Climb via SID - new guidlines from FAA

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Climb via SID - new guidlines from FAA

Postby Wayne Pierce » 06-26-2017 12:42 AM

All Pilots take heed and do the deed;
The FAA recently amended its guidance on the use of the phrase "climb via SID". On both the network as well as in real life, pilots can expect air traffic control to issue "climb via SID" on SIDs that:
Are pilot navigation
Include published crossing restrictions
In the event that a SID top altitude needs to be amended, or there is no top altitude, then ATC will use the phrase "climb via SID except", and then issue the top altitude.

When the phrase "climb via SID" is used, pilots should initially climb to the SID top altitude, complying with any altitude restrictions. The top altitude will be published on the chart. If the pilot is vectored off of the departure, ATC will clarify the new altitude to maintain. The phrase "climb and maintain" will automatically remove any charted SID restrictions and at that point the pilot may climb unrestricted to the new altitude.

Example: ATC will issue "climb via SID" for RNAV departures from KBOS. Cleared to the Kennedy Airport via the SSOXS4 departure, then as filed. Climb via SID. Squawk 1301.

For any SID that is vectored, has a radar vectored segment before a pilot nav component (even if the pilot nav portion includes crossing restrictions), or is entirely pilot navigation but does not include published crossing restrictions, ATC will use the word "maintain" and state initial altitude to maintain. If the information about when to expect higher is the same as on the SID, then ATC will not re-state it.

Example: ATC will not issue "climb via SID" for any other SID within ZBW airspace, as all of the other SIDs in our airspace are either vectored SIDs, or SIDs that do not include published crossing restrictions. Cleared to the Kennedy Airport via the PWM4 departure, radar vectors ENE, then as filed. Maintain 3,000. Squawk 2001.

When there is no SID, ATC will use the phrase "climb and maintain", and, if the altitude issued is below your filed cruise altitude, will advise when the cruise altitude may be expected.

Example: Cleared to the Kennedy Airport as filed. Climb and maintain 5,000. Expect FL200 10 minutes after departure. Departure on this frequency. Squawk 4701.

The top altitude that pilots are initially cleared to is extremely important. Pilots should understand that leveling off at the top altitude, unless otherwise cleared, is a requirement. ATC predicates traffic separation on the expectation that pilots are aware of, and will level off at, the assigned top altitude until a new clearance is received.

As always, if there are any questions about what altitude you should be climbing to, please clarify with the appropriate controller.
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Wayne Pierce
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