Document Information
Version 2
Created 12/31/2015 21:36
Last Updated 01/04/2021 01:39
by Skylar Hutter

Pre-Departure Clearances

I. Preface

Note: This document is and may not be used for real-world ATC training. It is intended for use by controllers in the VATSIM network.

Purpose: This Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) outlines the procedures to be used by all ZSE controllers to understand the use and how to use Pre-Departure Clearances.

II. Background

Pre Departure Clearances are text type clearances passed to an aircraft either via text or chat used to mitigate controller workload.  The use of them is not restricted in any way as of this writing, and are completely optional. S1 controllers may not use PDC's as part of their training and must solely use standard clearances (although, we will teach about PDC's in S1 training and their uses and functionality).  The PDC format may be altered as needed but must contain the following minimum information.  

The following information is required:

  • CALLSIGN: AS APPROPRIATE
  • A/C: AS APPROPRIATE
  • BEACON: AS ASSIGNED
  • ORIGIN: AS APPROPRIATE
  • DESTINATION: AS APPROPRIATE
  • ROUTE: AS APPROVED
  • APPROVED ALTITUDE: AS APPROVED, CORRECT FOR DIRECTION OF FLIGHT
  • DEPARTURE FREQ: IF NO RADAR ONLINE, 122.800
  • ALTITUDE RESTRICTIONS: APPROPRIATE FOR (DP) DEPARTURE PROCEDURE AND/OR FACILITY.  

III. Application

Here is an example of a PDC the HAROB6 departure at KSEA

PRE-DEPARTURE CLEARANCE START | CALL SIGN: DAL123 | TYPE: A320/L | DEP: KSEA | ARR: KSFO | TRANSPONDER: 1501 | ALTITUDE: 37000 | APPROVED ROUTE: HAROB6 FEPOT Q3 FOWND MLBEC BDEGA2 | *CLIMB VIA SID TOP ALTITUDE 7,000* | EXPECT RWY 16L | DEP FREQ 125.600 | ADDITIONAL INFO: >>CONTACT APPROPRIATE CONTROLLER WITH ASSIGNED TRANSPONDER CODE AND CURRENT ATIS FOR TAXI.<< THIS MESSAGE SERVES AS YOUR PRE-DEPARTURE CLEARANCE. NO NEED TO REPLY UNLESS YOU HAVE QUESTIONS -END-

Next, let's take a look at a PDC that does not utilize "Climb via SID" phraseology

PRE-DEPARTURE CLEARANCE START | CALL SIGN: DAL123 | TYPE: A320/L | DEP: KSEA | ARR: KGEG | TRANSPONDER: 1501 | ALTITUDE: 23000 | APPROVED ROUTE: ZADON ZELAK ZIRAN ZOOMR ZOOMR1 | *MAINTAIN 7000, EXPECT 23000 10 MINUTES AFTER DEPARTURE* | EXPECT RWY 16L | DEP FREQ 125.600 | ADDITIONAL INFO: >>CONTACT APPROPRIATE CONTROLLER WITH ASSIGNED TRANSPONDER CODE AND CURRENT ATIS FOR TAXI.<< THIS MESSAGE SERVES AS YOUR PRE-DEPARTURE CLEARANCE. NO NEED TO REPLY UNLESS YOU HAVE QUESTIONS -END-

As you can see, all information as outlined above has been used, and some have also been added, including a runway to expect. Controllers can feel free to take discretion with PDC's, but the format and minimum information as outlined above must be utilized per ZSE Training Administration.

 

Here are some examples of commands located in our alias file. But before you use them, here a few reminders:

  1. Most importantly, you must check the flight plan first for errors and assign the squawk code before sending the PDC.
  2. Anywhere you see a $ followed by a number, ie. $1, $2, that is a manual entry.
  3. The examples listed below aren't applicable to every airport, but you can edit them.
  4. You don't need to open a pm to send a PDC with the commands listed below. All you need to do is select the aircraft, type in the PDC command followed by any manual entries and it will send the pilot a PDC. Example: AAL1506, .tpdcsummas
  5. Additional examples of PDC commands can be found via our Command Reference guide located HERE.