Standard Procedures

Please choose a facility.

These Standard Operating procedures are only a general guide to controlling in the Morocco. Controllers should always refer to the Local Procedures section for information about the aerodromes or areas they wish to control.

1- Clearance

Description

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.

What you need to know ?

In addition to the general guidelines a Clearance delivery controller must:

  • Understand the basics of verifying accuracy of flight plans;
  • Be able to issue an IFR clearance with or without SID;
  • Understand the RVSM Altitude assignment system;
  • Understand, and apply minimum routing restrictions whenever published.

Procedures

Firstly you’ll need the following information:

  • The sector file for the given airport;
  • As a minimum the SID charts for the given airport, though we recommend you download the complete collection.

In the real world some commercial traffic at large airports receive IFR clearance electronically via ACARS, and rarely exchange more than a few words with the clearance controller. (Casablanca and Gatwick) is currently trialing this) On VATSIM we can’t do it this way, instead we use the following procedures in addition to CPDLC.

Elements of a Clearance:

A Clearance shall include the following items:

  • Aircraft Identification
  • Clearance Limit
  • Route
  • Levels of flight and changes of levels
  • Squawk (If Applicable)

The following items may also be added:

  • ATFM Slots (Air Traffic Flow Management)
  • Communications instructions
  • Any special instructions

Clearance Limit:

A clearance limit is the point to which an aircraft is granted a clearance. This may be:

      • An aerodrome
      • A reporting Point
      • A Controlled or advisory airspace boundary

A clearance limit is the point to which an aircraft is granted an air traffic control clearance and shall be specified by naming:

        a) an aerodrome;

 

        b) a reporting point; or

 

        c) a controlled or advisory airspace boundary.

 

Route:

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. The expression “Cleared flight plan route” is not used in the UK.

Allocation of cruising levels:

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:

Northbound Southbound
410
400
390
380
370
360
350
340
330
320
310
300
290

Squawk:

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 VATSIM in the Morocco vACC, 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).

Example of Departure clearance (SID):

RAM754 is an RAM Boeing 737, Heathrow to Casablanca via airways at FL230.

Remember, his Clearance must contain:

  • Aircraft Identification (RAM754)
  • Clearance Limit (Casablanca)
  • Route (SID)
  • Levels of flight and changes of levels (SID)
  • Squawk (assigned code)

“Menkes Delivery, good morning, RAM754, A 737 with Echo 1017, request clearance Schiphol”

“RAM754, Menkes Delivery, good morning, Cleared Casablanca, BPK6G, squawk 7247”

“Cleared Casablanca, BPK6G, squawk 7247, RAM754”

“RAM754, Correct, Contact Menkes Ground 118.9 (ex)”

“121.9, RAM754”

Example of Departure clearance (No SID):

RAM024 is a Dash 8, Marrackeh to Jersey via airways at FL180.

Remember, his Clearance must contain:

  • Aircraft Identification (RAM024)
  • Clearance Limit (Jersey)
  • Route
  • Levels of flight and changes of levels
  • Squawk (assigned code)

“Marrackeh, good morning, RAM024, A Dash 8 with Sierra 1004, request clearance Jersey”

“RAM024, Marrackeh, good morning, Cleared Jersey, Runway heading to 3000ft, then left turn on track SAM , Climb FL80, squawk 1154”

“Cleared Jersey, Runway heading to 3000ft, then left turn on track SAM, Climb FL80, squawk 1154, BEE024”

“RAM024, Correct, Call for startup”

“Wilco, RAM024”

Example of a VFR Departure Clearance:

CN-ETME is a Cessna 172, Nador to Manston, via the FIR, not above 3000ft.

Remember, his Clearance must contain:

  • Aircraft Identification (CN-ETME)
  • Clearance Limit
  • Route
  • Levels of flight and changes of levels
  • Squawk (assigned code)

“Nador, good morning, CN-ETME, A Cessna 172 with Zulu 1004, request taxi for flight to Manston”

“CN-ETME, Nador, good morning, taxi holding point GB runway 22 via G, Q1004”

“Taxi GB runway 22 via G, Q1004, TME”

“TME, Correct, have your clearance”

“Ready to copy, TME”

“CN-ETME, Cleared to the Nador zone boundary, Route Alhavia, Not above altitude 1,500ft, VFR, squawk 7052”

“Cleared to the southern zone boundary, Route Alhavia, not above altitude 1,500ft, VFR, squawk 7052, CN-ETME”

“TME, Correct, call ready for departure”

“Wilco, TME”

Example of a SVFR Departure Clearance:

CN-OOAK is a Cessna 172, Cherif Al Idrissi to Gloucestershire, Via the FIR, not above 3000ft.

