April 13 , 2010

Recently, NBAA was successful in securing a new route for traffic departing Dulles International Airport (IAD) and heading to southeast Florida. This route is only for use on convective weather days and should result in reduced delays on days where thunderstorms are interfering with existing routes.

Currently, for traffic heading to southeast Florida from IAD, the preferred route directs traffic around the north side of Washington DC, over DAILY intersection (one of the departure gates for southbound traffic, located southeast of the city) and down to either ILM or DIW to join the Atlantic Routes (ARs) off of the coast of North Carolina.

Unfortunately, general aviation (GA) flights are not able to utilize this preferred route, due to the fact that it passes through the north edge of the Washington DC Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ). Instead, GA flights headed to southeast Florida are typically routed down over GVE and then on J75 (an inland route). On convective weather days, this can be problematic since thunderstorms typically move from west to east across GVE and J75 and close the route off for periods of time. With no alternate routes available, this can lead to significant delays for GA flights.

NBAA has been involved for some time in trying to develop an alternate route to mitigate this problem. As a result, a new route was provisionally approved by Potomac TRACON (PCT). During convective weather events, the following route can be filed:

  • WOOLY BAL PALEO DAILY J61 HUBBS KEMPR (then over either ILM or DIW and onto the ARs)
  • Operators can expect an initial altitude of 9000 feet until PALEO

It is important to note that this route is only available during convective weather events and will require coordination within PCT, since it is not a standard procedure within the airspace.

When circumstances are appropriate for the route to be used, operators should explain to IAD clearance delivery that they are requesting the above route, due to restrictions over the GVE J75 route. The route is not guaranteed, but PCT will do everything possible to accommodate requests for it.

For more information about this issue, contact NBAA’s GA Desk at gadesk@nbaa.org.