Briefing
Welcome to ZOB

Welcome to the Virtual Cleveland ARTCC, one of the 20 contigious ARTCCs represented in VATUSA; alongside the Pacific Control Facility. We are the smallest en-route facility by area (89,000 Mi.2) but contain a great wealth of traffic as we provide sequencing to six adjacent ARTCCs and the Toronto FIR. At the Cleveland ARTCC we hold three Class Bravo airspaces which include: Detroit (KDTW), Cleveland (KCLE), and Pittsburgh (KPIT).

We recommend that you check out our next chapter of the briefing to review some great options for departing and arriving within the Cleveland ARTCC. Our controllers appreciate any amount of traffic, and we personally invite you to fly out of our popular hubs, or not so-popular smaller controlled or uncontrolled fields.


Airport Overview


Above you will find a map that contains markers that indicate all of the controlled airports that the Cleveland ARTCC offers within our airspace boundary. Each airport is signified by their Class of Airspace, and a key and amount relevant to the map can be found below:

  • Class Bravo Field (3)
  • Class Charlie Field (6)
  • Class Delta Field (21)

Our most popular airport at the Cleveland ARTCC by numbers is Detroit-Metropolitan Wayne County Airport; followed by Cleveland-Hopkins, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo Niagara airports. There are several TRACON facilities, and two RAPCON facilities in which the Cleveland ARTCC encompasses. There is a good quantity of fields to choose from within the Cleveland ARTCC airspace.


Airport Weather

KDTW

MVFR
Wind 300/3
KDTW 301353Z 30003KT 4SM BR SCT050 BKN250 00/M01 A2987 RMK AO2 SLP123 T00001011

KCLE

VFR
Wind 210/7
KCLE 301351Z 21007KT 10SM BKN047 OVC060 02/M03 A2983 RMK AO2 SLP125 T00171033

KPIT

VFR
Wind 210/5
KPIT 301351Z 21005KT 10SM BKN044 OVC060 01/M04 A2987 RMK AO2 SLP133 T00111039

KBUF

IFR
Wind 200/7
KBUF 301354Z 20007KT 1 1/4SM R23/5000VP6000FT -SN BR OVC008 01/M01 A2987 RMK AO2 CIG 004V011 SLP122 P0002 T00061011

