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No more handoffs?


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On numerous occasions while I am controlling a position on the network I would see messages on the ATC channel to the effect of ABC_CTR closing in 5 minutes not accepting anymore handoffs! While most of the time the controller is still online controlling for over 15 minutes while not accepting handoffs and providing service to new incoming traffic. I do not understand this logic or idea behind the “not accepting anymore handoffs!â€

Curley Bryant

VATSIM Pilot

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I can only [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ume they were intending to log off in 5 minutes but after the 5 minutes realized that had a couple or three aircraft that were very very close to finishing their flight and made a snap decision to stay on to get them down.

 

As a controller, I'd still be accepting handoffs. As a pilot, getting handed off only to have a controller close a few minutes later bugs me just a little.

 

I suppose I'm neutral on this one.

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If I am controlling center and KNOW i'm closing in a few minutes then I will just have the other centers hand them to unicom. Simply so the pilot dosen't get on my frequency then have to make the switch. However, this is only if i'm closing in 5 minutes or fixing to sign off. If i have anything greater then 10 minutes to spare i'll take it.

 

-Mike

Michael D. Hodge Jr

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I feel that ARTCC's should implement policies that do not allow controllers to refuse hand offs. You must accept every hand off unless you're offline. If you don't want to take hand offs then why are you still online? Once all your aircraft are released unicom, and there are no pending hand offs your free to log off. This may sound a little harsh but it's just my 2¢.

San Juan CERAP

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Christopher McGee

http://sanjuan.vatcar.org/

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I feel that ARTCC's should implement policies that do not allow controllers to refuse hand offs. You must accept every hand off unless you're offline. If you don't want to take hand offs then why are you still online? Once all your aircraft are released unicom, and there are no pending hand offs your free to log off. This may sound a little harsh but it's just my 2¢.

 

Problem with that policy. If you hav an airport in your sector that is getting absolutely pounded, holding traffic at various places, refusing handoffs is a tool that can help not only with keeping planes separated, but to add things like in MIT spacing, etc.

 

A handoff is a controller's way of accepting the traffic that is coming to them, AS IS. The receiving controller is taking responsibility for that aircraft in the situation that it is in. If a controller doesn't like how it is, the handoff needs to be refused, and it is up to the other controller to make that situation right before the receiving controller accepts that plane.

 

BL.

Brad Littlejohn

ZLA Senior Controller

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On numerous occasions while I am controlling a position on the network I would see messages on the ATC channel to the effect of ABC_CTR closing in 5 minutes not accepting anymore handoffs! While most of the time the controller is still online controlling for over 15 minutes while not accepting handoffs and providing service to new incoming traffic. I do not understand this logic or idea behind the “not accepting anymore handoffs!â€

Matt Bromback

Air Traffic Manager

N[Mod - Happy Thoughts]au FIR

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If a bordering CTR wants something a certain way I will coordinate as any other controller would so what is the point of this thread exactly?

 

The point is not about your ability to coordinate, it's that controllers shouldn't really be refusing handoffs unless they're right going to hit the Disconnect button.

 

From the standpoint of being active...you're supposed to have control over the aircraft in your airspace ([Mod - Happy Thoughts]uming here the situation is about enroute IFR aircraft not getting handed off). If you're online, you're supposed to have positive contact with any aircraft coming over from an adjacent sector, and that's done by handoff. Unless you know 100% that you will be hitting the disconnect button very, very soon (as in the next minute)...you should still have positive control of your airspace. If you're to the point to say "Disconnecting, no more handoffs," the other controllers should see your callsign disappear within a few seconds of saying that.

 

In the instance where someone says: "I'm logging off, no more handoffs"...but you actually continue to remain online for 5, 10, or 15 minutes...then I violate your airspace every time I even send an aircraft over to UNICOM or if I don't complete a handoff (whether that's coordinated or not). You can't arbitrarily decide that you only want to handle certain IFR/VFR aircraft in your airspace...you have to have positive control of them all (VFR if they are in cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] B airspace). There's no reason to stop taking handoffs until you actually go to hit the Disconnect button.

 

You don't need to "prepare" by stopping yourself from getting new aircraft. You just keep doing your job the way you're supposed to, finish any immediate transmissions and acknowledgments, then get right back and say "Facility closing, frequency change to 122.8 approved for all aircraft, g'day." Even if you say that right after you got a "Center, northwest 123 checking in." It's sort of like a grocery store closing. If we close at 10pm, we don't lock the doors at 9:50pm, we lock them at 9:59 or 10:00. If anyone's in the store we finish up their transactions if they were ready to pay, and then send them out the door. In the ATC world, that's just like getting a pilot just handed off or someone sending a transmission, acknowledge or send a transmission you need to send...then close up. If worse comes to worse, you just need to log off...you don't need to personally apologize to each pilot you're logging off.

 

And since it's not a rule...if you disagree, you disagree. That's kinda the way I see it.

Steve Ogrodowski

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It's very simple for me. I'll just respect the controllers request, not give him anymore handoffs and send them to UNICOM.

