The introduction of preferred routes by staff/users has been immensely helpful, leading to a significant reduction in pilots filing invalid routes. However, I believe there is room for further improvement.
My suggestion is that when a preferred route for a specific city pair is submitted, SimBrief should automatically delete any user-generated routes for that pair. Users should still have the option to create a custom one-off route if they wish, but it shouldn’t be automatically saved. For example, when planning a route from OMDB to HAAB, pilots often file routes similar to this:
KUTLI L519 ATUDO M318 RAGNI L564 PARIM UG667 DTI B535 LAKBE
While this route might be the shortest in terms of distance and time, it violates regional and ATFM restrictions.
If an approved user/staff member submits a preferred route that complies with all regional and ATFM restrictions, SimBrief should automatically remove any previously saved routes and prevent the saving of future user-generated routes for that specific city pair. Pilots often choose routes based on distance and convenience; allowing them to select their own route in this scenario undermines the purpose of having preferred routes. However, they should still have the option to use a one-off route they generated.
Currently, we follow a similar process after adding over 400 routes in the Middle East and North Africa. When a preferred route is added, we report all other user-generated routes. However, this walk around dose not last long, as users can still opt for a custom route, which is automatically saved. In our region, most city pairs offer only one route option, with some having two or three at most
I hope this clarifies my suggestion.