FAA introduces new clearance terminology

March 26, 2014

New IFR communication for instrument procedures.The FAA is notifying pilots of new and modified phraseology to be used by controllers and pilots for standard terminal arrivals (STARs) and standard instrument departures (SIDs) starting April 3, including a requirement for pilots to read back the specified clearances verbatim.

In an Information for Operators (InFo) message posted on its website, the FAA introduced the abbreviated-clearance phrase “climb via” for departure procedures and operations. The new phraseology is "consistent with existing 'descend via' phraseology and procedures in FAA Order 7110.65U," it said.

The phrase "climb via" is "an abbreviated ATC clearance that requires compliance with the procedure lateral path, associated speed restrictions, and altitude restrictions along the cleared route or procedure." Both terms have been added to the Pilot/Controller Glossary, effective April 3, along with related phraseology concerning speed adjustments.

Pilots should respond to the clearances "by repeating the clearance verbatim." Other responses "are not acceptable and can create miscommunication and additional workload with unnecessary controller queries," the FAA said.

AOPA recommends that pilots become familiar with the terms and procedures before the effective date by reviewing the FAA’s InFo message, which gives examples of clearances and responses, and by familiarizing themselves with additional guidance provided in this video