May 18, 2016

The Charlotte, NC-area Metroplex Project continues, with a goal of enhancing the safety and efficiency of the airspace by utilizing performance-based navigation procedures, in addition to optimizing the air traffic sectorization at the local FAA facilities.

Phase two of the project will be implemented on May 31, and will focus on the Northeast portion of the airspace. The first phase, which focused on the Northwest portion of the airspace, was implemented in October 2015. The third phase will shift focus to the South, with expected implementation in July 2016.

The project should be completed in January 2017.

Phase Two: (Northeast Airspace):


  • Specific to Charlotte International Airport (CLT)
  • Replaces IVANE FIVE STAR
  • Optimized Profile Descent
  • Enroute transitions begin at Lynchburg VORTAC (LYH), Franklin VORTAC (FKN), NUUMN (waypoint), SDAIL (waypoint) and SKLES (waypoint).
  • The NUUMN transition is established for aircraft transitioning from the LYH transition to the FKN transition and will be primarily used during reroute scenarios.
  • The SDAIL and SKLES transitions are designed for aircraft that depart airports “inside” the LYH and FKN Transitions and help ensure DataComm compliance.

RNAV SIDs – BARMY and KILNS (replaces existing MERIL)

  • For departures out of CLT, AKH, EQY, IPJ, JQF, LKR, RUQ, UZA and VUJ
  • BARMY RNAV SID has three enroute transitions (RDU, TYI and NUTZE)
  • KILNS RNAV SID has one enroute transition for traffic routed north of RDU to serve east coast city pairs to and north of Washington DC.

View the FAA’s Charlotte Metroplex presentation. (PDF)

Operational Impacts During Phase Two Initialization

During the first two weeks of implementation:

  • Reduced arrival rates at CLT
  • Expected increase in mile in trail restrictions from adjacent enroute centers
  • Use of TBFM within Atlanta Center and adjacent enroute facilities to CLT

Pilot Emphasis Items for “Descend Via” and “Climb Via” Procedures

  • Descend Via: If ATC previously assigned a speed to maintain, then later issues a descend via clearance, the previous speed restriction is cancelled and all published speeds are mandatory.
  • Bottom Altitude: A descend via clearance is to the last “published” altitude on the “STAR” and is not a clearance to fly any altitudes on an instrument approach procedure until cleared for the approach, or visual approach.
  • Initial Climb Via SID clearance: Do not climb above the published top altitude, even if there are higher altitude constraints, until receiving an ATC clearance to do so.
  • Correct Phraseology: ATC needs to hear the readback of the “Descend Via” or “Climb Via” clearance. Correct phraseology is imperative. Read back a descend via clearance verbatim. Abbreviated or clipped phraseology is not acceptable.
  • On initial contact with ATC on a descend via clearance, state

    1) Aircraft/flight Identification
    2) Current altitude
    3) Descending Via
    4) Name and number of STAR

    Runway transition, if issued (Landing North/South, Runway 01/19)


Contingency Plans: For aircraft unable to accept new RNAV procedures, Conventional SIDs and STARs remain available.

Review NBAA’s Climb Via/Descend Via resources.