|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : zlc.artcc|
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : radar|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Experience||controller radar : 25|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
Flight Crew Human Performance
|ATC Facility||procedure or policy : zlc.artcc|
Air carrier X provides scheduled service to elko; nv; using E120 aircraft. Eko is an uncontrolled airport; so pilots routinely contact ATC via radio on the ground for clearance. As part of the clearance request; air carrier X pilots regularly ask for 'a VFR climb.' eko does have a published IFR departure procedure; but it is my understanding that the option to either fly the departure procedure or climb on course is solely at the discretion of the pilot. Pilots have told me that they make this request because of company policy. As a controller; when a pilot requests and I issue a clearance that includes a VFR climb; I am not providing IFR separation services until the aircraft reaches the altitude specified in the VFR climb clearance. My concern is that air carrier X policy is directed at the option of a climb on course; and that they don't understand the implications of the VFR climb they are requiring their pilots to ask for. I feel that if they understand that they are waiving ATC provided separation they would immediately change their policy. I have tried to make this point to ZLC management repeatedly; but to my knowledge; no action has been taken to enlighten air carrier X management. I am not aware of an occurrence of any kind of proximity event connected with this issue; but feel strongly that the potential for error definitely exists. I would feel much more comfortable issuing the requested clearance if I knew the pilots and their company understood and accepted the liability they are assuming.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ZLC CTLR EXPRESSED CONCERN REGARDING VFR CLIMB PROC FROM NON CTLED ARPT'S.
Narrative: ACR X PROVIDES SCHEDULED SVC TO ELKO; NV; USING E120 ACFT. EKO IS AN UNCTLED ARPT; SO PLTS ROUTINELY CONTACT ATC VIA RADIO ON THE GND FOR CLRNC. AS PART OF THE CLRNC REQUEST; ACR X PLTS REGULARLY ASK FOR 'A VFR CLB.' EKO DOES HAVE A PUBLISHED IFR DEP PROC; BUT IT IS MY UNDERSTANDING THAT THE OPTION TO EITHER FLY THE DEP PROC OR CLB ON COURSE IS SOLELY AT THE DISCRETION OF THE PLT. PLTS HAVE TOLD ME THAT THEY MAKE THIS REQUEST BECAUSE OF COMPANY POLICY. AS A CTLR; WHEN A PLT REQUESTS AND I ISSUE A CLRNC THAT INCLUDES A VFR CLB; I AM NOT PROVIDING IFR SEPARATION SVCS UNTIL THE ACFT REACHES THE ALT SPECIFIED IN THE VFR CLB CLRNC. MY CONCERN IS THAT ACR X POLICY IS DIRECTED AT THE OPTION OF A CLB ON COURSE; AND THAT THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE VFR CLB THEY ARE REQUIRING THEIR PLTS TO ASK FOR. I FEEL THAT IF THEY UNDERSTAND THAT THEY ARE WAIVING ATC PROVIDED SEPARATION THEY WOULD IMMEDIATELY CHANGE THEIR POLICY. I HAVE TRIED TO MAKE THIS POINT TO ZLC MGMNT REPEATEDLY; BUT TO MY KNOWLEDGE; NO ACTION HAS BEEN TAKEN TO ENLIGHTEN ACR X MGMNT. I AM NOT AWARE OF AN OCCURRENCE OF ANY KIND OF PROX EVENT CONNECTED WITH THIS ISSUE; BUT FEEL STRONGLY THAT THE POTENTIAL FOR ERROR DEFINITELY EXISTS. I WOULD FEEL MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE ISSUING THE REQUESTED CLRNC IF I KNEW THE PLTS AND THEIR COMPANY UNDERSTOOD AND ACCEPTED THE LIABILITY THEY ARE ASSUMING.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of January 2009 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.