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 300/11
KDTW 261753Z 30011KT 9SM FEW070 31/14 A2999 RMK AO2 SLP152 T03110144 10311 20206 58001 $

KCLE

VFR
Wind 320/9
KCLE 261751Z 32009KT 10SM CLR 29/13 A3000 RMK AO2 SLP166 T02940128 10294 20211 50005

KPIT

VFR
Wind 330/10
KPIT 261751Z 33010KT 10SM FEW043 FEW065 30/16 A3000 RMK AO2 SLP155 T03000156 10300 20217 50001

KBUF

VFR
Wind 220/8
KBUF 261754Z 22008KT 10SM FEW045 FEW100 29/18 A2995 RMK AO2 SLP137 T02890178 10294 20211 58002 $

KCAK

VFR
Wind 300/8
KCAK 261751Z 30008G15KT 10SM FEW050 FEW250 30/14 A3002 RMK AO2 SLP155 T03000144 10306 20217 50001

KFNT

VFR
Wind 270/11
KFNT 261753Z 27011KT 10SM R09/5500VP6000FT CLR 31/16 A3000 RMK AO2 SLP152 T03060156 10306 20189 55000

KLAN

VFR
Wind 310/7
KLAN 261753Z 31007KT 10SM CLR 31/16 A3002 RMK AO2 SLP160 T03110156 10311 20206 53000

KROC

VFR
Wind 240/9
KROC 261754Z 24009G15KT 10SM FEW075 29/13 A2994 RMK AO2 SLP135 T02940133 10294 20194 56004

KTOL

VFR
Wind 310/9
KTOL 261752Z 31009KT 10SM CLR 32/13 A3001 RMK AO2 SLP157 T03170133 10317 20200 58001

CYQG

VFR
Wind 290/8
CYQG 261700Z AUTO 29008G18KT 9SM SCT076 30/15 A2998 RMK SLP151 DENSITY ALT 2400FT

KAGC

VFR
Wind 360/8
KAGC 261753Z 36008KT 10SM CLR 30/16 A2999 RMK AO2 SLP150 T03000156 10300 20217 58001

KARB

VFR
Wind Calm
KARB 261753Z 10SM FEW070 30/16 A3001 RMK AO2 SLP156 T03000156 10306 20183 55000

KBKL

VFR
Wind 290/4
KBKL 261753Z 29004KT 9SM CLR 27/18 A3000 RMK AO2 SLP154 T02720178 10272 20244 50005

KBVI

VFR
Wind 300/4
KBVI 261755Z AUTO 30004KT 10SM SCT065 SCT070 30/16 A3001 RMK AO2 T02970156

KCGF

VFR
Wind Calm
KCGF 260955Z AUTO 00000KT 10SM CLR 19/15 A2998 RMK AO2 T01870152

KCKB

VFR
Wind 210/7
KCKB 261753Z 21007KT 150V250 10SM SCT037 30/21 A2999 RMK AO2 SLP140 60003 T03000206 10300 20200 58007

KDET

VFR
Wind 300/7
KDET 261753Z 30007G15KT 10SM FEW080 32/13 A2998 RMK AO2 SLP147 T03220128 10322 20228 58001

KERI

VFR
Wind 260/8
KERI 261751Z 26008KT 10SM CLR 28/17 A2998 RMK AO2 SLP147 T02780167 10278 20217 50002

KHLG

VFR
Wind 320/6
KHLG 261753Z 32006KT 10SM FEW060 30/16 A3000 RMK AO2 SLP152 T03000156 10300 20200 58001

KIAG

VFR
Wind 180/7
KIAG 261753Z 18007KT 10SM SCT100 28/18 A2993 RMK AO2 SLP130 T02830183 10294 20217 57005

KJST

VFR
Wind 320/8
KJST 261754Z AUTO 32008KT 10SM CLR 28/16 A3004 RMK AO2 SLP153 T02780156 10278 20206 58004

KJXN

VFR
Wind 310/4
KJXN 261756Z 31004G15KT 10SM CLR 31/12 A3003 RMK AO2 SLP162 T03060117 10306 20183 53001

KLBE

MVFR
Wind Calm
KLBE 260955Z AUTO 00000KT 3SM BR FEW080 19/19 A2999 RMK AO2

KMBS

VFR
Wind 290/10
KMBS 261753Z 29010KT 10SM CLR 31/15 A2999 RMK AO2 SLP151 T03110150 10311 20194 53000

KMFD

VFR
Wind Calm
KMFD 261752Z 10SM CLR 30/15 A3004 RMK AO2 SLP162 T03000150 10306 20239 50003

KMGW

VFR
Wind 200/7
KMGW 261753Z 20007KT 8SM VCTS -RA SCT037 SCT049 BKN075 23/20 A3002 RMK AO2 LTG DSNT SW RAB15 TSB08E51 SLP155 OCNL LTGCG TS SW MOV SE P0018 60018 T02280200 10300 20217 53000

KMTC

VFR
Wind 0/4
KMTC 261756Z VRB04KT 10SM FEW060 31/14 A2997 RMK AO2A SLP149 T03090136 10310 20211 58001

KPTK

VFR
Wind 280/10
KPTK 261753Z 28010KT 10SM FEW060 FEW250 29/15 A2999 RMK AO2 SLP147 T02940150 10294 20206 55001

KYIP

VFR
Wind 20/6
KYIP 261753Z 02006G14KT 10SM CLR 32/16 A3001 RMK AO2 SLP153 T03170161 10317 20217 50000

KYNG

VFR
Wind 290/9
KYNG 261751Z 29009KT 10SM SCT060 30/15 A3002 RMK AO2 SLP157 T03000150 10300 20211 55001

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.