 

What happens when the aircraft on UNICOM collides with an aircraft still talking to ATC?

 

You cannot safely allow some IFR flights to go to UNICOM while other IFR flights in the same airspace are still talking to ATC.

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I feel that ARTCC's should implement policies that do not allow controllers to refuse hand offs. You must accept every hand off unless you're offline. If you don't want to take hand offs then why are you still online? Once all your aircraft are released unicom, and there are no pending hand offs your free to log off. This may sound a little harsh but it's just my 2¢.

I don't.

 

I do this "no more handoffs" thing all the time. When I'm closing my frequency, I cater to each aircraft individually instead of doing a m[Mod - Happy Thoughts]-UNICOM handoff, as I like to include things such as "Contact Minneapolis Center in 100 miles" or "Contact Los Angeles Center over the Page VOR." That helps their next sectors in not having to issue a contact me. With 15 aircraft in my sectors, that can up to about 5 minutes.

 

What's the point of having some new aircraft on my frequency, only for me to tell him to go to UNICOM? It can be accomplished by the previous controller. That is one less step for me and one less minute of frequency congestion.

 

What happens when the aircraft on UNICOM collides with an aircraft still talking to ATC?

We still have to provide separation between those aircraft. As long as the aircraft are not squawking standby, we can see their altitude. That situation wouldn't normally exist for more than 5 minutes, however, and if there was an observable situation such as this, I would ensure separation before having another facility send an aircraft to UNICOM or having myself hand them to UNICOM.

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What happens when the aircraft on UNICOM collides with an aircraft still talking to ATC?

 

You cannot safely allow some IFR flights to go to UNICOM while other IFR flights in the same airspace are still talking to ATC.

 

I know I'm going to regret posting this, but...

 

If it becomes an issue (which is shouldn't, given the fairly specific situation were talking about in this thread) that aircraft that is on UNICOM will be treated like a VFR aircraft not talking to ATC or a NORDO aircraft. The other controlled traffic will be vectored as necessary. Safety is not an issue.

 

This is a fairly limited situation where the subject of this thread takes place and I've told other controllers on numerous occasions to "terminate them", meaning to terminate the aircraft and switch them to UNICOM. This usually happens within 5 or so minutes before I logoff. If a pilot or another controller takes exception to it, I couldn't care less. What really irks me the most is when a neighboring sector attempts to hand off 2+ aircraft at the same time, you refuse one of them because they are, or will quickly be in conflict (or MIT is comically outside of established LOA's), and they simply terminate the guy you refused.

 

I don't see what the big deal is here though with drawing a line and no longer accepting handoffs. If you can guarantee me a relief controller or better yet, pay me to sit behind VRC, then we'll have something to talk about.

-Dan Everette

CFI, CFII, MEI

Having the runway in sight just at TDZE + 100 is like Mom, Warm cookies and milk, and Christmas morning, all wrapped into one.

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What happens when the aircraft on UNICOM collides with an aircraft still talking to ATC?

 

You cannot safely allow some IFR flights to go to UNICOM while other IFR flights in the same airspace are still talking to ATC.

 

Well Anthony,

 

If it's not in my airspace, what am I supposed to do? Don't get me wrong. If there is traffic that I can see in the vicinity, I will point it out to the traffic I'm terminating. But, he's leaving my airspace. I no longer have jurisdiction over him.

 

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that really, it's not my problem. Once again, if a controller requests not to give him any more handoffs, that's what I'll do. As soon as the aircraft reaches my border, I'll terminate him. Point out any possible conflicting traffic in the next sector and send him to UNICOM. Job done.

 

By the way, you may want to qualify that second sentence of yours, before the usual suspects come and rip it apart for being wrong.

 

Cheers!

Paul.

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It's very simple for me. I'll just respect the controllers request, not give him anymore handoffs and send them to UNICOM.

 

What happens when the aircraft on UNICOM collides with an aircraft still talking to ATC?

 

Then all those virtual p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]engers go down in flames!

Nick Bartolotta - ZSE Instructor, pilot at large

 

"Just fly it on down to within a inch of the runway and let it drop in from there."

- Capt. Don Lanham, ATA Airlines

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It's very simple for me. I'll just respect the controllers request, not give him anymore handoffs and send them to UNICOM.

 

What happens when the aircraft on UNICOM collides with an aircraft still talking to ATC?

 

Then all those virtual p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]engers go down in flames!

 

 

am i supposed to laugh Nick or cry?..tell me please...

SWA1501

Lak Singh

Remember: When in doubt, ask!

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It's very simple for me. I'll just respect the controllers request, not give him anymore handoffs and send them to UNICOM.

 

What happens when the aircraft on UNICOM collides with an aircraft still talking to ATC?

 

Then all those virtual p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]engers go down in flames!

 

 

am i supposed to laugh Nick or cry?..tell me please...

 

Ummmmm. This question is pretty easy....

 

Do what your therapist recommended after your medication increase...

 

This is a simulation, and that is all... The very worst that will happen is that we'll be reading a virtual NTSB report about some electron fatalities in the future...

