The FAA have activated 169 new routes. Here’s what you need to know.
FAQ OPs / FK Ups
This is a planning thing. Mostly. But also an equipment thing. You need to know what equipment you need to fly these routes, or you could end up cleared way lower, or way further than expected. Which means burning more fuel.
Do you need to know?
If you fly up and down (and sometimes slightly in) the east coast of the USA and the Gulf of Mexico, then you probably want to know about these.
169 new GPS based routes activated on May 1 2023, to replace older J routes.
Because the old J routes wiggled and wobbled all over the place between nav aids and areas with radar coverage. The new Q routes are RNAV routes, using GPS, which makes them much shorter and straighter (quicker and more efficient for the aircraft using them?.
The FAA reckon they will shave around 40,000 miles and 6000 minutes off, annually.
Q for quicker, J for junk…
Up and down the east coast of the USA from 18,000′ to FL450.
You can find them on the En-route High Altitude charts. Specifically from H8 upwards.
You can find more regulatory info about them in the FAA AIM, in ENR 3.3 Area Navigation (RNAV) Routes. Be sure to read the notes on Alaskan Q-Routes because they do have slightly different requirements in terms of the equipment you need.
To file for and operate on these routes you will need GPS (GNSS) equipped aircraft, and probably a B034 LOA.
You will need to file a /G if you are fully equipped to fly on the Q routes.
/A means you are not equipped, /E, /F, /R, /Q and /I are equipped but with different specs so take a look to see that you do have what is needed.