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AIM

10/12/17

5−2−5

Departure Procedures

2. Pilots who depart at or after their clearance void time
are not afforded IFR separation and may be in violation of
14 CFR Section 91.173 which requires that pilots receive
an appropriate ATC clearance before operating IFR in
controlled airspace.
EXAMPLE−

Clearance void if not off by (clearance void time) and, if

required, if not off by (clearance void time) advise (facility)

not later than (time) of intentions.

2. Hold for Release. ATC may issue “hold for

release” instructions in a clearance to delay an

aircraft’s departure for traffic management reasons

(i.e., weather, traffic volume, etc.). When ATC states

in the clearance, “hold for release,” the pilot may not

depart utilizing that IFR clearance until a release time

or additional instructions are issued by ATC. In

addition, ATC will include departure delay informa-

tion in conjunction with “hold for release”

instructions. The ATC instruction, “hold for release,”

applies to the IFR clearance and does not prevent the

pilot from departing under VFR. However, prior to

takeoff the pilot should cancel the IFR flight plan and

operate the transponder on the appropriate VFR code.

An IFR clearance may not be available after

departure.

EXAMPLE−

(Aircraft identification) cleared to (destination) airport as

filed, maintain (altitude), and, if required (additional

instructions or information), hold for release, expect (time

in hours and/or minutes) departure delay.

3. Release Times. A “release time” is a

departure restriction issued to a pilot by ATC,

specifying the earliest time an aircraft may depart.

ATC will use “release times” in conjunction with

traffic management procedures and/or to separate a

departing aircraft from other traffic.

EXAMPLE−

(Aircraft identification) released for departure at (time in

hours and/or minutes).

4. Expect Departure Clearance Time

(EDCT). The EDCT is the runway release time

assigned to an aircraft included in traffic management

programs. Aircraft are expected to depart no earlier

than 5 minutes before, and no later than 5 minutes

after the EDCT.

b. If practical, pilots departing uncontrolled

airports should obtain IFR clearances prior to

becoming airborne when two-way communications

with the controlling ATC facility is available.

5−2−8. Departure Control

a. Departure Control is an approach control

function responsible for ensuring separation between

departures. So as to expedite the handling of

departures, Departure Control may suggest a takeoff

direction other than that which may normally have

been used under VFR handling. Many times it is

preferred to offer the pilot a runway that will require

the fewest turns after takeoff to place the pilot on

course or selected departure route as quickly as

possible. At many locations particular attention is

paid to the use of preferential runways for local noise

abatement programs, and route departures away from

congested areas.

b. Departure Control utilizing radar will normally

clear aircraft out of the terminal area using DPs via

radio navigation aids.

1. When a departure is to be vectored

immediately following takeoff, the pilot will be

advised prior to takeoff of the initial heading to be

flown but may not be advised of the purpose of the

heading. When the initial heading will take the

aircraft off an assigned procedure (for example, an

RNAV SID with a published lateral path to a

waypoint and crossing restrictions from the departure

end of runway), the controller will assign an altitude

to maintain with the initial heading.

2. At some airports when a departure will fly an

RNAV SID that begins at the runway, ATC may

advise aircraft of the initial fix/waypoint on the

RNAV route. The purpose of the advisory is to remind

pilots to verify the correct procedure is programmed

in the FMS before takeoff. Pilots must immediately

advise ATC if a different RNAV SID is entered in the

aircraft’s FMC. When this advisory is absent, pilots

are still required to fly the assigned SID as published.

EXAMPLE−

Delta 345 RNAV to MPASS, Runway26L, cleared for

takeoff.
NOTE−

1. The SID transition is not restated as it is contained in the

ATC clearance.
2. Aircraft cleared via RNAV SIDs designed to begin with
a vector to the initial waypoint are assigned a heading be-
fore departure.

3. Pilots operating in a radar environment are

expected to associate departure headings or an RNAV

departure advisory with vectors or the flight path to

their planned route or flight. When given a vector

9/13/18

AIM