Remember, his Clearance must contain:

  • Aircraft Identification (CN-OOAK)
  • Clearance Limit
  • Route
  • Levels of flight and changes of levels
  • Squawk (assigned code)

“Casa Center, good morning, CN-OOAK, A Cessna 172 with Alpha 1014, request taxi for flight to Gloucestershire”

“CN-OOAK, Casa Center, good morning, taxi S1 runway 27 via A, Q1014”

“Taxi S1 runway 27 via A, Q1014, OAK”

“OAK, Correct, Visibility has just reduced to 3000m, I am unable to issue a VFR Clearance, which clearance do you require”

“Special VFR, OAK”

“OAK Roger, I have your clearance”

“Pass your message, OAK”

“CN-OOAK, Cleared to the southern zone boundary, Route Shepshed, Not above altitude 1500ft, Special VFR, squawk 7010”

“Cleared to the southern zone boundary, Route Shepshed, Not above altitude 1,500ft, Special VFR, squawk 7010, CN-OOAK”

“OAK, Correct, call ready for departure”

“Wilco, OAK”

2- Ground

Description

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.

What you need to know

In addition to the general guidelines an Apron or Ground controller must:

  • Be familiar with the Clearance delivery SOP;
  • Be able to provide taxi clearances in accordance with Morocco phraseology documentation.
  • Be familiar with the taxiway layout of the given airport;
  • When applicable be familiar with which airlines/aircraft use which gates.

Procedures

Firstly you’ll need the following information:

  • The sector file for the given airport;
  • As a minimum the SID and ground movement charts for the given airport, though we recommend you download the complete collection.

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 taxying except emergency services vehicles providing assistance to an aircraft in distress.

Pushback:

Aircraft will contact for pushback. This action will have to be approved, with supplementary instructions if required (e.g. “Push facing south after Royal Air Morocco 737 crosses left to right”). In the MA, a pushback is always “Approved” and not “Cleared”.

“Ground, RAM634C gate A17, request start and pushback”

“RAM634C, after the British Airways A320 on your right hand side, start and pushback approved, facing west, Call for taxi””

“After the A320 on our right, push approved facing west, will call for taxi, RAM634C”

Taxi:

When the pilot of an aircraft requests start-up or taxi, the following information shall be given:

      • Runway in use
      • Surface wind direction and speed
      • QNH
      • Outside Air Temperature (Turbine-engine aircraft only)
      • 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 dependant 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 taxying.

In the interests of safety, use of the active runway for taxying 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 Royal Air Maroc 737, at A3, cross 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 – RAM737 at A3, request crossing runway 26

TWR – RAM737, at A3, cleared to cross 26, let me know when he calls vacated

GND – RAM737, at A3, cleared to cross 26, will let you know when he calls vacated

GND – RAM737 called vacated runway 26

TWR – Rgr

        1. 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 practable);

“RAM737, for crossing, contact Tower 118.7”

“118.7, RAM737”

“Tower, RAM737, Holding A3, request Crossing 26”

“RAM737, at A3, cross runway 26, report vacated”

“Via A3, cross 26, will report vacated, RAM737”

“RAM737, Runway 26 vacated”

“RAM737, Roger, contact ground 121.1” or “RAM737 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:

“RAM737, 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:

      • Aircraft Identification
      • Clearance Limit
      • Route
      • Levels of flight and chages of levels (not so much in the case of ground movement)
      • Squawk (If Applicable)

Some taxi clearance examples:

JFU1212 is an Airbus A320, just pushed back from stand 12 at Menkes, runway 26 is in use.

“Menkes Ground, JFU1212, request taxi”

“JFU1212, Menkes Ground, behind the company aircraft just pushing from stand 15, taxi holding point A1, runway 26, via A, QNH1015”

“Behind the company aircraft pushing from 15, taxi A1, runway 26, via A, QNH1015, JFU1212”

Aircraft should be handed off to the tower frequency, as they are approaching the holding point to the runway.

“JFU1212, Contact Menkes Tower, 132.550”

 

MAC134 is an Airbus A320, just landed runway 27 at Liverpool, vacated via E.

