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VATUSA: When Center is too busy for class C and class D airports


Bob Donovan
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I absolutely love flying GA (IFR and VFR) in and out of class C and D airports when the airspace is busy.
But I have to say - sometimes it would be easier on everybody to let the few airplanes on the class C and D airports to taxi and takeoff after getting clearance / squawk code. The process of calling for clearance, calling for taxi, calling for takeoff can take a good 30+ minutes and several calls to the now-annoyed and often overwhelmed center controller who can't get to you. I think it would take a load off letting us taxi and takeoff at our own discretion and calling once airborne. 
I think there's very few controllers who will admit they can't handle everything - but from a pilot perspective we get barked at a lot for just trying to get our clearance and off the ground. 

This is way down on super-important things for VATSIM. but I'm interested in what others think.

BD 

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  • Board of Governors

That's just a natural part of workload shedding.  I had to do it last night.  Oversaturated.  Told 3 pilots they may have to wait about 15 minutes for a clearance , and if I didn't give it to them in 15 minutes, please remind me, because I was working up to 31 aircraft at one point.  I *think* I got to them all before the 15 minutes.  In one case when the pilot was ready to taxi, I explained that I was oversaturated and he could taxi to the runway at his discretion and let me know when he was ready for departure.  The workload shedding was important and got me over the hump until things quieted down again in about 30 minutes.  To me, it's just a natural part of the VATSIM-isms that we sometimes have to employ.  

Don Desfosse
Vice President, Operations

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There is always an opportunity to fly in airspace which has more than a CTR controller providing service. A lot of ARTCCs host events tailored towards, or, suitable for, GA traffic. I recommend checking the VATUSA events calendar.

Even in the real world, it is also not uncommon that ATC at a class D airport is going to give you taxi instructions and then provides the IFR clearance while you are working on your before takeoff checklist in the run up area. That however is generally based on how real world small towered airport ATC needs to themselves request your IFR flight plan for your flight, before they can relay it to you.

   

Michael Mund-Hoym

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