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Transition to flying in EU/UK Airspace


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I am a long time Vatsim member that has, to-date, only flown in the US. I'm very familiar with US procedures, airspace, flightplans, etc., but I'd really like to start flying in EU/UK airspace.

 

Is there a resource that may help me get started? Specifically, I'm interested in the differences between US and EU airspace, rules, requirements, and planning. Some immediate things that come to mind are:

 

-Finding flightplans

-Transisition Altitudes

-Eurocontrol vs. Center

-Hierarchy of controllers (e.g. Delivery-Ground-Tower-Dep/App-Center)

 

I'm sure I've missed a few others. I doubt I'm not the first person to make this transition, so hopefully there is a central resource that I've just missed.

 

Thanks!

 

Jeff

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Hi Jeff, welcome to Europe

 

 

-Finding Flightplans: vRoute, VATRoute, EURoute etc.

 

-Transition Altitudes: Depends on the aerodrome... it is on the SID charts. Can be as low as 3000 feet.

 

-Eurocontrol vs Center: EURW (Eurocontrol West): Covers the EISN, LFFF, LFRR, LFBB, LFEE, LFMM, LECM, LECB, LPPC FIR's.

 

EURN (Eurocontrol North): Covers the EKDK, EETT, EFPS, EFES, BIRD, EVRR, EYVL, ENTR, ENSV, ENBD, ENOS, ESAA.

 

EURS (Eurocontrol South): Covers the LCCC, LGGG, LIRR, LIMM, LIBB, LMMM, LTBB

 

EURE (Eucontrol East): LAAA, LQSB, LBSR, LBWR, LDZO, LKAA, LWSS, LHCC, LUKK, EPWW, LRBB, LYBA, LZBB, LJLJ.

 

EURM (Maastricht Eurocontrol): EDWW, EHAA, EDGG, LSAS, EDMM, LOVV.

 

When a particular FIR is not online, the corresponding Eurocontrol sector covers that FIR above FL245.

 

-Hierarchy of controllers: I don't quite understand what you mean........

 

One thing to know is that SIDs/STARs are runway based or airport configuration based (North/South - East/West etc.), so I suggest not filling SIDs/STARs, unless you really know the procedures of the particular airport.

 

A visit at http://www.vateud.org and/or http://www.vatsim-uk.org could help you out.

Edited by Guest

New York ARTCC
www.twitch.tv/zny_sb

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Hi Jeff. Happy 2010 and welcome to Europe!

 

-Hierarchy of controllers (e.g. Delivery-Ground-Tower-Dep/App-Center)

It is all pretty much like the USA, except that I am not aware of DEP positions in Europe. In the UK, if flying from Heathrow or Gatwick (or most places in the london TMA) you will be handed off to LON_CTR, which is TMA control, for example. In most places, however, you are likely to be handed off straight to APP.

 

Pedro

Pedro Diogo

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Fantastic, thank you all so much!

 

I've had a chance to try out a few airports around Europe (offline for a bit), and I must say that the efficiency of the runway/sid/star/approach combination is VERY efficient. I quite like it!

 

A few additional items popped up that I'm curious about:

 

1. I have noticed some zig-zag back-and-forth STARs. If traffic is light, should I expect to get vectors or fly the whole thing?

2. Is there a site (like flightaware.com in the US) where I can get airlines and flight numbers for a given route?

3. Airport parking - weird. In the US, pretty much everything gets a gate. At the airports I've seen there is a large pad with spots... Is this to accomodate normal p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]enger operations or something else?

4. Is there some resources that I can use to determine which parking is used by which airlines at each airport?

 

Thanks!

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Hi Jeff,

 

Welcome to flying online Europe!

 

1. I have noticed some zig-zag back-and-forth STARs. If traffic is light, should I expect to get vectors or fly the whole thing?

[You'll likely find the same answer as in North America and other parts of the world. The answer varies, you may be expected to fly the entire standard arrival and runway transition, but it's likely if ATC is online you'll obtain radar vectors to reduce flight time when traffic levels permit.]

2. Is there a site (like flightaware.com in the US) where I can get airlines and flight numbers for a given route?

[Possibly vataware.com will help, in combination with the real world airline's website, if only seeking origin-destination and flt number info.]

3. Airport parking - weird. In the US, pretty much everything gets a gate. At the airports I've seen there is a large pad with spots... Is this to accomodate normal p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]enger operations or something else?

[Remote parking exists not only in Europe, but in other parts of the world. Normally you won't find the gates at the terminal full, but occasionally, parking will be remote to the terminal and it'll be a bus to complete the p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]enger journey.]

4. Is there some resources that I can use to determine which parking is used by which airlines at each airport?

[it's unlikely there is one central resource for all airports in Europe for all airlines. Instead, the options are to check the real world airline's website for terminal maps, or the real world airport website for terminal/airline maps.]

 

One other difference to be aware of ... for certain countries, RVSM flight levels are north-south, instead of west-east. This is a function of the majority of traffic over France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Italy being north or southbound flights. Details are available in this thread, with a helpful chart: viewtopic.php?t=30466

 

Enjoy!

Mike / 811317
rz0u.png
 

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To expand a bit on Mike's answer:

 

1. I have noticed some zig-zag back-and-forth STARs. If traffic is light, should I expect to get vectors or fly the whole thing?

 

Depends on why the STAR zig-zags. In Germany for example, it's common to have long RNAV transitions that are basically big traffic circuits with long downwind legs, consisting of a large number of RNAV waypoints (like DF123, DF456 etc.). Here ATC routinely gives direct routes to a convenient waypoint to shorten the track mileage and optimise the arrival flow.

 

2. Is there a site (like flightaware.com in the US) where I can get airlines and flight numbers for a given route?

 

If it's only airlines and flight numbers, your best bet is probably to check airport and airline websites, or search engines like Amadeus. Flight plans and callsigns on the other hand are not freely available in Europe, like they are for most flights in the US. Here the easiest solution is probably to use flight plan databases like vRoute and vatRoute.

 

3. Airport parking - weird. In the US, pretty much everything gets a gate. At the airports I've seen there is a large pad with spots... Is this to accomodate normal p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]enger operations or something else?

 

Well, Europeans don't mind walking outside a few metres. Many small airports don't have any jetways at all, you simply walk between the terminal and the aircraft, while larger airports usually have jetways for most flights, but use bus transfers to remote parking for flights served by smaller aircraft. (Actually I'm not really sure what you mean by "a large pad with spots" - in Europe we talk about parking stands! )

 

4. Is there some resources that I can use to determine which parking is used by which airlines at each airport?

 

As Mike said, the official airport or airline website usually has some information, but it can be even better to check the local VACC website. Many VACCs have detailed information about where to park depending on airline, destination, aircraft type etc.

Martin Loxbo

Director Sweden FIR

VATSIM Scandinavia

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