Note: Want to understand more about routing? Check out the "why a framework?" page for a more in-depth explanation.

Basic routing in Flight is done by matching a URL pattern with a callback function or an array of a class and method.

Flight::route('/', function(){
    echo 'hello world!';

Routes are matched in the order they are defined. The first route to match a request will be invoked.


The callback can be any object that is callable. So you can use a regular function:

function hello(){
    echo 'hello world!';

Flight::route('/', 'hello');


You can use a static method of a class as well:

class Greeting {
    public static function hello() {
        echo 'hello world!';

Flight::route('/', [ 'Greeting','hello' ]);

Or by creating an object first and then calling the method:

// Greeting.php
class Greeting
    public function __construct() {
        $this->name = 'John Doe';

    public function hello() {
        echo "Hello, {$this->name}!";

// index.php
$greeting = new Greeting();

Flight::route('/', [ $greeting, 'hello' ]);
// You also can do this without creating the object first
// Note: No args will be injected into the constructor
Flight::route('/', [ 'Greeting', 'hello' ]);

Dependency Injection via DIC (Dependency Injection Container)

If you want to use dependency injection via a container (PSR-11, PHP-DI, Dice, etc), the only type of routes where that is available is either directly creating the object yourself and using the container to create your object or you can use strings to defined the class and method to call. You can go to the Dependency Injection page for more information.

Here's a quick example:

use flight\database\PdoWrapper;

// Greeting.php
class Greeting
    protected PdoWrapper $pdoWrapper;
    public function __construct(PdoWrapper $pdoWrapper) {
        $this->pdoWrapper = $pdoWrapper;

    public function hello(int $id) {
        // do something with $this->pdoWrapper
        $name = $this->pdoWrapper->fetchField("SELECT name FROM users WHERE id = ?", [ $id ]);
        echo "Hello, world! My name is {$name}!";

// index.php

// Setup the container with whatever params you need
// See the Dependency Injection page for more information on PSR-11
$dice = new \Dice\Dice();

// Don't forget to reassign the variable with '$dice = '!!!!!
$dice = $dice->addRule('flight\database\PdoWrapper', [
    'shared' => true,
    'constructParams' => [ 

// Register the container handler
Flight::registerContainerHandler(function($class, $params) use ($dice) {
    return $dice->create($class, $params);

// Routes like normal
Flight::route('/hello/@id', [ 'Greeting', 'hello' ]);
// or
Flight::route('/hello/@id', 'Greeting->hello');
// or
Flight::route('/hello/@id', 'Greeting::hello');


Method Routing

By default, route patterns are matched against all request methods. You can respond to specific methods by placing an identifier before the URL.

Flight::route('GET /', function () {
  echo 'I received a GET request.';

Flight::route('POST /', function () {
  echo 'I received a POST request.';

// You cannot use Flight::get() for routes as that is a method 
//    to get variables, not create a route.
// Flight::post('/', function() { /* code */ });
// Flight::patch('/', function() { /* code */ });
// Flight::put('/', function() { /* code */ });
// Flight::delete('/', function() { /* code */ });

You can also map multiple methods to a single callback by using a | delimiter:

Flight::route('GET|POST /', function () {
  echo 'I received either a GET or a POST request.';

Additionally you can grab the Router object which has some helper methods for you to use:

$router = Flight::router();

// maps all methods
$router->map('/', function() {
    echo 'hello world!';

// GET request
$router->get('/users', function() {
    echo 'users';
// $router->post();
// $router->put();
// $router->delete();
// $router->patch();

Regular Expressions

You can use regular expressions in your routes:

Flight::route('/user/[0-9]+', function () {
  // This will match /user/1234

Although this method is available, it is recommended to use named parameters, or named parameters with regular expressions, as they are more readable and easier to maintain.

Named Parameters

You can specify named parameters in your routes which will be passed along to your callback function.

Flight::route('/@name/@id', function (string $name, string $id) {
  echo "hello, $name ($id)!";

You can also include regular expressions with your named parameters by using the : delimiter:

Flight::route('/@name/@id:[0-9]{3}', function (string $name, string $id) {
  // This will match /bob/123
  // But will not match /bob/12345

Note: Matching regex groups () with named parameters isn't supported. :'(

Optional Parameters

You can specify named parameters that are optional for matching by wrapping segments in parentheses.

  function(?string $year, ?string $month, ?string $day) {
    // This will match the following URLS:
    // /blog/2012/12/10
    // /blog/2012/12
    // /blog/2012
    // /blog

Any optional parameters that are not matched will be passed in as NULL.


Matching is only done on individual URL segments. If you want to match multiple segments you can use the * wildcard.

Flight::route('/blog/*', function () {
  // This will match /blog/2000/02/01

To route all requests to a single callback, you can do:

Flight::route('*', function () {
  // Do something


You can pass execution on to the next matching route by returning true from your callback function.

