This is not going to be a short story.

But here’s the summary. In June 2016, ICAO updated Doc 4444 (the Air Traffic Control bible) with Amendment 7.

One of the main things this new bit does, is to change what the controller will say to the pilot, on a Standard Instrument Departure (SID), and on a Standard Instrument Arrival (STAR).

The new phraseology headline is “CLIMB VIA” and “DESCEND VIA”, but there are many more new parts to it.

So, here’s the problem. Doc 4444 is the master document, but each country has to implement the changes. And many are not – because they haven’t had time to train the controllers, or because they haven’t done a safety case (ie. figured out if anything in the new phraseologies might be dangerous), or … other reasons.

Some states have even published AIC’s to say that they won’t be implementing the changes (Australia, Switzerland). Others have already published the changes (Iceland, for example).

Confusing? You bet. For now, do two things:

  1. Read the new rules, because you’ll hear them from November 10th, but we’re not exactly sure where yet.
  2. Comment below and tell us any additional info you have.

The new rules are here:

  1. ICAO State Letter (the official version, with the verbatim changes to Doc 4444)
  2. A summary leaflet from ICAO – the highlights.
  3. SID/STAR Scenarios and Example Phraseologies from ICAO (a longer document).

We’ll keep this page updated as we hear more …

Will be implementing the change
Iceland
Latvia
Sweden (if we read AIP Supp 89 correctly)

Won’t be implementing the change – yet

Finland
Singapore
Australia
Switzerland
United Kingdom (not until late 2017, earliest)