|Date of Interpretation||Applicable 7110.65 Sections|
This is in response to a request for interpretation submitted by the Western Service Area, on behalf of Denver Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZDV), regarding FAAO 7110.65V, Paragraph 4-2-8.
1. Where is the "fix where it proposes to start IFR operations” described in JO 7110.65V, 4-2- 8b? Is it the IFR fix filed in a composite flight plan (a flight plan containing both VFR and IFR segments) or is it the next fix in an aircraft's flight plan from its current location?
2. Is a pilot required to proceed back over the departure point after being "cleared as filed" if they have already flown IFR portion(s) of their filed flight plan? When an aircraft requests an IFR flight plan are they automatically approaching the fix where they proposed to start IFR operations?
3. What is the controller’s responsibility to “be aware that the pilot is unable to climb in VFR conditions to the minimum IFR altitude” (JO 7110.65V, 4-2-8d)? What is the controller’s “awareness” based on (e.g. reported weather, pilot reports)?
4. When asking if an IFR aircraft can provide their own terrain and obstruction clearance to the minimum IFR altitude (4-2-8d(1)), is a controller required to advise what altitude through which the pilot is required to provide their own terrain and obstruction clearance (a.k.a the MIA)?
1. This will be based on the pilot’s request. It may either be the first fix on the IFR flight plan if only a partial flight plan was filed, or the next fix on the route of flight.
2. The pilot is not required to proceed back over the departure point if already past it. However, it is possible that the pilot would elect to. Ensure any potential traffic conflicts are resolved before issuing “cleared as filed.” Furthermore, based on changing circumstances, pilot requests and flight conditions, there is no way to assume that any one event will automatically follow another. If there is any doubt as to when the pilot would like to begin the IFR portion of the flight plan, that information should be ascertained from the pilot prior to issuing an IFR clearance.
3. A controller cannot be aware that a pilot is unable to maintain VFR in any given location without the pilot stating so. If the pilot states it is not possible to maintain VFR, ask if the pilot is able to maintain terrain and obstruction clearance during a climb to the minimum IFR altitude (FAAO 7110.65V, 4-2-8d(1)).
4. Minimum IFR altitudes are not displayed on VFR sectional charts. State the required altitude to the pilot as given in the 4-2-8d(1). Example: “November Eight Seven Six, are you able to provide your own terrain and obstruction clearance between your present altitude and six thousand feet?”