The Clearance delivery controller is responsible for providing departing aircraft with their IFR clearance. It is not something to be taken lightly. The smooth flow of all traffic depends on these clearances. If a clearance is incorrect another controller down the line will have to amend it, and potentially distract the pilot from his flying, while if the error would have been corrected before take-off the pilot would have had all the time to amend his plan, and not have anything to worry about when in the air.
In light of the above respecting the following guidelines is essential.
In addition to the general guidelines a Clearance delivery controller must:
Firstly you'll need the following information:
In the real world some commercial traffic at large airports receive IFR clearance electronically via ACARS or Datalink, and rarely exchange more than a few words with the clearance controller. On IVAO we use the following procedures.
A Clearance shall include the following items:
The following items may also be added:
A clearance limit is the point to which an aircraft is granted a clearance. This may be:
A clearance limit is the point to which an aircraft is granted an air traffic control clearance and shall be specified by naming:
Controllers should endeavour to clear an aircraft according to the route requested. Sometimes this may not be possible, and the controller should explain the reason why when issuing the clearance.
Normally, the cruising level in the Flight plan is to be allocated. If that level is not available, the nearest appropriate level should be allocated.
Above FL195 in class C airspace (Airways) the semi-circular rule shall apply. Flight levels 200, 220, 240, 260 and 280 shall be westbound; Flight levels 210, 230, 250, and 270 shall be eastbound.
Cruising levels at or above FL290 up to FL410 within RVSM airspace:
The 4-digit code the pilot sets his transponder to so that controllers can identify him on radar. There are various schemes for allocating squawk codes, some quite complicated using different code ranges depending on outbound track, level, etc and there are ranges in certain countries reserved for military low-level, air ambulance, search and rescue, police operation etc. However, when controlling on IVAO in the UK division, the only requirement is that each aircraft is allocated a unique code (or at least unique in the surrounding airspace) so that it can be positively identified on radar.
You may find that adjacent controllers always use the same range of codes (as in the real world) - so pick a range you will use and issue the first one to the first aircraft you clear and increment it for each subsequent aircraft. Remember that squawk codes are 4-digit octal numbers, so each digit can only be 0-7. Do not use any of the emergency codes (7500, 7600, 7700).
Another obligation on IVAO is to update the cleared waypoint and cleared altitude of the aircraft. The format to be used is as follows:
In Cleared Altitude/FL (F8) enter the initial altitude assigned in the clearance/SID;
In Cleared Waypoint (F5) enter the appropiate SID for the flight.
As a clearance controller, we recommend you set your altitude filter to 000 <-> 030.
Set your IN/OUT box to only display traffic departing the airport you are covering (e.g. EGSS). Set your ATC list to show all facilities of the airport you are covering as well as the appropriate area sector.
Ground Movement controllers are responsible for issuing information and instructions to aircraft under their control to achieve a safe, orderly and expeditious flow of air traffic and to assist pilots in preventing collisions between aircraft moving on the apron and aircraft and vehicles, obstructions and other aircraft on the manoeuvring area (excluding the runways and their access points).
Apron - The part of an aerodrome provided for the stationing of aircraft for the embarkation and disembarkation of passengers, for loading and unloading of cargo and for parking.
Manoeuvring Area - The part of an aerodrome provided for the take-off and landing of aircraft and for the movement of aircraft on the surface excluding the apron and any part of the aerodrome provided for the maintenance of aircraft.
Ground controllers will also issue IFR clearances when Delivery is not open, or doesn't exist at the airport.
In short the job of a Ground controller is to get aircraft from the aprons to the runways and back safely, with minimal delay. In conditions of low visibility they may be called upon to provide guided taxi, though one must be very careful as some scenery won't match perfectly with your sector file.
In addition to the general guidelines an Apron or Ground controller must:
Firstly you'll need the following information:
The movements of aircraft, persons or vehicles on the menoeuvring area and the movement of aircraft on the apron are at all times subject to permission from the Ground Movement Controller. Responsibility on the apron is limited to providing advice and instructions to assist prevention of collisions between moving aircraft.
Vehicles that are moving along a taxiway shall give way at all times to aircraft taxiing except emergency services vehicles providing assistance to an aircraft in distress.
Aircraft will contact for pushback. This action will have to be approved, with supplementary instructions if required
(e.g. "Push facing south after British Airways 737 crosses left to right"). In Australia, a pushback is always "Approved" and not "Cleared".
