I’ve been exploring the FMC(flight management computer) on the PMDG 777 and noticed that under the route section you can insert VIA and TO points. From what I’ve learnt this is where you would insert SIDs and STARs. What are SIDs and STARs? And how are they different?

  • $\begingroup$ Take a look at faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/media/…, in particular 5−2−8 and 5−4−1 $\endgroup$
    – Steve Kuo
    Oct 27, 2017 at 15:59
  • $\begingroup$ The "S" means standard. So you need to know what is a departure, and what is an arrival first. Being standard helps, because everyone knows about the path and constraints associated with it. So ATC and pilot can talk about it just using the name, no need to discuss about the waypoints or altitudes that define the departure procedure or the arrival procedure. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Oct 27, 2017 at 19:52
  • $\begingroup$ This site has good information explaining the concept. $\endgroup$
    – Farhan
    Oct 27, 2017 at 19:57

2 Answers 2


Both are predefined routes through the air which connect the airport areas (terminal areas) to the enroute airway system in a way remotely similar to local roads that everyone follows from and to highways. This ensures (in theory) an orderly fashion of after departure reaching (SID) and leaving towards the airport (STAR) the enroute airspaces for all aircraft.

SID stands for Standard Instrument Departure.

STAR stands for Standard Terminal Arrival Route.

The links touch upon everything else.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ An additional important feature of SIDs and STARs is that they simplify ATC clearances and flight plan programming. $\endgroup$
    – J W
    Oct 27, 2017 at 16:46

The "VIA" and "TO" on the PMDG 777 can accept Airways, SIDS and STARS and their transitions.

SID Stand for Standard Instrument Departure, which is a predefined route involving GPS waypoints or navigation aids. It prevents chaos near the airport airspace by having everyone exit the airspace the same way.

STAR Stands for Standard Terminal Arrival Route. This once again is a predefined route to enter the airspace Ina orderly fashion to land on a runway.


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