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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.


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


(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.


(Aircraft identification) released for departure at (time in
hours and/or minutes).

4. Expect Departure Clearance Time


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.


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.


−2−8. Departure Control


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.


Departure Control utilizing radar will normally

clear aircraft out of the terminal area using DPs via
radio navigation aids.


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.


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.


Delta 345 RNAV to MPASS, Runway26L, cleared for


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.


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