Clearance Delivery

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Introduction

The Clearance delivery controller is responsible for providing departing aircraft with their IFR clearance. It is not something to be taken lightly. The smooth flow of all traffic depends on these clearances. If a clearance is incorrect another controller down the line will have to amend it, and potentially distract the pilot from his flying, while if the error would have been corrected before take-off the pilot would have had all the time to amend his plan, and not have anything to worry about when in the air.


What You Need To Know

In addition to the general guidelines a Clearance delivery controller must understand the basics of verifying accuracy of flight plans.

Flight Plan Verification Knowledge Required:

  • Be able to issue an IFR clearance with or without SID.
  • Be able to issue a VFR clearance to enter the circuit or enter and exit controlled airspace.
  • Understand the RVSM Altitude assignment system.
  • Understand, and apply minimum routing restrictions whenever published.

  • Procedures

    Required Information:

  • The aerodrome sector file.
  • As a minimum the SID charts.

  • Elements of a Clearance

    A Clearance shall include the following items:

  • Aircraft Identification (as shown in the flightplan)
  • Clearance Limit
  • Route
  • Levels of flight and changes of levels
  • Squawk (If Applicable)

  • The Following Items May Also Be Added:

  • ATFM Slots
  • Communications Instructions
  • Special Instructions

  • Clearance Limit

    A clearance limit is the point to which an aircraft is granted a clearance. This may be:

  • An aerodrome
  • A reporting point
  • A controlled or advisory airspace boundary

  • Route

    Controllers should endeavour to clear an aircraft according to the route requested. Sometimes this may not be possible, and the controller should explain the reason why when issuing the clearance. The expression "Cleared flight plan route" is not used in the UK.


    Allocation of Cruising Levels

    Before clearing an aircraft, check that the requested cruising altitude is appropriate for the flight. If that level is not available, the nearest appropriate level should be advised to the pilot and requested to refile.

    Above FL195 in class C airspace, the semi-circular rule shall apply. Flight levels 200, 220, 240, 260 and 280 shall be westbound; Flight levels 210, 230, 250, and 270 shall be eastbound.

    Cruising levels at or above FL290 up to (and including) FL410 within RVSM[1] airspace:

    Westbound Eastbound
    400 410
    380 390
    360 370
    340 350
    320 330
    300 310
    290

    Squawk

    A squawk is a 4-digit code between 0000 and 7777 (digits 8 and 9 are not available). When given, the pilot will set his transponder to so that controllers can identify him on radar. There are various schemes for allocating squawk codes, some quite complicated using different code ranges depending on outbound track, level, etc and there are ranges in certain countries reserved for military low level, air ambulance, search and rescue, police operation etc. However, when controlling on IVAO in the UK division, the only requirement is that each aircraft is allocated a unique code (or at least unique in the surrounding airspace) so that it can be positively identified on radar.

    You may find that adjacent controllers always use the same range of codes (as in the real world) - so pick a range you will use and issue the first one to the first aircraft you clear and increment it for each subsequent aircraft. Do not use any of the emergency codes in a clearance (7500, 7600, 7700).


    Example Phraseology

    Departure Containing a SID

    KLM754 is an KLM Boeing 737, Heathrow to Schiphol via airways at FL230.

    Transmitter Phraseology
    Pilot "Heathrow Delivery, good morning, KLM1018, Stand 221, A 737 with Echo, QNH 1017,
    request clearance Schiphol"
    ATC "KLM1018, Heathrow Delivery, Cleared to Schiphol, BPK7G departure, squawk 7247"
    Pilot "Cleared Schiphol, BPK7G, squawk 7247, KLM1018"
    ATC "KLM1018, Correct, Contact Heathrow Ground 121.9"
    Pilot "121.9, KLM1018"

    Departure Not Containing a SID

    KLM754 is an KLM Boeing 737, Heathrow to Schiphol via airways at FL230.

    Transmitter Phraseology
    Pilot "Southampton tower, good morning, BEE3GF, Stand 4, A Dash 8 with Sierra, QNH 1004,
    request clearance Manchester"
    ATC "BEE3GF, Southampton tower, cleared to Manchester, after noise abatement,
    turn right on track NORRY, climb to altitude 5000ft, QNH 1013, squawk 1154"
    Pilot "Cleared Manchester, after noise abatement turn right on track NORRY, Climb to altitude
    5000ft, QNH 1013, squawk 1154, BEE3GF"
    ATC "BEE3GF, Correct"

    This non-standard departure clearance is usually obtained from the approach controller.

    VFR Departure

    G-BSEP is a Cessna 172, Stansted to Manston

    Transmitter Phraseology
    Pilot "Stansted, good morning, GBSEP, A Cessna 172 with Zulu, QNH 1004, request clearance for a VFR flight
    to Manston"
    ATC "GBSEP, Stansted Ground, taxi holding point U runway 22 via G, QNH 1004"
    Pilot "Taxi holding point U runway 22 via taxiway G, QNH 1004, GBSEP"
    ATC (when the aircraft is at the holding point) "GEP, I have your clearance"
    Pilot "Pass your message, GEP"
    ATC "GBSEP, hold position. After departure, cleared to leave controlled airspace via Great Dunmow, not above altitude
    1,500ft, QNH 1004, VFR, squawk 0211"
    Pilot "Hold position. Cleared to leave controlled airspace via Great Dunmow, not above altitude 1,500ft, QNH 1004,
    VFR, squawk 0211, GBSEP"
    ATC "GEP, Correct, report ready for departure"
    Pilot "Wilco, GEP"

    VFR zone exit clearances are usually given by the approach position.

    SVFR Departure

    G-BGTS is a Cessna 172, Nottingham East Midlands to Gloucestershire.

    Transmitter Phraseology
    Pilot "East Midlands Tower, good morning, GBGTS, A Cessna 172 with Alpha QNH 1014, request taxi for
    flight to Gloucestershire"
    ATC "GBGTS, East Midlands Tower, taxi holding point S1, runway 27 via taxiway A, QNH 1014"
    Pilot "Taxi S1 runway 27 via A, QNH 1014, GBGTS"
    ATC "GTS, Correct, visibility has just reduced to 3000m, I am unable to issue a VFR Clearance,
    which clearance do you require"
    Pilot "Special VFR, GTS"
    ATC "GTS Roger, I have your clearance"
    Pilot "Pass your message, GTS"
    ATC "GBGTS, hold at S1. After departure, cleared to leave controlled airspace via Shepshed, not above altitude
    1500ft, QNH 1014, Special VFR, squawk 4550"
    Pilot "Hold position. Cleared to leave controlled airspace via Shepshed, not above altitude 1,500ft, QNH 1014,
    Special VFR, squawk 4550, GBGTS"
    ATC "GTS, Correct, report ready for departure"
    Pilot "Wilco, GTS"

    SVFR zone exit clearances are usually given by the approach controller.
    SVFR departures require a release from the approach controller prior to departure.


    Controller Client

    Another obligation on IVAO is to update the cleared waypoint and cleared altitude of the aircraft. The format to be used is as follows:

  • In Cleared Altitude/FL (F8) enter the initial altitude assigned in the clearance/SID.
  • In Cleared Waypoint (F5) enter the appropriate intention code for the flight.