Section 2. Departure Procedures
5-2-1. Pre-taxi Clearance Procedures
a. Certain airports have established pre-taxi clearance programs whereby pilots of departing
instrument flight rules (IFR) aircraft may elect to receive their IFR clearances before they start taxiing for
takeoff. The following provisions are included in
1. Pilot participation is not mandatory.
2. Participating pilots call clearance delivery or
ground control not more than 10 minutes before proposed taxi time.
3. IFR clearance (or delay information, if clearance cannot be obtained) is issued at the time of this
4. When the IFR clearance is received on clearance delivery frequency, pilots call ground control
when ready to taxi.
5. Normally, pilots need not inform ground control that they have received IFR clearance on
clearance delivery frequency. Certain locations may,
however, require that the pilot inform ground control
of a portion of the routing or that the IFR clearance
has been received.
6. If a pilot cannot establish contact on clearance
delivery frequency or has not received an IFR clearance before ready to taxi, the pilot should contact
ground control and inform the controller accordingly.
b. Locations where these procedures are in effect
are indicated in the Airport/Facility Directory.
5-2-2. Pre-departure Clearance Procedures
a. Many airports in the National Airspace System
are equipped with the Tower Data Link System
(TDLS) that includes the Pre-departure Clearance
(PDC) function. The PDC function automates the
Clearance Delivery operations in the ATCT for participating users. The PDC function displays IFR
clearances from the ARTCC to the ATCT. The Clearance Delivery controller in the ATCT can append
local departure information and transmit the clearance via data link to participating airline/service
provider computers. The airline/service provider will
then deliver the clearance via the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System
(ACARS) or a similar data link system or, for nondata
link equipped aircraft, via a printer located at the departure gate. PDC reduces frequency congestion,
controller workload and is intended to mitigate delivery/readback errors. Also, information from
participating users indicates a reduction in pilot
b. PDC is available only to participating aircraft
that have subscribed to the service through an approved service provider.
c. Due to technical reasons, the following limitations currently exist in the PDC program:
1. Aircraft filing multiple flight plans are limited to one PDC clearance per departure airport within
a 24-hour period. Additional clearances will be delivered verbally.
2. If the clearance is revised or modified prior to
delivery, it will be rejected from PDC and the clearance will need to be delivered verbally.
d. No acknowledgment of receipt or readback is
required for a PDC.
e. In all situations, the pilot is encouraged to contact clearance delivery if a question or concern exists
regarding an automated clearance.
5-2-3. Taxi Clearance
Pilots on IFR flight plans should communicate with
the control tower on the appropriate ground control or
clearance delivery frequency, prior to starting engines, to receive engine start time, taxi and/or
5-2-4. Line Up and Wait (LUAW)
a. Line up and wait is an air traffic control (ATC)
procedure designed to position an aircraft onto the
runway for an imminent departure. The ATC
instruction "LINE UP AND WAIT" is used to instruct
a pilot to taxi onto the departure runway and line up
Tower: "N234AR Runway 24L, line up and wait."
b. This ATC instruction is not an authorization to
takeoff. In instances where the pilot has been
instructed to line up and wait and has been advised of
a reason/condition (wake turbulence, traffic on an
intersecting runway, etc.) or the reason/condition is
clearly visible (another aircraft that has landed on or
is taking off on the same runway), and the reason/condition is satisfied, the pilot should expect an
imminent takeoff clearance, unless advised of a
delay. If you are uncertain about any ATC instruction
or clearance, contact ATC immediately.
c. If a takeoff clearance is not received within a
reasonable amount of time after clearance to line up
and wait, ATC should be contacted.
Aircraft: Cessna 234AR holding in position Runway 24L.
Aircraft: Cessna 234AR holding in position Runway 24L
FAA analysis of accidents and incidents involving aircraft
holding in position indicate that two minutes or more
elapsed between the time the instruction was issued to line
up and wait and the resulting event (for example, land-over
or go-around). Pilots should consider the length of time
that they have been holding in position whenever they
HAVE NOT been advised of any expected delay to
determine when it is appropriate to query the controller.
Advisory Circulars 91-73A, Part 91 and Part 135 Single-Pilot Procedures during Taxi Operations, and 120-74A, Parts 91, 121, 125, and 135
Flightcrew Procedures during Taxi Operations
d. Situational awareness during line up and wait
operations is enhanced by monitoring ATC
instructions/clearances issued to other aircraft. Pilots
should listen carefully if another aircraft is on
frequency that has a similar call sign and pay close
attention to communications between ATC and other
aircraft. If you are uncertain of an ATC instruction or
clearance, query ATC immediately. Care should be
taken to not inadvertently execute a clearance/instruction for another aircraft.
e. Pilots should be especially vigilant when
conducting line up and wait operations at night or
during reduced visibility conditions. They should
scan the full length of the runway and look for aircraft
on final approach or landing roll out when taxiing
onto a runway. ATC should be contacted anytime
there is a concern about a potential conflict.
