Section 24. Route Test


This section describes policies and guidelines for conducting and evaluating route tests.

  1. Route test - a process established for the purpose of:
  1. Assessing new routing concepts.
  2. Exploring alternative routing possibilities.
  3. Developing new routes to enhance system efficiency and safety.
  1. Route test will:
  1. Last for a pre-determined length of time, usually 90 days.
  2. Include, but not be limited to, the following NAS elements:
  1. NRS waypoints.
  2. RNAV waypoints.
  3. NAVAIDs.
  4. Departure Procedures (DP).
  5. Standard Terminal Arrival Routes (STAR).

Route tests must be conducted only after collaboration and coordination between the ATCSCC, affected en route and terminal facilities, and stakeholders. Route tests will include existing certified NAS elements. The ATCSCC is the final approval authority for all route tests.

  1. The requesting facility must:
  1. Ensure coordination is accomplished with all affected FAA facilities and stakeholders.
  2. Submit a formal letter, in memorandum format, to the ATCSCC Procedures Office, through the DDSO. The memorandum must include:
  1. Detailed summary of the route test being requested and the anticipated results.
  2. List of affected FAA facilities and stakeholders with which coordination has been completed.
  3. Length of time for which the route test will be in effect, not to exceed 180 days.
  4. Detailed summary of the possible impact to the NAS, surrounding facilities, and stakeholders.
  1. Perform an air traffic safety analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1100.161, Air Traffic Safety Oversight.
  2. After the above items have been completed and the test approved, conduct the test as requested.
  3. Determine if the route test timeframe is adequate. A facility may be granted an extension of up to 90 days with the approval of the ATCSCC. Submit requests for extension through the DDSO to the ATCSCC Procedures Office, with supporting documentation. Facilities requesting extensions exceeding 180 days must review and comply with FAA Order 1050.1, Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures, to ensure environmental studies are completed. Include the studies with your request.
  4. Within 30 days of completion of the test:
  1. Conduct a review and analysis with the stakeholders and accept comments.
  2. Determine if the proposed route is viable or if other alternatives should be explored.
  3. Document test results and prepare a post-test report in accordance with Air Traffic Safety Analysis and with FAA Order 1100.161, Air Traffic Safety Oversight.
  1. If the route is determined to be beneficial, initiate implementation and have the route published in appropriate charts, databases, letters of agreement, and any other appropriate FAA publications.
  1. The ATCSCC must:
  1. Review the route test memorandum and approve the test or provide justification for disapproval.
  2. Review and approve requests for test extensions or provide justification for disapproval.
  3. Issue any necessary traffic management advisories.
  4. Be the approving authority for any TMIs requested in association with the route test.