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 90/7
KDTW 252353Z 09007KT 10SM FEW050 SCT080 BKN180 21/14 A2998 RMK AO2 SLP150 60002 T02060144 10217 20183 56018

KCLE

VFR
Wind 140/13
KCLE 252351Z 14013G20KT 110V170 10SM OVC250 24/14 A3001 RMK AO2 SLP172 T02390144 10256 20239 55012

KPIT

VFR
Wind 130/10
KPIT 252351Z 13010KT 10SM FEW120 SCT170 OVC240 21/12 A3012 RMK AO2 SLP204 T02110122 10239 20211 57005

KBUF

VFR
Wind 140/6
KBUF 252354Z 14006KT 10SM SCT090 BKN120 BKN140 OVC180 23/12 A3012 RMK AO2 SLP196 T02330122 10239 20211 56013

KCAK

VFR
Wind 140/12
KCAK 252351Z 14012KT 10SM BKN250 24/15 A3006 RMK AO2 SLP175 T02390150 10256 20239 56011

KFNT

VFR
Wind 130/8
KFNT 252353Z 13008G15KT 100V160 10SM CLR 19/15 A2997 RMK AO2 SLP147 60009 T01940150 10194 20172 56017

KLAN

VFR
Wind 130/10
KLAN 252353Z 13010KT 10SM SCT120 22/17 A2993 RMK AO2 SLP134 60005 T02220167 10222 20189 56019

KROC

VFR
Wind 160/7
KROC 252354Z 16007KT 10SM BKN150 OVC200 23/12 A3015 RMK AO2 SLP211 T02280117 10239 20206 56013

KTOL

VFR
Wind 140/7
KTOL 252352Z 14007KT 10SM CLR 27/16 A2993 RMK AO2 SLP132 60000 T02670161 10278 20206 56019

CYQG

VFR
Wind 110/12
CYQG 252300Z AUTO 11012G19KT 9SM CLR 20/14 A3000 RMK SLP160 DENSITY ALT 1400FT

KAGC

VFR
Wind 130/11
KAGC 252353Z 13011G19KT 10SM CLR 20/12 A3014 RMK AO2 SLP207 T02000122 10239 20194 58004

KARB

VFR
Wind 100/6
KARB 252353Z AUTO 10006G16KT 10SM CLR 21/16 A2996 RMK AO2 SLP144 60015 T02060156 10217 20172 56020

KBKL

VFR
Wind 140/16
KBKL 252353Z 14016G22KT 10SM CLR 25/13 A3001 RMK AO2 SLP158 T02500128 10261 20244 56013

KBVI

VFR
Wind 120/9
KBVI 252355Z AUTO 12009KT 10SM CLR 23/12 A3012 RMK AO2 T02270120

KCGF

VFR
Wind 130/7
KCGF 250935Z AUTO 13007KT 10SM BKN046 14/12 A3022 RMK AO2 T01390121

KCKB

VFR
Wind 160/13
KCKB 252353Z 16013G20KT 10SM CLR 23/14 A3013 RMK AO2 SLP189 T02280139 10267 20228 55001

KDET

VFR
Wind 90/9
KDET 252353Z 09009KT 10SM CLR 19/14 A3000 RMK AO2 SLPNO 60004 T01940139 10200 20178 56017

KERI

VFR
Wind 150/12
KERI 252351Z 15012G19KT 10SM FEW060 BKN090 OVC120 23/12 A3007 RMK AO2 RAB03E23 SLP181 P0000 60000 T02280122 10256 20228 58011

KHLG

VFR
Wind 110/13
KHLG 252353Z 11013KT 10SM CLR 22/13 A3010 RMK AO2 SLP189 T02220133 10250 20222 56011

KIAG

VFR
Wind 80/8
KIAG 252353Z 08008KT 10SM FEW090 SCT120 20/14 A3011 RMK AO2 SLP195 T02000139 10244 20200 56013 $

KJST

MVFR
Wind 160/13
KJST 252354Z AUTO 16013KT 10SM OVC013 14/11 A3025 RMK AO2 SLP243 T01440111 10183 20144 55001 TSNO

KJXN

VFR
Wind 90/13
KJXN 252356Z 09013G20KT 10SM CLR 21/16 A2994 RMK AO2 SLP136 60005 T02060161 10217 20178 56017

KLBE

VFR
Wind Calm
KLBE 250955Z AUTO 00000KT 10SM CLR 13/11 A3025 RMK AO2

KMBS

VFR
Wind 120/9
KMBS 252353Z 12009KT 10SM BKN046 BKN090 19/16 A2997 RMK AO2 SLP148 60009 T01890161 10189 20172 58018

KMFD

VFR
Wind 130/9
KMFD 252352Z 13009KT 10SM CLR 24/16 A3003 RMK AO2 SLP161 T02390161 10261 20222 55012

KMGW

VFR
Wind 120/11
KMGW 252353Z 12011G16KT 10SM CLR 21/13 A3015 RMK AO2 SLP204 T02110128 10256 20211 58003

KMTC

VFR
Wind 90/6
KMTC 252256Z 09006KT 10SM FEW048 SCT070 BKN150 BKN230 17/17 A3001 RMK AO2A SLP168 T01730173

KPTK

VFR
Wind 120/10
KPTK 252353Z 12010G19KT 10SM FEW050 BKN150 OVC250 18/13 A3000 RMK AO2 SLP157 60004 T01780133 10189 20167 56016

KYIP

VFR
Wind 90/7
KYIP 252353Z 09007KT 10SM CLR 22/15 A2997 RMK AO2 SLP145 60005 T02220150 10239 20200 56019 $

KYNG

VFR
Wind 130/10
KYNG 252351Z 13010G15KT 10SM FEW095 BKN210 22/13 A3011 RMK AO2 SLP191 T02170128 10250 20217 58010

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.