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 230/11
KDTW 182253Z 23011KT 10SM FEW040 SCT060 BKN230 32/20 A3010 RMK AO2 SLP186 CB DSNT S MOV NE T03170200

KCLE

VFR
Wind 120/14
KCLE 182251Z 12014KT 10SM SCT055 BKN220 28/22 A3013 RMK AO2 LTG DSNT N AND SE AND NW SLP212 T02830222

KPIT

VFR
Wind 110/5
KPIT 182251Z 11005KT 10SM FEW055 SCT120 BKN220 31/19 A3018 RMK AO2 LTG DSNT N AND NW TSE17 SLP217 T03060189

KBUF

VFR
Wind 230/6
KBUF 182154Z 23006KT 10SM FEW045 FEW100 SCT200 BKN280 32/22 A3014 RMK AO2 SLP201 T03220222

KCAK

VFR
Wind 50/11
KCAK 182251Z 05011KT 10SM TS SCT060CB SCT110 BKN150 27/22 A3018 RMK AO2 LTG DSNT N TSB51 SLP210 OCNL LTGIC N TS N MOV N T02670217

KFNT

VFR
Wind 220/8
KFNT 182253Z 22008KT 10SM CLR 30/20 A3008 RMK AO2 SLP180 T03000200

KLAN

VFR
Wind 190/9
KLAN 182253Z 19009KT 10SM BKN120 29/21 A3007 RMK AO2 SLP177 T02890211

KROC

VFR
Wind 360/6
KROC 182254Z 36006KT 10SM FEW040 FEW100 BKN200 31/22 A3015 RMK AO2 SLP208 T03060217

KTOL

VFR
Wind 220/6
KTOL 182252Z 22006KT 10SM CLR 33/19 A3009 RMK AO2 SLP184 T03280194

CYQG

VFR
Wind 210/13
CYQG 182200Z AUTO 21013G19KT 9SM SCT060 BKN170 33/21 A3010 RMK TS/LTNG TEMPO UNAVBL SLP189 DENSITY ALT 2600FT

KAGC

VFR
Wind 90/4
KAGC 182253Z AUTO 09004KT 10SM CLR 30/19 A3018 RMK AO2 SLP213 T03000194

KARB

VFR
Wind 220/8
KARB 182253Z 22008KT 10SM CLR 31/19 A3009 RMK AO2 SLP182 T03060194

KBKL

VFR
Wind 130/9
KBKL 182253Z 13009G18KT 10SM CLR 28/22 A3014 RMK AO2 LTG DSNT S-NW SLP199 T02830222 $

KBVI

VFR
Wind 60/3
KBVI 182255Z AUTO 06003KT 10SM -TSDZ SCT065 SCT085 SCT110 25/22 A3020 RMK AO2 LTG DSNT N THRU E T02530218

KCGF

VFR
Wind 160/10
KCGF 182245Z 16010KT 10SM BKN060 25/23 A3017

KCKB

VFR
Wind 200/12
KCKB 182253Z 20012G20KT 10SM -TSRA SCT042 BKN055 BKN070 29/21 A3019 RMK AO2 LTG DSNT S-W RAB52 TSB10E41B42 PRESRR SLP206 P0000 T02890211

KDET

VFR
Wind 200/7
KDET 182253Z 20007KT 10SM CLR 32/21 A3009 RMK AO2 SLP183 T03220206

KERI

VFR
Wind 160/8
KERI 182251Z 16008KT 9SM -RA BKN110 23/21 A3019 RMK AO2 LTG DSNT SE AND S TSE18 SLP218 P0007 T02330206 $

KHLG

VFR
Wind 110/4
KHLG 182253Z 11004KT 10SM CLR 31/19 A3017 RMK AO2 SLP206 T03060194

KIAG

VFR
Wind 260/3
KIAG 182253Z 26003KT 10SM CLR 31/22 A3013 RMK AO2 SLP194 T03110222

KJST

VFR
Wind 150/6
KJST 182254Z AUTO 15006KT 10SM CLR 28/21 A3027 RMK AO2 SLP231 T02780206

KJXN

VFR
Wind 190/10
KJXN 182256Z 19010G18KT 10SM CLR 31/21 A3009 RMK AO2 SLP181 T03060206

KLBE

VFR
Wind VRB/3
KLBE 182250Z VRB03KT 10SM BKN110 27/24 A3020

KMBS

VFR
Wind 190/11
KMBS 182253Z 19011KT 10SM CLR 30/21 A3005 RMK AO2 SLP171 T03000206

KMFD

VFR
Wind 210/5
KMFD 182252Z AUTO 21005KT 10SM CLR 31/21 A3017 RMK AO2 SLP205 T03060206

KMGW

VFR
Wind 20/3
KMGW 182253Z 02003KT 10SM CLR 27/23 A3019 RMK AO2 LTG DSNT SW SLP212 T02720228 $

KMTC

VFR
Wind 160/11
KMTC 182156Z 16011KT 10SM FEW055 SCT170 BKN250 31/22 A3006 RMK AO2A LTG DSNT NE CB 28NE MOV NE SLP180 T03100220 $

KPTK

VFR
Wind 200/11
KPTK 182253Z 20011KT 10SM FEW050 SCT220 SCT270 31/19 A3010 RMK AO2 SLP184 T03110189

KYIP

VFR
Wind 210/11
KYIP 182253Z 21011KT 10SM CLR 32/19 A3010 RMK AO2 SLP184 T03220189

KYNG

VFR
Wind 50/7
KYNG 182251Z 05007KT 10SM FEW040 SCT180 BKN230 23/21 A3021 RMK AO2 LTG DSNT NE-SE TSE28 SLP224 T02330211 $

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.