In the USA, a departing aircraft is instructed to climb:

That's according to US Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP). But pilots say they never hear climb via SID. Can anybody clarify if climb via SID instruction is really used by ATC?


1 Answer 1


In my experience, I've received a climb via SID many times at airports like Las Vegas and Teterboro.

This is common at certain airports, but a lot of airports don't use it because the procedures aren't designed that way.

I think that a lot of pilots, especially those flying smaller non-turbine powered aircraft, don't receive this type of clearance because:

  • They are flying at smaller airports that don't have a SID which uses it, or
  • They are not assigned the SID's which do have it because the SID is only assigned to turbine-powered aircraft or aircraft capable of flight above a certain speed or altitude.

It is also a relatively new procedure in the US. They were originally going to start using it in 2014, but it got delayed and was finally implemented a year or two ago (I don't remember exactly when). For a while, the US was only using "descend via" clearances, and not "climb via" clearances.

Here are a couple of resources about this:

  • $\begingroup$ What's the reason the "climb via" procedure has been newly introduced recently? Is it just to further reduce the workloads of ATCs and pilots? $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 23:00
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @lemonincider -- that should be its own question :) $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 23:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Every IFR departure I've heard at KRNT has involved "..., climb via the SID, expect ..." $\endgroup$
    – bartonjs
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 1:24
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer. I've read in the US AIP that climb via/ descend via are the phrases the pilots must be prepared to get from ATC but my fellow pilots who fly to the USA say they don't get such instructions. Perhaps it's not because this phraseology does not exist in general but maybe it is more convenient for controllers to use 'climb and maintain' instruction and ATC people prefer 'climb and maintain' to 'climb via SID'? If a controller does say 'climb via SID' is it pronounced 'sid' or 's-i-d'? $\endgroup$
    – Elmar
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 8:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Delmar It's probably more that the procedures in use at the airports that your friends visit have not been designed with a climb via instruction. Because it's relatively new, if they even want to use it at a particular airport, they would need to be redesigned and that takes time to do everywhere. As far as pronunciation, the clearance pronounces it 'sid', and when the pilot contacts departure control, they use the procedure name instead of saying sid, like 'Climbing Via the Teterboro 2 departure.' $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 15:31

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