f. When two or more runways are active, aircraft
may be instructed to "LINE UP AND WAIT" on two
or more runways. When multiple runway operations
are being conducted, it is important to listen closely
for your call sign and runway. Be alert for similar
sounding call signs and acknowledge all instructions
with your call sign. When you are holding in position
and are not sure if the takeoff clearance was for you,
ask ATC before you begin takeoff roll. ATC prefers
that you confirm a takeoff clearance rather than
mistake another aircraft's clearance for your own.
g. When ATC issues intersection
"line up and
wait" and takeoff clearances, the intersection
designator will be used. If ATC omits the intersection
designator, call ATC for clarification.
Aircraft: "Cherokee 234AR, Runway 24L at November 4,
line up and wait."
h. If landing traffic is a factor during line up and
wait operations, ATC will inform the aircraft in
position of the closest traffic that has requested a full-stop, touch-and-go, stop-and-go, or an unrestricted
low approach to the same runway. Pilots should take
care to note the position of landing traffic. ATC will
also advise the landing traffic when an aircraft is
authorized to "line up and wait" on the same runway.
Tower: "Cessna 234AR, Runway 24L, line up and wait. Traffic a Boeing 737, six
Tower: "Delta 1011, continue, traffic a Cessna 210
holding in position Runway 24L."
ATC will normally withhold landing clearance to arrival
aircraft when another aircraft is in position and holding on
i. Never land on a runway that is occupied by
another aircraft, even if a landing clearance was
issued. Do not hesitate to ask the controller about the
traffic on the runway and be prepared to execute a go-around.
Always clarify any misunderstanding or confusion
concerning ATC instructions or clearances. ATC should be
advised immediately if there is any uncertainty about the
ability to comply with any of their instructions.
5-2-5. Abbreviated IFR Departure Clearance (Cleared. . .as Filed) Procedures
a. ATC facilities will issue an abbreviated IFR departure clearance based on the ROUTE of flight filed
in the IFR flight plan, provided the filed route can be
approved with little or no revision. These abbreviated
clearance procedures are based on the following
1. The aircraft is on the ground or it has departed
visual flight rules (VFR) and the pilot is requesting
IFR clearance while airborne.
2. That a pilot will not accept an abbreviated
clearance if the route or destination of a flight plan
filed with ATC has been changed by the pilot or the
company or the operations officer before departure.
3. That it is the responsibility of the company or
operations office to inform the pilot when they make
a change to the filed flight plan.
4. That it is the responsibility of the pilot to inform ATC in the initial call-up (for clearance) when
the filed flight plan has been either:
(a) Amended, or
(b) Canceled and replaced with a new filed
The facility issuing a clearance may not have received the
revised route or the revised flight plan by the time a pilot requests clearance.
b. Controllers will issue a detailed clearance when
they know that the original filed flight plan has been
changed or when the pilot requests a full route clearance.
c. The clearance as issued will include the destination airport filed in the flight plan.
d. ATC procedures now require the controller to
state the DP name, the current number and the DP
transition name after the phrase "Cleared to (destination) airport" and prior to the phrase,
"then as filed,"
for ALL departure clearances when the DP or DP
transition is to be flown. The procedures apply whether or not the DP is filed in the flight plan.
e. STARs, when filed in a flight plan, are considered a part of the filed route of flight and will not
normally be stated in an initial departure clearance. If
the ARTCC's jurisdictional airspace includes both
the departure airport and the fix where a STAR or
STAR transition begins, the STAR name, the current
number and the STAR transition name MAY be stated
in the initial clearance.
f. "Cleared to (destination) airport as filed" does
NOT include the en route altitude filed in a flight plan.
An en route altitude will be stated in the clearance or
the pilot will be advised to expect an assigned or filed
altitude within a given time frame or at a certain point
after departure. This may be done verbally in the departure instructions or stated in the DP.
g. In both radar and nonradar environments, the
controller will state "Cleared to (destination) airport
as filed" or:
1. If a DP or DP transition is to be flown, specify
the DP name, the current DP number, the DP transition name, the assigned altitude/flight level, and any
additional instructions (departure control frequency,
beacon code assignment, etc.) necessary to clear a departing aircraft via the DP or DP transition and the
National Seven Twenty cleared to Miami Airport Intercontinental one departure, Lake Charles transition then as
filed, maintain Flight Level two seven zero.
2. When there is no DP or when the pilot cannot
accept a DP, the controller will specify the assigned
altitude or flight level, and any additional instructions
necessary to clear a departing aircraft via an appropriate departure routing and the route filed.
A detailed departure route description or a radar vector
may be used to achieve the desired departure routing.
