Section 17. Preferred IFR Routes Program

  1. This section identifies responsibilities and establishes procedures for the development, revision, and cancellation of Preferred IFR Routes. These routes, as published in the Chart Supplement, include Low Altitude, High Altitude, Tower En route Control (TEC), North American Routes (NAR), and both High and Low Single Direction Routes (HSD/LSD). The objective of Preferred IFR Routes is the expeditious movement of traffic during heavy demand periods and the reduction of TMIs and coordination.
  2. Preferred IFR Routes must only be established when traffic density and/or safety make such routes necessary for the expeditious movement of air traffic.
  3. Preferred IFR Routes must be developed in accordance with paragraph 18-17-3, Development Procedures.
  1. ARTCCs are responsible for:
  1. Developing, revising, and deleting Preferred IFR Routes. The originating ARTCC is responsible for coordinating with all affected facilities, ensuring the accuracy of the submitted route(s), examining routes for operational impact, and ensuring compatibility with NAS processing.
  2. At a minimum, reviewing all Preferred IFR Routes annually and revising or canceling routes as necessary.
  3. Identifying a single Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR) for their Preferred IFR Routes program. This office must be the focal point for coordination with affected FAA facilities and the ATCSCC.
  1. The ATCSCC is responsible for:
  1. Operating as the OPR at the National level
  2. Reviewing and evaluating Preferred IFR Route submissions
  3. Submitting approved Preferred IFR Routes to AIS for publication
  4. Providing feedback on unapproved routes to the submitting OPR
  1. The AIS 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).
  1. Routes and route segments must be defined by any combination of the following:
  1. DPs/SIDs/STARs if applicable
  2. NAVAID identifier, intersection name, fix name, RNAV Waypoint or Navigation Reference System Waypoints (NRS) (e.g., FUZ, ZEMMA, KK45G).
  3. Type and number of the airway (e.g., J87 M201 Q40 T295 V16)
  1. When establishing or amending Preferred IFR Routes the following rules must be applied:
  1. When including a DP/SID/STAR use a published transition fix or the common fix for the procedure.
  2. When describing an airway include a published entry and exit point (e.g., CVE J87 BILEE).
  3. When connecting two airways, a published fix common to both airways and that is depicted on en route charts must be included (e.g., ADM J21 ACT J50). If there is not a fix common to both airways, include a published exit point for the first airway and a published entrance point for the second airway (e.g., OCS J206 NLSEN CYS J148).
  4. The first route element following the origin must not be an airway (e.g., KDFW J4).
  5. The last route element prior to the destination must not be an airway (e.g., J35 KMSY).
  6. Inclusive altitudes must be used when describing a Low Altitude Preferred IFR Route.
  7. Low frequency non-directional beacons must not be used.
  1. Other considerations should include:
  1. Terminal/en route traffic flows
  2. Radar coverage
  3. SAA/SUA
  4. Adapted Arrival (AARs), Adapted Departure (ADRs) and Adapted Departure and Arrival Routes (ADARs).
  5. MEA, MOCA, and Minimum Reception Altitude (MRA) must be considered when establishing inclusive altitudes for Low Altitude routes.
  6. When describing High Altitude preferred routes, victor airways may only be used to define climbing/descending segments, provided that such usage does not exceed the service limitations of the NAVAID.
  7. 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.
  1. Interfacility Coordination
  1. The originating ARTCC is defined as follows:
  1. New Routes: The ARTCC identifying the need to establish a new Preferred IFR Route.
  2. Existing Routes: The ARTCC identifying the need to amend or delete a Preferred IFR Route.
  3. When establishing, amending, or deleting a Preferred IFR Route is proposed by a facility other than an ARTCC, the requesting facility must coordinate with the parent ARTCC. The overlying ARTCC must assume responsibility as the originator.
  1. The originating ARTCC must:
  1. Coordinate with all affected ATC facilities.
  2. Upon completion of the coordination process, submit data to the ATCSCC Point of Contact (POC).
  1. The ATCSCC must:
  1. Resolve differences between ATC facilities.
  2. Review for accuracy and forward the completed data to the AIS for publication.
  1. The airspace information cutoff date listed in the Chart Supplement is the latest date route information may be received by AIS to ensure publication on the planned effective date. The following procedures must apply:
  1. Plan effective dates to coincide with the Chart Supplement publication dates.
  2. ARTCCs must submit completed data to the ATCSCC at least 21 days prior to the desired publication cutoff date. The data must be submitted via the AIS Preferred IFR Routes submission form. The ATCSCC will provide the OPR with this form.
  3. The ATCSCC must forward the completed data to the AIS on or before the desired publication cutoff date.