Airline Pilot Forums

Airline Pilot Forums was designed to be a community where working airline pilots can share ideas and information about the aviation field. In the forum you will find information about major and regional airline carriers, career training, interview and job seeker help, finance, and living the airline pilot lifestyle.




LoneStarM1A
07-06-2017, 06:48 AM
Hi,

Recently at a class B US airport departure clearances are being given with no altitude assignment at all. No "climb and maintain". No "climb via SID". No "top altitude". Just "cleared to XXX via XXXXX1 departure, departure freq 12X.XX, Squawk XXXX, expect runway XX". We are just expected to climb via SID without being told so.

Every other airport in the US I fly to still gives one of those altitude options, at least "climb via SID", even when assigned an RNAV SID.

ICAO standard is to include an altitude assignment of some kind in the departure clearance IIRC, but I haven't flown outside the US in some time, and it doesn't seem to be normal in the US. Have I missed something? Sadly my company doesn't really keep us up to date on all the latest ATC changes like most larger airlines do.

Thanks.


PerfInit
07-06-2017, 07:22 AM
Did you query ATC on the initial altitude? What did they say? FAA JO 7110.65 contains the ATC clearance contents (policy, content and phraseology) for ATC personnel.

Each company (and/or union) normally has an ATC Rep. Have you contacted anyone? I would recommend filing an internal company safety report, ASAP if needed, and work it through the union. Also, your company could reach out to the POI, who would then coordinate with the Regional All Weather Ops/NextGen Branch Office (XXX-220) . The -220 folks have direct communication with ATC facilities within their Region of Responsibility. Hope this helps!

LoneStarM1A
07-06-2017, 07:25 AM
Did you query ATC on the initial altitude? What did they say? FAA JO 7110.65 contains the ATC clearance contents (policy, content and phraseology) for ATC personnel.

Each company (and/or union) normally has an ATC Rep. Have you contacted anyone? I would recommend filing an internal company safety report, ASAP if needed, and work it through the union. Also, your company could reach out to the POI, who would then coordinate with the Regional All Weather Ops/NextGen Branch Office (XXX-220) . The -220 folks have direct communication with ATC facilities within their Region of Responsibility. Hope this helps!

The first time they did it, my F/O asked them something to the effect of "should we climb via SID?" to which the controller responded "We're not supposed to say that anymore". I haven't asked again lately but have been checking on with departure saying "leaving XXXX climbing XXXX" instead of the usual "climbing via XXXX1 departure", since there are no published crossing restrictions on these departures anyway, just a top altitude. Thanks for the suggestions on getting an answer.


Adlerdriver
07-06-2017, 07:34 AM
I didn't do an exhaustive search, but after sampling a few major airports I've operated out of recently, most US locations seem to publish an initial climb altitude on their SIDS. That's not good enough for you?

Guangzhou China and SEA don't, so they give you an initial climb altitude in your ATC clearance. Frankfurt, Paris, Ohare, EWR all publish altitudes on their SIDS. Absent anything else, I'd climb to the published altitude and expect higher with departure. I think you're making a problem where there isn't one.

jkilat5859
07-06-2017, 10:23 AM
I didn't do an exhaustive search, but after sampling a few major airports I've operated out of recently, most US locations seem to publish an initial climb altitude on their SIDS. That's not good enough for you?

Guangzhou China and SEA don't, so they give you an initial climb altitude in your ATC clearance. Frankfurt, Paris, Ohare, EWR all publish altitudes on their SIDS. Absent anything else, I'd climb to the published altitude and expect higher with departure. I think you're making a problem where there isn't one.

I would agree to the last sentence. There is an altitude already that need not be repeated. Departure is not going to keep you at the lower altitude and will almost always give you 10 or 11 thousand right away. So, do not create a problem where there is none!

LoneStarM1A
07-06-2017, 04:36 PM
Ok, fair enough, but they've issued clearances to include "climb via SID" for years and when one day they all of a sudden start omitting it (no revision to the SID chart), it makes one wonder if they've missed something important that could alter what they should be doing operationally. If the consensus is that it's nothing to be concerned about, I'll carry on.

atpcliff
07-06-2017, 09:13 PM
I was just overseas, I think ICN. ATC said climb 310. I thought, no way that is the initial altitude. We called back, asking for the initial altitude. They said "climb via the SID to 6000." There was NO Top Altitude on this SID. I'm glad we asked for clarification.

JamesNoBrakes
07-06-2017, 09:54 PM
The first time they did it, my F/O asked them something to the effect of "should we climb via SID?" to which the controller responded "We're not supposed to say that anymore". I haven't asked again lately but have been checking on with departure saying "leaving XXXX climbing XXXX" instead of the usual "climbing via XXXX1 departure", since there are no published crossing restrictions on these departures anyway, just a top altitude. Thanks for the suggestions on getting an answer.

If it's in the current JO, they are supposed to say it. It never hurts to ask, and if they ever get ****y, remember they work for you. If you want to hear it, ask.

galaxy flyer
07-07-2017, 07:12 AM
You should get a clearance in Russia like, "cleared to destination, squawk 1234." Nothing more! Why? Well, in the old days, the navigator went to ops the day before or earlier, filed the route and it was approved by ATC and the political officer--done. Since the filing contained everything needed except the squawk, which was probably a secret until immediately before departure, no need for any route or altitude.

GF

LoneStarM1A
10-06-2017, 12:02 AM
This is CVG if anyone cares. They're still not issuing any sort of altitude, at least in their verbal clearances. I would be interested to know if they're including something in their ACARS PDC's, but I am not typically in an aircraft so equipped.

