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  Tuesday 16 October 2018 21:52 GMT  

Aviation Theory

Standard Instrument Departure (SID)

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At many busy controlled airports, specific Standard Instrument Departures (SID), now referred to as Departure Procedures (DPs), are published to expedite clearance delivery and to facilitate transition between takeoff and enroute operations. The SID provides a standard route from the terminal to the enroute structure. There are often transitions which connect the end of the SID with one of several enroute possibilities.

SIDs furnish pilots departure routing clearance information in graphic and textual form. This simplifies the issuance of a departure clearance by allowing ATC to simply specify the SID by name without having to describe, in detail, the route. The clearance may include the basic SID name and number, plus a transition to the enroute portion of the flight plan.


For example, without the SIDs and filing a flight plan from St. Louis Lambert International and heading north, your clearance might be something like the following:

"Lear123 cleared direct STL VORTAC then via STL radial 014 to SKUTR intersection, then via BDF radial 198 to BDF VORTAC. Fly runway heading for vectors. Climb and maintain 2500 feet, expect clearance to filed altitude 10 minutes after departure."

The controller not only has to read this to you, but, you have to copy it and read it back!

If you had the SID for the CARDS FOUR Departure (see below) and filed that in your flight plan, the entry would be CARDS4.BDF. This indicates to ATC that you plan to fly the CARDS FOUR SID and use the BRADFORD Transition. Each SID will usually have several transitions available to help you get started in the direction you plan to fly. Your clearance for the first part of the trip would probably be: "Lear123 cleared via CARDS FOUR, BRADFORD TRANSITION." This not only saves air time, it saves a lot of hassle on your part since you have a chart in front of you with all the necessary information. In order to file a SID, you are required to either have the graphical or textual representation of the SID.


On the chart below, the Bradford transition is highlighted in red. As you can see, the SID starts at the departure runway, then via radar vectors to the STL VORTAC. At this point, the pilot would be expected to navigate to the SKUTR intersection via the 014 radial and then on to BDF VORTAC via the 198 radial.

In addition to the departure procedures themselves, there is a lot of other information on the SID, such as (A) the name of the facility and the SID, (B) frequencies for communications, (C) navigation aids, including frequencies and identifiers, (D) minimum altitudes, distances and courses, and (E) text descriptions of the procedures and transitions.

Example SID chart of St. Louis Intl (KSTL), Missouri - Cards Four Departure

SIDs are designed to separate departing traffic from arrivals, provide efficient interception of an outbound course, avoid noise sensitive areas, simplify the issuance of departure clearances, and reduce radio traffic.

There are two basic types of SIDs: pilot navigation, where the pilot is primarily responsible for navigation along the SID course, and vector SIDs, where ATC will provide radar vectors to an assigned route or fix.

If you do not want to fly a SID, a note should be entered in the remark section of the flight plan indicating "no SID".


Previous Chapter Sectional Terminal Area and WAC -- Table of Contents -- Standard Terminal Arrival Route (STAR) Next Chapter

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