3. If it is necessary to make a minor revision to
the filed route, the controller will specify the assigned
DP or DP transition (or departure routing), the revision to the filed route, the assigned altitude or flight
level and any additional instructions necessary to
clear a departing aircraft.
Jet Star One Four Two Four cleared to Atlanta Airport,
South Boston two departure then as filed except change
route to read South Boston Victor 20 Greensboro, maintain
one seven thousand.
4. Additionally, in a nonradar environment, the
controller will specify one or more fixes, as necessary, to identify the initial route of flight.
Cessna Three One Six Zero Foxtrot cleared to Charlotte
Airport as filed via Brooke, maintain seven thousand.
h. To ensure success of the program, pilots should:
1. Avoid making changes to a filed flight plan
just prior to departure.
2. State the following information in the initial
call-up to the facility when no change has been made
to the filed flight plan: Aircraft call sign, location,
type operation (IFR) and the name of the airport (or
fix) to which you expect clearance.
"Washington clearance delivery (or ground control if appropriate) American Seventy Six at gate one, IFR
3. If the flight plan has been changed, state the
change and request a full route clearance.
"Washington clearance delivery, American Seventy Six at
gate one. IFR San Francisco. My flight plan route has been
amended (or destination changed). Request full route
4. Request verification or clarification from
ATC if ANY portion of the clearance is not clearly understood.
5. When requesting clearance for the IFR portion of a VFR/IFR flight, request such clearance prior
to the fix where IFR operation is proposed to commence in sufficient time to avoid delay. Use the
"Los Angeles center, Apache Six One Papa, VFR estimating Paso Robles VOR at three two, one thousand five
hundred, request IFR to Bakersfield."
5-2-6. Departure Restrictions, Clearance
Void Times, Hold for Release, and Release
a. ATC may assign departure restrictions, clearance void times, hold for release, and release times,
when necessary, to separate departures from other
traffic or to restrict or regulate the departure flow.
1. Clearance Void Times. A pilot may receive
a clearance, when operating from an airport without
a control tower, which contains a provision for the
clearance to be void if not airborne by a specific time.
A pilot who does not depart prior to the clearance void
time must advise ATC as soon as possible of their
intentions. ATC will normally advise the pilot of the
time allotted to notify ATC that the aircraft did not depart prior to the clearance void time. This time cannot
exceed 30 minutes. Failure of an aircraft to contact
ATC within 30 minutes after the clearance void time
will result in the aircraft being considered overdue
and search and rescue procedures initiated.
1. Other IFR traffic for the airport where the clearance is
issued is suspended until the aircraft has contacted ATC or
until 30 minutes after the clearance void time or 30 minutes
after the clearance release time if no clearance void time
2. Pilots who depart at or after their clearance void time
are not afforded IFR separation and may be in violation of
14 CFR Section 91.173 which requires that pilots receive
an appropriate ATC clearance before operating IFR in
Clearance void if not off by (clearance void time) and, if required, if not off by (clearance void time) advise (facility)
not later than (time) of intentions.
2. Hold for Release. ATC may issue
release" instructions in a clearance to delay an aircraft's departure for traffic management reasons (i.e.,
weather, traffic volume, etc.). When ATC states in the
clearance, "hold for release," the pilot may not depart
utilizing that IFR clearance until a release time or
additional instructions are issued by ATC. In addition, ATC will include departure delay information in
conjunction with "hold for release" instructions. The
ATC instruction, "hold for release," applies to the IFR
clearance and does not prevent the pilot from departing under VFR. However, prior to takeoff the pilot
should cancel the IFR flight plan and operate the
transponder on the appropriate VFR code. An IFR
clearance may not be available after departure.
(Aircraft identification) cleared to (destination) airport as
filed, maintain (altitude), and, if required (additional instructions or information), hold for release, expect (time in
hours and/or minutes) departure delay.
3. Release Times. A
"release time" is a departure restriction issued to a pilot by ATC, specifying
the earliest time an aircraft may depart. ATC will use
"release times" in conjunction with traffic management procedures and/or to separate a departing
aircraft from other traffic.
(Aircraft identification) released for departure at (time in
hours and/or minutes).
4. Expect Departure Clearance Time
(EDCT). The EDCT is the runway release time
assigned to an aircraft included in traffic management
programs. Aircraft are expected to depart no earlier
than 5 minutes before, and no later than 5 minutes after the EDCT.
b. If practical, pilots departing uncontrolled airports should obtain IFR clearances prior to becoming
airborne when two-way communications with the
controlling ATC facility is available.
