Aviation In Canada

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Clearance Limit Interpretation Issue, Revisited

I think there may be some US vs. Canada issues when it comes to rules. Looking at some of the comments posted, here are some observations from my part.

First, I've looked at the Canadian rules for filing flight plans. I haven't yet come across any requirements for Canucks to file IAFs in the flight plans. I haven't fully researched ICAO requirements, but what I've looked at makes no mention of this rule, either. Is this in the US AIM?

Canadian controller actually have rules in their manual of operations that are specific about specifying VOR vs NDB vs airport. All too often, it is left out, and not necessarily by those within the FIR. My example that started all of this was initiated by BOS ARTCC, though I know for a fact other controllers I work with would word it the same way. We are supposed to say, "Cleared direct Moncton VOR." An example where it is not stated, and makes sense not to, is when clearing an aircraft to a point on the flight plan route (not associated with destination). For example, the pref route CYHZ-CYYZ is CYHZ MLT VLV J509 YOW J546 YSO V37 CYYZ. If ATC were to clear this flight "Direct YOW on course", the only Ottawa facility/fix in the flight plan route is the YOW VOR, therefore there should be no confusion. Is this how dropping the term VOR got started?

Also, in Canada, we use a little rule of thumb when initiaing IFR clearances. Unless a TWR has an agreement with a CTR to use a "canned clearance," which typically includes a SID and "flight planned route", the clearance nomrally will include the airport as the clearance limit if the flight is leaving the FIR, or a facility/fix associated the airport (or an approach procedure) if the flight is entirely within the FIR. The old rational is that we know which NAVAIDs are serviceable within the FIR, but we won't check NOTAMs for facility status, say, at Vancouver or Toronto when we're working in Moncton. Generic communication failure instructions have procedures for transition from an enroute facility to an approach. The Aviatrix in the comments on the last post has it right on the money in such a case.