To reduce delays, airspace complexity and radar vectors/reroutes, while accommodating more high-altitude traffic, the FAA began major updates to the Northeast Corridor Atlantic Coast Routes (NEC ACR) in 2019, implementing incremental changes through 13 chart effective dates.
The FAA has delayed most of the remaining routes and procedures until 2022 because of COVID-19’s impact on air traffic controller training.
So far, said Joey Tinsley, the NEC ACR project’s co-lead, “The Northeast Corridor Atlantic Coast Route program has published 14 new Q-Routes, amended 14 additional Q-Routes and published one Y-Route. These performance-based navigation routes and amendments stretch from Canada to Puerto Rico.
“The NEC ACR will amend nine Y-Routes, 11 Offshore Atlantic Routes (AR), seven Q-Routes and one ATL SID in late 2021,” noted Tinsley. “The plan is to publish these amendments on Oct. 7 and to implement these amendments on Dec. 2. In addition, portions of six Jet Routes will be removed on Dec. 2.
“The Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZDC) Super High (ZDC30) sector was originally scheduled for Sept 9. Due to COVID-19 training concerns, the implementation is now scheduled for Nov. 4. This airspace change is intended to help reduce sector workload/complexity and improve sector throughput.”
“With the new stratification in place, NBAA members operating between the Northeast and Southeast should see additional capacity at those higher flight levels.”
Ernie Stellings Senior Manager of Air Traffic Services, NBAA
When implemented, the new sectors will be: 09 DIW Ultra High (FL360-390), 50 YKT Ultra High (FL360-390), and 30 MSN Super High (FL400-ABV).
“With the new stratification in place, NBAA members operating between the Northeast and Southeast should see additional capacity at those higher flight levels,” said Ernie Stellings, NBAA’s senior manager of air traffic services.
“The NEC ACR project is expected to be complete in late 2022,” said Tinsley. “It will amend and publish 19 NEC ACR Q-Routes, four Y-Routes, and nine AR-Routes in September 2022. Most of these routes will be suspended until Nov. 3, 2022. In addition, five STARs affecting Philadelphia, Newark, Teterboro and LaGuardia will publish and implement on Nov. 3, 2022, with Q-Route connectivity.”
The amended effective dates of the NOTAM NAs originally effective Oct. 7 are:
- NOTAM NA Q64 TYL/SAWED extends to Nov. 3, 2022.
- NOTAM NA Y291, Y309, Y319, and Y323 runs until Sept. 8, 2022.
- OTAM NA Y289 and Y299 runs until Nov. 3, 2022.
On Dec. 2 of this year the FAA will cancel the Q-Route NA NOTAMs and implement Q419, Q22, Q437, and Q34. Also, the agency will delete J150, J193, J222 and J225, and amend J42 and J191 (deleting HPW-RBV only).
In Washington ARTCC (ZDC) airspace, the FAA will reissue ATC assigned only NOTAMs for Y289 and Y299 effective through Nov. 3. It will likewise reissue ATC assigned only NOTAMs for seven Q-Routes and four Y-Routes effective through Sept. 8, 2022. The FAA will reissue other ATC assigned only NOTAMs for another seven Q-Routes and the Y-Routes effective through Nov. 2, 2022.
FAA officials note that all the 2022 dates are subject to change, depending on the ongoing impact of COVID-19.