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Controllers monitoring Unicom (122.800)


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Do many tracon controllers monitor Unicom when there is no enroute service above/around them?

 

I always have 122.800 monitored when controlling, unless the traffic gets too heavy (in which case there is usually enroute above me). Reason being that how else do you gain situational awareness of the surrounding airspace. I guess one could take the view that I only worry about what is inside my area, but I’ve found that by monitoring 122.800 I can get an idea of what those about to enter are planning/expecting.

 

Reason for posting: to gauge whether there is any monitoring of 122.800 by controllers.

Sean

C1/O P3

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Controllers should be allowed to broadcast on UNICOM a simple message like **NOTAM** XXXX_CTR Online 131.150** when they go active to alert monitoring pilots they're online.

 

Controllers have it to advise each other with /XXXX_CTR online

 

Why can't there be a system(or just be allowed to broadcast a msg on 122.800) to allow controllers advise pilots they're online.

 

Pilots sometimes do not 'monitor there pilot clients' to see if ATC is online and fly blindly into controlled airspace without knowing.

 

Could help cutdown the use of .contactme

 

Though I suspect the VATSIM bureaucracy will come down hard on that suggestion.

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Controllers should be allowed to broadcast on UNICOM a simple message like **NOTAM** XXXX_CTR Online 131.150** when they go active to alert monitoring pilots they're online.

 

Hmmm, I am not sure why you would think that it is not allowed. This is exactly what I do when I come on-line as a Controller. As an Instructor, this is what I encourage my students to do as well. Since all pilots are supposed to monitor Unicom in uncontrolled airspace, broadcasting on Unicom that you are on-line definitely cuts down on the "contact-me" messages that I have to send out. After the initial broadcast however, I do not keep Unicom active.

Tomas Hansson

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Controllers should be allowed to broadcast on UNICOM a simple message like **NOTAM** XXXX_CTR Online 131.150** when they go active to alert monitoring pilots they're online.

 

Hmmm, I am not sure why you would think that it is not allowed. This is exactly what I do when I come on-line as a Controller. As an Instructor, this is what I encourage my students to do as well. Since all pilots are supposed to monitor Unicom in uncontrolled airspace, broadcasting on Unicom that you are on-line definitely cuts down on the "contact-me" messages that I have to send out. After the initial broadcast however, I do not keep Unicom active.

 

Hmm I was under the impression we weren't allowed as is was deemed to be some form of 'abuse' and I believe it was then referred to the CoC section that deals with pilot responsibility on checking that ATC is online.

 

Had a chat with a SUP a long time ago on this subject and that was the jist of the response I got.

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Tomas,

 

I do the same. Get myself setup, and then do an all stations broadcast saying Xxxx is now open, covering xxxxxx. I have found that it helps pilots work out what you are doing. Of course it doesn’t always work, still get people who refuse to contact in any case.

Sean

C1/O P3

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  • Board of Governors

Too funny; reading this thread caused me to go back and do a search of something I wrote on the topic 4 years ago. In part, here it is.

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One thing that I generally do, when I log on and see that there are people in my airspace that may not be aware that I just logged on, is send a text message on unicom that says something to the effect of: "XXX_CTR is now online, 1xx.xxx" This gets, on average, about 65% of the pilots out there who are dutifully monitoring unicom to call me. The others, I generally send another message, on unicom, directed at their callsign, that says Contact XXX_CTR on 1xx.xxx For those controllers/Facility Engineers that choose to add it to their facility's standard alias file, it could look like

.cme Contact $callsign on $com1

I use the .contactme as a last resort. It it the least realistic (the hailing attempts on unicom mirror what the RW would do on guard), but sends a clear message.

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Hope this helps.

Don Desfosse
Vice President, Membership

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I barely monitor it when I fly; why would I subject myself to the torture when I control?

 

Code of Conduct B7.

"Pilots flying through uncontrolled airspace should set their VHF radio frequency to 122.80 or other designated "Unicom" frequency and monitor until they come under air traffic control coverage."

You should monitor it while flying.

 

That said, I'd say if you want to monitor UNICOM while controlling, go for it - if not, well then don't. I don't monitor UNICOM while controlling, as I don't find it relevant for the area I am controlling.

Morten Jelle

VATSIM Network Senior Supervisor
VATSIM Membership Manager, Asia/Pacific Region

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At risk of deviating from the original post, "Should" doesn't equate to "Shall" or "Must" no matter how it gets spun, nor should it be required outside of what traditional CTAF operation dictates.

 

Generally yes, but VATSIM CoC has areas where "should" is enforced as shall (ie, the transponder requirement).

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Generally yes, but VATSIM CoC has areas where "should" is enforced as shall (ie, the transponder requirement).

 

It has long been a contentious play on words, and probably a discussion for another thread (although plenty of them already exist). Safe to say though, respectfully of course, positions won't be changed in this discussion.

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  • 2 weeks later...

In VRC you can have multiple secondary channels active for voice and text, you would set up a channel for 122.800 without a voice server or room. Euroscope I believe has the same capabilities but I don't use it so I could be wrong.

Richard Gerrish

Developer, STM Applications Group

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You can do the same in Euroscope, yes. As in VRC, just make sure you only set to receive from the frequency, so you don't send any messages there while controlling.

Morten Jelle

VATSIM Network Senior Supervisor
VATSIM Membership Manager, Asia/Pacific Region

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  • 3 months later...

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