5-2-7. Departure Control
a. Departure Control is an approach control function responsible for ensuring separation between
departures. So as to expedite the handling of departures, Departure Control may suggest a takeoff
direction other than that which may normally have
been used under VFR handling. Many times it is preferred to offer the pilot a runway that will require the
fewest turns after takeoff to place the pilot on course
or selected departure route as quickly as possible. At
many locations particular attention is paid to the use
of preferential runways for local noise abatement programs, and route departures away from congested
b. Departure Control utilizing radar
will normally clear aircraft out of the terminal area using DPs via radio
1. When a departure is to be vectored
immediately following takeoff, the pilot will be advised prior to takeoff of the
initial heading to be flown but may not be advised of the purpose of the
2. At some airports when a departure
will fly an RNAV SID that begins at the runway, ATC may advise aircraft of the
initial fix/waypoint on the RNAV route. The purpose of the advisory is to remind
pilots to verify the correct procedure is programmed in the FMS before takeoff.
Pilots must immediately advise ATC if a different RNAV SID is entered in the
aircraft's FMC. When this advisory is absent, pilots are still required to fly
the assigned SID as published.
Delta 345 RNAV to MPASS, Runway26L, cleared for takeoff.
1. The SID transition is not restated as it is contained in the
2. Aircraft cleared via RNAV SIDs
designed to begin with a vector to the initial waypoint are assigned a heading
3. Pilots operating in a radar
environment are expected to associate departure headings or an RNAV departure
advisory with vectors or the flight path to their planned route or flight. When
given a vector taking the aircraft off a previously assigned nonradar route, the
pilot will be advised briefly what the vector is to achieve. Thereafter, radar
service will be provided until the aircraft has been reestablished "on-course"
using an appropriate navigation aid and the pilot has been advised of the
aircraft's position or a handoff is made to another radar controller with
further surveillance capabilities.
c. Controllers will inform pilots of the departure
control frequencies and, if appropriate, the transponder code before takeoff. Pilots must ensure their
transponder is adjusted to the "on" or normal operating position as soon as practical and remain on during
all operations unless otherwise requested to change to
"standby" by ATC. Pilots should not change to the departure control frequency until requested. Controllers
may omit the departure control frequency if a DP has
or will be assigned and the departure control frequency is published on the DP.
5-2-8. Instrument Departure Procedures
(DP) - Obstacle Departure Procedures
(ODP) and Standard Instrument Departures
Instrument departure procedures are preplanned instrument flight rule (IFR) procedures which provide
obstruction clearance from the terminal area to the
appropriate en route structure. There are two types of
DPs, Obstacle Departure Procedures (ODPs), printed
either textually or graphically, and Standard Instrument Departures (SIDs), always printed graphically.
All DPs, either textual or graphic may be designed using either conventional or RNAV criteria. RNAV
procedures will have RNAV printed in the title,
e.g., SHEAD TWO DEPARTURE (RNAV). ODPs
provide obstruction clearance via the least onerous
route from the terminal area to the appropriate en
route structure. ODPs are recommended for obstruction clearance and may be flown without ATC
clearance unless an alternate departure procedure
(SID or radar vector) has been specifically assigned
by ATC. Graphic ODPs will have (OBSTACLE)
printed in the procedure title, e.g., GEYSR THREE
DEPARTURE (OBSTACLE), or, CROWN ONE
DEPARTURE (RNAV) (OBSTACLE). Standard Instrument Departures are air traffic control (ATC)
procedures printed for pilot/controller use in graphic
form to provide obstruction clearance and a transition
from the terminal area to the appropriate en route
structure. SIDs are primarily designed for system enhancement and to reduce pilot/controller workload.
ATC clearance must be received prior to flying a SID.
All DPs provide the pilot with a way to depart the airport and transition to the en route structure safely.
Pilots operating under 14 CFR Part 91 are strongly
encouraged to file and fly a DP at night, during marginal Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) and
Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC), when
one is available. The following paragraphs will provide an overview of the DP program, why DPs are
developed, what criteria are used, where to find them,
how they are to be flown, and finally pilot and ATC
a. Why are DPs necessary? The primary reason is
to provide obstacle clearance protection information
to pilots. A secondary reason, at busier airports, is to
increase efficiency and reduce communications and
departure delays through the use of SIDs. When an instrument approach is initially developed for an
airport, the need for DPs is assessed. The procedure
designer conducts an obstacle analysis to support departure operations. If an aircraft may turn in any
direction from a runway within the limits of the assessment area (see paragraph 5-2-8b3) and remain
clear of obstacles, that runway passes what is called
a diverse departure assessment and no ODP will be
published. A SID may be published if needed for air
traffic control purposes. However, if an obstacle penetrates what is called the 40:1 obstacle identification
surface, then the procedure designer chooses whether
1. Establish a steeper than normal climb gradient; or
2.Establish a steeper than normal climb gradient with an alternative that increases takeoff minima
to allow the pilot to visually remain clear of the obstacle(s); or
3. Design and publish a specific departure route;
4. A combination or all of the above.
b. What criteria is used to provide obstruction
clearance during departure?
