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Question Simaware Map Explanation of ATC Regions


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Hi. First, I'm new and I'm trying to understand what this map is telling me. I have read the top-down ATC concept page, but now I'm trying to see if I understand it. Please correct/add/confirm anything I have.
Given the map below I see that there is a NYC center. I take it the controller connected here would be controlling all operations all the way down to the ground within all airports in this airspace? Am I correct that that the NYC center controller would be giving clearances all the way down to towered airports in the area and that untowered airports would be as it would be IRL?

I also see that NY has NY_CTR and NY_I_CTR what does the I mean?

I also see that the blue ring is LGA_DEP. Am I correct in understand that this is a controller that is taking care of all LGA departures and that the NY center controller would be controlling everything except LGA departures?
I also see that KHPN is listed with an orange A and JFK is with a red T and an orange A. I take it that these two airports have controllers that will take care of the Arrivals and Tower comms as listed?

So, why do some airports have a blue circle around them and others, such as ACK don't?

Thank you.

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Edited by Paul Gerst
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  • Paul Gerst changed the title to Question Simaware Map Explanation of ATC Regions

Top-Down Coverage

You are correct that New York Center covers all airspace and controlled fields (towered airports) in the ZNY FIR as part of the "top-down" model VATSIM uses. Uncontrolled fields (without a control tower) are controlled as they would be IRL where you can depart VFR uncontrolled or call for IFR clearance from the overlying controller (either an approach controller of NY Center if there isn't one online)

Log-On Callsigns

NY_CTR is the VATSIM log-on callsign. You will typically see things like NY_CTR, NY_1_CTR, or NY_A_CTR or other callsigns with a number or letter in the middle. These are "VATSIM-isms" due to controllers needing to log-on with a unique callsign. They all cover the ZNY FIR or portions of it. The controller information should be updated with airspace coverage or you can tune and ask. NY_I_CTR is a special callsign used when an instructor is conducting training on the network with a controller. In this case, the instructor on NY_I_CTR is observing and training the controller on NY_CTR.

Approach/Departure Rings and Airport Indicators

You are correct. LGA_DEP covers the tower facilities at LGA if they're not online and the departure airspace out of LGA. Due to the airspace design around New York, they also cover the HPN airport itself and the departure airspace around HPN as well. This is specific to the New York area, other airspaces have different designs.

"A" indicates an ATIS is online at the airport (not an arrival controller). There is no specific cab controller at HPN, but LGA_DEP is probably providing an ATIS at HPN because the LGA_TWR controller is providing an ATIS at LGA itself. The "T" and "A" at JFK indicate a Tower controller and an ATIS at JFK.

Approach controllers are indicated via a ring similar to departure controller. Note that Approach controllers if no Departure controller is online, typically (but not always, you should tune and ask if unsure) cover departures out of the airports they provide services at.

The blue rings are online displayed if a controller is on that specific position. Someone has logged on to LGA and IAD and one other airport in the Potomac area so those rings appear. No one is logged on to ACK_APP so there is no ring there.

Edited by Alex Ying

New York ARTCC

Instructor // ZNY/ZWY Facility Coordinator

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It should also be noted that the lateral boundaries of the airspace, especially for the approach "rings" (but also ZNY), are not reflective of the actual lateral boundaries of the airspace. LGA_DEP is covering a very different shaped airspace that is not circular, up to a certain altitude in different areas. LGA_DEP also does not explicitly exclusively cover LGA, as it covers other underlying airfields in their airspace. From your perspective, it'll be hard to tell what else is covered, but you can make educated guesses over time.

Edited by Josh Glottmann

Josh Glottmann
Deputy Air Traffic Manager
Oakland ARTCC
[email protected]

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)
On 7/12/2021 at 12:12 PM, Alex Ying said:

Top-Down Coverage

You are correct that New York Center covers all airspace and controlled fields (towered airports) in the ZNY FIR as part of the "top-down" model VATSIM uses. Uncontrolled fields (without a control tower) are controlled as they would be IRL where you can depart VFR uncontrolled or call for IFR clearance from the overlying controller (either an approach controller of NY Center if there isn't one online)

 

So, one additional question on this. Let's say I'm at KGON and Boston Center is active and therefore is covering all comms for KGON. I want to request VFR clearance and taxi clearance, etc. Do I refer to Boston Center for all stages or the airport I'm at? For example, 'Boston Center...requesting taxi' or 'Groton ground....requesting taxi'? How confusing would this get if other pilots heard my comm from KGON and they are at KBOS?

Edited by Paul Gerst
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7 hours ago, Paul Gerst said:

Do I refer to Boston Center for all stages

Yes, and you'd add your location. In the US, I think it might be something like "Boston Center, <aircraft callsign>, <location>, request <whatever>. Eg. "Boston Center, TalisAir Seven Six, gate 3 KGON, request taxi."

Alistair Thomson

===

Definition: a gentleman is a flying instructor in a Piper Cherokee who can change tanks without getting his face slapped.

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8 hours ago, Paul Gerst said:

So, one additional question on this. Let's say I'm at KGON and Boston Center is active and therefore is covering all comms for KGON. I want to request VFR clearance and taxi clearance, etc. Do I refer to Boston Center for all stages or the airport I'm at? For example, 'Boston Center...requesting taxi' or 'Groton ground....requesting taxi'? How confusing would this get if other pilots heard my comm from KGON and they are at KBOS?

See above for phraseology, but yes, it'd be "Boston Center" for all of the calls since that's the radio position they're working. IRL, this would be a little unusual, but on VATSIM this is the norm so no one is suprised or thrown off by it. The only time callsigns switch around for the same controller (at least in the US) is for Approach and Departure. If you're a departing aircraft, call them "Departure" and if you're an arrival or overflightm, call them "Approach."

New York ARTCC

Instructor // ZNY/ZWY Facility Coordinator

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  • 2 months later...
On 7/13/2021 at 3:48 PM, Josh Glottmann said:

It should also be noted that the lateral boundaries of the airspace, especially for the approach "rings" (but also ZNY), are not reflective of the actual lateral boundaries of the airspace. LGA_DEP is covering a very different shaped airspace that is not circular, up to a certain altitude in different areas. LGA_DEP also does not explicitly exclusively cover LGA, as it covers other underlying airfields in their airspace. From your perspective, it'll be hard to tell what else is covered, but you can make educated guesses over time.

Is it fair to say rely on the VFR sectional chart of the NYC Bravo airspace?  And any Departure/Approach controller online for EWR or LGA or JFK will cover all 3 airports?

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