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Bradley Grafelman
Posts: 306
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:26 pm
Location: Kansas City

To "Climb via" or not?

Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:50 am

Assuming they've got all parties pacified this time and don't pull out at the last minute, the FAA will be implementing the "climb via" phraseology (originally introduced in JO 7110.584) next week on April 3. This page (last updated Feb. 28, 2014) from the NBAA (National Business Aviation Associated), explains a bit about it, and the FAA also produced a video: FAA TV: Climb Via. (The video actually takes a moment to discuss RNAV SIDs in general starting at about 4:20 - fun brush-up for new controllers and/or pilots.)

Quick comparison given in the video...
  • Current: "... cleared direct THUMM, resume the PRYME TWO departure, climb and maintain 10,000, comply with restrictions."
  • New: "... cleared direct THUMM, climb via the PRYME TWO departure."
And a quick summary/highlight of the phraseology itself:
  1. Applies to any SID (not just RNAV SIDs) containing crossing restrictions with altitudes or speeds. (Just like "descend via", this excludes any "expect" notations.)
  2. Instructs the pilot to "navigate laterally and vertically to properly join the SID profile."
  3. Can be issued during clearance delivery (i.e. we can easily streamline a reminder to pilots why we're not giving them an initial altitude in L30).
  4. Speaking of L30, note we as Center working L30 could still clear people all the way up to cruise (during clearance delivery or radar contact after takeoff) but still deconflict departure/arrival streams by amending the "Top Altitude." Example: "Climb via the BOACH5 departure, except maintain FL280."
  5. A "climb via" clearance cancels all previously issued speed and altitude restrictions and replaces them with those depicted on the SID.

So, since this is the "Ask ZLA" forum, I suppose I must end with a question. And here it is (actually, a couple of them): Will the training materials be updated and students subsequently trained on this new phraseology; similarly, do we expect to have any operational need/desire to use this phraseology in our specific airspace?

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Kyle Schoen
FAB Member
Posts: 948
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:25 pm

Re: To "Climb via" or not?

Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:44 pm

Hi, Brad.

First of all, thank you for the summary. I'll admit I am not yet 100% informed on all aspects of the changes; I'll be looking into the specifics in the next few days.

But, as of now, I see no reason why we should not simulate the new change. "Comply with restrictions" has been doing something similar for quite sometime.

As for the latter part of your question, I imagine an unrestricted climb would still be preferable when possible. I can picture "climb via" being useful in airspace such as L30, where departures and arrivals often mix laterally. I'm sure there are other situations where climb via would be useful as well.

Good topic. I am sure others have different angles on this.


Keith Smith
Posts: 3572
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2004 12:46 pm
Location: NJ

Re: To "Climb via" or not?

Thu May 08, 2014 1:29 pm


That's a good summary. One small note, you said climb via "can be issued by clearance delivery," when in fact, it _must_ be issued by clearance delivery if the SID has altitude restrictions.

If no top altitude is published, then the mandatory phraseology is "climb via SID, except maintain [initial altitude]."
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