1. Unless specified otherwise, required obstacle
clearance for all departures, including diverse, is
based on the pilot crossing the departure end of the
runway at least 35 feet above the departure end of runway elevation, climbing to 400 feet above the
departure end of runway elevation before making the
initial turn, and maintaining a minimum climb gradient of 200 feet per nautical mile (FPNM), unless
required to level off by a crossing restriction, until the
minimum IFR altitude. A greater climb gradient may
be specified in the DP to clear obstacles or to achieve
an ATC crossing restriction. If an initial turn higher
than 400 feet above the departure end of runway
elevation is specified in the DP, the turn should be
commenced at the higher altitude. If a turn is specified at a fix, the turn must be made at that fix. Fixes
may have minimum and/or maximum crossing altitudes that must be adhered to prior to passing the fix.
In rare instances, obstacles that exist on the extended
runway centerline may make an "early turn" more desirable than proceeding straight ahead. In these cases,
the published departure instructions will include the
language "turn left(right) as soon as practicable."
These departures will also include a ceiling and visibility minimum of at least 300 and 1. Pilots
encountering one of these DPs should preplan the
climb out to gain altitude and begin the turn as quickly
as possible within the bounds of safe operating practices and operating limitations. This type of departure
procedure is being phased out.
"Practical" or "feasible" may exist in some existing departure text instead of "practicable."
2. ODPs and SIDs assume normal aircraft performance, and that all engines are operating.
Development of contingency procedures, required
to cover the case of an engine failure or other
emergency in flight that may occur after liftoff, is
the responsibility of the operator. (More detailed
information on this subject is available in Advisory
Circular AC 120-91, Airport Obstacle Analysis, and
in the "Departure Procedures" section of chapter 2 in
the Instrument Procedures Handbook,
3. The 40:1 obstacle identification surface
(OIS) begins at the departure end of runway (DER)
and slopes upward at 152 FPNM until reaching the
minimum IFR altitude or entering the en route structure. This assessment area is limited to 25 NM from
the airport in nonmountainous areas and 46 NM in
designated mountainous areas. Beyond this distance,
the pilot is responsible for obstacle clearance if not
operating on a published route, if below (having not
reached) the MEA or MOCA of a published route, or
an ATC assigned altitude. See FIG 5-2-1. (Ref 14
CFR 91.177 for further information on en route altitudes.)
ODPs are normally designed to terminate within these distance limitations, however, some ODPs will contain routes
that may exceed 25/46 NM; these routes will ensure
obstacle protection until reaching the end of the ODP.
Diverse Departure Obstacle Assessment to 25/46 NM
4. Obstacles that are located within 1 NM of the
DER and penetrate the 40:1 OCS are referred to as
"low, close-in obstacles." The standard required
obstacle clearance (ROC) of 48 feet per NM to clear
these obstacles would require a climb gradient greater
than 200 feet per NM for a very short distance, only
until the aircraft was 200 feet above the DER. To
eliminate publishing an excessive climb gradient, the
obstacle AGL/MSL height and location relative to the
DER is noted in the "Take-off Minimums and
(OBSTACLE) Departure Procedures" section of a
given Terminal Procedures Publication (TPP) booklet. The purpose of this note is to identify the
obstacle(s) and alert the pilot to the height and location of the obstacle(s) so they can be avoided. This
can be accomplished in a variety of ways, e.g., the
pilot may be able to see the obstruction and maneuver
around the obstacle(s) if necessary; early liftoff/climb
performance may allow the aircraft to cross well
above the obstacle(s); or if the obstacle(s) cannot be
visually acquired during departure, preflight planning should take into account what turns or other
maneuver may be necessary immediately after
takeoff to avoid the obstruction(s).
5. Climb gradients greater than 200 FPNM are
specified when required to support procedure design
constraints, obstacle clearance, and/or airspace restrictions. Compliance with a climb gradient for these
purposes is mandatory when the procedure is part of
the ATC clearance, unless increased takeoff minimums are provided and weather conditions allow
compliance with these minimums. Additionally, ATC
required crossing restrictions may also require climb
gradients greater than 200 FPNM. These climb gradients may be amended or canceled at ATC's discretion.
Multiple ATC climb gradients are permitted. An ATC
climb gradient will not be used on an ODP.
"Cross ALPHA intersection at or below 4000; maintain
6000." The pilot climbs at least 200 FPNM to 6000. If 4000
is reached before ALPHA, the pilot levels off at 4000 until
passing ALPHA; then immediately resumes at least 200
"TAKEOFF MINIMUMS: RWY 27, Standard with a minimum climb of 280' per NM to 2500, ATC climb of 310' per
NM to 4000 ft." A climb of at least 280 FPNM is required
to 2500 and is mandatory when the departure procedure is
included in the ATC clearance. ATC requires a climb gradient of 310 FPNM to 4000, however, this ATC climb
gradient may be amended or canceled.
6. Climb gradients may be specified only to an
altitude/fix, above which the normal gradient applies.
