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

MVFR
Wind 250/12
KDTW 222253Z 25012KT 9SM -SN OVC030 M03/M10 A3005 RMK AO2 SNB49 SLP188 P0000 T10331100 $

KCLE

VFR
Wind 230/10
KCLE 222251Z 23010KT 10SM OVC034 M03/M12 A3005 RMK AO2 SLP208 T10281117

KPIT

VFR
Wind 220/8
KPIT 222251Z 22008KT 10SM BKN075 M04/M13 A3010 RMK AO2 SLP222 T10391133

KBUF

VFR
Wind 220/19
KBUF 222254Z 22019G27KT 9SM -SN OVC046 M03/M14 A2998 RMK AO2 PK WND 24027/2252 SNB35 SLP168 PCPN VRY LGT P0000 T10281144

KCAK

VFR
Wind 220/12
KCAK 222251Z 22012KT 10SM SCT031 OVC065 M04/M13 A3008 RMK AO2 SLP209 T10441128

KFNT

MVFR
Wind 240/10
KFNT 222253Z 24010G18KT 4SM -SN SCT024 BKN030 OVC047 M04/M07 A2999 RMK AO2 SLP168 P0000 T10441072

KLAN

MVFR
Wind 230/9
KLAN 222253Z 23009KT 3SM -SN BKN014 BKN022 OVC045 M04/M07 A2999 RMK AO2 SLP171 P0000 T10391072

KROC

VFR
Wind 220/7
KROC 222254Z 22007KT 10SM BKN060 OVC075 M04/M18 A2998 RMK AO2 SLP169 T10391178

KTOL

VFR
Wind 250/15
KTOL 222252Z 25015G21KT 10SM OVC035 M02/M11 A3006 RMK AO2 SLP191 T10171111

CYQG

VFR
Wind 250/13
CYQG 222259Z AUTO 25013KT 9SM -SN OVC031 M04/M10 A3005 RMK SLP187

KAGC

VFR
Wind 200/7
KAGC 222253Z 20007KT 10SM OVC080 M03/M13 A3008 RMK AO2 SLP215 T10331128

KARB

VFR
Wind 250/11
KARB 222253Z 25011KT 10SM OVC035 M04/M10 A3002 RMK AO2 SLP181 T10441100 $

KBKL

VFR
Wind 210/9
KBKL 222253Z 21009KT 10SM OVC036 M02/M11 A3007 RMK AO2 SLP194 T10221111

KBVI

VFR
Wind 200/5
KBVI 222255Z AUTO 20005KT 10SM BKN043 OVC050 M03/M13 A3008 RMK AO2 T10301129

KCGF

VFR
Wind 150/7
KCGF 221035Z AUTO 15007KT 10SM CLR M14/M18 A3038 RMK AO2 T11401178

KCKB

VFR
Wind 210/8
KCKB 222253Z 21008KT 10SM CLR M05/M11 A3015 RMK AO2 SLP229 T10501106

KDET

VFR
Wind 230/12
KDET 222253Z 23012G20KT 10SM OVC036 M03/M10 A3003 RMK AO2 SLP179 T10281100

KERI

VFR
Wind 210/17
KERI 222251Z 21017G23KT 10SM SCT036 OVC043 M04/M14 A3003 RMK AO2 SLP182 T10391139

KHLG

VFR
Wind 220/7
KHLG 222253Z 22007KT 10SM OVC070 M03/M11 A3011 RMK AO2 SLP221 T10331111

KIAG

VFR
Wind 240/16
KIAG 222253Z 24016G23KT 10SM BKN039 OVC049 M03/M11 A2999 RMK AO2 PK WND 23027/2222 SLP182 T10331111

KJST

VFR
Wind 210/7
KJST 222254Z AUTO 21007KT 10SM BKN075 M06/M16 A3001 RMK AO2 SLP205 T10561161

KJXN

MVFR
Wind 220/13
KJXN 222256Z 22013G21KT 10SM BKN028 OVC044 M04/M09 A3001 RMK AO2 SLP178 T10441094

KLBE

VFR
Wind Calm
KLBE 221055Z AUTO 00000KT 10SM CLR M19/M22 A3038 RMK AO2

KMBS

MVFR
Wind 270/13
KMBS 222253Z 27013KT 6SM -SN FEW019 BKN026 OVC049 M04/M07 A2996 RMK AO2 SLP157 P0000 T10391067

KMFD

MVFR
Wind 210/12
KMFD 222252Z 21012KT 10SM OVC026 M04/M11 A3006 RMK AO2 SLP204 T10391111

KMGW

VFR
Wind 200/8
KMGW 222253Z 20008KT 10SM OVC080 M03/M12 A3014 RMK AO2 SLP228 T10331117

KMTC

VFR
Wind 210/12
KMTC 222256Z 21012G19KT 7SM -SN FEW028 OVC035 M04/M08 A2999 RMK AO2A SLP170 P0000 T10381083 $

KPTK

MVFR
Wind 240/10
KPTK 222253Z 24010G17KT 3SM -SN BKN028 OVC044 M05/M09 A2997 RMK AO2 SLP165 P0000 T10501089 $

KYIP

VFR
Wind 240/10
KYIP 222253Z 24010KT 10SM BKN031 OVC039 M02/M09 A3004 RMK AO2 SLP180 T10221094

KYNG

VFR
Wind 220/10
KYNG 222251Z 22010KT 10SM BKN033 OVC065 M05/M14 A3006 RMK AO2 SLP206 T10501144

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.