"Ground, AUZ2032 gate A17, requesting pushback"
"AUZ2032, after the Jetstar A320 on your right hand side, pushback approved, call for taxi""
"After the A320 on our right, pushback approved, will call for taxi, AUZ2032"
When the pilot of an aircraft requests start-up or taxi, the following information shall be given:
o Runway in use
o Surface wind direction and speed
o Outside Air Temperature (Turbine-engine aircraft only)
o Significant Meteorological Conditions (E.G, RVR, Marked Temperature Inversion)
The items which are known to have been received (except the QNH) may be omitted.
(If the pilot calls up and says he has "information Alpha", we can assume he already knows the runway in use, surface wind, air temperature and significant met conditions because they are on the ATIS).
The QNH should always be given again in a taxi clearance.
It is important that taxi instructions are clear and concise. The visibility from a flight deck is limited so the pilot is dependent to a large degree upon Ground control to assist him in determining the correct taxi route to be followed.
Heavy aircraft are not to be given instructions that would require the use of more than normal power for taxiing.
In the interests of safety, use of the active runway for taxiing purposes is to be kept to a minimum. If this can not be avoided, then a clearance to cross should normally be withheld until no conflict exists. A Conditional clearance may be used to achieve greater efficiency of operation:
"After the landing Virgin 737, at A3, cross runway 26, report vacated"
When a clearance to cross has been given, a report vacated instruction shall also be included.
It is important that the Ground controller has permission from the Tower controller to allow an aircraft to cross. It is only the Tower Controller that can issue a crossing clearance. There are 2 ways to do this:
1. Ground can ask Tower over a private chat window for the crossing clearance;
GND - AUZ2032 at A3, request crossing runway 26
TWR - AUZ2032, at A3, cross runway 26, let me know when he calls vacated
GND - AUZ2032, at A3, cross runway 26, will let you know when he calls vacated
GND - AUZ2032 called vacated runway 26
TWR - Rgr
2. Ground can send the Aircraft over to the tower frequency for the crossing. Once he has vacated, tower sends him back to the ground frequency (if practicable);
"AUZ2032, for crossing, contact Tower 118.700"
"Tower, AUZ2032, Holding A3, request Crossing 26"
"AUZ2032, at A3, cross runway 26, report vacated"
"Via A3, cross 26, will report vacated, AUZ2032"
"AUZ2032, Runway 26 vacated"
"AUZ2032, Roger, contact ground 121.1" or "AUZ2032 roger, continue on X, holding XX runway XX"
Ground doesn't need to ask permission for an aircraft to cross a runway not in use. A clearance to cross a runway not in use can be included in the taxi clearance:
"AUZ2032, Taxi holding point A1 runway 26 via A, D, cross runway 35, N, QNH 1017"
Just like with clearance delivery, a taxi clearance should also contain:
o Aircraft Identification
o Clearance Limit
o Levels of flight and chages of levels (not so much in the case of ground movement)
o Squawk (If Applicable)
Some taxi clearance examples:
AUZ2032 is an Airbus A320, just pushed back from gate 12 at Sydney, runway 34L is in use.
"Sydney Ground, AUZ2032, request taxi"
"AUZ2032, Sydney Ground, behind the company aircraft just pushing from stand 15, taxi holding point A6, runway 34L, via A, QNH1013"
"Behind the company aircraft pushing from 15, taxi A6, runway 34L, via A, QNH1013, AUZ2032"
Aircraft should be handed off to the tower frequency, as they are approaching the holding point to the runway.
"AUZ2032, Contact Sydney Tower, 124.700"
AUZ2033 is an Airbus A320, just landed runway 34L at Sydney, vacated via A2.
"Sydney Ground, AUZ2033, vacated 34L on A2, Request taxi to stand"
"AUZ2033, Sydney Ground, taxi holding point G via A."
"Via A, hold G, AUZ2033"
"AUZ2033, holding G"
"AUZ2033, after the company 737 crosses left to right, left turn, taxi stand 11"
"After the company 737 crosses left to right, left turn, taxi stand 11, AUZ2033"
"AUZ2033, Stand 11, shutting down"
"AUZ2033, Roger, Thanks for flying"
Note - ATC doesn't clear aircraft for shutdown, that is the pilots responsibility. Flight plans are also not closed by ATC - this is done automatically.
