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 270/10
KDTW 072053Z 27010G19KT 10SM SCT060 BKN120 OVC220 28/22 A3003 RMK AO2 PK WND 25033/2017 RAB16E48 SLP165 CB DSNT NE MOV NE P0002 60002 T02830217 55007

KCLE

VFR
Wind 190/16
KCLE 072051Z 19016G19KT 10SM SCT040 BKN250 31/22 A3003 RMK AO2 LTG DSNT NE SLP176 CB DSNT N-NE AND E-SE T03110222 57015 $

KPIT

VFR
Wind 260/10
KPIT 072051Z 26010KT 10SM FEW030 FEW110 SCT250 28/22 A3011 RMK AO2 SLP193 T02830217 58012

KBUF

VFR
Wind 230/11
KBUF 072054Z 23011G19KT 10SM FEW030 FEW100 FEW160 BKN200 BKN250 29/22 A3002 RMK AO2 SLP161 MDT CU DSNT SE-S T02940222 $

KCAK

VFR
Wind 0/3
KCAK 072051Z VRB03KT 10SM FEW028 SCT055 BKN090 BKN140 28/22 A3011 RMK AO2 WSHFT 1953 LTG DSNT E RAE36 TSE36 SLP184 P0009 60009 T02830222 56008

KFNT

VFR
Wind 180/5
KFNT 072053Z AUTO 18005KT 10SM -RA FEW009 SCT120 24/23 A3002 RMK AO2 RAE03B16 SLP162 P0003 60046 T02390228 56002

KLAN

VFR
Wind 240/8
KLAN 072053Z 24008KT 10SM CLR 25/22 A3003 RMK AO2 RAE15 SLP162 P0001 60175 T02500217 58016

KROC

VFR
Wind 260/12
KROC 072054Z 26012KT 10SM FEW047 SCT060 BKN250 32/21 A3001 RMK AO2 SLP160 T03170206 56020 $

KTOL

VFR
Wind 240/10
KTOL 072052Z 24010KT 10SM CLR 33/19 A3003 RMK AO2 SLP164 T03280194 55012 $

CYQG

VFR
Wind 210/14
CYQG 072000Z AUTO 21014G19KT 9SM CLR 32/24 A3001 RMK SLP159 DENSITY ALT 2600FT

KAGC

VFR
Wind 200/11
KAGC 072053Z 20011G15KT 10SM CLR 29/21 A3012 RMK AO2 WSHFT 1942 SLP194 T02890206 58011

KARB

VFR
Wind 300/6
KARB 072053Z 30006KT 10SM CLR 27/22 A3003 RMK AO2 RAE1958 SLP165 P0000 60009 T02670222 50002

KBKL

VFR
Wind 10/3
KBKL 072053Z 01003KT 10SM TS SCT055 SCT070 BKN080 29/24 A3004 RMK AO2 SLP167 60001 T02940239 55014

KBVI

VFR
Wind 180/6
KBVI 072055Z AUTO 18006KT 10SM SCT100 31/24 A3012 RMK AO2 T03070239

KCGF

VFR
Wind 190/4
KCGF 070955Z AUTO 19004KT 10SM CLR 23/22 A3014 RMK AO2 T02340219

KCKB

VFR
Wind 210/8
KCKB 072053Z 21008KT 10SM FEW041 32/22 A3014 RMK AO2 SLP187 T03220217 56022

KDET

VFR
Wind 300/18
KDET 072053Z 30018G32KT 10SM BKN050 33/21 A3002 RMK AO2 PK WND 30032/2052 WSHFT 1958 PRESRR SLP160 T03280206 55005

KERI

VFR
Wind 220/6
KERI 072051Z 22006KT 10SM CLR 31/21 A3004 RMK AO2 SLP167 T03110206 58014

KHLG

VFR
Wind Calm
KHLG 072053Z 00000KT 10SM CLR 28/22 A3013 RMK AO2 SLP194 60004 T02780222 57020

KIAG

VFR
Wind 230/14
KIAG 072053Z 23014KT 10SM CLR 32/22 A3000 RMK AO2 SLP152 T03170222 56021 $

KJST

VFR
Wind 260/8
KJST 072054Z AUTO 26008KT 10SM SCT095 27/21 A3019 RMK AO2 RAE10 SLP205 P0000 60004 T02670211 56013

KJXN

VFR
Wind 230/6
KJXN 072056Z 23006KT 10SM SCT090 25/21 A3005 RMK AO2 SLP169 60000 T02500206 $

KLBE

VFR
Wind Calm
KLBE 070955Z AUTO 00000KT 10SM SCT016 22/22 A3020 RMK AO2

KMBS

VFR
Wind 220/10
KMBS 072053Z 22010KT 10SM BKN110 29/23 A2998 RMK AO2 RAE1958 SLP147 P0000 60000 T02890228 58012

KMFD

VFR
Wind 220/6
KMFD 072052Z 22006KT 10SM CLR 28/22 A3011 RMK AO2 SLP185 T02830217 58008 $

KMGW

VFR
Wind 330/5
KMGW 072053Z 33005KT 10SM BKN042 OVC050 28/22 A3015 RMK AO2 SLP198 T02830217 56017

KMTC

VFR
Wind 270/17
KMTC 072056Z 27017G20KT 10SM VCSH BKN047 OVC200 28/22 A2998 RMK AO2A LTG DSNT N CB 21N MOV NE SLP153 T02770222 55007

KPTK

VFR
Wind 250/6
KPTK 072053Z 25006KT 10SM FEW038 SCT060 BKN130 BKN250 24/22 A3004 RMK AO2 PK WND 27034/1954 RAE32 TSE32 SLP165 P0021 60035 T02390222 50008

KYIP

VFR
Wind 300/9
KYIP 072053Z 30009G18KT 10SM FEW055 29/21 A3003 RMK AO2 PK WND 22030/2000 WSHFT 1956 RAB02E14 SLP162 P0000 60000 T02890211 55006

KYNG

VFR
Wind 220/7
KYNG 072051Z 22007KT 10SM BKN047 BKN250 32/21 A3008 RMK AO2 LTG DSNT SW SLP174 CB DSNT N T03170206 58018 $

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.