I was just curious if someone could explain how/why some of the routes flown by commercial airliners are drawn up. I realize there are a ton of VOR's and high altitude intersections, and jet airways and such, but what factors go into making the "right route".
I'm sure theres good reason for the design of every route, but some just seem horribly horribly out of the way and inefficient.
I'll use a Pinnacle DTW-CRW flight as an example. Pinnacle just took over the route from XJ a few days ago.
Exhibit 1: This is the route Mesaba always took, regardless of aircraft.
Exhibit 2: This is the route that Pinnacle has drawn up. On this day the aircraft actually flew the entire route as planned.
Exhibit 3: This flight had the same planned route as the one above, but got cleared direct pretty early into their route.
Is making what should be a 40 minute flight 20-25 minutes longer really ever the "best" way? I understand routes like this going into NYC airspace to hit the STARS, but I dont quite get it in this particular situation - and I'm sure there are others like it.
Any information from Pilots / dispatchers is appreciated. Also do dispatchers actually plan the routes or is that someone else's job?