“Rabat Ground, MAC134, vacated 27 on E, Request taxi to stand”

“MAC134, Rabat Ground, taxi holding point V2 via A and V”

“Via A, V, hold V2, MAC134”

“MAC134, holding V2”

“MAC134, 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, MAC134”

“MAC134, Stand 11, shutting down”

“MAC134, 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.

Visual Control

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.

3- Tower

Description

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.

Area of responsibility

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 AAL). 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.

Airspace

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.

Procedures

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 (Heathrow 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 VATSIM, 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 27L, 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. “RAM754, hold position, Cancel take-off – I say again, RAM754 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. “RAM754, stop immediately – I say again RAM754, stop immediately – acknowledge”.

Some phraseology examples:

“RAM5666, via A1, line up runway 26”

“RAM754, via A1, line up runway 23, there will be a company 737 departing ahead of you from A3”

“AA234, via A3, line up runway 23, there will be a company 737 on the runway departing after you from A1”

“RAM1887, runway 27L, cleared for take-off, surface wind 280 degrees 6 knots”

“JFU266, 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.

Traffic Circuit

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.

IFR Inbounds:

When multiple runways are in use, the landing runway clearance shall include the runway designator.

“Runway 27L, 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 vatsim, 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.

Missed Approach:

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:

“RAM634C, go around, I say again, go around, acknowledge”

“Going around, RAM634C”

Aircraft should then be told to follow the published missed approach procedure, or an alternative clearence given which has been provided by the approach controller.

“RAM634C, follow the standard missed approach procedure, contact Director, 134.975”

Ensure you inform the Approach controller as soon as the aircraft begins the missed approach procedure.

Visual Control

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.

5- Approach Radar

Description

 

An approach control service is an ATC service for any aircraft which is not recieving an aerodrome control service which is flying in or in the vicinity of the ATZ of that aerodrome whether or not the aircraft is flying by visual reference to the surface.

In the absence of any aerdrome 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.

What you need to know

In addition to the general guidelines, a Centre controller must:

  • Be familiar with the clearance delivery SOP
  • Be familiar wih the Ground Control SOP
  • Be familiar with the Tower control SOP
  • Know the local procedures for the airport(s) being controlled
  • Understand the airspace divisions
  • Know all SIDS and STARS and when to use them
  • Understand the principles of vectoring and sequencing aircraft
  • Understand noise abatement procedures where applicable
  • Know and understand the seperation minima

Procedures

Co-ordination

Approach control shall co-ordinate with aerodrome control:

  • aircraft approaching to land; if necessart requesting a landing clearance
  • arriving aircraft which are cleared to visual holding points
  • aircraft routeing through the traffic circuit
  • Aerodrome control shall co-ordinate with approach control:
    departing IFR flights
  • arriving aircraft which make their first call on the tower frequency

Transfer of Control

IFR flights operating with visual reference to the surface may be transferred to aerodrome control:

  • When an aircraft carrying out an instrument approach has become number 1 to land, and for the following aircraft when they are established on final approach and have been provided with the appropriate seperation from preceding aircraft
  • Aircraft operating in the traffic circuit
  • Aircraft approaching visually below all cloud when the aerodrome visibility is 10km or more

Transfer of communication

Approach may instruct IFR flights to establish communication with aerodrome when the aircraft has become number one to land and for following aircraft, when they are established on final approach and have been provided with appropriate seperation. Until those aircraft are flying with visual reference to the surface though, the responsibility for seperation between them is still with approach control. Aerodrome control cannot issue any instructions at that point which would reduce the seperation established by approach control.

Weather Information

As early as possible, the approach radar controller shall transmit the latest weather observations to aircraft on approach, except when this information has already been passed by another unit, or the pilot indicates that he has received it from the ATIS broadcast.

Obstacle Clearance

Obstacle clearance criteria are detailed on aerodrome approach charts. These must be adheard to.

Information to aircraft

On commencement of radar vectoring to final approach the pilot is to be advised that he will be radar vectored to intercept the final approach and of:

  • runway in use
  • type of final approach
  • procedure to be followed in the event of a radio comms fail if it is not published

Aircraft receiving a surveillance radar approach shall be given:

  • angle of the descent path
  • radar termination range

Terrain Clearance

RVA and RMACs indicate the minimum altitudes available to controllers when vectoring aircraft. Controllers should not use altitudes below those notified on the charts except when levels are allocated in accordance with specific procedures that are approved for use within the final approach area.

To avoid generating GPWS nuisance warnings, minimum altitudes higher than the terrain clearance minimum should be used.

Final Approach

Aircraft should not be vectored so as to be established on final approach less then 5nm from touchdown.

