Another route question


#1

I’ve seen several of these interesting routes:

flightaware.com/live/flight/SKW6128

They always show up on very short flights. What does that mean? “ONTM3” is not the name of any published procedure or navigation fix that I’m aware of.


#2

Did you mean this for SkyWest 6128?

Welcome to the forum jtek! 8)

I also found LAXM34 for this flight.


#3

The route code you are seeing is a SOCAL TEC (Tower Enroute Control) route. Here in Southern California, so many IFR aircraft make short flights to the numerous airports, it was advantageous for the controllers to codify standard routings between the fixed points.

The ONTM3 code you see is the routing number. Clearance delivery positions have a list of the routes in front of them, and just read it off to the pilot. The use of coded routes also simplifies things for pilots and controllers: the pilot doesn’t have to know the route, and clearance delivery doesn’t have to type in a bunch of stuff. With just the departure point and destinations, the controller can just rattle off the clearance.

The ONT part of the route denotes the area of Socal Approach Control that the aircraft departs. There are LAX, CST (Coast Sector), BUR, SAN, and a few others I can’t think of right this minute.

The M denotes the Change notice of the routes. They started as Alpha routes so many years ago, and we have made it up to M.

The number is the routing on the list. They started with about 12 of them, and now they are up to 35 or so.

The routings can be found published in the Airport Facility Directory for Southern California .


#4

Sweet, thanks for the informative reply! I’ve only recently discovered this website, and I can’t believe how much fun it is for a wanna-be pilot and aviation geek like me.