Sign in to follow this  
Gregg_Seipp

Gatwick procedures

Recommended Posts

I flew out of Gatwick on Saturday and I have some questions.

  • When I got my clearance they gave me the route and the squawk...no departure frequency and no altitude.  That seemed unusual.  The first time they gave me the departure frequency was when I was climbing out.  Seemed odd that they waited until then to give it to me.  Luckily, I'd looked at the SID and dialed in a couple of the frequencies just to be safe.  Turned out to be Gatwick DIR 126.825. Is that the normal procedure there?  Is it the same at other airports?  Also, they told me they'd give me my cruise altitude after I departed.  Again, is that normal?
  • Once I got with the departure controller he told me to proceed via the SID (BOGNA1X) and climb to FL170.  (He didn't tell me to climb via the SID to FL 170.)  Does that clear me of the altitude restrictions on the SID?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

From my experience flying in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe I have never been given a departure frequency or cruise altitude with the departure clearance. The only place I've seen this is Fsx/P3D ATC although I must say I've never flown commercially in the US so this may be the procedure they use there. In Europe there is such a large amount of traffic you will never know what your final flight level will be until you get much closer to it during the climb. Therefore you may think about taking extra fuel in case ATC don't give you your requested level, these are decisions airline pilots make daily. For the frequency however you should be able to find it on the SID chart and this is what we do in the real world.

 

Your second point does vary a lot by location. For example departing Doha, Qatar ATC will use the phrase "climb unrestricted" meaning follow the SID laterally but you may climb freely to the cleared level. In Turkey they use the phrase "Open Climb", if I remember correctly the phrase in the UK is "climb now" meaning you can ignore SID altitude constraints.

 

 

 

I checked the Jeppesen Manual and for UK Rules and Procedures it states:

 

"For all stages of flight, clearances to climb or decend cancel any previous restrictions or levels, unless they are reiterated as part of the clearance.

 

When a departing aircraft on a SID is cleared to climb to a level higher than the initially cleared level specified in a SID, the aircraft shall climb directly to the cleared level, unless the SID vertical restrictions are reiterated as part of the clearance."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Greg.

When I got my clearance they gave me the route and the squawk...no departure frequency and no altitude. That seemed unusual. The first time they gave me the departure frequency was when I was climbing out. Seemed odd that they waited until then to give it to me. Luckily, I'd looked at the SID and dialed in a couple of the frequencies just to be safe. Turned out to be Gatwick DIR 126.825. Is that the normal procedure there? Is it the same at other airports? Also, they told me they'd give me my cruise altitude after I departed. Again, is that normal?

 

This is all entirely normal in the UK as a whole (and most of the rest of the world). You are expected to check the stop altitudes on the chart (in the UK at least there will always be a final stop altitude) and follow the profile as charted if there are intermediate restrictions unless told otherwise. Likewise the "departure on xxx.xx" is very much a North American thing -- in most of the rest of the world you're just handed off after departure to the appropriate sector.

 

It is unusual to be handed off to Director after departure -- normally it is London Control. I am much more familiar with Heathrow than I am with Gatwick, but at LHR the only time you would normally be handed off to Director is on an easterly CPT (the SID conflicts with the inbound stream so Director will normally vector you instead until you are clear of the inbounds). There may be similar situations at LGW with certain departures, or there may have been a particular reason why Director wanted to work you.

 

Once I got with the departure controller he told me to proceed via the SID (BOGNA1X) and climb to FL170. (He didn't tell me to climb via the SID to FL 170.) Does that clear me of the altitude restrictions on the SID?

 

As mentioned above "climb now" is the UK phraseology to remove the SID constraints -- if in doubt check but I can't think of a circumstance where the controller would not want to lift them (as mentioned, you'll be following the SID profile anyway so if he wants you to stop he just has to keep his mouth shut!).

 

Other things to remember in the UK -- report your passing altitude, cleared level (i.e. the next SID restriction) and SID on first contact with London (and likewise inbound you are generally required to report ATIS letter, QNH, aircraft type and current and cleared level on first contact with Director (i.e. the APP controller)). Likewise ex most (if not all) UK airports report aircraft type, stand number, ATIS letter and QNH when calling up for clearance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys.  I guess it'd be somewhat of a challenge setting the frequency 'on the fly' unless you're on autopilot.  I know that at some places they give you the frequency on the ground and just issue 'contact departure'.  Some places they give it to you on the ground and give it to you again when they switch you to departure.  So, now the third way...no frequency until you're flying.  At least now I know to expect it.  Is the only trick to do what I did?  Set them both so you're prepared?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I normally just set the frequency in the standby radio before departure -- see https://www.vatsim-uk.co.uk/area-sectors/

 

Ex-LGW it will always be LON_S 129.425 (or SC if bandboxed -- 132.6) unless there's an enormous event in which case it will be an LTMA sector (I couldn't tell you which precisely off the top of my head).

 

Ex-LHR it depends which SID you are on -- northbound (WOBUN/BUZAD, BPK) it'll be LON_C (127.1) (or SC if bandboxed, 132.6), southbound (MID/SAM/CPT) it'll be LON_S (129.425) or SC. CPT off 09 will normally go to Director (technically S_APP, but as it is rare to see all three APP positions open it will in practice 99% of the time be LL_N_APP 119.725).

 

Or just listen to hear what people departing ahead of you are being given!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 


I normally just set the frequency in the standby radio before departure -- see https://www.vatsim-u...k/area-sectors/



Ex-LGW it will always be LON_S 129.425 (or SC if bandboxed -- 132.6) unless there's an enormous event in which case it will be an LTMA sector (I couldn't tell you which precisely off the top of my head).

Ex-LHR it depends which SID you are on -- northbound (WOBUN/BUZAD, BPK) it'll be LON_C (127.1) (or SC if bandboxed, 132.6), southbound (MID/SAM/CPT) it'll be LON_S (129.425) or SC. CPT off 09 will normally go to Director (technically S_APP, but as it is rare to see all three APP positions open it will in practice 99% of the time be LL_N_APP 119.725).

 

To be honest, at least at first look at that page, it's pretty confusing.  Maybe people just get used to it?

 

 

 


Or just listen to hear what people departing ahead of you are being given!

 

That's probably the smart thing to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I do regarding departure frequency is:

1. check if someone is on line in the pilot client list of ATCs

2. if there is and I am not given what to expect then I simply ASK what I should expect after departure.

 

Its only a question away ;-)

 

If I am given and SID without altitude mention then this is a "tip" that its written in the chart, so this is where I carefully look in to to be prepared and set the autopilot accordingly. Unless I am later instructed to CLIMB then this is my limit. If there is no ATC in the departure phase there I consider the limit void, I climb, and I just pay attention to my TCAS while monitoring Unicom on 122.80

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The procedure is very simple. You climb to the published SID ceiling and stay there unless or until ATC clear you to a different altitude. Which may happen early or late.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this