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HTTP preflight OPTION requests come in a lot and all our system does is reply with some constant headers.

I don't want to fire up my servlet just to find out it's an OPTION request and respond immediately with the required headers.

I'm thinking there should be a way for the load-balancer to do that. Like when I used Apache as a reverse-proxy server to send requests to the Java application server, I think I could easily make it handle the OPTION requests with immediate reply (after all, that's happening on the HTTP layer).

I think it would reduce workload even for the load balancers and the AWS network if they were to spit out the canned reply every time.

Is there any way I can have the AWS load balancer do that?

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Depending on exactly how you want to respond to these requests, you can use AWS WAF and attach this to the ELB.

Create a custom rule (to block traffic by using "option"): enter image description here

Then create a custom response body for this in the Web ACLs.

Custom response bodies are plain text, JSON, or HTML content that you use to customize a response to blocked requests. You can use a response body anywhere in the web ACL where you create it.

... the downside here is WAF is a pay-for addon but it's not much, depending on your budget.

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