"Minimum climb 340 FPNM to ALPHA." The pilot climbs
at least 340 FPNM to ALPHA, then at least 200 FPNM to
7. Some DPs established solely for obstacle
avoidance require a climb in visual conditions to
cross the airport or an on-airport NAVAID in a specified direction, at or above a specified altitude. These
procedures are called Visual Climb Over the Airport
"Climb in visual conditions so as to cross the McElory Airport southbound, at or above 6000, then climb via
Keemmling radial zero three three to Keemmling VORTAC."
c. Who is responsible for obstacle clearance? DPs
are designed so that adherence to the procedure by the
pilot will ensure obstacle protection. Additionally:
1. Obstacle clearance responsibility also rests
with the pilot when he/she chooses to climb in visual
conditions in lieu of flying a DP and/or depart under
increased takeoff minima rather than fly the climb
gradient. Standard takeoff minima are one statute
mile for aircraft having two engines or less and one-half statute mile for aircraft having more than two
engines. Specified ceiling and visibility minima
(VCOA or increased takeoff minima) will allow visual avoidance of obstacles until the pilot enters the
standard obstacle protection area. Obstacle avoidance is not guaranteed if the pilot maneuvers farther
from the airport than the specified visibility minimum
prior to reaching the specified altitude. DPs may also
contain what are called Low Close in Obstacles.
These obstacles are less than 200 feet above the departure end of runway elevation and within one NM
of the runway end, and do not require increased takeoff minimums. These obstacles are identified on the
SID chart or in the Take-off Minimums and (Obstacle) Departure Procedures section of the U. S.
Terminal Procedure booklet. These obstacles are especially critical to aircraft that do not lift off until
close to the departure end of the runway or which
climb at the minimum rate. Pilots should also consider drift following lift-off to ensure sufficient
clearance from these obstacles. That segment of the
procedure that requires the pilot to see and avoid obstacles ends when the aircraft crosses the specified
point at the required altitude. In all cases continued
obstacle clearance is based on having climbed a minimum of 200 feet per nautical mile to the specified
point and then continuing to climb at least 200 foot
per nautical mile during the departure until reaching
the minimum enroute altitude, unless specified otherwise.
2. ATC may assume responsibility for obstacle
clearance by vectoring the aircraft prior to reaching
the minimum vectoring altitude by using a Diverse
Vector Area (DVA). The DVA has been assessed for
departures which do not follow a specific ground
track. ATC may also vector an aircraft off a previously assigned DP. In all cases, the 200 FPNM climb
gradient is assumed and obstacle clearance is not provided by ATC until the controller begins to provide
navigational guidance in the form of radar vectors.
When used by the controller during departure, the term
"radar contact" should not be interpreted as relieving pilots of their responsibility to maintain appropriate terrain
and obstruction clearance which may include flying the obstacle DP.
must preplan to determine if the aircraft can meet the climb gradient (expressed
in feet per nautical mile) required by the departure procedure, and be aware
that flying at a higher than anticipated ground speed increases the climb rate
requirement in feet per minute. Higher than standard climb gradients are
specified by a note on the departure procedure chart for graphic DPs, or in the
Take-Off Minimums and (Obstacle) Departure Procedures section of the U.S.
Terminal Procedures booklet for textual ODPs. The required climb gradient, or
higher, must be maintained to the specified altitude or fix, then the standard
climb gradient of 200 ft/NM can be resumed. A table for the conversion of climb
gradient (feet per nautical mile) to climb rate (feet per minute), at a given
ground speed, is included on the inside of the back cover of the U.S. Terminal
are DPs located? DPs will be listed by airport in the IFR Takeoff Minimums and
(Obstacle) Departure Procedures Section, Section L, of the Terminal Procedures
Publications (TPPs). If the DP is textual, it will be described in TPP Section L.
SIDs and complex ODPs will be published graphically and named. The name will
be listed by airport name and runway in Section L. Graphic ODPs will also have
the term “(OBSTACLE)” printed in the charted procedure title, differentiating
them from SIDs.
1. An ODP that has been developed solely for
obstacle avoidance will be indicated with the symbol
"T" on appropriate Instrument Approach Procedure
(IAP) charts and DP charts for that airport. The "T"
symbol will continue to refer users to TPP Section C.
In the case of a graphic ODP, the TPP Section C will
only contain the name of the ODP. Since there may be
both a textual and a graphic DP, Section C should still
be checked for additional information. The nonstandard takeoff minimums and minimum climb
gradients found in TPP Section C also apply to
charted DPs and radar vector departures unless different minimums are specified on the charted DP.
Takeoff minimums and departure procedures apply to
all runways unless otherwise specified. New graphic
DPs will have all the information printed on the
graphic depiction. As a general rule, ATC will only
assign an ODP from a nontowered airport when compliance with the ODP is necessary for aircraft to
aircraft separation. Pilots may use the ODP to help
ensure separation from terrain and obstacles.
