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As is always the case, when used by the controller during 
departure, the term “radar contact” should not be 
interpreted as relieving pilots of their responsibility to 
maintain appropriate terrain and obstruction clearance, 
which may include flying the obstacle DP. 


Pilots must preplan to determine if the aircraft 

can meet the climb gradient (expressed in feet per 
nautical mile) required by the departure procedure or 
DVA, and be aware that flying at a higher than 
anticipated ground speed increases the climb rate 
requirement in feet per minute. Higher than standard 
climb gradients are specified by a note on the 
departure procedure chart for graphic DPs, or in the 

Off Minimums and (Obstacle) Departure 

Procedures section of the U.S. Terminal Procedures 
booklet for textual ODPs. The required climb 
gradient, or higher, must be maintained to the 
specified altitude or fix, then the standard climb 
gradient of 200 ft/NM can be resumed. A table for the 
conversion of climb gradient (feet per nautical mile) 
to climb rate (feet per minute), at a given ground 
speed, is included on the inside of the back cover of 
the U.S. Terminal Procedures booklets. 


Where are DPs located? DPs and DVAs will be 

listed by airport in the IFR Takeoff Minimums and 
(Obstacle) Departure Procedures Section, Section L, 
of the Terminal Procedures Publications (TPP). If the 
DP is textual, it will be described in TPP Section L

SIDs and complex ODPs will be published 
graphically and named. The name will be listed by 
airport name and runway in Section L. Graphic ODPs 
will also have the term “(OBSTACLE)” printed in the 
charted procedure title, differentiating them from 


An ODP that has been developed solely for 

obstacle avoidance will be indicated with the symbol 
“T” on appropriate Instrument Approach Procedure 
(IAP) charts and DP charts for that airport. The “T” 
symbol will continue to refer users to TPP Section C. 
In the case of a graphic ODP, the TPP Section C will 
only contain the name of the ODP. Since there may be 
both a textual and a graphic DP, Section C should still 
be checked for additional information. The nonstan-
dard takeoff minimums and minimum climb 
gradients found in TPP Section C also apply to 
charted DPs and radar vector departures unless 
different minimums are specified on the charted DP. 
Takeoff minimums and departure procedures apply to 
all runways unless otherwise specified. New graphic 

DPs will have all the information printed on the 
graphic depiction. As a general rule, ATC will only 
assign an ODP from a non

towered airport when 

compliance with the ODP is necessary for aircraft to 
aircraft separation. Pilots may use the ODP to help 
ensure separation from terrain and obstacles. 




Each pilot, prior to departing an airport on an 

IFR flight should: 


Consider the type of terrain and other 

obstacles on or in the vicinity of the departure airport; 


Determine whether an ODP is available; 


Determine if obstacle avoidance can be 

maintained visually or if the ODP should be flown; 


Consider the effect of degraded climb 

performance and the actions to take in the event of an 
engine loss during the departure. Pilots should notify 
ATC as soon as possible of reduced climb capability 
in that circumstance. 



Guidance concerning contingency procedures that address 
an engine failure on takeoff after V


 speed on a large or 


powered transport category airplane may be 

found in AC 120

91, Airport Obstacle Analysis. 


Determine if a DVA is published and 

whether the aircraft is capable of meeting the 
published climb gradient. Advise ATC when 
requesting the IFR clearance, or as soon as possible, 
if  unable to meet the DVA climb gradient. 


Check for Takeoff Obstacle Notes pub-

lished in the TPP for the takeoff runway. 


Pilots should not exceed a published speed 

restriction associated with a SID waypoint until 
passing that waypoint. 


After an aircraft is established on a SID and 

subsequently vectored or cleared to deviate off of the 
SID or SID transition, pilots must consider the SID 
canceled, unless the controller adds “expect to 
resume SID;” pilots should then be prepared to rejoin 
the SID at a subsequent fix or procedure leg. If the 
SID contains published altitude and/or speed 
restrictions, those restrictions are canceled and pilots 
will receive an altitude to maintain and, if necessary, 
a speed. ATC may also interrupt the vertical 
navigation of a SID and provide alternate altitude 
instructions while the aircraft remains established on 




Departure Procedures