Section 19. Coded Departure Routes


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.


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.

  1. 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. Issue an advisory when facilities implement or terminate use of CDRs.
  1. AIS must:
  1. Forward to the ATCSCC POC any changes to the published navigational data base (i.e., SIDs/STARs, NAVAIDs, Fixes, RNAV Waypoints, etc.) contained in the NFDD(s) that are effective for the subsequent chart date. This data must be provided at least 45 days prior to the chart date.
  2. Error check all submitted route elements and forward errors noted during the validation to the ATCSCC for resolution.
  1. 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. Notify the originating Center when a CDR must be modified to accommodate changes within their airspace, such as traffic flow changes, airway realignments, and/or navigational aid designator changes. Exceptions: Revisions to STAR/SID/DP numbers will be entered into the CDR database by the ATCSCC via Global Modification.
  5. Ensure ERAM CDR data is identical to data published in the CDR operational database.
  6. Report unusable, inaccurate, or unsatisfactory CDRs to the ATCSCC POC. Reports must include the CDR Route Code, specific description of the impact and if appropriate, suggestion for modification.
  7. When requested, facilitate the coordination necessary for the use of abbreviated clearances.
  8. Notify the ATCSCC when implementing and terminating use of CDRs.
  1. Terminal facilities must coordinate with their overlying ARTCC for all matters pertaining to CDRs.

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

  1. Utilize the eight character naming convention 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 the numbers zero and one.

  1. Although the use of RNAV procedures is preferred when developing or amending CDRs, ARTCCs may also include conventional CDRs in their CDR database.
  2. All CDR route strings must tie into normal arrival routings into the destination airport.
  3. CDRs must be developed and/or amended in accordance with the following:
  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 NRS Waypoint (e.g., FUZ, ZEMMA, KK45G).
  3. Type and number of the airway (e.g., J87 M201 Q40 T295 V16).
  1. When establishing or amending CDRs 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).
  1. CDRs for each location must be published via the Route Management Tool (RMT) CDR database. Updates to the database will coincide with the normal 56-day chart updates. There are two components of the CDR database. The operational database is a read-only record of all the current CDRs. The staging database is amendable by ARTCC POCs. The staging database replaces the operational database on each chart date.
  2. CDR changes must be entered into the staging database at least 36 days prior to the chart date. The staging database is closed to changes 35 days prior to the chart date.


The timeline for the CDR staging database is available in RMT under the Help tab, Show Chart Dates. The status of the staging database is provided at each login to the CDR database.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.