More ATC Procedural Changes on the Near Horizon

 - June 25, 2012, 4:00 PM

The NBAA says pilots flying Standard Instrument Departures (SIDs) after August 15 will need to be alert for a new interpretation of a well-known phrase, “climb via.” The procedural changes will be similar to those now taking affect for Standard Terminal Arrival Routes (STARs) using the term “descend via.”

The new procedures mean pilots will be expected to comply with a host of crossing restrictions such as intermediate altitude restrictions including “at,” “at or below,” or “at or above” that previously were not always a concern because of the method ATC used to issue altitude changes during SIDs.

“Currently, ATC is not required to provide an assigned altitude to maintain with the initial IFR clearance when that altitude is published on the SID chart,” said Rich Boll, NBAA Access Committee member. “That ‘maintain’ altitude may be the only one the pilot sees when looking at the SID.”

NBAA’s Access Committee is widely disseminating the new “climb via,” information to help avert potential altitude busts and subsequent pilot deviation actions when other procedural updates were implemented but perhaps not completely understood by pilots.