Communications with Air Traffic Control

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Use Proper “Descend Via” Phraseology on Optimized Profile Descents

July 1, 2013

Throughout the National Airspace System (NAS), newer optimized profile descent (OPD) arrivals use the “Descend Via” phraseology.  As more OPD procedures are implemented throughout the NAS, it is important that pilots understand and use the correct, unabbreviated phraseology when issued “Descend Via” clearances. Failure to use proper phraseology may result in extra communications, readback or hearback errors and pilot deviations.

On initial contact with center, the following information must be communicated:

  • Altitude leaving
  • Descending Via (Name of OPD)
  • Direction of landing.

On subsequent ATC handoffs, the following information must be communicated:

  • Altitude leaving
  • Descending Via (Name of OPD)
  • Direction of landing.

On initial contact with approach, the following information must be communicated:

  • Altitude leaving
  • Descending Via (Name of OPD)
  • Direction of landing.
  • Current ATIS information

On subsequent contact with approach, the following information must be communicated:

  • Altitude leaving
  • Descending Via (Name of OPD)

The following is an example of the sequence of expected communications using the new IVANE ONE arrival procedure at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport (CLT):

Initial Check-in with Washington Center (ZDC):
Washington Center: “Gulfsteam 123GA, descend via the IVANE ONE Arrival, Landing South” (or “Landing North” if applicable)
Pilot Response: “Gulfsteam 123GA, descending via the IVANE ONE Arrival, Landing South”

On subsequent ATC handoffs, Atlanta Center (ZTL):
Pilot initial call: “Gulfsteam 123GA, leaving (current altitude), descending via the IVANE ONE, Landing South

Initial Check-in with CLT approach:
Pilot: “Gulfsteam 123GA, leaving (current altitude), descending via the IVANE ONE Arrival, Landing South, information X”

Subsequent Check-in with CLT approach:
Pilot: “Gulfsteam 123GA, leaving (current altitude), descending via the IVANE ONE Arrival

Do NOT use phrases such as the following:

  • With you Descending On the IVANE
  • With you on the arrival
  • Descending via the arrival
  • With you out of 13,000 for 6,000
  • With you via the IVANE

For more information, contact NBAA Air Traffic Services at [email protected].