In Europe it is possible to find a list of directs which are contained in the Appendix 4 of the Route Availability Document from the Eurocontrol website.

My goal is to find the analogous information for the US airspace. I tried to look in the FAA website but without success. Can you please tell me a way to achieve my goal?

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    $\begingroup$ I don't think so. In the US, if a pilot wants direct he or she simply files that routing or asks for it. I am not aware of any published list of authorized or acceptable direct routings. $\endgroup$
    – J W
    Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 14:22
  • $\begingroup$ The only thing in the US that sounds similar to me are TECs. But I don't know if they're really comparable because they're short, low-level routes. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 16:57
  • $\begingroup$ High Altitude Area Navigation Routing Special high altitude routes allow pilots routing options for flight within the initial high altitude routing (HAR) Phase I expansion airspace. Pilots are able to fly user-preferred routes, referred to as non-restrictive routing (NRR), between specific fixes described by pitch (entry into) and catch (exit out of) fixes in the HAR airspace. Pitch points indicate an end of departure procedures, preferred IFR routings, or other established routing programs where a flight can begin a segment of NRR. $\endgroup$
    – JScarry
    Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 21:53
  • $\begingroup$ @JonathanWalters I think you're entirely correct there, and I'd upvote that as an answer. In the middle of the night, it's common to get direct to any fix that Center can enter into their computer, which is essentially anything out there. No limits. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 3:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Federico So your question may serve a larger audience, consider editing the title to change the word directs something more ubiquitous, like routes. $\endgroup$
    – STWilson
    Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 12:33

1 Answer 1


In the US, the National Flight Data Center (NFDC) publishes a database of preferred routes. You can query it or download the entire database.

Here is the result of entering only BWI to PHX:

enter image description here

A practical resource for planning a real flight is to review the routes of previous flights. I browse the origin and destinations, or nearby airports to my flight and select a similar aircraft to which I am flying. On FlightAware, the route is shown in the lower right. Here's an example:

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Ok yes this is basically what I was looking for!! $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 6:51
  • $\begingroup$ @FedericoGentile I'm curious, were you more interested in the database from NFDC or searching what pilots file? $\endgroup$
    – STWilson
    Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 11:44
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    $\begingroup$ NFDC data is what I am looking for yes! $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 11:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Frederico there are also routes that are defined more at the local level (within one ARTCC). I don't know if there's a public database for them; as controllers we just issue the reroute when the strip tells us to, so if you fly between two airports a few times and always get the same reroute that could be it. $\endgroup$
    – randomhead
    Commented Feb 15, 2021 at 3:42

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