Altitude Requiments

I am aware of the altitude requirments for different headings and for VFR and IFR and obviously while desend they do not apply as you have to pass through all of them but what about if you are cruising? What if you are flying heading 160° at an odd level and then change to heading 185° ? Would you have to change to an even level ? I am assuming this is the pilots resposability to notice this, because with so many planes it would be hard for ATC centers to command a new flight level everytime a plane crossed the 0° and 179° heading, which probably happens every few seconds with thousands of planes flying.

Most flights will either be strongly west or strongly east, so you wouldn’t have to worry about changing your cruise altitude. Even if you’re going north or south and you change headings, I don’t think you need to change cruise alt. You would probably just choose even/odd based on your main direction. I could be totally wrong, this is just a guess.

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That is a good answer. I believe this is what I have observed many times in real life!

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Well for instance, I am flying from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale, so most of my flight was Facing East but now that I’m in Florida, I’m facing mostly South and a little westward.

What’s your exact heading?

I don’t think aircraft often change their cruise altitude. It wouldn’t make sense. It’s supposed to be the speediest and most efficient part of the flight.

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Well now it doesn’t apply because I’m descending but I believe I was at 180 for a little bit. Which obviously requires an even level

Sounds like that would be southeast. Therefore, you would fly at an odd altitude.

No that Southwest

If it’s 180 or sort of hovering around that mark and it was just for a bit i wouldn’t worry. Otherwise you’d be changing your altitude every minute.

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Sorry my keyboard autocorrect, I meant to say 185ish. and thank you that makes sense about if it’s hovering around 180 don’t worry

Yeah, Since most of your flight is east, stay odd. I doubt that in real life the moment an aircraft turns 1 degree to the right they have to change altitude. It wouldn’t be practical.

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IFR/VFR cruise altitudes are not mandatory according to the new ATC manual actually. You usually just stay at your last altitude. Don’t keep on climbing/descending every single turn.

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This is a lot about planning. The general rule is that west = even, east=odd. But of course, due to the tremendous fuel costs involved in either climbing or descending and the implications and safety risks it entails, it’s not always like this. I can’t speak for IFATC since I haven’t been a part of that for a long time, but realistically those circumstances would need to be coordinated with the next sector, as something called an “irregular transfer”.

It doesn’t matter what the altitude is if ATC assigns you something else, the NEODD SWEVEN rule is just a planning tool because you will mostly be assigned that on clearance. If ATC tells you to do something else, he is in authority to do so. :D

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Yeah, good answer.
For example, I am flying from the
UK to Portuga, most of my flight is westerly, so, I am at FL360.

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You are correct. This is an airline’s route planner/dispatcher’s job. :) Typically, the general direction of flight is what determines it, and then they will do irregular transfers or altitudes as they see fit. :) Altitude is only one out of 3 ways to ensure seperation so ;)

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