If it is necessary to vector an aircraft through the final approach track, the pilot should be notified.

Precision Approaches

Aircraft shall be vectored onto the localiser course or onto an appropriate (30 – 40 degrees) closing heading to enable the pilot to complete the turn onto the final approach track. The pilot should be instructed to report established on the localiser. When they do, they shall be cleared to descend on the glidepath or given an alternative clearance.

Non precision approaches

Controllers shall vector aircraft onto the final approach track or a heading to close at an angle not greater than 40 degrees offset. Whenever possible, the aircraft is to be established on the final approach track before the final approach fix to enable it to cross the final approach fix at the altitude/height specified in the notified procedure.

For procedures that are not supported by a DME, the controller shall pass a range check before clearing the aircraft for an approach. If a procedure is supported by a DME, a range check does not have to be passed at this time.

Visual Approach

To expedite traffic, IFR flights may be authorised to execute a visual approach if the pilot reports that he can maintain visual reference to the surface and:

  • cloud ceiling is not below the initial approach level
  • the pilot reports at any time after commencing the approach that the visibility will permit a visual approach and landing, and a reasonable assurance exists that this can be accomplished.

Standard seperation between such aircraft and others shall still be applied.

Speed Control

Controllers may request pilots to increase or decrease speed in order to maintain separation and spacing between successive landing aircraft. Speed adjustments shall not be requested or applied after the aircraft has passed a point 4nm from the threshold on final approach. Controllers shall advise pilots when speed control is no longer required.

VFR and Special VFR flights

When sequencing of IFR flights is in operation, sufficient information is to be passed to pilots of VFR and Special VFR flights to enable them to integrate safely into the landing sequence. If it is necessary for a VFR flight to be given a radar vector, or specific routeing instructions, the pilot shall be instructed to advise the controller if the routeing or vector will prevent the pilot from remaining in VMC. If it is necessary for a Special VFR flight to be given radar vectors to establish it in the landing sequence, controllers shall ensure that vectors given do not preclude the responsibility for the pilot to remain clear of cloud and in sight of the surface and keep clear of obstacles by visual reference to the surface.

Surveillance Radar Approaches (SRA)

Aircraft making an SRA shall be reminded when on final approach to check their wheels.

The ranges at which SRAs terminate will vary.

SRA terminating at 2 miles:

  • Advisory heights through which the aircraft should be passing to maintain the glide path, and ranges from touchdown, should be passed at each mile
  • Instructed to check minimum descent height one mile before advisory heights are discontinued
  • Advisory heights discontinued at one above the highest OCH

SRA terminating at less than 2 miles:

  • Advisory heights through which the aircraft should be passing to maintain the glide path, and ranges from touchdown, should be passed at each half mile
  • Transmissions shall not be interrupted for intervals of more than 5 seconds from a range of 4 miles until the approach is terminated
  • Instructed to check minimum descent height at 2 miles
  • Advisory heights discontinued at one above the highest OCH or a 1 mile, whichever is sooner
  • Controller shall not be responsible for any other duties other than those connected with the SRA

Glide path and advisory height:

Advisory levels are initially calculated based either on the QNH datum or QFE datum and rounded up to the nearest 10ft. An adjustment is then made to compute advisory levels for approaches made using another datum.

Advisory levels shall be prefixed with an indication of the datum being used (height/altitude). Pilots conducting an approach based on QNH shall be passed the aerodrome/threshold elevation prior to commencing the final descent.

Missed Approaches

Aircraft shall be instructed to carry out a missed approach in any of the following circumstances:

  • On instructions from approach/aerodrome control
  • When no landing clearance is recieved before 2 miles from touchdown (or such other range agreed with aerodrome control)
  • When it appears to be dangerously positioned on final approach.

Aircraft shall be advised to carry out a missed approach in any of the following circumstances:

  • if it reaches a position from which it appears a successful approach cannot be completed
  • it is not visible on the radar display for any significant interval during the last 2 miles of the approach
  • if the position or identification of the aircraft is in doubt during any portion of the final approach.

Integration of VFR flights with IFR traffic

Flight rules:

The pilot is responsible for determining the Flight Rules under which he wishes to conduct his flight.

Control of VFR flights:

Although in Class D, E, F and G airspace separation standards are not applied, ATC has a responsibility to prevent collisions between known flights and to maintain a safe, orderly and expeditious flow of traffic. This objective is met by passing sufficient traffic information and instructions to assist pilots to see and avoid each other. It is accepted that occasionally when workload is high, the traffic information passed on
aircraft in Class F and G airspace may be generic rather than specific.

