Section 2. Departure Procedures

5-2-1. Pre-taxi Clearance Procedures

a. Certain airports have established pre-taxi clearance programs whereby pilots of departing instrument flight rules (IFR) aircraft may elect to receive their IFR clearances before they start taxiing for takeoff. The following provisions are included in such procedures:

1. Pilot participation is not mandatory.

2. Participating pilots call clearance delivery or ground control not more than 10 minutes before proposed taxi time.

3. IFR clearance (or delay information, if clearance cannot be obtained) is issued at the time of this initial call-up.

4. When the IFR clearance is received on clearance delivery frequency, pilots call ground control when ready to taxi.

5. Normally, pilots need not inform ground control that they have received IFR clearance on clearance delivery frequency. Certain locations may, however, require that the pilot inform ground control of a portion of the routing or that the IFR clearance has been received.

6. If a pilot cannot establish contact on clearance delivery frequency or has not received an IFR clearance before ready to taxi, the pilot should contact ground control and inform the controller accordingly.

b. Locations where these procedures are in effect are indicated in the Airport/Facility Directory.

5-2-2. Taxi Clearance

Pilots on IFR flight plans should communicate with the control tower on the appropriate ground control or clearance delivery frequency, prior to starting engines, to receive engine start time, taxi and/or clearance information.

5-2-3. Abbreviated IFR Departure Clearance (Cleared. . .as Filed) Procedures

a. ATC facilities will issue an abbreviated IFR departure clearance based on the ROUTE of flight filed in the IFR flight plan, provided the filed route can be approved with little or no revision. These abbreviated clearance procedures are based on the following conditions:

1. The aircraft is on the ground or it has departed visual flight rules (VFR) and the pilot is requesting IFR clearance while airborne.

2. That a pilot will not accept an abbreviated clearance if the route or destination of a flight plan filed with ATC has been changed by the pilot or the company or the operations officer before departure.

3. That it is the responsibility of the company or operations office to inform the pilot when they make a change to the filed flight plan.

4. That it is the responsibility of the pilot to inform ATC in the initial call-up (for clearance) when the filed flight plan has been either:

(a) Amended, or

(b) Canceled and replaced with a new filed flight plan.

The facility issuing a clearance may not have received the revised route or the revised flight plan by the time a pilot requests clearance.

b. Controllers will issue a detailed clearance when they know that the original filed flight plan has been changed or when the pilot requests a full route clearance.

c. The clearance as issued will include the destination airport filed in the flight plan.

d. ATC procedures now require the controller to state the DP name, the current number and the DP transition name after the phrase "Cleared to (destination) airport" and prior to the phrase, "then as filed," for ALL departure clearances when the DP or DP transition is to be flown. The procedures apply whether or not the DP is filed in the flight plan.

e. STAR's, when filed in a flight plan, are considered a part of the filed route of flight and will not normally be stated in an initial departure clearance. If the ARTCC's jurisdictional airspace includes both the departure airport and the fix where a STAR or STAR transition begins, the STAR name, the current number and the STAR transition name MAY be stated in the initial clearance.

f. "Cleared to (destination) airport as filed" does NOT include the en route altitude filed in a flight plan. An en route altitude will be stated in the clearance or the pilot will be advised to expect an assigned or filed altitude within a given time frame or at a certain point after departure. This may be done verbally in the departure instructions or stated in the DP.

g. In both radar and nonradar environments, the controller will state "Cleared to (destination) airport as filed" or:

1. If a DP or DP transition is to be flown, specify the DP name, the current DP number, the DP transition name, the assigned altitude/flight level, and any additional instructions (departure control frequency, beacon code assignment, etc.) necessary to clear a departing aircraft via the DP or DP transition and the route filed.

National Seven Twenty cleared to Miami Airport Intercontinental one departure, Lake Charles transition then as filed, maintain Flight Level two seven zero.

2. When there is no DP or when the pilot cannot accept a DP, the controller will specify the assigned altitude or flight level, and any additional instructions necessary to clear a departing aircraft via an appropriate departure routing and the route filed.

A detailed departure route description or a radar vector may be used to achieve the desired departure routing.

3. If it is necessary to make a minor revision to the filed route, the controller will specify the assigned DP or DP transition (or departure routing), the revision to the filed route, the assigned altitude or flight level and any additional instructions necessary to clear a departing aircraft.

Jet Star One Four Two Four cleared to Atlanta Airport, South Boston two departure then as filed except change route to read South Boston Victor 20 Greensboro, maintain one seven thousand.