1. Each pilot, prior to departing an
airport on an IFR flight should:
(a) Consider the type of terrain and
other obstacles on or in the vicinity of the departure airport;
(b) Determine whether an ODP is
(c) Determine if obstacle avoidance
can be maintained visually or if the ODP should be flown; and
(d) Consider the effect of degraded
climb performance and the actions to take in the event of an engine loss during
the departure. Pilots should notify ATC as soon as possible of reduced climb
capability in that circumstance.
Guidance concerning contingency procedures that address an engine failure on
takeoff after V1 speed on a large or turbine-powered transport
category airplane may be found in AC 120-91, Airport Obstacle Analysis.
2. Pilots should not exceed a
published speed restriction associated with a SID waypoint until passing that
3. After an aircraft is established on
an SID and subsequently vectored or cleared off of the SID or SID transition,
pilots must consider the SID canceled, unless the controller adds “expect to
resume SID;” pilots should then be prepared
to rejoin the SID at a subsequent fix or procedure leg. ATC may also
interrupt the vertical navigation of a SID and provide alternate altitude
instructions while the aircraft remains established on the published lateral
path. Aircraft may not be vectored off of an ODP or issued an altitude lower
than a published altitude on an ODP until at or above the MVA/MIA, at which time
the ODP is canceled.
4. Aircraft instructed to resume a
procedure such as a DP or SID which contains speed and/or altitude restrictions,
(a) Issued/reissued all applicable
(b) Advised to comply with
restrictions or resume published speed.
“Resume the Solar One departure, comply with restrictions.”
“Proceed direct CIROS, resume the Solar One departure, comply with
5. A clearance for a SID which
contains published altitude restrictions may be issued using the phraseology
“climb via.” Climb via is an abbreviated clearance that requires compliance with
the procedure lateral path, associated speed and altitude restrictions along the
cleared route or procedure. Clearance to “climb via” authorizes the pilot to:
(a) When used in the IFR departure
clearance, in a PDC, DCL or when cleared to a waypoint depicted on a SID,
to join the procedure after departure or to resume the procedure.
(b) When vertical navigation is
interrupted and an altitude is assigned to maintain which is not contained on
the published procedure, to climb from that previouslyassigned altitude at
pilot's discretion to the altitude depicted for the next waypoint.
(c) Once established on the depicted
departure, to navigate laterally and climb to meet all published or assigned
altitude and speed restrictions.
1. When otherwise cleared along a route or procedure that contains
published speed restrictions, the pilot must comply with those speed
restrictions independent of a climb via clearance.
anticipates pilots will begin adjusting speed the minimum distance necessary
prior to a published speed restriction so as to cross the waypoint/fix at the
published speed. Once at the published speed ATC expects pilots will maintain
the published speed until additional adjustment is required to comply with
further published or ATC assigned speed restrictions or as required to ensure
compliance with 14 CFR Section 91.117.
3. If ATC interrupts
lateral/vertical navigation while an aircraft is flying a SID, ATC must ensure
obstacle clearance. When issuing a “climb via” clearance to join or resume a
procedure ATC must ensure obstacle clearance until the aircraft is established
on the lateral and vertical path of the SID.
4. ATC will assign an altitude to
cross if no altitude is depicted at a waypoint/fix or when otherwise necessary/
required, for an aircraft on a direct route to a waypoint/fix where the SID will
be joined or resumed.
5. SIDs will have a “top
altitude;” the “top altitude” is the charted “maintain” altitude contained in
the procedure description or assigned by ATC.
FAAJO 7110.65, Para 562, Methods
PCG, Climb Via, Top Altitude
1. Lateral route clearance:
“Cleared Loop Six departure.”
The aircraft must comply with the SID lateral path, and any published
2. Routing with assigned altitude:
“Cleared Loop Six departure, climb and maintain four thousand.”
The aircraft must comply with the SID lateral path, and any published speed
restriction while climbing unrestricted to four thousand.
3. (A pilot filed a flight plan to
the Johnston Airport using the Scott One departure, Jonez transition, then
Q145. The pilot filed for FL350. The Scott One includes altitude restrictions,
a top altitude and instructions to expect the filed altitude ten minutes after
departure). Before departure ATC uses PDC, DCL or clearance delivery to issue
“Cleared to Johnston Airport, Scott One departure, Jonez transition,
QOneFortyfive. Climb via SID.”
In Example 3, the aircraft must comply with the Scott One departure lateral path
and any published speed and altitude restrictions while climbing to the SID top
4. (Using the Example 3 flight
plan, ATC determines the top altitude must be changed to FL180). The clearance
“Cleared to Johnston Airport, Scott One departure, Jonez transition,
QOne Fortyfive, Climb via SID except maintain flight level one eight zero.”