Flight::route('/user/@name', function (string $name) {
  // Check some condition
  if ($name !== "Bob") {
    // Continue to next route
    return true;

Flight::route('/user/*', function () {
  // This will get called

Route Aliasing

You can assign an alias to a route, so that the URL can dynamically be generated later in your code (like a template for instance).

Flight::route('/users/@id', function($id) { echo 'user:'.$id; }, false, 'user_view');

// later in code somewhere
Flight::getUrl('user_view', [ 'id' => 5 ]); // will return '/users/5'

This is especially helpful if your URL happens to change. In the above example, lets say that users was moved to /admin/users/@id instead. With aliasing in place, you don't have to change anywhere you reference the alias because the alias will now return /admin/users/5 like in the example above.

Route aliasing still works in groups as well:

Flight::group('/users', function() {
    Flight::route('/@id', function($id) { echo 'user:'.$id; }, false, 'user_view');

// later in code somewhere
Flight::getUrl('user_view', [ 'id' => 5 ]); // will return '/users/5'

Route Info

If you want to inspect the matching route information, you can request for the route object to be passed to your callback by passing in true as the third parameter in the route method. The route object will always be the last parameter passed to your callback function.

Flight::route('/', function(\flight\net\Route $route) {
  // Array of HTTP methods matched against

  // Array of named parameters

  // Matching regular expression

  // Contains the contents of any '*' used in the URL pattern

  // Shows the url path....if you really need it

  // Shows what middleware is assigned to this

  // Shows the alias assigned to this route
}, true);

Route Grouping

There may be times when you want to group related routes together (such as /api/v1). You can do this by using the group method:

Flight::group('/api/v1', function () {
  Flight::route('/users', function () {
    // Matches /api/v1/users

  Flight::route('/posts', function () {
    // Matches /api/v1/posts

You can even nest groups of groups:

Flight::group('/api', function () {
  Flight::group('/v1', function () {
    // Flight::get() gets variables, it doesn't set a route! See object context below
    Flight::route('GET /users', function () {
      // Matches GET /api/v1/users

    Flight::post('/posts', function () {
      // Matches POST /api/v1/posts

    Flight::put('/posts/1', function () {
      // Matches PUT /api/v1/posts
  Flight::group('/v2', function () {

    // Flight::get() gets variables, it doesn't set a route! See object context below
    Flight::route('GET /users', function () {
      // Matches GET /api/v2/users

Grouping with Object Context

You can still use route grouping with the Engine object in the following way:

$app = new \flight\Engine();
$app->group('/api/v1', function (Router $router) {

  // user the $router variable
  $router->get('/users', function () {
    // Matches GET /api/v1/users

  $router->post('/posts', function () {
    // Matches POST /api/v1/posts


You can now stream responses to the client using the streamWithHeaders() method. This is useful for sending large files, long running processes, or generating large responses. Streaming a route is handled a little differently than a regular route.

Note: Streaming responses is only available if you have flight.v2.output_buffering set to false.

Stream with Manual Headers

You can stream a response to the client by using the stream() method on a route. If you do this, you must set all the methods by hand before you output anything to the client. This is done with the header() php function or the Flight::response()->setRealHeader() method.

Flight::route('/@filename', function($filename) {

    // obviously you would sanitize the path and whatnot.
    $fileNameSafe = basename($filename);

    // If you have additional headers to set here after the route has executed
    // you must define them before anything is echoed out.
    // They must all be a raw call to the header() function or 
    // a call to Flight::response()->setRealHeader()
    header('Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="'.$fileNameSafe.'"');
    // or
    Flight::response()->setRealHeader('Content-Disposition', 'attachment; filename="'.$fileNameSafe.'"');

    $fileData = file_get_contents('/some/path/to/files/'.$fileNameSafe);

    // Error catching and whatnot
    if(empty($fileData)) {
        Flight::halt(404, 'File not found');

    // manually set the content length if you'd like
    header('Content-Length: '.filesize($filename));

    // Stream the data to the client
    echo $fileData;

// This is the magic line here

Stream with Headers

You can also use the streamWithHeaders() method to set the headers before you start streaming.

Flight::route('/stream-users', function() {

    // you can add any additional headers you want here
    // you just must use header() or Flight::response()->setRealHeader()

    // however you pull your data, just as an example...
    $users_stmt = Flight::db()->query("SELECT id, first_name, last_name FROM users");

    echo '{';
    $user_count = count($users);
    while($user = $users_stmt->fetch(PDO::FETCH_ASSOC)) {
        echo json_encode($user);
        if(--$user_count > 0) {
            echo ',';

        // This is required to send the data to the client
    echo '}';

// This is how you'll set the headers before you start streaming.
    'Content-Type' => 'application/json',
    'Content-Disposition' => 'attachment; filename="users.json"',
    // optional status code, defaults to 200
    'status' => 200