Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hello. As far as I understand (and it was somewhere in the VATSIM documents) the controller hierarchy is from bottom to top meaning - if for example, ground is not available, but tower is, the ground clearances may be issued by tower controller, and then the same controller is working with you as tower and permits for takeoff. Same with approach and center.

There is distances in the Code Of Conduct for each controller type. But if with ground, tower of even approach it is quite easy to figure out where the controller is and are you in it's controlled zone, with Center's I'm sometimes puzzled. The range of Center controller is 600nm, so my questions is:

1) Is the Center's airspace is circular as with other controllers or it has some shapes? For example on this map https://vau.aero/fsmap/?osm the controlled zones are depicted as circles, but often there is no center's zones there. But on this map - https://map.vatsim.net/ the zones has some shapes.

2) Where is the "center" of the Center's zone? So, from where it is 600nm measured?

3) Is there any offline map with all center's zones? It could be very handy for flight planning 'cause on the map.vatsim.net there is only online controllers depicted, but what if I planning the route that I will fly on some other day?

Thank you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good questions! 

You're correct about the hierarchy.

There is a difference between the "visibility range" of the controller and the airspace the controller is working. For Center, the best way to determine the boundary is to use a tool that has an accurate depiction of the airspace shapes. VatSPY and Vattastic along with other network monitoring tools all show the specific boundaries a Center is covering. Here's an example from Vattastic: 

image.png.416d8661a53fe49e6d9749ec51a4bcf2.png

In some cases, you can find government charts that show Center boundaries (for example, on U.S. IFR charts available at www.skyvector.com). Probably the best source for airspaces offline is VatSPY, because that software can be downloaded and used to show boundaries even when ATC is offline. 

image.png.32e2b80a43ce75bcf39efdcfdab9ebf6.png

spacer.png

Evan Reiter
Boston Virtual ARTCC/ZBW Community Manager

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just as a continuation of this topic - I had a flight today - ENBR to EDDF. It was B-738 and in the FMC I created a 150nm circle around the destination airport (EDDF) to represent an EDDF approach maximum visibility area (as by Code of Conduct). But when I entered the circle and contacted the controller, he said that I'm not in his airspace yet and starts to work with me only in about 50nm from the field. So the working distance of the controller is about 50nm, correct?

Another question is more about the order of operations particularly in the VATSIM - what is "the right way" - to contact the controller by your self when you are at some distance from him (as in real life I believe) of just do nothing and wait when the controller contacts you by himself? Because in the "vatsim-software" (in the XPilot at least) controller can and will contact you with chat even if you are at the wrong frequency.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Evgeny Zavershinskiy said:

Just as a continuation of this topic - I had a flight today - ENBR to EDDF. It was B-738 and in the FMC I created a 150nm circle around the destination airport (EDDF) to represent an EDDF approach maximum visibility area (as by Code of Conduct). But when I entered the circle and contacted the controller, he said that I'm not in his airspace yet and starts to work with me only in about 50nm from the field. So the working distance of the controller is about 50nm, correct?

Another question is more about the order of operations particularly in the VATSIM - what is "the right way" - to contact the controller by your self when you are at some distance from him (as in real life I believe) of just do nothing and wait when the controller contacts you by himself? Because in the "vatsim-software" (in the XPilot at least) controller can and will contact you with chat even if you are at the wrong frequency.

150 nm is pretty far for approach to contact you. for frankfurt you will likely be with langen radar however there are multiple langen radar sectors. see https://vatsim-germany.org/pilots/aerodrome/EDDF . 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Evgeny Zavershinskiy said:

Just as a continuation of this topic - I had a flight today - ENBR to EDDF. It was B-738 and in the FMC I created a 150nm circle around the destination airport (EDDF) to represent an EDDF approach maximum visibility area (as by Code of Conduct). But when I entered the circle and contacted the controller, he said that I'm not in his airspace yet and starts to work with me only in about 50nm from the field. So the working distance of the controller is about 50nm, correct?

 

Don't confuse visibility area with the area the controller controls. These are entirely different. The reason for a larger visibility area is more for the benefit of the controller, who needs to be aware of traffic outside his area of responcibility (AOR). The working distance of many (European) approach controllers has more to do with altitude and sid/star points. In EKCH the starting point of the STARs and the termination points of the SIDs are a little outside the approach controllers AOR. So perhaps in Europe it is a better choice to look at these point in order to get a rough idea of the approach controllers AOR. In the US the STARs often begins more than 100nm from the airports, so you can't use that as a guide.

Contacting the controller by yourself or letting him notify you - not a big deal. If I'm unsure of his area, I usually let him do the initial contact.

Happy flying

Edited by Torben Andersen

Torben Andersen, VACC-SCA Controller (C1)

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you think of it this way, Evgeny -- when would you ordinarily be handed from [ Center / Control / Enroute ] to the [ Approach / Radar / Terminal ] controller?  Probably after you've started your descent, I imagine?  The point at which you should contact  [ Approach / Radar / Terminal ] is roughly the same regardless of whether or not there's an Enroute controller present to hand you off.  The Terminal controller's area of responsibility doesn't get any bigger in the absence of an overlying controller.  In fact, pretty much only the opposite happens -- controllers take on the responsibilities BELOW them in the hierarchy when positions are unstaffed, but the "upper / outer" limits of their responsibilities don't really change.

Likewise, if only a TWR is on and no APP nor CTR to hand you off, contact TWR roughly when you'd ordinarily be handed to them -- i.e. after you've commenced the approach and are pretty much established on the final approach course.  Similarly, if only a GND is on and no TWR or above, contact GND after you land and vacate the runway.

I hope that's a helpful way of looking at it.

Cheers,

-R.

fvJfs7z.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...