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Pilots, controllers to use new SID phraseology

The FAA has delayed its rollout of modified clearances for route transitions, standard instrument departures (SIDs), and RNAV SIDs with speed and altitude restrictions, citing concerns about coordinating briefing material.

However, when the FAA rolls out the changes in the future, air traffic controllers will use the phraseology “climb via” when clearing flights via procedures with published restrictions. As with existing “descend via” arrival clearances, a clearance to climb via a procedure “authorizes the pilot to navigate laterally and vertically on a SID or STAR. The pilot must meet all published speed and altitude restrictions. The climb or descent may be made at pilot’s discretion,” says the notam.

Pilots should respond by reading back the “climb via” clearance verbatim, and should notify the next controller, on initial contact after a frequency change, of present altitude, the altitude climbing to, the procedure climbing via, and any assigned runway transition.

The phrase “climb via” was to be added to the Pilot/Controller Glossary. Concurrently, the FAA also modified phraseologies for speed adjustments in an accompanying notam.

The FAA emphasized that “pilot use of the complete, correct phraseology is imperative. Phrases such as ‘on the' or 'descending on' a procedure are not acceptable” and could create additional workload for ATC when verifying instructions issued by a prior controller.

An approximately 18-minute video is available to help familiarize pilots with the new “verbal shorthand,” as it describes the “climb via” phrase. The video provides an overview of the growing use and importance of RNAV SIDs, and presents several scenarios demonstrating the role of the “climb via” phrase by controllers and pilots.

Dan Namowitz
Dan Namowitz
Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is a 35-year AOPA member.
Topics: Advocacy, Navigation, ATC

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