Twin Wasp
10-06-2017, 07:34 AM
All the CVG SIDs I looked at give a Top Altitude. The only restrictions below that altitude is to fly runway heading for the first 500 feet of climb on some departures. I think you'd get a "climb via" if there was an intermediate crossing restriction.

BeechPilot33
10-06-2017, 08:01 AM
This is CVG if anyone cares. They're still not issuing any sort of altitude, at least in their verbal clearances. I would be interested to know if they're including something in their ACARS PDC's, but I am not typically in an aircraft so equipped.

In the PDC it will say cleared KENLN 4 except maintain xxxx. Otherwise fly the top altitude in the SID eg. JETS 6000 PROPS 4000. If unsure of initial ALT always ask for clarification with tower before TO.

EMAW
10-08-2017, 04:27 PM
Sounds like some ASRS/NASA reports need to be filled out. As far as I know, climb via SID is still the correct terminology, are we supposed to use ESP to determine what altitudes to fly? There are a lot of places I fly that the top altitude is never what's on the chart.

atpcliff
10-08-2017, 07:50 PM
Going into ANC, we usually get a "Descend via the SID". BUT...there are NO ALTITUDES on the SID. This clearance is wrong. Every altitude on the SID is at or above.
They should tell us "Descend via the SID to 4000 feet", or whatever. As described above, there is no bottom altitude.

Interestingly enough, the Honeywell box and the ATC agree with each other, and the box flies the descent the way ATC is expecting...

dera
10-08-2017, 08:34 PM
Going into ANC, we usually get a "Descend via the SID". BUT...there are NO ALTITUDES on the SID. This clearance is wrong. Every altitude on the SID is at or above.
They should tell us "Descend via the SID to 4000 feet", or whatever. As described above, there is no bottom altitude.

Interestingly enough, the Honeywell box and the ATC agree with each other, and the box flies the descent the way ATC is expecting...

Descend via the departure? :confused:

navigatro
10-11-2017, 04:11 PM
Going into ANC, we usually get a "Descend via the SID". BUT...there are NO ALTITUDES on the SID. This clearance is wrong. Every altitude on the SID is at or above.
They should tell us "Descend via the SID to 4000 feet", or whatever. As described above, there is no bottom altitude.

Interestingly enough, the Honeywell box and the ATC agree with each other, and the box flies the descent the way ATC is expecting...

You are a captain, and you don't know the difference between a SID and a STAR???

And if you are referring to a STAR, the "bottom altitude" is the lowest published altitude on the STAR, which you should know.

sailingfun
10-12-2017, 05:41 PM
This is CVG if anyone cares. They're still not issuing any sort of altitude, at least in their verbal clearances. I would be interested to know if they're including something in their ACARS PDC's, but I am not typically in an aircraft so equipped.

There are no climb via sids in CVG. They are standard sids with a published top altitude on the Sid. Climb via sids have intermediate restrictions. Nothing has changed. It's been this way forever.

LoneStarM1A
10-13-2017, 04:13 AM
I'm not saying they were climb via sids. I'm simply asking if there is supposed to be any mention of altitude in the clearance, whether that be top altitude, maintain xxxx, or whatever. I'm not trying to complain, I do not know the answer. I haven't operated out of there forever, but they certainly used to say maintain 6000. If the answer is no why not just say so instead of getting into a bunch of condescending bull****. You know what, **** it, I don't even care anymore. Just delete this ****i g thread please.

atpcliff
10-13-2017, 09:37 PM
You are a captain, and you don't know the difference between a SID and a STAR???

And if you are referring to a STAR, the "bottom altitude" is the lowest published altitude on the STAR, which you should know.

Yeah...I meant STAR.

The ANC STAR in question does not have a bottom altitude, because it is an "at or above" altitude, so, technically, you could maintain your cruise altitude all the way to the end of the STAR, and you would have complied with the "Descend Via" instruction, which is why it is technically invalid.

WhipWhitaker
10-13-2017, 10:17 PM
Yeah...I meant STAR.

The ANC STAR in question does not have a bottom altitude, because it is an "at or above" altitude, so, technically, you could maintain your cruise altitude all the way to the end of the STAR, and you would have complied with the "Descend Via" instruction, which is why it is technically invalid.

What ANC STAR are you talking about?

atpcliff
10-13-2017, 11:00 PM
Neel... We usually fly this to 7R...

WhipWhitaker
10-13-2017, 11:40 PM
Neel... We usually fly this to 7R...

Ya I think we work at the same place 😐. FYI "at or above" is considered a restriction for a STAR, "descend via the NEEL5" is a valid clearance down to 2,000 (the bottom you were looking for) unless otherwise specified. Ref FAA JO7110.65W 4-5-7

HercDriver130
10-16-2017, 03:44 AM
Ya I think we work at the same place 😐. FYI "at or above" is considered a restriction for a STAR, "descend via the NEEL5" is a valid clearance down to 2,000 (the bottom you were looking for) unless otherwise specified. Ref FAA JO7110.65W 4-5-7

^^^^^^^. THIS.... Cliff... you are incorrect

sourdough44
10-17-2017, 01:52 PM
The other day we were given an initial altitude of 5k. After checking in with dept he just said 'climb via sid'. I didn't think it would of be to much for him to add, 'to 230'(the top altitude).

We asked & he then said the 230'. Just saying, when in doubt I ask.