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 300/4
KDTW 310853Z 30004KT 10SM FEW140 M14/M18 A3038 RMK AO2 SLP301 T11391183 51008

KCLE

MVFR
Wind 320/12
KCLE 310851Z 32012KT 9SM -SN OVC021 M07/M12 A3032 RMK AO2 SLP296 P0000 60000 T10721122 53016

KPIT

MVFR
Wind 310/11
KPIT 310851Z 31011KT 4SM -SN BR FEW008 BKN014 OVC020 M04/M06 A3022 RMK AO2 SLP255 P0000 60002 T10391056 53014

KBUF

VFR
Wind 270/8
KBUF 310854Z 27008KT 9SM -SN CLR M08/M13 A3024 RMK AO2 SLP253 P0000 60000 T10781133 51017

KCAK

MVFR
Wind 350/11
KCAK 310851Z 35011KT 9SM -SN OVC012 M06/M09 A3027 RMK AO2 SLP268 P0000 60000 T10561094 53017

KFNT

VFR
Wind 220/3
KFNT 310853Z AUTO 22003KT 10SM CLR M17/M19 A3036 RMK AO2 SLP299 T11721194 53007

KLAN

VFR
Wind 250/4
KLAN 310853Z 25004KT 10SM SCT029 M16/M19 A3038 RMK AO2 SLP305 T11561189 53008

KROC

VFR
Wind 300/9
KROC 310854Z 30009KT 9SM -SN BKN038 BKN060 M05/M11 A3023 RMK AO2 SLP247 P0000 60000 T10501106 51017 $

KTOL

VFR
Wind 330/5
KTOL 310852Z 33005KT 10SM CLR M12/M17 A3038 RMK AO2 SLP300 T11171172 53006

CYQG

VFR
Wind 320/10
CYQG 310800Z AUTO 32010KT 9SM CLR M12/M18 A3037 RMK SLP300

KAGC

IFR
Wind 320/7
KAGC 310853Z 32007KT 270V350 1 1/4SM -SN BR FEW006 OVC019 M03/M04 A3020 RMK AO2 SLP245 P0000 60000 T10331044 53014

KARB

VFR
Wind 270/4
KARB 310853Z AUTO 27004KT 10SM CLR M17/M20 A3036 RMK AO2 SLP298 T11721200 51006

KBKL

MVFR
Wind 300/11
KBKL 310853Z 30011KT 9SM -SN OVC023 M06/M11 A3034 RMK AO2 SLP281 P0000 60000 T10611111 51016

KBVI

MVFR
Wind 360/6
KBVI 310855Z AUTO 36006KT 10SM OVC017 M04/M07 A3024 RMK AO2 T10381071

KCGF

MVFR
Wind 290/7
KCGF 310855Z AUTO 29007KT 10SM -SN OVC019 M08/M12 A3033 RMK AO2 T10781118

KCKB

MVFR
Wind 340/3
KCKB 310853Z AUTO 34003KT 4SM -SN SCT024 OVC034 02/M01 A3020 RMK AO2 RAE0754B33E40SNB0754 SLP228 P0003 60010 T00171011 51020

KDET

VFR
Wind 270/4
KDET 310853Z 27004KT 10SM CLR M12/M18 A3038 RMK AO2 SLP297 T11221183 51010

KERI

MVFR
Wind 290/10
KERI 310851Z AUTO 29010KT 10SM OVC020 M07/M11 A3029 RMK AO2 SNE19 SLP269 P0000 60000 T10721111 51016

KHLG

IFR
Wind 300/4
KHLG 310853Z AUTO 30004KT 1 1/4SM -SN BR FEW008 OVC019 M03/M05 A3024 RMK AO2 SLP254 P0001 60002 T10331050 53014

KIAG

VFR
Wind 270/11
KIAG 310853Z AUTO 27011KT 10SM CLR M07/M12 A3024 RMK AO2 SLP260 T10721122 51009 $

KJST

IFR
Wind 290/9
KJST 310854Z AUTO 29009KT 1 3/4SM -SN BR OVC005 M03/M04 A3010 RMK AO2 SLP212 P0000 60001 T10331039 51012

KJXN

VFR
Wind Calm
KJXN 310856Z AUTO 00000KT 10SM CLR M17/M18 A3036 RMK AO2 SLP301 I1000 I3000 T11671183 53005 $

KLBE

IFR
Wind Calm
KLBE 310855Z AUTO 00000KT 2 1/2SM +UP FEW001 SCT009 BKN013 M02/M02 A3021 RMK AO2

KMBS

VFR
Wind 250/7
KMBS 310853Z 25007KT 10SM CLR M16/M18 A3037 RMK AO2 SLP298 T11611183 53004

KMFD

MVFR
Wind 330/12
KMFD 310852Z AUTO 33012KT 10SM OVC014 M09/M12 A3030 RMK AO2 SLP279 T10891122 53016

KMGW

IFR
Wind 320/3
KMGW 310853Z AUTO 32003KT 1 1/2SM -SN BR SCT004 OVC019 M01/M02 A3021 RMK AO2 UPE15B24E26SNB15E24B26 SLP237 P0003 60013 I1000 I3000 T10061017 51006

KMTC

VFR
Wind 290/8
KMTC 310855Z AUTO 29008KT 10SM CLR M14/M19 A3035 RMK AO2 SLP294 T11371187 52006 $

KPTK

VFR
Wind 270/5
KPTK 310853Z AUTO 27005KT 10SM CLR M15/M19 A3034 RMK AO2 SLP293 T11501189 53009 TSNO $

KYIP

VFR
Wind 300/6
KYIP 310853Z 30006KT 10SM CLR M15/M19 A3037 RMK AO2 SLP298 T11501194 51006 $

KYNG

MVFR
Wind 330/9
KYNG 310851Z 33009KT 8SM -SN BKN014 OVC023 M06/M09 A3026 RMK AO2 SLP263 P0000 60000 T10611094 53015 $

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.