The ATC phrases “climb via” and “descend via” were officially added to the pilot/controller glossary on April 3, indicating the FAA now expects pilots to understand and comply with the new abbreviated IFR clearances. Pilots can expect to hear these instructions when operating on standard instrument departures (SIDs) and standard terminal arrival routes (Stars) when ATC changes a procedure’s altitude restriction for some reason.
Pilots must still comply with the published speed restrictions despite a controller’s use of “climb or descend via” instructions. A few other key concerns when these new ATC instructions are used include the need for pilots to repeat the entire “climb or descend via” phraseology to the controller after the clearance is issued. When checking in on a new ATC frequency, pilots must inform controllers of their current altitude and mention they are “climbing via” or “descending via” a specifically named procedure. Pilots should advise ATC of altitude or speed restrictions issued by previous controllers if these are not contained in the procedure.