Topic Author
Posts: 226
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 11:17 pm

Nats Climb Clearance "Climb No Earlier"

Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:31 pm

Was flying from a destination in Ireland today and heard all the chatter between Shannon Control and the aircraft about to start the Atlantic to the States.

On two occasion I heard the controller give an aircraft a clearance of "cross Pickle (I think this is what it was) no earlier than 1648z @ FL340.

Any ideas on this, what would be the reason for an aircraft to be given a clearance of climb no earlier than a certain time etc.?
Posts: 130
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:33 pm

RE: Nats Climb Clearance "Climb No Earlier"

Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:40 pm

This was not a climb clearance but an oceanic track entry clearance. The aircraft was most likely already at FL340. This is how controllers sequence aircraft on the tracks. The next aircraft to enter the track starting at PIKIL at the same altitude, would be given a "no earlier time" of 1658z.
David L
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Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:26 am

RE: Nats Climb Clearance "Climb No Earlier"

Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:49 pm

I think the point is that they were not to enter Oceanic airspace before 1648z and that they were to be already level at FL340 prior to doing so.

Due to the lack of radar coverage, the North Atlantic movements are "choreographed" to ensure spacing. That's why they are issued fixed flight levels, Mach numbers and entry times. Being out of sight of ATC for several hours, you don't want them bunching up along the way.

Here's a starting point for further information:
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RE: Nats Climb Clearance "Climb No Earlier"

Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:14 am

Speaking of the NATS, is there any way to find out which Airbus overtook my flight (LH439, D-AIKI) during the night from last Sunday to Monday? The overtaking aircraft at approximately 22:05 CDT/03:05 GMT was to our right and somewhat lower, I got the idea that it was an Airbus from its strobes (double flash as opposed to a Boeing's single flash). The position was southeast of Greenland.

[Edited 2012-07-03 04:16:56]
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