KOTN Peculiarity

Just wanted to throw this one out there. I’m a controller at Santa Monica Airport (SMO). I noticed that there are several flights to “KOTN - Ed Air” – all of them departures from SMO.

When an aircraft requests an IFR climb to VFR on top, the routing is coded in the NAS FDIO computer as “SMO…OTN” meaning the route of flight will be SMO V299 SADDE.

Obviously it’s being taken on flight aware instead as KSMO direct KOTN. Just for the sake of everyone’s knowledge who wonders why all of these flights go from KSMO to KOTN and never make it, that’s the reason. Maybe in a future upgrade there will be a way to change how it appears online?


Interesting, we often see flights to ‘VFR’ to indicate IFR-to-VFR-on-top.

I have a question you might be able to help with. On the PEER1 there is a required climb grad. attached to it is also an other climb grad. the states something to the effect…“ATC climb gradient of xxx to xxx required”

I’m sorry I don’t have a copy of the departure to get the exact wording. Is the ATC climb required to be made by an a/c or is it advisory in nature so that we know what you’re expecting.

BTW you know Pete Elmore?


The SMO…OTN is the coding that we use for IFR to VFR on top. Flight Aware seems to change all of the airport codes to add a ‘K’ to them. OTN, the airport, isn’t in the NAS computer (at least in ZLA), so it’s coded like a TEC route . . . SMO…OXR gives the routing SMO VNY OXR for example, and SMO…OTN gives the routing SMO V299 SADDE (where the pilot is either expected to cancel IFR or hold if still in IMC and advise of intentions). I wonder what would happen if someone filed an IFR flight plan from SMO to KOTN. It might be worth filing a flight plan before my next shift and seeing what comes out when I get there.


I don’t have the PEEER1 chart with me and it’s not available to the general public right now (to my knowledge). It’s only available to EJA aircraft with specific equipment codes (/L, /Q, I believe), which I am thinking that maybe you are since you know about it.

The climb gradient is probably for noise abatement. Aircraft departing runway 21 at SMO (when LAX is west - the only time we can use the PEEER1) will get a “fly runway heading until reaching the LAX 310-R, then turn right heading 265”, which basically means the aircraft will fly straight out until the shoreline for noise abatement, then turn right to join the LAX departure flow.

All IFR departures, whether on the PEEER1 or the standard departure procedure will be assigned an initial altitude of 3000’. The PEEER1 doesn’t go runway heading all the way to the shoreline, turns are allowed above an altitude, something like 650’ . . . or in that neighborhood. The people that live around the airport have regular noise protests, so the climb gradient is to appease them since the departure won’t be runway heading for more than a 1/2 mile off the runway.

I do not know Pete Elmore, does he work at the airport?

Thanks for the reply, I figured on most of it.

Pete is a NJA pilot in the Excel, I work for Flight Safety. He used to be a SOCAL controller. I think he designed the PEER1 for NJA.

The climb gradient on the PEEER1/PEVEE1 is there to ensure that aircraft reach 500agl in sufficient time for the FMS to calculate the required turn anticipation. This prevents the aircraft from drifting south of the intended track and ensuring separation with the LAX 24 departures. It is listed as an “ATC” climb gradient and not terrain, as it can be calulated using “all engines operative” climb tables, and not single engine climb tables. This is not at all uncommon. If you look at the SIDS out of KLAS, you’ll see both terrain and ATC climb gradients for different segments of the departures.

I know Pete…

Wow . . . this thread started when the PEEER1 looked quite a bit different and the PEVEE1 didn’t even exist.

But anyway, the ATC climb gradient information is interesting to know. With SMO being such a noise sensitive airport, I had just assumed that’s what it was for (well, what I was told it was for by someone else as unknowing as me).

Sorry, I just found this forum. Otherwise I would have responded a LONG time ago!