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Evan Reiter

  • Training Administrator
  • 6265
Changes to "Climb via SID"
« on: May 07, 2017, 10:56:30 pm »
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.


Evan Reiter
Training Administrator

Re: Changes to "Climb via SID"
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2017, 03:10:05 pm »
FYI found this webpage of interest...

https://www.nbaa.org/ops/cns/pbn/climb-via/

Has info, news, briefings, cheat sheets, links to other resources including FAA VIDEO concerning 'climb via SID' which might be of interest.

Interestingly NavCanada has temporarily suspended using CVS due to "altitude deviations and the resulting unforeseen workload increase" after instituting it in April.

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Evan Reiter

  • Training Administrator
  • 6265
Re: Changes to "Climb via SID"
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2017, 11:09:12 am »
Interestingly NavCanada has temporarily suspended using CVS due to "altitude deviations and the resulting unforeseen workload increase" after instituting it in April.

The NAV CANADA implementation of "climb via" and "descend via" -- at least where I was -- was a mess. 2 out of the 5 airports I fly to daily were using "climb via", and the others weren't. In one case (Abbotsford), the Tower would use it, but the FSS that provides after-hours service wouldn't.

Meanwhile, they also decided that (in Canada), "descend via" wouldn't include speeds (i.e., a previously-assigned speed restriction still applies) whereas in the U.S., "descend via" cancels the assigned speed and returns you to what's published. The inconsistency there likely created a lot of the confusion that led to the suspension.


Evan Reiter
Training Administrator

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Camden Bruno

  • 3570
  • If God meant man to fly, we'd all have more money.
Re: Changes to "Climb via SID"
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2017, 03:42:37 pm »
Interestingly NavCanada has temporarily suspended using CVS due to "altitude deviations and the resulting unforeseen workload increase" after instituting it in April.

The NAV CANADA implementation of "climb via" and "descend via" -- at least where I was -- was a mess. 2 out of the 5 airports I fly to daily were using "climb via", and the others weren't. In one case (Abbotsford), the Tower would use it, but the FSS that provides after-hours service wouldn't.

Meanwhile, they also decided that (in Canada), "descend via" wouldn't include speeds (i.e., a previously-assigned speed restriction still applies) whereas in the U.S., "descend via" cancels the assigned speed and returns you to what's published. The inconsistency there likely created a lot of the confusion that led to the suspension.

Hm...more examples against privatization...
Camden Bruno (BN) – 1253785
Air Traffic Manager Emeritus

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Krikor Hajian

  • Deputy Air Traffic Manager
  • 1009
Re: Changes to "Climb via SID"
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2017, 03:57:58 pm »
From everything I've heard, both from people involved and from listening to LiveATC, "Climb via/descend via" was executed horribly in Canada. Pilots and controllers had no clue what was going on, it seems to be poorly broadcast, and phraseology was even more of a confusing mess once Nav Canada tried to implement it. The FAA's rules, even with this new change, are fairly straightforward IMO, and from a pilot's perspective it's very clear on what restrictions the pilot does or doesn't need to comply with.


Krikor Hajian (HI)
Deputy Air Traffic Manager | Instructor
[email protected]
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