KCAK

VFR
Wind 230/8
KCAK 301351Z 23008KT 10SM OVC046 02/M03 A2986 RMK AO2 SLP120 T00171028

KFNT

VFR
Wind 270/3
KFNT 301353Z 27003KT 10SM BKN033 M03/M03 A2986 RMK AO2 SLP120 T10281028

KLAN

LIFR
Wind 260/4
KLAN 301353Z 26004KT 1/2SM R28L/P6000FT FZFG CLR M01/M02 A2988 RMK AO2 SLP128 T10111022

KROC

VFR
Wind 230/4
KROC 301354Z 23004KT 9SM -SN BKN040 OVC050 01/M02 A2989 RMK AO2 SNB33 SLP132 P0000 T00111022

KTOL


Wind Calm
KTOL 301352Z A2989 RMK AO2 SLPNO $

CYQG

VFR
Wind 240/3
CYQG 301300Z AUTO 24003KT 9SM OVC050 00/M00 A2984 RMK SLP112

KAGC

VFR
Wind 190/10
KAGC 301353Z 19010KT 10SM BKN047 OVC060 01/M04 A2987 RMK AO2 SLP129 T00111039

KARB

IFR
Wind 280/3
KARB 301353Z 28003KT 2 1/2SM BR FEW045 M03/M03 A2986 RMK AO2 SLP122 T10281033

KBKL

VFR
Wind 180/9
KBKL 301353Z 18009KT 10SM OVC047 03/M02 A2985 RMK AO2 SLP112 T00281022 $

KBVI

VFR
Wind 190/4
KBVI 301355Z AUTO 19004KT 10SM OVC040 02/M02 A2986 RMK AO2 T00151020

KCGF

VFR
Wind 150/10
KCGF 301035Z AUTO 15010G15KT 10SM BKN049 OVC055 00/M02 A2984 RMK AO2 T00031021

KCKB

VFR
Wind 230/7
KCKB 301353Z 23007KT 10SM OVC050 05/M06 A2993 RMK AO2 SLP140 T00501056

KDET

MVFR
Wind 280/3
KDET 301353Z 28003KT 3SM BR FEW050 01/00 A2986 RMK AO2 SLP118 T00110000

KERI

MVFR
Wind 180/8
KERI 301351Z 18008KT 3SM -SN BKN034 OVC060 01/M02 A2987 RMK AO2 SLP121 P0000 T00111022

KHLG

VFR
Wind 210/7
KHLG 301353Z 21007G16KT 10SM OVC055 02/M04 A2988 RMK AO2 SLP130 T00171039

KIAG

LIFR
Wind 120/5
KIAG 301353Z 12005KT 1/2SM R28R/4000V5500FT SN FG OVC005 01/M01 A2986 RMK AO2 SLP126 P0001 T00061011

KJST

VFR
Wind 210/7
KJST 301354Z AUTO 21007KT 10SM OVC039 M01/M06 A2984 RMK AO2 SNB1255E17 SLP128 P0000 T10111056

KJXN

VFR
Wind 250/6
KJXN 301356Z 25006KT 10SM CLR M02/M03 A2987 RMK AO2 SLP127 T10171028

KLBE

VFR
Wind 190/6
KLBE 301055Z AUTO 19006KT 6SM -UP FEW012 BKN032 OVC065 00/M03 A2992 RMK AO2

KMBS

IFR
Wind 260/5
KMBS 301353Z 26005KT 3SM BR BKN006 OVC037 M01/M02 A2986 RMK AO2 SLP118 T10111022

KMFD

VFR
Wind 240/8
KMFD 301352Z 24008KT 10SM OVC050 03/M03 A2986 RMK AO2 SLP121 T00281028

KMGW

VFR
Wind 210/7
KMGW 301353Z 21007G16KT 10SM OVC050 03/M06 A2992 RMK AO2 SLP143 T00331056

KMTC

IFR
Wind 260/3
KMTC 301356Z 26003KT 1 1/2SM BR CLR 00/00 A2984 RMK AO2A SLP115 T00040004 $

KPTK

IFR
Wind 250/3
KPTK 301353Z 25003KT 1SM R09R/1600V5500FT BCFG BR FEW003 FEW250 M02/M02 A2984 RMK AO2 SLP113 VIS 3/4V1 1/2 I1000 T10171017

KYIP

MVFR
Wind 280/3
KYIP 301353Z 28003KT 5SM BR SCT049 M01/M03 A2987 RMK AO2 SLP121 T10061028 $

KYNG

VFR
Wind 180/5
KYNG 301351Z 18005KT 10SM -SN FEW008 OVC035 01/M03 A2985 RMK AO2 SLP118 P0000 T00061028 $

Center Splits


Low Splits
Above you will find a map detailing our commonly-used Low-Center Splits. There are rare scenarios where we use all of these splits with extremely high-density traffic. The primary Low Center sector is ZOB 04. This sector takes control of all of the airspace when no High Sectors are present. When High-Sector splits are present; all Low-Center sectors have an airspace from SFC-FL230 (excluding C33/C31/C70/C73 which own SFC-FL270). If you are departing through a field; the Low-Center sectors will be responsible for your climbs, or any arrivals into fields via STARs, and descents through the flight level transition altitude into TRACON airspace.



High Splits
Above you will find a map detailing our commonly-used High-Center Splits. (more sectors may be open on discretion of the TMU/CiC) The scenarios where all high sector splits are utilized is usually in home, or adjacent ARTCC/FIR events where en-route support form the Cleveland ARTCC is required. The primary High Center sector is ZOB 48. This sector takes control of all of the high center airspace when no other sectors are present. The high-center sectors primarily control all descending, and climbing airspace through FL240-FL600 (excluding C37/C36/C77 which own FL280-FL600); as well as all traffic inbound or outbound through our neighboring airspaces.

Clearances

When departing out of the Cleveland ARTCC airspace there is a variety of airports that are available to you. After you have read our Overview section of the Briefing you will have known that there are four main fields:

  • Detroit-Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (KDTW)
  • Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (KCLE)
  • Pittsburgh International Airport (KPIT)
  • Buffalo Niagara International Airport (KBUF)
Each of our four main fields support both verbal, and PDC (Pre-Departure Clearance) which are available for aircraft either by choice, or in heavy traffic situations. For verbal clearances you are required to readback your squawk code at minimum, and for amendments to the route, altitude, etc. you are required to readback the amended segment of your plan, and the squawk code. For PDCs you are required to initially contact the controller handling ground/ramp movements with your assigned SID (Standard Instrument Departure), squawk code, and current ATIS information.

If you are departing out of one of our four main fields you will be most likely be assigned an available Standard Instrument Departure. Planning ahead is key in high-traffic situations and we recommend you use tools such as SimBrief or FlightAware to plan your routes, or our facility Routing page for preferred routing in our local airspace.