Instructions issued to VFR flights in Class D airspace are mandatory. These may comprise routeing instructions, visual holding instructions and level restrictions in order to establish a safe, orderly and expeditious flow of traffic and to provide for the effective management of overall ATC workload.

For example, routeing instructions may be issued which will reduce or eliminate points of conflict with other flights, such as final approach tracks and circuit areas, with a consequent reduction in the workload associated with passing extensive traffic information. Visual Reference Points (VRPs) may be established to assist in the definition of frequently utilised routes and the avoidance of instrument approach and
departure tracks.

Notwithstanding that VFR flights in Class E controlled airspace may operate without reference to ATC, it can be expected that the majority of flights will communicate with ATC and can be expected to comply with instructions issued as above.

When issuing instructions to VFR flights controllers should be aware of the over-riding requirements for the pilot to remain in VMC, to avoid obstacles and to remain within the privileges of his licence. This may result in the pilot requesting an alternative clearance, particularly in marginal weather conditions.

Radar controllers in particular should exercise extreme caution in radar vectoring VFR flights – a geographical routeing instruction is preferable. Prior to radar vectoring the controller must establish with the pilot the need to report if headings issued are not acceptable due to the requirements to remain in VMC, avoid obstacles, and comply with the low flying rules. Controllers should be aware that pilots of some VFR flights may not be sufficiently experienced to comply accurately with radar headings, or to recover to visual navigation after radar vectoring.

4- Area Control

Description

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 of responsibility

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.

What you need to know

In addition to the general guidelines, a Centre controller must:

  • Be familiar with the Clearance delivery SOP;
  • Be familiar with the Ground control SOP;
  • Be familiar with the Tower control SOP;
  • Be familiar with the Approach Radar SOP;
  • Be familiar with FSS procedures;
  • Know the local procedures for all the airports within the FIR;
  • Understand the different airspace divisions within the FIR;
  • Know the SIDs and STARs, for all the airports within the FIR, and when to use them;
  • Understand the principles of vectoring, and sequencing aircraft;
  • Understand noise abatement procedures when applicable;
  • Know all separation minima’s for arriving, departing and en-route traffic

Procedures

Principles of Operation

An area control centre is divided into sectors which work in close liaison.

  • Each controller shall be responsible only for the efficient performance of those tasks which are specifically allocated in the task description.
  • Controllers are to monitor the actions of other members.

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:

  • lowest level at the holding point available for use by area control
  • avergae time interval between successive approaches
  • revisions to expected approach times when calculations show a variation of 5 minutes or more
  • arrival times over the holding point if these vary from the estimate by 3 minutes or more
  • missed approaches when re-routeing is entailed
  • all information on overdue aircraft

Speed Adjustment

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.

Position Reports

In order to reduce RTF communication, a pilot will make a position report only

  • on first tranfer of communication from another centre or sector
  • on reaching the limit of an ATC clearance
  • when instructed by ATC

Aircraft holding

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.

6- FIS

Description

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:

  • Issuing information to aircraft flying in the ATC to assist pilots in preventing collisions
  • Issuing instructions and information to aircraft moving on th manoeuvring area to assist pilots in preventing collisions between aircraft and vehicles and obstructions on the manoeuvring area, or between aircraft moving on the apron
  • Issuing instructions to vehicles and persons on the manoeuvring area
  • Informing aircraft of essential aerodrome information and other relevant information
  • provision of an alerting service

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 the UK. 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:

  • Provision of information on weather, change of serviceability of nav aids and other facilities, changes of conditions at aerodromes and any other information pertinent to the safe conduct of flights, including general traffic information
  • provision of an alerting service
  • provision of collision hazard warnings

Area of responsibility

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.

What you need to know

In addition to the general guidelines a FISO must:

  • be familiar with all SOPs
  • know how to provide traffic information
  • know all separation minima for arriving, departing and en-route traffic

Procedures

A FIS is a non radar service provided either separately or in conjunction with other services. Under a FIS, the following conditions apply:

  • Provision of the service includes information about weather, changes of serviceability of facilities, conditions at aerodroms and any other information pertinent to safety.
  • The controller may attempt to identify the flight for monitoring and co-ordination purposes only. Such identification does not imply that a radar service is being provided. Pilots must be left in no doubt that they are not receiving a radar service.
  • Controllers are not responsible for separating or sequencing aircraft.