Departing LAS? Listen Up

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If you crew a turbojet airplane and regularly depart the McCarran International Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas, Nev., your regular departure procedure may change. According to Keith S. Gordon, business aviation representative for Las Vegas Airspace Users, RNAV-capable turbojets departing LAS to the north and northeast over initial fixes such as MLF, BCE, DVC or ILC will no longer be issued the TRALR departure when Runways 25L and 25R are in operation. Instead, crews should expect a revised STAAV3 RNAV departure for all aircraft filed over MLF, BCE, DVC, ILC, etc. Additionally: The STAAV3 is only for Runway 25L/R departures, a minimum climb gradient is required to meet the procedure's first crossing restrictions, and the TRALR departure will not be available for aircraft departing Runways 19 or 25. Importantly, this procedural change will not be implemented this Thursday, the beginning of the regular 28-day charting and procedure cycle. Instead, it will occur beginning Tuesday March 20, at 06:00 local time.

According to Gordon, crews departing via the STAAV2 and depending on an out-of-date database might think they're on the STAAV3 but will wander off into Nellis AFB's airspace before either facility can see the track error. That's why the new change is being implemented on the 20th, instead of the 15th. Gordon tells AVweb benefits from using the new procedure include "an unrestricted climb to FL190, a reduction of 38 en route miles compared to the TRALR departure and enhanced capacity for LAS." He added, "In a collaborative effort, Las Vegas TRACON and Nellis worked out a 'shelf' of airspace for LAS departures. The STAAV3 incorporates waypoints that have been shifted to work within this airspace reconfiguration. Now, northbound flights can turn directly towards their northerly departure fixes instead of making the counterclockwise loop around the Las Vegas Valley."