With the release of IvAi, which enables you to use your flight simulator to control visually, ground control can become extremely realistic, especially as you will most likely see exactly where the aircraft is located as there are no sector errors. On the other hand FS scenery becomes an issue, so always interpret what you see with a pinch of salt. If tower is also using IvAi there is no need to relay runway vacating messages.
As a ground controller, we recommend you set your altitude filter to 000 <-> 030
Set your IN/OUT box to only display traffic arriving and departing the airport you are covering (e.g. EGSS). Set your ATC list to show all facilities of the airport you are covering as well as the appropriate area sector.
Tower controllers are responsible for issuing information and instructions to aircraft under their control to achieve a safe, orderly and expeditious flow of air traffic and to assist pilots in preventing collisions between aircraft flying in, and in the vicinity of the aerodrome traffic zone and aircraft taking off and landing.
In the absence of Ground and delivery controllers, Tower controllers will complete the tasks detailed in the Ground Movement Control and Delivery SOP's.
It's the Tower controller that defines the active runways for a given airport, and ultimately decides who lands on which runway. The tower controls the upflow of traffic into controlled airspace, and is an essential link in the chain of Air Traffic services. It is essential for Tower controllers to maintain constant contact with the Approach Radar/Area controller, as well as ground/delivery.
The tower is responsible for all active runways, and for traffic operating in and within the vicinity of the Aerodrome Traffic Zone (up to 2.5nm diameter, Surface up to 2000 AGL). Important: In most airports, the tower controller will be responsible for the runway access points - be sure to check the local procedures.
What you need to know
In addition to the general guidelines a Tower controller must:
* Be familiar with the Clearance delivery SOP;
* Be familiar with the Ground control SOP;
* Understand the different airspace divisions around the airport;
* Understand any preferential runway assignments;
* Understand noise abatement procedures when applicable;
* Know all separation minima for arriving/departing traffic.
Controllers are to provide minimum services according to the classification of the airspace within which the aerodrome and associated aerodrome traffic zone is located.
Class A - Effects of Weather
At aerodromes situated in Class A airspace, ATC shall inform Special VFR flights when the reported meteorological visibility is less than 10 km. Pilots must be asked their intentions and, if necessary, IFR clearances given. Controllers should note that in such conditions continued flight according to SVFR is permitted if the pilot is appropriately licensed.
Class D - Effects of Weather
ATC shall advise pilots of aircraft, other than helicopters, intending to operate under VFR, inbound to or outbound from aerodromes in Class D airspace, if the reported meteorological visibility reduces to less than 5000 m and/or the cloud ceiling is less than 1500 feet.
The controller should then ask the pilot which type of clearance is required and then give it to the pilot.
Additionally, the controller shall not issue any further VFR clearances to aircraft, other than helicopters, wishing to enter the airspace for the purposes of taking off or landing at any airfield, situated within the Class D control zone, where the reported meteorological visibility is less than 5000 m.
Firstly you'll need the following information:
* The sector file for the given airport;
* The complete collection of charts for the selected airport.
The term "runway-in-use" is used to indicate the particular runway or landing direction selected as the most suitable. Normally, it should be the runway most closely aligned to the surface wind direction. (Aircraft take-off into the wind) Where the surface wind conditions are light and variable, the 2000ft wind should be taken into account.
When selecting the runway-in-use, other factors such as traffic pattern, the length of runways or landing runs and the approach aids available should be taken into account. At certain aerodromes more than one runway may be in use at any one time (Sydney for example).
Should a change of runway be necessary, Tower must inform approach control, area control, and aircraft under their control.
If ground is online traffic will be handed over at or shortly before the holding position for the selected runway. If no ground is online aircraft should give you a call just before, or after pushback. In this situation you would assume the duties of the Ground controller.
Line-up instructions may be issued to more than one aircraft at different points on the same or crossing runways provided that:
* It is during daylight hours.
* Aircraft are continuously visible to the tower controller.
* Aircraft are on the same RT frequency.
* Pilots are advised of the number of aircraft ahead in the sequence and the position/runway from which these aircraft will depart.
* The physical characteristics of the runway do not render preceding aircraft in the departure sequence invisible to the succeeding aircraft on the same runway.
When line-up will take place at a position other than for a full-length runway departure the intermediate "holding point" designator shall be included in the line-up instruction.
