FAA Expands Use of RNAV SID Phraseology

On Monday, September 17, based on successful testing at ATL and CLT, the FAA will implement new phraseology for RNAV SIDs at all locations conducting simultaneous parallel runway departures (see ALPA Operations Bulletin 2009-04). ATC will advise aircraft of the initial waypoint for RNAV SIDs designed to begin at the runway. The phraseology used will be, "RNAV to (fix/waypoint), runway (number), cleared for takeoff.” (Example: "Airline 123, RNAV to MPASS, runway two-six left, cleared for takeoff.”)

The pilot is expected to acknowledge the advisory, just like any other ATC communication.

These new procedures are meant to provide a final crosscheck to ensure the programmed FMS path matches ATC expectations. Crews are expected to verify the first-named fix in the FMS matches their takeoff clearance before departure. Note that a point defined solely by altitude, without an associated latitude/longitude in the database, is not a “named fix.”

Pilots should immediately advise ATC if a different RNAV SID is entered in the aircraft FMS. If the takeoff clearance does not match the FMS, follow your company policy and reprogram the FMS. ALPA does not recommend simply requesting a heading and reprogramming the FMS after airborne.

There is no phraseology change for RNAV SIDs when the pilot is assigned a heading before departure.