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Portland Troutdale Textual Departure – Why is the departure altitude from BTG VOR much lower

Asked by: 665 views Instrument Rating


For KTTD, the  ODP procedure has you fly to the BTG VOR, climb and depart BTG VOR at 5000 msl to the northeast.  In contrast nearby  PDX, its ODP and SID departure from BTG VOR also to the northeast on  V448 uses a much higher MEA 9400.

Why such a large difference? And it does not make sense to me that one would want to depart BTG VOR to the NE on V448 at 5000 because that's below the MEA and MCA.






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1 Answers

  1. Russ Roslewski on Nov 21, 2016

    The “easy” answer as to why they are different is that, quite simply, the TTD departure procedure was designed long ago under different criteria, with different evaluation tools and different ATC preferences and traffic flow. There has apparently been no real call to amend it, so it stays as is. (After all, how often does anybody at TTD actually fly the full textual ODP under non-RADAR conditions?)

    On each airport’s textual departure procedure, notice the Julian date next to the amendment number:

    TTD: 88350
    PDX: 12264

    This means that TTD was last amended in 1988, on the 350th day of that year. PDX was last amended in 2012.

    The lower altitude doesn’t mean that TTD is unsafe. Remember, you’re not going to stop your climb at 5000. Rather, you’re going to climb to 5000 until you cross the VOR at (or above) that altitude, then proceed along your route while continuing to climb to your assigned altitude. The airway has been evaluated to account for that continuing climb. Note that leaving the VOR at 5000, there is no immediate threatening terrain, it is all 20-30 miles away.

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