facilities are implementing or terminating CDRs.

c. Facilities must make real-time reports of unusable or inaccurate CDRs through the ATCSCC for follow-up by the ATCSCC POC.


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