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Is there a list available containing all the aerodromes supported by the LON / SCO CTR's?

When on the ground it is good to know if the controller on line gives VFR departure approval but sometimes I struggle to find out if the on line controller controls that ATZ.

The VATSIM Areas UK Map normally referred to doesn't seem to contain all the controlled aerodromes on the list beneath it.

To give the example of Farnborough which is on the map but not on the list beneath

Hope somebody can point me in the right direction or is it just the case that if the aerodrome is the map, though not necessarily on the list, it is controlled by LON or SCO?

Jeff

 

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Hi Jeff,

You can find a schematic of the London and Scottish sectors here: https://www.vatsim.uk/operations/sectors On the same page there is a list of all the aerodromes with the controllers that may cover them top-down and the order in which you should contact them.

I hope this helps, but if you have more questions, fire away! 🙂 


Nick Marinov

VATSIM Europe Deputy Region Director
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The other point to note here would be the class of airspace -- if the aerodrome in question is located within Class D controlled airspace then, naturally, it will fall under the top-down purview of whichever London sector geographically sits over the top (ref diagram).

If the airfield is in Class G, however, it is outside controlled airspace and thus you are for all intents and purposes on your own!


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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Nick Marinov said:

Hi Jeff,

You can find a schematic of the London and Scottish sectors here: https://www.vatsim.uk/operations/sectors On the same page there is a list of all the aerodromes with the controllers that may cover them top-down and the order in which you should contact them.

I hope this helps, but if you have more questions, fire away! 🙂 

Normally, but Farnborough isn't on that list! Which I think is the issue here.

 

@Jeff Hall

With regards to Farnborough, it's the same as Gatwick:

LTC_SW - LTC_S - LTC - LON_D - LON_S - LON_SC - LON

 

I'll point it out and see if it can be added to the area sector list

Edited by Connor Faulder
.

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34 minutes ago, Connor Faulder said:

Normally, but Farnborough isn't on that list! Which I think is the issue here.

 

@Jeff Hall

With regards to Farnborough, it's the same as Gatwick:

LTC_SW - LTC_S - LTC - LON_D - LON_S - LON_SC - LON

 

I'll point it out and see if it can be added to the area sector list

Ah! I was in the process of my morning coffee at the time of replying! 😄 Perhaps it could be added to the list then, Ill drop a message to OPS.


Nick Marinov

VATSIM Europe Deputy Region Director
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Senior Network Supervisor
VATEUD Division Director (acting)

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Many thanks for your replies

Another one I'm not sure about is EGNC - it is not on the list and is shown on the map.  The reason I ask is a couple of weeks ago I flew Blackpool to Carlisle, got a basic service from SCO_WD_CTR who told me he covered EGNC ATZ - a bonus, it's on the map but not on the list.

Regarding controlled Class D airspace - Sandtoft seems to be a "Hokey Cokey" ATZ with one half in Doncaster's Class D CTR, but the lower 1500' of the other half is not.  As far as I can see if I depart from 05 full length I will start in CAS but move into uncontrolled airspace up to 1500' but if I depart from 23 I'm straight into CAS as soon as I pass the end of the runway.  I'm sure there'll be others.

As I'm new to this and really want to get things right, it's back to the original question is there a list that London Controllers use to determine which ATZ's they have control over.

I'm trying to create a list but am curious as to whether one exists

Jeff

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Unfortunately the list really covers those which receive "normal" amounts of traffic, smaller fields such as Carlisle where you maybe get one movement every week or two tend not to be listed otherwise the list would be endless...

General rule is - if it's in Class D, call the controller above.  If it's in Class G, take off and request a service/CAS joining clearance in the air.  If you use the sector map that Nick linked previously, this should at least let you know who to contact to check if they need to speak to you.   Controllers would rather you PM'd them to ask the question than take off when you shouldn't have...


Trevor Hannant

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Sorry, forgot to look at Sandoft!  Yes, it's a strange one - never flew in/out of there when I was flying out of Donny (only used Gamston and Sturgate) but looking at their website there's no mention of any procedures for there although they mention that "We are situated in the ever helpful Doncaster Zone" so i'd imagine they will probably have an arrangement with Doncaster for departing traffic on both runways...


Trevor Hannant

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One of the problems you have come across here, Jeff, is that unfortunately there IS no list and very little consistency, something which has been a bugbear of mine for quite some time but nobody has any desire to actually clarify things properly so everybody does their own thing and it all gets ever more confusing!

Carlisle is Class G, which is uncontrolled airspace, so really the controller here was over-reaching a bit on their own initiative rather than acting in accordance with any well-established policy and the problem is that next time with a different controller you may well be slung off to Unicom, particularly if they have other IFR traffic to deal with.

As Trevor says, really the best guide is to look at which sector the airfield is geographically located in based on the sector map and then subsequently establish whether it is is located within controlled airspace (i.e. Class D). If not then nobody can complain because there is no requirement for ATC clearance or radio contact to fly in Class G airspace!

A good thing to do for smaller airfields, incidentally, as Trevor implies, is to look up the airfield website which will often have procedures for pilots published. I'm not familiar with Sandtoft but without checking I would imagine that a 'local flying area' (LFA) will be established for the ATZ similar to Barton and Redhill - these arrangements allow flights in and out of such airfields to take place without reference to the 'overlying' ATC unit provided they remain within the limits of the LFA/ATZ.


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4 hours ago, Simon Kelsey said:

Carlisle is Class G, which is uncontrolled airspace, so really the controller here was over-reaching a bit on their own initiative rather than acting in accordance with any well-established policy and the problem is that next time with a different controller you may well be slung off to Unicom, particularly if they have other IFR traffic to deal with.