An example of a Pre-Departure-Clearance at Detroit with an RNAV SID can be seen below:
**PRE-DEPARTURE CLEARANCE START** | 2322 Z | CALLSIGN: AAL1236 | EQUIP: B738/L | DEP: KDTW | ARR: KMCO | SQUAWK: 4332 | APPROVED ROUTE: CLVIN2 STAZE VXV ATL YUESS OTK PIGLT6 | FINAL ALT: 34000 | ALTITUDE RESTRICTIONS: CLIMB VIA SID | DEP FREQ: 126.220 PLAN RUNWAY 22L FOR DEPARTURE. CONTACT Metro Ground ON FREQ 121.800 FOR TAXI WITH ASSIGNED SID, SQUAWK CODE, AND CURRENT ATIS CODE ONLY. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR ARE UNABLE TO ACCEPT ANY ASSIGNMENT, CONTACT ATC ON FREQUENCY 120.650 | **PRE-DEPARTURE CLEARANCE END**
When spawning in at a gate you should always run through your checklists as expeditiously as possible, and request your clearance prior to pushing back from your terminal. Prior to requesting your IFR clearance: you should tune in to the ATIS frequency for your airport, or get your METARs through the internet or EFBs. When you have the current weather you shall contact the controller handling IFR clearances, and call in with your callsign, ATIS information or weather confirmation, and your intentions to pick up your IFR clearance. (and/or request for Pre-Departure Clearance)
NOTE: You should never pushback if you will end up in the movement area (taxiways) without approval from the controller handling ground movements at your specific airport.


Pushback & Taxi

When you are ready for push and start you either are advised that push is approved at pilot's discretion, or to call for push and start. If your push has already been approved you may push at your discretion and call ready for taxi. If you are required to call for push and start approval: you must contact the controller handling ground/ramp movements, and advise you a ready for push and start. The controller handling ground/ramp movements shall give you a direction to face, or for your tail to turn towards, and approval to push onto a movement area, or a crowded ramp in heavy-traffic density scenarios.

When you are ready to taxi to the runway for departure: you shall advise the controller handling ground movements that you are ready for taxi instructions, and advise that you have the weather or ATIS information. Your instructions will include a combination of taxiways, and possibly runway crossings. If you are told to hold short of a runway you shall read these instructions lastly, and include the taxiway you are holding short of the runway. Your controller will verbally hand you off to local control once nearing or reaching the runway.

Descent

Once entering our en-route environment (refer to Overview) at the Cleveland ARTCC you will be issued a set of instructions by one of our center sectors for a variety of descent instructions into your arrival field. The following are examples of descent clearances into our four main fields:

  • DTW: "... Descend Via the FERRL# arrival, the Metro Altimeter 30.01."
  • CLE: "... Descend Via the ROKNN# arrival, the Cleveland Altimeter 29.98, Cleveland Landing South."
  • PIT: "... Cross CUTTA at and maintain 10,000, the Pittsburgh Altimeter 29.97, Pittsburgh Landing West."
  • BUF: "... Descend and Maintain 10,000, the Buffalo Altimeter 30.03, Buffalo Landing Runway 23."
Above are several examples of different descent clearances that can be issued by the en-route controllers who have authority of the center sectors. Both Detroit Metro (DTW) and Cleveland (CLE) have RNAV Standard Terminal Arrival Routes (STARs) that are utilized by pilots for their descents via Optimized Profile Descent (OPD) that are described in both the chart, and through the Flight Management Computer (FMC). Aircraft on the OPDs will most likely, if not always be issued a "...descend via..." clearance which instructs the pilot to follow the defined altitude and speed restrictions until further notice. Aircraft on OPDs may likely be descended while on the RNAV STAR; which cancels the altitude restrictions, and is known as a "hard" altitude as depicted on the chart, but still requires that you fly the lateral portion of the arrival until otherwise vectored off this profile.
NOTE: Speed restrictions on STARs are absolutely mandatory unless authorized by ATC.
Aircraft descending into Pittsburgh (PIT), Buffalo (BUF) or several of the other controlled or uncontrolled fields, you will be issued a different variety of other crossing restrictions, hard descents, or step-descents to set you up for your approach. If you are issued a crossing restriction you must meet the altitude at or before arriving at the fix laterally.
NOTE: You are not cleared to descend until ATC issues a clearance to either "descend via" a STAR, crossing restrictions, or other methods.
Regardless of whether or not you are on a STAR: you will be issued an altimeter for your arrival field, and any other information that is vital to your approach.


Approach

Upon entering the TRACON environment, or you are approaching your destination you will be issued an approach to expect. Below are examples of different types of approaches that may or may not be supported at your destination field.

  • Instrument Landing System (ILS) *
  • RNAV (GPS/RNP)) *
  • Localizer (LOC)
  • VOR
  • Visual *
One or more of these examples are available at most controlled fields in the Cleveland ARTCC, and will be assigned upon entering or nearing the approach phase of your flight. You will be most likely vectored, or depending on your approach's descriptions: cleared to a fix/waypoint, and restrictions to cross the fix/waypoint at a certain altitude to join your approach. Once you are cleared for an approach you may presume the approach based off the charts, or your FMC's approach description, or based off visual reference per a "Visual Approach". When nearing the runway you will be given clearance to land, and if required: your distance from traffic arriving on the runway, or advisory of traffic departing the field.

If absolutely required and safety is at risk: you may be issued a go-around, or missed approach, and you will be issued instructions to climb out of the field, and vectored away from the field, or you will be advised to fly the missed approach procedure as filed for your specific approach which is described on the approach chart.
* These approaches will be utilized more frequently than others, and will be more openly available. Other approaches are available upon request and chart availability.