I understand the climb and maintain, but what does block mean?


1 Answer 1


It means you've been allocated a block altitude - you can fly whatever altitude you want between 7000 ft and 8000 ft.

Typically this would be something you'd request, e.g. to practice unusual attitude recovery or to avoid having to hold a hard altitude in mountain wave. It's unusual for ATC to volunteer a block altitude without the pilot asking for it, but maybe if previous aircraft along the same route reported difficulty maintaining altitude then ATC might offer it to you unprompted.

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    $\begingroup$ Block altitude is also often given to long-haul flights in quiet airspace. As fuel is burned the optimal cruise altitude increases. With a block altitude clearance the pilots can follow this optimal altitude increase instantly, per hundred feet if they desired, instead of waiting for it to reach the next standard cruising altitude. $\endgroup$
    – Ben
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 11:19

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