The FAA is making “significant changes,” effective August 15, that will affect pilots flying instrument departures and arrivals, according to NBAA. Pilots unfamiliar with the new “climb via” changes could be faced with separation losses, pilot deviations and potentially tense moments in the cockpit, NBAA warns.
The new “climb via” instruction for standard instrument departures (SIDs) mirrors the similar “descend via” instruction already being issued for standard terminal arrival route (STAR) procedures. Under the new clearances, pilots need to pay close attention to intermediate-altitude and speed restrictions, notes NBAA Access Committee member Rich Boll.
“Many SID procedures also have published, intermediate-altitude restrictions, including ‘at,’ ‘at or below’ or ‘at or above’ restrictions, which must be followed for ATC separation purposes,” he said. “When issued a ‘climb via’ clearance, pilots will be expected to abide by all restrictions listed on the procedure when vertically navigating the SID and climbing to the initial ‘maintain altitude’ published on the SID.” Failure to comply with the charted SID procedure could result in a pilot deviation.
Along with charted altitude restrictions, pilots will also be required to comply with published speed restrictions on instrument flight procedures, though controllers can still issue speed adjustments. But once the adjustment is no longer required, ATC may advise aircraft to “resume published speed,” with no additional guidance provided.