'Descend to' vs 'Cleared to descend'

Hello everyone,

Sorry if this isn’t the right place, but I had a thought while controlling Seattle Center earlier today.

Would it be beneficial to add different options that instruct:
“Descend (now) to ALT” or
“Cleared to descend to ALT”?

I wanted to clear some pilots to descend from high FL to transition alt (edit: or IAF alt) but some interpreted this as an immediate order, and others interpreted it as a standing clearance. Maybe I’m missing something. What do you all think?


You mean a „On (pilots) discretion descend …“ or „When ready descend…“ I think.

Would be an interesting feature, but I think it probably would cause a lot of confusion wouldn’t it?

And the pilots can wait until TOD before requesting descend, so this isn’t that necessary in IF in my opinion.

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Yes essentially allowing pilot’s discretion as they descend through their flight plan, but no lower than the altitude they’ve been cleared to. I think it would have to be worded correctly in order to not cause confusion, though. My thought was that the current “Descend to XXX” command could be split into “Cleared to descend to XXX” or “Descend now to XXX” for urgency. But again, just a thought.

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Yeah, Insee. I think the two commands I wrote are the IRL ones, but I am not too sure to be honest. Great idea though the more I think about it and probably worth a #features request.

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Thanks for the thoughts! And if a mod wants to move this to features so I don’t double post feel free.

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You would have to reword the post for it to be in Features, so the best way would be to make a Features request and then flag this thread here for closure. Good luck and thanks for your efforts!

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