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UK SID Altitude Question (EGSS)

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UK SID Altitude Question (EGSS)

Old 1st May 2020, 07:06
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UK SID Altitude Question (EGSS)

EGSS departure, cleared CLN1E SID. No altitude given in ACARS PDC. Filed FL350.

To re-iterate, no mention of altitude whatsoever in ATC clearance. No "maintain 4000". No "climb via SID' (it's my understanding the UK has not implemented this phraseology per PANS-ATM 6.3.2.4).

Is crew simply expected to comply with level and speed restrictions and maintain 6000 until cleared higher?

Apologies, I only operate in the UK once every year or two. Prepared for admonishment, yes I should know, etc etc.


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Old 1st May 2020, 07:08
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In short - yes.
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Old 1st May 2020, 08:33
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In your defence, the Jeppesen guides only answers this question by exclusion, rather than being explicit. (Standing by for someone to find it phrased better!)

United Kingdom - Rules and Procedures - LEVEL RESTRICTIONS When a departing aircraft is cleared to climb directly to the cleared level without complying with the published vertical restrictions on the SID, ATC will include the word 'now' in climb instructions.

However the symbology on the chart does reinforce this with the bars above and below 6000.

I have to have a good revision of the non-standard US terminology whenever I fly there and find it equally baffling at times!!
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Old 1st May 2020, 08:53
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I would have just read what it says in the box - "WARNING - STEPPED CLIMB.....Strict compliance with the specified climb profile unless cleared by ATC."

If ATC says nothing about altitude, the blue altitudes apply - strictly. Or in other words, "Cleared for the SID" = "Climb via SID."
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Old 1st May 2020, 10:26
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Originally Posted by DCThumb View Post
In your defence, the Jeppesen guides only answers this question by exclusion, rather than being explicit. (Standing by for someone to find it phrased better!)

United Kingdom - Rules and Procedures - LEVEL RESTRICTIONS When a departing aircraft is cleared to climb directly to the cleared level without complying with the published vertical restrictions on the SID, ATC will include the word 'now' in climb instructions.

However the symbology on the chart does reinforce this with the bars above and below 6000.

I have to have a good revision of the non-standard US terminology whenever I fly there and find it equally baffling at times!!
Not sure why we reinvented the wheel for that bit of RT. Your way is so much better.
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Old 1st May 2020, 10:46
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One simple thing to follow really.. Always fly in accordance to your clearance limit. In this case- the SID. Nowhere does it say you can leave 6000’

You are not the first, certainly won’t be the last.
Happy days.

Ad..
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Old 1st May 2020, 12:42
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Exactly that, maintain 6000ft. You are likely to be on vectors and a step climb with Essex radar or London way before that anyway.
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Old 1st May 2020, 16:05
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Originally Posted by RandomPerson8008 View Post
EGSS departure, cleared CLN1E SID. No altitude given in ACARS PDC. Filed FL350.

To re-iterate, no mention of altitude whatsoever in ATC clearance. No "maintain 4000". No "climb via SID' (it's my understanding the UK has not implemented this phraseology per PANS-ATM 6.3.2.4).

Is crew simply expected to comply with level and speed restrictions and maintain 6000 until cleared higher?

Apologies, I only operate in the UK once every year or two. Prepared for admonishment, yes I should know, etc etc.
Check your airline SOPs. Most operators will set the initial stop altitude (4000 ft) for level bust prevention.
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Old 1st May 2020, 20:56
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So to fly the SID after SSE23 you have 3 nm or about 40 seconds to climb and then maintain 6000’. That would be a bit uncomfortable wouldn’t it?
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Old 1st May 2020, 22:41
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5 nm from what I read.

(Which aeroplanes that fly out of EGSS these days have 'comfort' as any factor of importance?)
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Old 1st May 2020, 23:01
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FWIW the mLido depiction of the CLN 1E not unsurprisingly agrees with the Jepp - SSE23 at 5000, SSE26 at 6000 with 3.0 miles between the two..but as you say comfort..what's that?

Going back to the OP - mLido also has in text on the chart : "Warning - Stepped Climb..Due to interaction with other routes pilots must ensure strict compliance with the specified climb profile unless cleared by ATC"
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Old 1st May 2020, 23:12
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The expectation from controllers is that you’ll climb via the SID initially to 4000 then onto 5000 and 6000 at the points on the chart.

