While the en route charts provide the information necessary to safely transit broad regions of airspace, the United States Terminal Procedures Publication (TPP) enables pilots to guide their aircraft in the airport area. Whether departing or arriving, these procedures exist to make the controllers’ and pilots’ jobs safer and more efficient. Available in booklets by region (published by AeroNav Products), the TPP includes approach procedures, STARs, Departure Procedures (DPs), and airport diagrams.

Departure Procedures

There are two types of DPs: Obstacle Departure Procedures (ODP) and SIDs. [Figure 1] Both types of DPs provide obstacle clearance protection to aircraft in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), while reducing communications and departure delays. DPs are published in text and/or charted graphic form. Regardless of the format, all DPs provide a way to depart the airport and transition to the en route structure safely. When possible, pilots are strongly encouraged to file and fly a DP at night, during marginal visual meteorological conditions (VMC) and IMC.

Terminal Procedures Publications of The National Airspace System
Figure 1. Obstacle departure procedures (ODP) and standard instrument departures (SID)
All DPs provide obstacle clearance provided the aircraft crosses the end of the runway at least 35 feet AGL; climbs to 400 feet above airport elevation before turning; and climbs at least 200 feet per nautical mile (FPNM), unless a higher climb gradient is specified to the assigned altitude. ATC may vector an aircraft off a previously assigned DP; however, the 200 FPNM or the FPNM specified in the DP is required. Textual ODPs are listed by city and airport in the IFR Take-Off Minimums and DPs section of the TPP. SIDs are depicted in the TPP following the approach procedures for the airport.

Standard Terminal Arrival Routes

STARs depict prescribed routes to transition the instrument pilot from the en route structure to a fix in the terminal area from which an instrument approach can be conducted. If a pilot does not have the appropriate STAR, write “No STAR” in the flight plan. However, if the controller is busy, the pilot might be cleared along the same route and, if necessary, the controller has the pilot copy the entire text of the procedure.

STARs are listed alphabetically at the beginning of the AeroNav Products booklet. Figure 2 shows an example of a STAR, and the legend for STARs and DPs printed in AeroNav Products booklets.

Terminal Procedures Publications of The National Airspace System
Figure 2. DP chart legend and STAR