In MSFS2020, I frequently hear terms like "Cleared to ACO transition" and I can set an ACO in my flight plan. What exactly is an ACO and its obviously not a unique point because they seem to be everywhere?

It was for KCAK (Akron-Canton Regional Airport) but I thought I saw the same thing for KCLE as well, maybe I was mistaken. But the MSF2020 ATC says ACO transition.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to aviation.SE! Do you have a specific location where this took place? If so, that's helpful. $\endgroup$
    – MD88Fan
    May 11, 2021 at 20:54
  • $\begingroup$ In general, a transition is an optional portion of a Standard Terminal Arrival (STAR) or Standard Instrument Departure (SID). You might hear "Cleared to the XYZ airport via the ABC Four Departure, DEF transition, then as filed" where the ABC4 departure procedure includes one possible routing that terminates at DEF. Note that three-letter fixes denote VORs/VORTACs and would be pronounced on the radio as their full name (e.g. "ACO" is the "Akron" VOR-DME). I am not familiar with the term "ACO transition" as a separate defined thing. $\endgroup$
    – randomhead
    May 11, 2021 at 21:07
  • $\begingroup$ As a matter of fact it WAS for KCAK but I thought I saw the same thing for KCLE as well, maybe I was mistaken. But the MSF2020 ATC says ACO transition - I'll investigate further. Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – john
    May 11, 2021 at 21:17

1 Answer 1


A transition is a branch of a Standard Terminal Arrival Route (STAR) or a Standard Instrument Departure (SID). ACO is the identifier for the Akron VOR/DME, which is a a navaid. It’s not surprising then that you would hear of an ACO transition for both KCAK and KCLE.

I would provide a chart showing where these are, but I can’t find any plates for the older VOR navigation. All the ones I find are RNAV which use GPS rather than navaids. Although the ACO VOR/DME is still operational, they are slowly being decommissioned. The FAA may have eliminated the VOR SIDS and STARs and are now only using the RNAV routes. It’s likely that the sim is using outdated plates.

If you are unfamiliar with SIDs and STARs you can check out This question.


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