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

VFR
Wind 200/7
KDTW 211253Z 20007KT 9SM -RA FEW007 SCT025 OVC050 13/12 A2983 RMK AO2 LTG DSNT S RAB1157E17B53 TSE19 SLP101 OCNL LTG DSNT SE-S CB DSNT SE-S MOV NE TS MOV NE P0004 T01330122

KCLE

VFR
Wind 190/10
KCLE 211251Z 19010G16KT 10SM BKN049 BKN200 16/11 A2988 RMK AO2 SLP132 T01560106

KPIT

VFR
Wind 170/6
KPIT 211251Z 17006KT 10SM FEW055 FEW130 SCT220 12/09 A3000 RMK AO2 SLP164 T01220094

KBUF

VFR
Wind 200/9
KBUF 211254Z 20009KT 10SM FEW055 SCT120 OVC160 15/11 A2990 RMK AO2 SLP124 T01500111

KCAK

VFR
Wind 190/11
KCAK 211251Z 19011KT 10SM SCT180 14/11 A2994 RMK AO2 SLP139 T01390111

KFNT

MVFR
Wind 200/8
KFNT 211253Z 20008KT 10SM OVC018 14/13 A2979 RMK AO2 SLP087 T01440128

KLAN

VFR
Wind 200/6
KLAN 211253Z 20006KT 6SM BR SCT055 14/13 A2978 RMK AO2 SLP083 T01440128

KROC

VFR
Wind 220/6
KROC 211254Z 22006KT 10SM FEW050 SCT110 SCT180 BKN250 14/11 A2992 RMK AO2 SLP135 T01440111

KTOL

VFR
Wind 220/6
KTOL 211252Z 22006KT 10SM BKN041 OVC055 15/12 A2983 RMK AO2 LTG DSNT NE AND E RAE30 TSB12E36 SLP099 P0014 T01500122

CYQG

MVFR
Wind 180/6
CYQG 211239Z AUTO 18006KT 9SM -RA OVC026 14/13 A2982 RMK LTNG DIST ALQDS SLP101 DENSITY ALT 800FT

KAGC

VFR
Wind 180/9
KAGC 211253Z 18009KT 10SM CLR 13/09 A3000 RMK AO2 SLP162 T01280089

KARB

MVFR
Wind 200/4
KARB 211253Z 20004KT 5SM BR BKN047 OVC070 13/12 A2981 RMK AO2 SLP095 P0001 T01280122

KBKL

VFR
Wind 160/13
KBKL 211253Z 16013KT 10SM BKN055 16/11 A2988 RMK AO2 SLP118 T01560106

KBVI

VFR
Wind 170/7
KBVI 211255Z AUTO 17007KT 10SM CLR 14/10 A2999 RMK AO2 LTG DSNT NW T01400100

KCGF

VFR
Wind 190/7
KCGF 210955Z AUTO 19007KT 10SM CLR 14/10 A2995 RMK AO2 LTG DSNT NW T01420096

KCKB

VFR
Wind 0/3
KCKB 211253Z VRB03KT 10SM FEW037 FEW044 FEW055 14/10 A3006 RMK AO2 SLP172 T01440100

KDET

MVFR
Wind 200/6
KDET 211253Z 20006KT 9SM OVC025 14/13 A2982 RMK AO2 LTG DSNT E RAE1158B21E41 SLP098 P0006 T01440128

KERI

VFR
Wind 170/14
KERI 211251Z 17014KT 10SM CLR 15/10 A2991 RMK AO2 SLP127 T01500100

KHLG

VFR
Wind 200/11
KHLG 211253Z 20011G22KT 10SM CLR 14/11 A3001 RMK AO2 SLP161 T01440106

KIAG

VFR
Wind 180/7
KIAG 211253Z 18007KT 10SM SCT110 16/12 A2988 RMK AO2 SLP120 T01560122

KJST

VFR
Wind 210/11
KJST 211254Z AUTO 21011KT 10SM CLR 13/08 A3003 RMK AO2 SLP168 T01330083

KJXN

VFR
Wind 180/6
KJXN 211256Z 18006KT 10SM FEW017 OVC050 15/13 A2981 RMK AO2 SLP092 T01500128

KLBE

VFR
Wind Calm
KLBE 210955Z AUTO 00000KT 10SM CLR 10/08 A3005 RMK AO2

KMBS

MVFR
Wind 200/6
KMBS 211253Z 20006KT 8SM SCT012 BKN029 14/13 A2976 RMK AO2 SLP077 T01440128

KMFD

VFR
Wind 180/12
KMFD 211252Z 18012KT 10SM CLR 14/12 A2990 RMK AO2 SLP125 T01440117

KMGW

VFR
Wind 220/7
KMGW 211253Z 22007KT 10SM SCT039 15/09 A3006 RMK AO2 SLP177 T01500094

KMTC

MVFR
Wind 170/6
KMTC 211256Z 17006KT 10SM BKN023 BKN028 OVC044 14/14 A2981 RMK RAE50 TSE10 SLP099 P0006 T01380138 $

KPTK

VFR
Wind 160/4
KPTK 211253Z 16004KT 7SM FEW007 SCT019 OVC050 13/12 A2979 RMK AO2 SLP086 T01330122

KYIP

VFR
Wind 210/8
KYIP 211253Z 21008KT 10SM -RA FEW024 BKN060 OVC100 15/12 A2983 RMK AO2 LTG DSNT SE AND S RAE04B17E30B50 TSE08 SLP096 P0000 T01500122

KYNG

VFR
Wind 180/8
KYNG 211251Z 18008KT 10SM SCT250 13/10 A2996 RMK AO2 SLP144 T01280100

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.