Departure, En Route, and Arrival Operations


Gain the skills associated with IFR departure, en route, and arrival operations solely by reference to instruments.


This is the required reading for this lesson. Numbers in [brackets] indicate the starting and ending page in the referenced reading material. Read all the pages and sections referenced.


The notes below highlight the important parts in the referenced material. Reading the notes without having read the actual referenced material is generally not sufficient to pass the written exam!

IFH - Chapter 10

  • Standard Instrument Departures (SID)
    • Always printer graphically
    • May be either
      • Conventional - Using Radio Navigation
      • RNAV - Using GNSS equipment
  • Pilot navigation SIDs
    • Flown by pilot without additional guidance from ATC
  • Radar-Controlled Departures
    • Departure ATC provides vectors to
      • A navigation facility, or
      • En route position appropriate to the departure clearance, or
      • Transfer to another controller with further radar surveillance capabilities
  • Hybrid departures
    • Usually initial vector to first fix on departure
  • Standard Terminal Arrival (STAR) Procedures
    • Always printer graphically
    • May be either
      • Conventional - Using radio Navigation
      • RNAV - Using GNSS equipment
  • If a SID or STAR has been accepted in a clearance, compliance is mandatory

AIM - Para. 5-2-9

  • Obstacle Departure Procedure (ODP)
    • Provide obstruction clearance via the least onerous route
    • Unless otherwise specified, required obstacle clearance for all departures is ensured as long as
      • Pilot crosses the departure end of the runway at least 35 feet above the departure end of runway
      • Climbs to 400 feet above the departure end of runway elevation before making the initial turn
      • Maintains a minimum climb gradient of 200 feet per nautical mile (FPNM)
    • A greater climb gradient may be specified in the DP to clear obstacles or to achieve an ATC crossing restriction

AIM - Para. 5-4-1

  • STARs simplify clearance delivery procedures and also facilitate transition between en route and instrument approach procedures
    • May have mandatory speeds and altitude restrictions
    • May have planning information depicted to inform pilots what clearances or restrictions to "expect"
      • "Expect" altitudes/speeds are not considered STAR procedures crossing restrictions unless verbally issued by ATC
  • While on a STAR, a clearance to "descend via" authorizes the pilot to
    • Descend at pilot's discretion to meet published restrictions and laterally navigate on a STAR
    • When cleared to a waypoint depicted on a STAR, to descend from a previously assigned altitude at pilot's discretion to the altitude depicted at that waypoint
    • Once established on the depicted arrival, to descend and to meet all published or assigned altitude and/or speed restrictions.

AIM - Para. 5-4-5

  • On some charts you will find a note saying "RADAR REQUIRED". As per the FAA Pilot/Controller Glossary:
    A term displayed on charts and approach plates and included in FDC NOTAMs to alert pilots that segments of either an instrument approach procedure or a route are not navigable because of either absence or unusability of a NAVAID. The pilot can expect to be provided radar navigational guidance while transiting segments labeled with this term.

Tomas Hansson (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Chief Flight Instructor, VATSTAR
DISCLAIMER: all information contained herein is for flight simulation purposes only.
March 2021

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