The tower controller is responsible for issuing take-off clearance and advising pilots of any variations to the surface wind or other significant changes to met conditions. (In the real world, a 2 minute wind average is passed to pilots - For the purpose of IVAO, the wind indicated in the METAR should be passed unless the pilot requests an Instant wind read out. In this case, the wind indicated in the box also displaying the QNH should be passed, with the word "instant" preceeding it.
When multiple runways are in use and possibility of confusion exists, the take-off clearance shall include the designator of the departure runway. "Runway 16L, cleared for take-off".
Take-off clearance may be issued when aircraft is at or approaching the holding point for a runway.
If the take-off clearance has to be cancelled before the take-off run has commenced, the pilot shall be instructed to hold position and acknowledge the instruction. "AUZ2032, hold position, Cancel take-off - I say again, AUZ2032 cancel takeoff acknowledge".
If the take-off run has commenced and there is an important safety reason as to why the aircraft cannot take off, the pilot shall be instructed to stop immediately. "AUZ2032, stop immediately - I say again AUZ2032, stop immediately - acknowledge".
Some phraseology examples:
"AUZ004, via A1, line up runway 26"
"JST3012, via A1, line up runway 23, there will be a company 737 departing ahead of you from A3"
"QFA4201, via A3, line up runway 23, there will be a company 737 on the runway departing after you from A1"
"VIR2447, runway 27L, cleared for take-off, surface wind 280 degrees 6 knots"
"AUZ020, Cleared for take-off, surface wind 180 degrees 18 knots"
If for any reason, you need an aircraft to take off immediately, the instruction "Cleared for immediate take-off" may be added. It is expected that the pilot will act as follows:
* At the holding point, taxi immediately onto the runway and commence take-off without stopping the aircraft (Not to be used with heavy aircraft).
* If already lined up on the runway, take-off without delay.
You should always ask the pilot before giving the clearance if he is able to accept an immediate take-off.
Aircraft should be handed off to the next sector once airborne, preferably no later than 2000ft.
Position 1 - Aircraft reports on "downwind" leg when abeam upwind end of the runway.
Position 2 - Aircraft reports "late downwind" if it is on the downwind leg, has been unable to report "downwind" and has passed the downwind end of the runway.
Position 3 - Aircraft reports "base" leg (if required).
Position 4 - Aircraft reports "Final". Clearance to land issued here.
Position 5 - Aircraft reports "long final" (Between 8 and 4 miles) when aircraft is on a straight-in approach.
Aircraft joining the circuit:
Clearance to enter the circuit is issued when the aircraft is still some distance from the airfield to enable the pilot to conform with the traffic circuit. Information concerning landing direction or runway in use and any other necessary instructions are given at the same time.
When multiple runways are in use, the landing runway clearance shall include the runway designator.
"Runway 16L, cleared to land, surface wind 250 degrees 8 knots".
Unless specific procedures have been approved, a landing aircraft shall not be permitted to cross the beginning of the runway on its final approach until a preceding aircraft, departing from the same runway, is airborne.
In the real world, a 2 minute wind average is passed to pilots - For the purpose of IVAO, the wind indicated in the METAR should be passed unless the pilot requests an Instant wind read out. In this case, the wind indicated in the box also displaying the QNH should be passed, with the word "instant" preceeding it.
If the runway is occupied by another aircraft or vehicle when an aircraft is on final approach, it must be instructed to carry out a missed approach. The correct phraseology to be used:
"JST3022, go around, I say again, go around, acknowledge"
"Going around, JST3022"
Aircraft should then be told to follow the published missed approach procedure, or an alternative clearance given which has been provided by the approach controller.
"JST3022, follow the standard missed approach procedure, contact Approach, 134.975"
Ensure you inform the Approach controller as soon as the aircraft begins the missed approach procedure.
With the release of IvAi, which enables you to use your flight simulator to control visually ground control can become extremely realistic, especially as you will most likely see exactly where the aircraft is located as there are no sector errors. On the other hand FS scenery becomes an issue, so always interpret what you see with a pinch of salt as far as aircraft on the ground are concerned.
We recommend you switch Ground detail, VORs, NDBs and Runway centrelines on.
Set your altitude filter to the top of your Aerodrome Traffic Zone + 1500ft (e.g. ATZ is SFC-2000; you would set the filter to SFC-3500ft), and use a range between 12 and 25nm.
