Performance Based Navigation (PBN)

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NBAA 'Climb Via' Training Presentation Addresses Upcoming Phraseology Changes

Feb. 24, 2014

Business aircraft pilots can soon expect to hear abbreviated "climb via" and "descend via" instructions from air traffic control (ATC), so the NBAA Access Committee recently developed an extensive training presentation to foster better understanding of the new procedures among business aircraft pilots, their airline counterparts and others throughout the industry.

"We came within 48 hours of implementing climb via back in August 2012," recalled NBAA Access Committee member Rich Boll. "However, there was a high level of misunderstanding throughout the industry about the process – particularly about speed adjustments, and how pilots would react to changing speed clearances – that needed to be addressed before the process could go live."

Following extensive consultation with industry stakeholders under the auspices of the FAA's Performance-Based Navigation Aviation Rulemaking Committee (PARC), on which the NBAA Access Committee participated, the agency issued revised guidance that will go into effect on April 3. Among the changes from the original plan is that pilots may now expect climb via instructions as part of the initial IFR clearance, rather than only from ATC upon departure.

To assist pilots with understanding the necessary adjustments, NBAA Access Committee members agreed to lead development of an extensive training presentation outlining compliance with the revised process in various real-world scenarios that pilots face daily.

"We wanted to make sure there was proper guidance available for pilots facing what could be an unfamiliar instruction during climb and descent," Boll added. "While the PARC utilized NBAA's original climb via guidance as a working guide when they began considering new, updated guidance on the revised procedures, we felt a more formal training presentation was required given the number of changes and the level of understanding that needed to be placed throughout the industry."

In addition to a thorough review of the revised guidance, the extensive PowerPoint presentation also includes specific real-world airspace and clearance examples. Boll noted the FAA, some flight departments, and even airline training programs have already utilized the presentation, or elements contained therein.

"We developed this presentation through close cooperation with the PARC working group and the FAA," Boll added. "We've highlighted several examples where the potential lies for misinterpretation between parties. By reviewing these examples to familiarize themselves with the proper procedures, pilots may avoid last-minute hiccups and work toward smoother implementation.

"It's the pilot's responsibility to understand proper climb via procedures," he said. "We encourage everyone to take the initiative and view the presentation."

Download the NBAA Pilot Briefing: Climb Via, Descend Via, Speed Adjustments