4. Additionally, in a nonradar environment, the controller will specify one or more fixes, as necessary, to identify the initial route of flight.

Cessna Three One Six Zero Foxtrot cleared to Charlotte Airport as filed via Brooke, maintain seven thousand.

h. To ensure success of the program, pilots should:

1. Avoid making changes to a filed flight plan just prior to departure.

2. State the following information in the initial call-up to the facility when no change has been made to the filed flight plan: Aircraft call sign, location, type operation (IFR) and the name of the airport (or fix) to which you expect clearance.

"Washington clearance delivery (or ground control if appropriate) American Seventy Six at gate one, IFR Los Angeles."

3. If the flight plan has been changed, state the change and request a full route clearance.

"Washington clearance delivery, American Seventy Six at gate one. IFR San Francisco. My flight plan route has been amended (or destination changed). Request full route clearance."

4. Request verification or clarification from ATC if ANY portion of the clearance is not clearly understood.

5. When requesting clearance for the IFR portion of a VFR/IFR flight, request such clearance prior to the fix where IFR operation is proposed to commence in sufficient time to avoid delay. Use the following phraseology:

"Los Angeles center, Apache Six One Papa, VFR estimating Paso Robles VOR at three two, one thousand five hundred, request IFR to Bakersfield."

5-2-4. Departure Restrictions, Clearance Void Times, Hold for Release, and Release Times

a. ATC may assign departure restrictions, clearance void times, hold for release, and release times, when necessary, to separate departures from other traffic or to restrict or regulate the departure flow.

1. CLEARANCE VOID TIMES. A pilot may receive a clearance, when operating from an airport without a control tower, which contains a provision for the clearance to be void if not airborne by a specific time. A pilot who does not depart prior to the clearance void time must advise ATC as soon as possible of their intentions. ATC will normally advise the pilot of the time allotted to notify ATC that the aircraft did not depart prior to the clearance void time. This time cannot exceed 30 minutes. Failure of an aircraft to contact ATC within 30 minutes after the clearance void time will result in the aircraft being considered overdue and search and rescue procedures initiated.

1. Other IFR traffic for the airport where the clearance is issued is suspended until the aircraft has contacted ATC or until 30 minutes after the clearance void time or 30 minutes after the clearance release time if no clearance void time is issued.

2. Pilots who depart at or after their clearance void time are not afforded IFR separation and may be in violation of 14 CFR Section 91.173 which requires that pilots receive an appropriate ATC clearance before operating IFR in controlled airspace.

Clearance void if not off by (clearance void time) and, if required, if not off by (clearance void time) advise (facility) not later than (time) of intentions.

2. HOLD FOR RELEASE. ATC may issue "hold for release" instructions in a clearance to delay an aircraft's departure for traffic management reasons (i.e., weather, traffic volume, etc.). When ATC states in the clearance, "hold for release," the pilot may not depart utilizing that IFR clearance until a release time or additional instructions are issued by ATC. In addition, ATC will include departure delay information in conjunction with "hold for release" instructions. The ATC instruction, "hold for release," applies to the IFR clearance and does not prevent the pilot from departing under VFR. However, prior to takeoff the pilot should cancel the IFR flight plan and operate the transponder on the appropriate VFR code. An IFR clearance may not be available after departure.

(Aircraft identification) cleared to (destination) airport as filed, maintain (altitude), and, if required (additional instructions or information), hold for release, expect (time in hours and/or minutes) departure delay.

3. RELEASE TIMES. A "release time" is a departure restriction issued to a pilot by ATC, specifying the earliest time an aircraft may depart. ATC will use "release times" in conjunction with traffic management procedures and/or to separate a departing aircraft from other traffic.

(Aircraft identification) released for departure at (time in hours and/or minutes).

b. If practical, pilots departing uncontrolled airports should obtain IFR clearances prior to becoming airborne when two-way communications with the controlling ATC facility is available.