An approach control service is an ATC service for any aircraft which is not receiving an aerodrome control service which is flying in or in the vicinity of the CTA of that aerodrome whether or not the aircraft is flying by visual reference to the surface.
In the absence of any aerodrome control, Approach controllers will complete the tasks detailed in the Delivery, Ground and Tower SOP's
Area of responsibility
The Approach controller is responsible for all aircraft within approximately 40nm of the airport, up to a specified upper limit.
We recommend you use range rings set to 10nm and display VORs, NDBs (no name), Fixes (no name), airspace boundaries, Geographical data and runways. (Toggle airways, airport names, and SIDS/STARs as needed.)
Select altitude filter limits that include as a minimum:
* the altitudes normally under the jurisdiction of your sector; and
* the first usable Flight Level in any vertically adjoining airspace under the jurisdiction of another controller, plus 500 feet beyond that altitude.
Example: A sector that has jurisdiction of the airspace from the Surface to FL120 would set its altitude filters at 000 and 135
Area control services comprise of air traffic services in airspace which is not under the jurisdiction of an approach or aerodrome control unit. The type of service to be provided depends on the class of airspace within which the aircraft is flying.
In the absence of any aerodrome and approach control, Area controllers will complete the tasks detailed in the Delivery, Tower and Approach Radar SOP's.
Area is responsible for the all the airspace within it's FIR which is not delegated to another unit. The lateral dimensions vary from sector to sector, see the information pages and the appropriate sector files. Area controllers take responsibility for every ATS unit within it's sector when the unit is not in operation. This means that if you are alone, you are ultimately responsible for every "active" position within your sector. Area controllers must therefore be familiar with the procedures of many different airports, which can be a rather big challenge.
In addition to the general guidelines, a Centre controller must:
Principles of Operation
An area control centre is divided into sectors which work in close liaison.
Co-ordination - Area Control Centres
Aircraft must not penetrate the airspace of another area control centre or sector unless prior co-ordination has taken place. The responsibility for initiating co-ordination rests with the controller of the sector transferring control.
Co-ordination - Approach control units
Approach control units are required to keep area control promptly advised of:
Controllers may request pilots to increase/decrease speed in order to maintain the appropriate separation. Speed adjustment may also be utilised as a method of streaming aircraft prior to sequencing in the intermediate phase. The pilot should be advised when speed control is no longer required.
In order to reduce RTF communication, a pilot will make a position report only
When an aircraft is instructed to hold en-route it must always be given an onward clearance time. Aircraft must never be told that such holding is indefinite, and if it is not possible to make an accurate calculation immediately, the aircraft shall be given an onward clearance time requiring 10 to 15 minutes holding which must be amended to an accurate time before the period has elapsed.
Aircraft which will be delayed by 20 minutes or more before commencing an intermediate approach for landing shall be given an expected approach time together with their clearance to the holding facility. If an aircraft is to be delayed less than 20 minutes, no expected approach time is to be passed.
We recommend you use range rings set to 10nm, VORs, NDBs (no name), All airspace boundaries, runways. and relevant airways turned on. Toggle airport names, SIDs and STARs as needed.
Select altitude filter limits that include as a minimum:
Flight Information comes in two variations: Flight Information Service at Aerodromes and Flight Information Service at Area Control Centres.
Flight Information Service is provided at an aerodrome to give information for the safe and efficient conduct of flights in the Aerodrome Traffic Zone. From the information received, pilots decide the appropriate course of action to be taken to ensure the safety of flight.
A Flight Information Service Officer (FISO) at an aerodrome has the following responsibilities:
Flight Information service is provided at an ACC to give information for the safe and efficient conduct of flights in class G airspace within the Flight Information Regions of Australia. FISOs may pass traffic information to anyone who calls on the RT. From the information provided, pilots decide the appropriate course of action to be taken to ensure the safety of flight.
A Flight Information Service Officer (FISO) at an ACC has the following responsibilities:
Flight Information centres are responsible for providing service to all aircraft within their respective regions. These regions do not match FIRs. Flight Information services at aerodromes are responsible for the aerodrome traffic zone at the airfield.
In addition to the general guidelines a FISO must:
A FIS is a non radar service provided either separately or in conjunction with other services. Under a FIS, the following conditions apply:
Flight Information Centres don't have radar, and therefore we recommend you completely obstruct your scope with the COMM, and I/O windows.
We recommend Aerodrome Flight Information Service use the same settings as towers would.