Descent on STARs

Tom Campagnola

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Descent on STARs
« on: September 01, 2018, 10:53:00 am »
Question: When you file a flight with a STAR to an airport, and under Center Control, are you supposed to descend via the published STAR or do you wait for the controller to issue descent clearances?

Last night while on the arrival to MSP, i  started a descent to make a crossing restriction on my own, and was advised that i wasn't supposed to start the descent.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 07:30:18 pm by Tom Campagnola »

Don Desfosse

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Re: Descent on STARs
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2018, 11:17:03 am »
You are not authorized to descend until you are specifically cleared to descend via the STAR.
Don Desfosse
Division Director Emeritus, VATUSA

Steven Fedor

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Re: Descent on STARs
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2018, 02:59:28 pm »
If you’re approaching top of descent, you can always request lower.
Steven Fedor
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Brin Brody

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Re: Descent on STARs
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2018, 03:25:38 pm »
If you’re approaching top of descent, you can always request lower.

Or, in the case of "descend via" STARs, let us know you're approaching TOD, so we can provide that clearance to descend via the STAR.  Serves as a 1) useful reminder and 2) helpful note for us to know you (and aircraft similar to yours in the future) will need to descend at about that point.

 ;D
Brin Brody
Deputy Air Traffic Manager
Jacksonville ARTCC
datm@zjxartcc.org


Matt Bromback

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Re: Descent on STARs
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2018, 09:30:57 pm »
Just another tip also - while your not cleared to descend without ATC clearance, you MUST comply with published speeds unless told otherwise.

All the RNAV arrivals into MSP have a note attached to the plate that reads:
TURBOJET AIRCRAFT DESCEND VIA MACH NUMBER UNTIL INTERCEPTING 280KT
MAINTAIN 280KT UNTIL SLOWED BY THE STAR
OR ASSIGNED BY ATC


Keep a close eye out for those notes on the charts no matter where you go.
Like others have said if in doubt, just ask!
Matt Bromback

Robert Shearman Jr

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Re: Descent on STARs
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2018, 08:05:29 am »
See we learn a little each time we fly...
The fact that you're here asking the question puts you miles ahead of many others up in our virtual skies!
Cheers,
-R.

Matthew Kosmoski

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Re: Descent on STARs
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2018, 12:57:30 pm »
Thanks again, in the real world we always announced DeltaXXX leaving FL340 for FL240, just to ping ATC we were evacuating that altitude. I will start that again. Sometimes its very busy, or you just get MIKE fright! Also. on the intial call to Departure, announce your alt passing thru...

see ya
tom

Only if so cleared, though.  The vacating call is not required, but often greatly appreciated.
Matthew Kosmoski (MK)
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Ryan Parry

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Re: Descent on STARs
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2018, 02:26:54 pm »
Thanks again, in the real world we always announced DeltaXXX leaving FL340 for FL240, just to ping ATC we were evacuating that altitude. I will start that again. Sometimes its very busy, or you just get MIKE fright! Also. on the intial call to Departure, announce your alt passing thru...

see ya
tom

Only if so cleared, though.  The vacating call is not required, but often greatly appreciated.

Yes it is. My understanding is that it isn't always practiced, but per AIM 5-3-3....

Quote
a. The following reports should be made to
ATC or FSS facilities without a specific ATC
request:
       1. At all times.
          (a) When vacating any previously assigned
          altitude or flight level for a newly assigned altitude or
          flight level.

Ryan Parry - 965346
ZOA Air Traffic Manager

Matthew Kosmoski

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Re: Descent on STARs
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2018, 04:54:07 pm »
Yes it is. My understanding is that it isn't always practiced, but per AIM 5-3-3....

Quote
a. The following reports should be made to
ATC or FSS facilities without a specific ATC
request:
       1. At all times.
          (a) When vacating any previously assigned
          altitude or flight level for a newly assigned altitude or
          flight level.

Hot damn, I win a prize, I knew somebody would make this always-made-but-never-correct claim.

If you want to claim it's required, you'll have to find a law or regulation to that effect.  The AIM is advisory, not regulatory, as is indicated by its middle initial.  The FAA also worded this very carefully in the AIM: "a. The following reports should be made to" -- The word SHOULD is explicit and intentional.

Pursuant to the FAA Plain Language initiative, should is used when something is NOT mandatory, but is recommended.

Also recommended reading: Words of Authority: "May vs. Should" —the neglected siblings of "Must vs. Shall," by the FAA
Matthew Kosmoski (MK)
Air Traffic Manager | ZHU ARTCC
mkosmoski@zhuartcc.org
www.zhuartcc.org

Ryan Parry

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Re: Descent on STARs
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2018, 06:33:02 pm »
Yes it is. My understanding is that it isn't always practiced, but per AIM 5-3-3....

Quote
a. The following reports should be made to
ATC or FSS facilities without a specific ATC
request:
       1. At all times.
          (a) When vacating any previously assigned
          altitude or flight level for a newly assigned altitude or
          flight level.

Hot damn, I win a prize, I knew somebody would make this always-made-but-never-correct claim.

If you want to claim it's required, you'll have to find a law or regulation to that effect.  The AIM is advisory, not regulatory, as is indicated by its middle initial.  The FAA also worded this very carefully in the AIM: "a. The following reports should be made to" -- The word SHOULD is explicit and intentional.

Pursuant to the FAA Plain Language initiative, should is used when something is NOT mandatory, but is recommended.

Also recommended reading: Words of Authority: "May vs. Should" —the neglected siblings of "Must vs. Shall," by the FAA

Quote
My understanding is that it isn't always practiced
Ryan Parry - 965346
ZOA Air Traffic Manager

Matthew Kosmoski

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Re: Descent on STARs
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2018, 09:21:43 am »
Quote
My understanding is that it isn't always practiced

Sure, you said that, but you also asserted that it was required.
Matthew Kosmoski (MK)
Air Traffic Manager | ZHU ARTCC
mkosmoski@zhuartcc.org
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Brandon Rodgers

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Re: Descent on STARs
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2018, 12:02:36 pm »
Thanks again, in the real world we always announced DeltaXXX leaving FL340 for FL240, just to ping ATC we were evacuating that altitude. I will start that again. Sometimes its very busy, or you just get MIKE fright! Also. on the intial call to Departure, announce your alt passing thru...

see ya
tom

Only if so cleared, though.  The vacating call is not required, but often greatly appreciated.

Althought not required by the AIM, it may be his company’s policy to announce all descents.  The accouncement serves as a check for atc.  As atc, I may have given him the wrong altitude or missed a read back that was wrong. So it gives me another opportunity to check the altitude assignment. 

Matthew Kosmoski

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Re: Descent on STARs
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2018, 09:02:29 pm »
Althought not required by the AIM, it may be his company’s policy to announce all descents.  The accouncement serves as a check for atc.  As atc, I may have given him the wrong altitude or missed a read back that was wrong. So it gives me another opportunity to check the altitude assignment.

And while that may be the case, that doesn't mean that you assert that the law (or the regs) say something they don't.

There's no defending the inability to parse the word "should."
Matthew Kosmoski (MK)
Air Traffic Manager | ZHU ARTCC
mkosmoski@zhuartcc.org
www.zhuartcc.org