Smart IFR Routing Engine

Eurocontrol maintains a CFMU/IFPS route suggestion and validation solution. Fire any IFR flight plan, excluding its route, to Eurocontrol and you will most likely get several suggested and validated IFR routes back in return. The problem is, that the Eurocontrol system only provides routes at one specific flight level and therefore in many cases cannot provide you with a route that fits your needs. In some cases, Eurocontrol cannot suggest even one route to you as it is not available on one flight level. The Eurocontrol CFMU/IFPS system also does not fully support directs (DCTs) and Y/Z flight plans.

AeroPlus created an IFR routing engine to supplement the routing engine offered by Eurocontrol. Initially, when querying for a valid route using our flight plan software or app, AeroPlus will look for route suggestions as offered by Eurocontrol. If a more or less optimal route is found, you can select one of them and file IFR. If no routes or only non-optimal routes are found or if you are not happy with the suggested routes, you can extend your search and our Smart IFR Routing Engine will kick in to find you a route.

Sample IFR route

Let’s search for a route from Rotterdam (EHRD) to Calais (LFAC) at FL250.

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 Figure 1. Flightplan form completed, excluding the route section.

As you can see, the flight details are all filled-in on the flight plan form, except for the route information. The flight is with a Cirrus SR22 Turbo, which has a service ceiling of FL250. The equipment is configured using the equipment wizard/editor found within the AeroPlus flight plan software or within the iPhone | iPad app.

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Figure 2. Initial search does not bring any results. Eurocontrol cannot provide a valid route.

An initial search for a valid route does not give any results as Eurocontrol cannot make any level changes in its route suggestions and there simply are no routes available all the way from Rotterdam to Calais on FL250. At the bottom of the results screen, you will find the “Extend your search” option to kick in an extensive search using our Smart AeroPlus IFR Routing Engine.

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Figure 3. Extending our search.

As you can see, our route engine comes back with several routes. If you just want to file a valid route, then you can select the shortest route provided and finish filing your flight plan. What you notice here, is that there is a level change at the RNAV waypoint XAMAN changing the flight level from FL250 to FL240 for the remaining flight.

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Figure 4. Finding even more routes.

When you select one of the route options provided, our Routing Engine has already calculated the estimated elapsed time (EET) for the route, taking into account the average climb gradient, the aircraft performance and the winds aloft at each of the route segments and altitudes at the time of flight for which you wish to file this flight plan.

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Figure 5. A visual depiction of the intended route.

Here you see the actual route. It was actually a route I flew to test the Emergency Descend Mode (EDM) so I wanted to do that inbound London. EDM is a feature of the Garmin Perspective G1000 glass cockpit. If you don’t touch any buttons at FL250 for several minutes, the system thinks you might not be alert anymore and you get a hypoxia alert. If you continue not to respond to the system, then the aircraft is automatically taken down initially to FL140 and later to FL125. It’s a cool feature in this modern aircraft, but also cool that the AeroPlus Smart IFR Routing Engine can find me a valid route to actually fly and test this out.

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Figure 6. Auto-descend from FL250. True airspeed in the Cirrus is 240 KT.

Flightplan App for iPhone | iPad

The screen samples above are from our web-based solution. However, we also made the Smart IFR Routing Engine available in our iPhone | iPad app.

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In App search for valid IFR routes (left) and display of the route (right).

With the flight plan app installed on your iPhone and/or iPad, it has become easy to file IFR flight plans while travelling and not sitting behind your computer on your desk. It takes minutes to find valid routes, file the flight plan and get an ATC message in the app or as push message that confirms that your flight plan was accepted. After that, the app can be used to delay or cancel your flight or to send departure or arrival messages (if needed).

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