5-2-5. Departure Control

a. Departure Control is an approach control function responsible for ensuring separation between departures. So as to expedite the handling of departures, Departure Control may suggest a take off direction other than that which may normally have been used under VFR handling. Many times it is preferred to offer the pilot a runway that will require the fewest turns after take off to place the pilot on course or selected departure route as quickly as possible. At many locations particular attention is paid to the use of preferential runways for local noise abatement programs, and route departures away from congested areas.

b. Departure Control utilizing radar will normally clear aircraft out of the terminal area using DP's via radio navigation aids. When a departure is to be vectored immediately following take off, the pilot will be advised prior to take off of the initial heading to be flown but may not be advised of the purpose of the heading. Pilots operating in a radar environment are expected to associate departure headings with vectors to their planned route or flight. When given a vector taking the aircraft off a previously assigned nonradar route, the pilot will be advised briefly what the vector is to achieve. Thereafter, radar service will be provided until the aircraft has been reestablished "on-course" using an appropriate navigation aid and the pilot has been advised of the aircraft's position or a handoff is made to another radar controller with further surveillance capabilities.

c. Controllers will inform pilots of the departure control frequencies and, if appropriate, the transponder code before takeoff. Pilots should not operate their transponder until ready to start the takeoff roll or change to the departure control frequency until requested. Controllers may omit the departure control frequency if a DP has or will be assigned and the departure control frequency is published on the DP.

5-2-6. Instrument Departures

The FAA has combined the former standard instrument departures (SID's) and textual IFR departure procedures into a single entity called an instrument departure procedure (DP). DP's will be published in either text form, like the former IFR departure procedures, or in charted graphic form like the former SID's. Regardless of the format, all DP's provide the pilot with a way to depart the airport and transition to the en route structure safely. All DP's provide obstacle clearance and any DP may be filed for and flown. Pilots operating under 14 CFR Part 91 are strongly encouraged to file and fly a DP at night, during marginal Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) and Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC), when one is available. The following paragraphs will provide an overview of the DP program, why DP's are developed, what criteria are used, where to find them, how they are to be flown, and finally pilot and ATC responsibilities.

a. Why are DP's necessary? The primary reason is to provide obstacle clearance protection to aircraft in IMC. A secondary reason, at busier airports, is to increase efficiency and reduce communications and departure delays. When an instrument approach is initially developed for an airport, the procedure designer also does an assessment for departures. If an aircraft may turn in any direction from a runway, and be clear of obstacles, that runway meets what is called diverse departure criteria and no DP will be published unless needed for air traffic purposes. However, if there is an obstacle penetration of what is called the 40:1 slope, then the procedure designer chooses whether to:

1. Increase the climb gradient; or

2. Increase the standard takeoff minima to allow the pilot to visually remain clear of the obstacle(s); or

3. Design and publish a specific departure route; or

4. A combination or all of the above.

b. What criteria is used to provide obstruction clearance during departure?

1. Unless specified otherwise, required obstacle clearance for all published departures, including diverse, is based on the pilot crossing the departure end of the runway at least 35 feet above the departure end of runway elevation, climbing to 400 feet above the departure end of runway elevation before making the initial turn, and maintaining a minimum climb gradient of 200 feet per nautical mile (FPNM), unless required to level off by a crossing restriction. A greater climb gradient may be specified in the DP to clear obstacles or to achieve an ATC crossing restriction. If an initial turn higher than 400 feet above the departure end of runway elevation is specified in the DP, the turn should be commenced at the higher altitude. If a turn is specified at a fix, the turn must be made at that fix. Fixes may have minimum and/or maximum crossing altitudes that must be adhered to prior to passing the fix. In rare instances, obstacles that exist on the extended runway centerline may make an "early turn" more desirable than proceeding straight ahead. In these cases, the published departure instructions will include the language "turn left(right) as soon as practicable." These departures will also include a ceiling and visibility minimum of at least 400 and 1. Pilots encountering one of these DP's should preplan the climb out to gain altitude and begin the turn as quickly as possible within the bounds of safe operating practices and operating limitations.

"Practical" or "feasible" may exist in some existing departure text instead of "practicable."

2. The 40:1 slope begins at 35 feet above the departure end of the runway and slopes upward at 152 FPNM until reaching the minimum IFR altitude or entering the en route structure.

3. Climb gradients greater than 200 FPNM are specified when required for obstacle clearance and/or ATC required crossing restrictions.

"Cross ALPHA intersection at or below 4000; maintain 6000." The pilot climbs at least 200 FPNM to 6000. If 4000 is reached before ALPHA, the pilot levels off at 4000 until passing ALPHA; then immediately resumes at least 200 FPNM climb.

4. Climb gradients may be specified only to an altitude/fix, above which the normal gradient applies.

"Minimum climb 340 FPNM to ALPHA." The pilot climbs at least 340 FPNM to ALPHA, then at least 200 FPNM to MIA.