I do not see this as something negative, to be honest. I rather have ATCOs expand their services over what they should do, for me this is positive service. In this case the ATC could have told the pilot that he should depart on own discretion after issuing a "conditional IFR-clearance" that will become active once a certain altitude has been reached.

As virtual ATCO I rather have pilots call me too often from uncontrolled airports that I do not serve than just depart without any contact and then create a mess. I believe that we have to be careful how we get the message out. For pilot it should be something 100% normal to call ATC, if in doubt.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Andreas Fuchs said:

I do not see this as something negative, to be honest. I rather have ATCOs expand their services over what they should do, for me this is positive service.

The problem is it's not that positive service when one controller wants to be speaking to everything and anything and 'controlling' outside the limits of controlled airspace (it is 'uncontrolled' for a reason!) and then tomorrow there's a different controller who has no interest in speaking to you and as we are seeing here it confuses the matter and blurs the lines between "controlled" and "uncontrolled" aerodromes and airspace in a way that is not helpful. Given there is no requirement for anybody to be speaking to anybody in class G, what sort of service exactly is a controller going to be providing? How is it helpful to have one pilot on one frequency and another on a different frequency at or approaching the same airfield?

1 hour ago, Andreas Fuchs said:

For pilot it should be something 100% normal to call ATC, if in doubt.

I don't disagree at all with this -- however my issue is that the answer should be the same each time -- so if I call up today and you say "no, sorry, I don't cover this airfield" I shouldn't get a different answer from a different controller tomorrow.

I've said in the past, I don't mind -- if the decision is that all CTR controllers should be responsible for controlling ALL airfields within the lateral bounds of their airspace, regardless of airspace class -- that's fine. But that decision should be made with a pragmatic approach and realistically my experience as a pilot where it has been suggested that we should be calling London for top-down ATC when flying VFR out of small Class G airfields is that the only 'service' I have ever received has been a 20 minute wait to try and get a word in edgeways followed by 'Sorry, I don't cover that airfield/I'm too busy, over to Unicom'. Don't get me wrong, I'd love for there to be a means for pilots to get more ATC when flying from these fields and it would be really useful with my training hat on, but I'm not sure that pretending the guy dealing with all the IFR in to LHR and LGW is in a position to do it is the answer.

Now, I would certainly encourage VFR pilots to call the overlying sector for a Flight Information Service outside controlled airspace once airborne, and obviously IFR airways joiners will need to contact ATC for a clearance before entering CAS. But I don't think trying to 'top-down' aerodrome control for uncontrolled airfields in a half-baked way is a good idea! 

Edited by Simon Kelsey

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2 hours ago, Simon Kelsey said:

so if I call up today and you say "no, sorry, I don't cover this airfield" I shouldn't get a different answer from a different controller tomorrow.

Hi Simon, just to be sure we are on the same page - because I do not disagree with you in principle - an ATCO delivering a service outside his official airspace, has to make this clear to the pilots in question. This way they won't be expecting the same type of service outside controlled airspace from all other ATCOs as well. Our good old disclaimer 😄

I personally do not see a problem with providing a "clearance for later" to pilots on the ground, other places do this in the real world, too. I know, I know, not in the UK.

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Personally, I'll always try to give a service to airfields outside of Controlled Airspace where I can. 

If it's someone looking for a clearance to join controlled airspace on departure, I'll give that at a suitable time on the ground as the urgency is not there - it might be when they call, it might be when they're taxiing, it might be as they're lining up! It's whenever I've got that time to give it.   However, giving a service on the ground is entirely dependant on whether we have a ground map in ES for the airfield in question.  If we don't, I'll advise the pilot that I've no ground information, taxi and depart at their discretion.

If someone's departing a small airfield and remaining outside CAS the whole way, I'll generally ask what service they're require when airborne and ask them to call me when airborne.   I can then identify (if necessary) and provide that FIS as required.

Anything inbound to an airfield outside of CAS will, for me, broadly follow the same principles.  I'll give them a service outside of CAS but clearance to land will depend on what I can see (or not!) on my scope...


Trevor Hannant

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I must admit I've found this discussion both informative and fascinating.  One of my points was that the LON or SCO controller, when asked about which aerodromes are under their control, will point you to the Sector Maps.  So which do you take notice of - the maps or the lists beneath the maps?

The following aerodromes are on the map but not on the list -

image.png.d09764c206160e381ffa03f256f6c76f.pngimage.png.019d09acdc03cfe6c26b88a17f5a3dcc.png

Whilst EGAA is in the last but not on the map.

I know that EGLF will be rectified.

Jeff

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The Sectors page is currently being revamped (I've just commented on a draft copy).  I think the map has been given an update also to add more airfields to it...


Trevor Hannant

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25 minutes ago, Jeff Hall said:

I must admit I've found this discussion both informative and fascinating.  One of my points was that the LON or SCO controller, when asked about which aerodromes are under their control, will point you to the Sector Maps.  So which do you take notice of - the maps or the lists beneath the maps?

The following aerodromes are on the map but not on the list -

image.png.d09764c206160e381ffa03f256f6c76f.pngimage.png.019d09acdc03cfe6c26b88a17f5a3dcc.png

Whilst EGAA is in the last but not on the map.

I know that EGLF will be rectified.

Jeff

AA is on the map?:

areasector2.png

Admittedly AC isn't however as AA and AC fall inside CAS, they would certainly come under top down control from STC_A, SCO_R, SCO_W, SCO_WD, SCO


Trevor Hannant

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Just as a suggestion, and if the map is being updated, is it worth highlighting those airfields which fall under the control of a CTR controller - that would reduce the confusion - well for me anyway!

 

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