Features August 2015 Issue
You’ve heard about TEC routes and thought you’d give one a try. Now, you can’t find one to use. We struggled, too, but once found they’re useful—only in SoCal and the Northeast.
Around 1980, the FAA tried using adjacent approach control facilities to manage traffic through or within major metropolitan areas. The practice was dubbed tower enroute control (TEC), also called Tower to Tower. But these names are misleading because pilots on TEC routes never talk to tower controllers while enroute. Go figure.
(The difference between TEC routes and other canned routes is that TEC routes never touch center airspace.)
The Air Traffic Control Handbook defines TEC: “the control of IFR enroute traffic within delegated airspace between two or more adjacent approach control facilities. This service is designed to expedite traffic and reduce control and pilot communication requirements.” A good idea; let’s see if there’s any “there” there.