5. Some DP's established solely for obstacle avoidance require a climb in visual conditions to cross the airport or an on-airport NAVAID in a specified direction, at or above a specified altitude.

"Climb in visual conditions so as to cross the McElory Airport southbound, at or above 6000, then climb via Keemmling radial zero three three to Keemmling VORTAC."

c. Who is responsible for obstacle clearance? DP's are designed so that adherence to the procedure by the pilot will ensure obstacle protection. Additionally:

1. Obstacle clearance responsibility also rests with the pilot when he/she chooses to climb in visual conditions in lieu of flying a DP and/or depart under increased takeoff minima rather than fly the DP. Standard takeoff minima are one statute mile for aircraft having two engines or less and one-half statute mile for aircraft having more than two engines. Specified ceiling and visibility minima will allow visual avoidance of obstacles until the pilot enters the standard obstacle protection area. Obstacle avoidance is not guaranteed if the pilot maneuvers farther from the airport than the specified visibility minimum. That segment of the procedure which requires the pilot to see and avoid obstacles ends when the aircraft crosses the specified point at the required altitude. Thereafter, standard obstacle protection is provided and the standard climb gradient is required unless specified otherwise.

2. ATC may assume responsibility for obstacle clearance by vectoring the aircraft prior to minimum vectoring altitude by using a Diverse Vector Area (DVA). The DVA has been assessed for departures which do not follow a specific ground track. ATC may also vector an aircraft off a previously assigned DP. In all cases, the 200 FPNM climb gradient is assumed and obstacle clearance is not provided by ATC until the controller begins to provide navigational guidance in the form of radar vectors.

When used by the controller during departure, the term radar contact should not be interpreted as relieving pilots of their responsibility to maintain appropriate terrain and obstruction clearance.

d. Where are DP's located? DP's will be listed by airport in the IFR Take-Off Minimums and Departure Procedures Section, Section C, of the Terminal Procedures Publications (TPP's). If the DP is textual, it will be described in TPP Section C as previously done. Complex non-RNAV and all RNAV DP's will be published graphically and named. The name will be listed by airport name and runway in Section C. Graphic DP's developed solely for obstacle clearance will also have the term "(OBSTACLE)" printed on the charted procedure.

Existing textual and RNAV DP's will be reviewed individually by the FAA and, where appropriate, processed for graphic depiction.

1. A DP that has been developed solely for obstacle avoidance will be indicated with the symbol "T" on appropriate Instrument Approach Procedure (IAP) charts and DP charts for that airport. The "T" symbol will continue to refer users to TPP Section C. In the case of a graphic DP, the TPP Section C will only contain the name of the DP. Since there may be both a textual and a graphic DP, Section C should still be checked for additional information. All information on new graphic DP's will be printed on the graphic depiction. If not assigned a DP by ATC, any published DP may be filed and flown. As a general rule, ATC will only assign a DP from a nontowered airport when compliance with the DP is necessary for aircraft to aircraft separation.

2. All charted graphic DP's will be listed by name in the index in the front of the TPP volume.

e. Responsibilities.

1. Each pilot, prior to departing an airport on an IFR flight should consider the type of terrain and other obstacles on or in the vicinity of the departure airport; and:

2. Determine whether a DP is available; and

3. Determine if obstacle avoidance can be maintained visually or if the DP should be flown; and

4. Consider the effect of degraded climb performance and the actions to take in the event of an engine loss during the departure.

5. After an aircraft is established on a DP and subsequently vectored or cleared off of the DP or DP transition, pilots shall consider the DP canceled, unless the controller adds "expect to resume DP."

6. Aircraft instructed to resume a procedure which contains restrictions, such as a DP, shall be issued/reissued all applicable restrictions or shall be advised to comply with those restrictions.

7. If an altitude to "maintain" is restated, whether prior to departure or while airborne, previously issued altitude restrictions are canceled, including any DP altitude restrictions if any.

8. Pilots of civil aircraft operating from locations where DP's are effective may expect ATC clearances containing a DP. Use of a DP requires pilot possession of the textual description or graphic depiction of the approved current DP, as appropriate. ATC must be immediately advised if the pilot does not possess a charted DP or a preprinted DP description, or the aircraft is not capable of flying the DP. Notification may be accomplished by filing "NO DP" in the remarks section of the filed flight plan or by the less desirable method of verbally advising ATC. Adherence to all restrictions on the DP is required unless clearance to deviate is received.

9. Controllers may omit the departure control frequency if a DP clearance is issued and the departure control frequency is published on the graphic DP.