NavCanada Suspends ‘Climb/Descend Via’ Clearances

NavCanada Suspends ‘Climb/Descend Via’ Clearances

This post will cover an update to NavCanada’s phraseology change regarding standard instrument departures (SIDs) and standard terminal arrivals (STARs). This change was previously adopted on April 27, 2017 
 
NavCanada implemented International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phraseology on April 27, 2017 to “explicitly indicate to flight crews if they should abide by speed and altitude restrictions associated with a given procedure” on SIDs and STARs.
NavCanada implemented International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phraseology on April 27, 2017 to “explicitly indicate to flight crews if they should abide by speed and altitude restrictions associated with a given procedure” on SIDs and STARs.
 
The term changes “climb via” and “descend via” were meant to prevent misinterpretations of altitude clearances and restrictions by flight crews. Per NBAA, although these terms are identical to phrases used in the US, there are differences in their application.
 
Due to concern over altitude deviations and a large unforeseen workload increase because of the phraseology changes, NavCanada has suspended use of ICAO’s “climb via SID” and “descend via Star” phraseology. 
 
ICAO will continue to communicate with airlines, aircraft operators and their staff as they move to revert to the phraseology rules that were in place prior to this change. That clearance phraseology includes both lateral path as well as vertical constraints. Now that the agency has reverted to the phraseology guidelines in place prior to this switch, these rules are expected to remain in place until October 12, 2017.
ICAO’s previous adoption of the new phraseology marked international acceptance of “climb/descend via” clearances that the FAA implemented in 2014. The move to complement ATC phraseology did not change key differences in ICAO-member specific procedures. 
 
When an FAA controller issues a “descend via” clearance, it tacitly cancels any ATC-assigned speed restrictions, said NBAA's ATC, Airspace and Flight Technologies Working Group chairman Rich Boll. When NavCanada issues a “descend via” clearance, the controller expects pilots to continue to comply with any ATC-assigned speed, rather than the speed(s) published on the chart, he said.
 
ICAO allows controllers to issue unrestricted “climb” and “descend” clearances that cancel speed and altitude limits published on the SID and STAR charts. Some ICAO member states have implemented its “climb via” and “descend via” procedures, including Brazil, said Boll. 

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