In Example 4, the aircraft must comply with the Scott One departure lateral path
and any published speed and altitude restrictions while climbing to FL180. The
aircraft must stop climb at FL180 until issued further clearance by ATC.
5. (An aircraft was issued the
Suzan Two departure, “climb via SID” in the IFR departure clearance. After
departure ATC must change a waypoint crossing restriction). The clearance will
“Climb via SID except cross Mkala at or above seven thousand.”
In Example 5, the aircraft will comply with the Suzan Two departure lateral path
and any published speed and altitude restrictions and climb so as to cross Mkala
at or above 7,000; remainder of the departure must be flown as published.
6. (An aircraft was issued the
Teddd One departure, “climb via SID” in the IFR departure clearance. An interim
altitude of 10,000 was issued instead of the published top altitude of FL 230).
After departure ATC is able to issue the published top altitude. The clearance
“Climb via SID.”
In Example 6, the aircraft will track laterally and vertically on the Teddd One
departure and initially climb to 10,000; Once reissued the “climb via”
clearance the interim altitude is canceled aircraft will continue climb to FL230
while complying with published restrictions.
7. (An aircraft was issued the
Bbear Two departure, “climb via SID” in the IFR departure clearance. An interim
altitude of 16,000 was issued instead of the published top altitude of FL 190).
After departure, ATC is able to issue a top altitude of FL300 and still requires
compliance with the published SID restrictions. The clearance will be:
“Climb via SID except maintain flight level three zero zero.”
In Example 7, the aircraft will track laterally and vertically on the Bbear Two
departure and initially climb to 16,000; Once reissued the “climb via”
clearance the interim altitude is canceled and the aircraft will continue climb
to FL300 while complying with published restrictions.
aircraft was issued the Bizee Two departure, “climb via SID.” After departure,
ATC vectors the aircraft off of the SID, and then issues a direct routing to
rejoin the SID at Rockr waypoint which does not have a published altitude
restriction. ATC wants the aircraft to cross at or above 10,000). The clearance
“Proceed direct Rockr, cross Rockr at or above onezero thousand, climb
via the Bizee Two departure.”
In Example 8, the aircraft will join the Bizee Two SID at Rockr at or above
10,000 and then comply with the published lateral path and any published speed
or altitude restrictions while climbing to the SID top altitude.
9. (An aircraft was issued the
Suzan Two departure, “climb via SID” in the IFR departure clearance. After
departure ATC vectors the aircraft off of the SID, and then clears the aircraft
to rejoin the SID at Dvine waypoint, which has a published crossing
restriction). The clearance will read:
“Proceed direct Dvine, Climb via the Suzan Two departure.”
In Example 9, the aircraft will join the Suzan Two departure at Dvine, at the
published altitude, and then comply with the published lateral path and any
published speed or altitude restrictions.
6. Pilots cleared for vertical
navigation using the phraseology “climb via” must inform ATC, upon initial
contact, of the altitude leaving and any assigned restrictions not published on
1. (Cactus 711 is cleared to climb via the Laura Two departure.
The Laura Two has a top altitude of FL190):
“Cactus Seven Eleven leaving two thousand, climbing via the Laura Two
2. (Cactus 711 is cleared to climb
via the Laura Two departure, but ATC changed the top altitude to16,000):
“Cactus Seven Eleven leaving two thousand for onesix thousand, climbing via the
Laura Two departure.”
7. If prior to or after takeoff an
altitude restriction is issued by ATC, all previously issued “ATC" altitude
restrictions are canceled including those published on a SID. Pilots must still
comply with all speed restrictions and lateral path requirements published on
the SID unless canceled by ATC.
Prior to takeoff or after departure ATC issues an altitude change
clearance to an aircraft cleared to climb via a SID but ATC no longer requires
compliance with published altitude restrictions:
“Climb and maintain flight level two four zero.”
The published SID altitude restrictions are canceled; The aircraft should comply
with the SID lateral path and begin an unrestricted climb to FL240. Compliance
with published speed restrictions is still required unless specifically deleted
8. Altitude restrictions published on
an ODP are necessary for obstacle clearance and/or design constraints.
Compliance with these restrictions is mandatory and CANNOT be lowered or
cancelled by ATC.
f. RNAV Departure Procedures
All public RNAV SIDs and graphic ODPs are
RNAV 1. These procedures generally start with an initial RNAV or heading leg
near the departure end of runway (DER). In addition, these procedures require
system performance currently met by GPS or DME/DME/IRU RNAV systems that satisfy
the criteria discussed in AC 90-100A, U.S. Terminal and En Route Area Navigation
(RNAV) Operations. RNAV 1 procedures must maintain a total system error of not
more than 1 NM for 95% of the total flight time.
AIM, Global Positioning System (GPS)
Paragraph 1-1-18l, Impact of magnetic Variation on RNAV Systems