The fact that it’s made it’s way onto PPRuNe means that something needs done about the ambiguity.
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Old 2nd May 2020, 01:15
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Thanks for the kind replies.

The main point of question for me is: what altitude after reaching CLN at 6000? Remember there was no mention of altitude at all in the ATC clearance or from tower. Yes of course we were planning to stay level at 6000 after complying with all restrictions in the absence of further instruction....at least I was. However the PIC stated shortly after takeoff that he believed he was free to delete the SID restrictions because "we were never cleared to climb via SID". I strongly advised him against it, and luckily he listened.

Is not normal for clearance delivery to issue, as part of the initial ATC clearance, a level to maintain in after complying with SID restrictions (or if 6000 is the limit, reitierate such)? In the abscence of that, such altitude was usually written on the SID chart. That's how it worked prior to the implementation of climb via phraseology in FAA anyway, although it has been a long time so I might be misremembering. In this case the crew is simply left to infer that 6000 is the limit. For all practical purposes the departure radar controller issues higher level before it becomes an issue (in this case, frustratingly they did not use the "climb now" phraseology, rather simply "climb level 200"); perhaps im just being pedantic.
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Old 2nd May 2020, 01:44
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Originally Posted by RandomPerson8008 View Post
The main point of question for me is: what altitude after reaching CLN at 6000?
Ask ATC? You'll likely be on vectors long before reaching CLN anyway.

Originally Posted by RandomPerson8008 View Post
For all practical purposes the departure radar controller issues higher level before it becomes an issue (in this case, frustratingly they did not use the "climb now" phraseology, rather simply "climb level 200"); perhaps im just being pedantic.
If you were still on departure route (i.e. not on radar heading), you should challenge the ATC whether climb clearance is actually "climb" or "climb now". Climb in UK only allows you to follow the SID climb profile, whereas "climb now" allows for unrestricted climb to cleared level.
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Old 2nd May 2020, 07:15
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Originally Posted by RandomPerson8008 View Post

Is not normal for clearance delivery to issue, as part of the initial ATC clearance, a level to maintain in after complying with SID restrictions (or if 6000 is the limit, reitierate such)? I.
UK - No...You are expected to maintain the final SID altitude until ATC clear you to do otherwise.
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Old 2nd May 2020, 08:49
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On the CLN1E you usually get clearance to climb NOW FL110 after the initial turn and further to FL210 before you passed SSE18 by which you will be on a heading of around 070 making it all academic. (but initially put 4000 and climb via sid to 6000 otherwise)

Last edited by Tom!; 2nd May 2020 at 19:48.
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Old 2nd May 2020, 08:49
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If, during the SID, ATC say, ‘climb FL XX’, you need to reply, ‘confirm climb now or climb via SID FLXX?’, and act on the result. This has happened to me a few times recently, and the result has been, ‘sorry, I meant climb now FL XX’.

If you reach the end of the SID, at 6,000 ft (unheard of), you should maintain 6,000 ft, and attempt to contact ATC. If you aren’t able to contact, adopt radio failure procedures. I’ll need to look at the precise wording again, for the possible case that the lateral track causes you to leave CAS as the base steps up away from London; there might be an argument that once outside, you need to stay outside (but knowing you’ve gone outside might be tricky). Practically, ATC would expect you to climb back in.

This whole climb now/via SID is just stupidity. Our aircraft are like hammers being used to drive a screw in; the rules are totally unfit for purpose.
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Old 2nd May 2020, 17:36
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As someone else has said. If this has got to17 entries in PPRuNe and there are still ambiguities - something is not right. As for "climb" vs "climb now" - that was surely not thought up by a pilot!!
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Old 3rd May 2020, 08:30
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It’s my understanding that any clearance issued by ATC in the U.K. supersedes any previous clearance, unless it is reiterated. The use of “climb now” is to emphasise this on a SID as it is non ICAO and aids understanding for non U.K. based pilots.
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Old 3rd May 2020, 10:19
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Originally Posted by SidHolding View Post
It’s my understanding that any clearance issued by ATC in the U.K. supersedes any previous clearance, unless it is reiterated. The use of “climb now” is to emphasise this on a SID as it is non ICAO and aids understanding for non U.K. based pilots.
Yes, and I personally find it more useful and straightforward than the ICAO "LEVEL RESTRICTION(S) (SID designator) CANCELLED".
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