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What is the purpose of “preferred IFR routes” if anyway the ATC will change the route?

Asked by: 5714 views Instrument Rating

What if they didn't contain my destination?

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2 Answers



  1. Paul Tocknell on May 09, 2012

    Preferred IFR routing is to be used by all aircraft when operating between given airports, but is in regular use by airline dispatch for planning the ATC preferential routing between city pairs.  Weather, traffic density and other system delays are all reasons why the preferential routing will be changed.  

    If preferred IFR routes don’t exist between your departure and destination airport then I would suggest filing previously ATC cleared routes or using preferential routing from nearby major airports.  For instance, if you are flying between PWK and PNE, I would use the preferential routing from ORD to PHL.

    Domestically in the US, you can use sites such as Fltplan.com, Foreflight or ARINC to view previously cleared ATC routes between any airport.  I will often use these routes as a guide for which route I will most likely receive in a clearance.

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  2. Matthew Waugh on May 15, 2012

    Preferred IFR routes work great – in 4+ years of regional jet flying I can count on the fingers of my hands the number of times I got a full route clearance (and most of them were for weather).
     
    They may not work for YOU – but they work fine for the intended users.

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