 

So... Your point if you have one?

-Dan Everette

CFI, CFII, MEI

Having the runway in sight just at TDZE + 100 is like Mom, Warm cookies and milk, and Christmas morning, all wrapped into one.

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Thank you all for you opinions on the topic. There is no right or wrong on this topic. Just trying to see what other controllers think. I guess it really doesn't matter and it all boils down to what Matt Bromback said in his initial post, "controller preference."

Curley Bryant

VATSIM Pilot

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By the way, you may want to qualify that second sentence of yours, before the usual suspects come and rip it apart for being wrong.

 

<-- Grabbing Popcorn & Beer.

 

Dan,

 

this needs to become a rule, so could we please attach the word "Always"?

Thanks!

Always do what your therapist recommended after your medication increase...

They say I have ADD. But, they dont understand... Ohh, look!!! A chicken!

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I would like to share my opinion on ATC channel messages such as these. I think they are against everything ATC on VATSIM is for: providing a service to virtual pilots on the network. It's a very inconvenient way to create more work for your fellow controller brothers and sisters. Frequency congestion increases with pilots inquiring why they aren't being handed off to the next controller because they still show up in their list.

 

In my humble honest opinion the only GOOD excuse for refusing hand offs when you're still online are during events when you are experiencing "heavy" traffic and are unable to fit anymore aircraft in your sector. OR during organized major events where you need to log off. In my opinion 5min would suffice.

 

I think thats what it was intended for. I remember only seeing these messages and getting hand offs refused or ignored during such events and I think as time went on controllers have taken this tool, cried wolf with it, and have used it for everyday low level traffic controlling.

 

Just my thoughts.

Nick

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Did you read the previous posts? My argument is that when I declare this message, I'll be signing off within the next 5 minutes. In those 5 minutes, I'll be handing aircraft to UNICOM, possibly coordinating early handoffs with other facilities, telling pilots when they should contact the next facility if applicable, and so forth. That being said, I don't want some new pilot coming on to my frequency only to have to handle an additional 20 seconds of frequency usage that could have been handled by another controller.

 

If people are using this to just let aircraft p[Mod - Happy Thoughts] through their airspace, that's quite frankly rediculous and I do understand your argument. I think we all stated our points here.

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Did you read the previous posts?

 

Yes I did

 

I think we all stated our points here.

 

So I'm not entitled to state my point?

 

 

 

I'll be signing off within the next 5 minutes. In those 5 minutes, I'll be handing aircraft to UNICOM, possibly coordinating early handoffs with other facilities, telling pilots when they should contact the next facility if applicable, and so forth.

 

It takes you 5min to do that? I'm not buying it.... there are two docomeented key commands to clear your airspace available

 

.pan NOTAM-Joe Shmacateli is logging off change to UNICOM or something to that effect (sends a private chat to all tracked aircraft)

 

Attention all aircraft such and such of place is closed.

 

that should take you about 1min.

 

As I said in my previous post, it was something that was commonly used in events, it was somehow allowed to be taken away from that and established as a past practice.. now each time it's crying wolf. in my opinion

Nick

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Nicholas, I didn't mean to make you upset by any means. By saying "I think we've all stated our points," I meant that your point had pretty much been covered, which also led me to ask if you read the previous posts. I never said you weren't entitled to your opinion, but it is something that I should have stated.

 

It takes you 5min to do that? I'm not buying it.... there are two docomeented key commands to clear your airspace available

I do this "no more handoffs" thing all the time. When I'm closing my frequency, I cater to each aircraft individually instead of doing a m[Mod - Happy Thoughts]-UNICOM handoff, as I like to include things such as "Contact Minneapolis Center in 100 miles" or "Contact Los Angeles Center over the Page VOR." That helps their next sectors in not having to issue a contact me. With 15 aircraft in my sectors, that can up to about 5 minutes.

You can come watch if you'd like. I'm on DEN_CTR weeknights around 2200Z. The wake turbulence countdown buttons can be used as timers.

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This is why I refuse to move up from the Tower position. This place has turned into more of a place of politics then enjoyment.

 

Nicholas, this is the way It has been done since I started controlling on VATSIM. That was around three years ago, and I don't personally see a problem with it, and apparently not many other people do either, as I have not seen a forum complaint on the subject before, although most people may have just sent a email to their respectable "Boss".

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Here's the deal...

 

For me, logging off can be a hard thing to do, especially if you have pilots approaching your main airports. I always feels like I should stay that little bit longer so that these pilots will have had ATC all the way to the airport.

 

When I have had enough of a shift, I will usually announce that I will be close i.e in 10 minutes. More often than not, the neighbouring controllers will ask, if there is an aircraft approaching the common boundary, if I will take the handoff. Sometimes its 'yes', sometimes its 'no'. It all depends on what is going on. If I'm waiting to get one last aircraft on the ground, its probably going to be no; however, if I'm still waiting on several aircraft and I know it will be another 5 mins before they will be on the deck, then I will take the handoff. For me, its all about limiting workload at the end of the shift. There is no point in generating more work for yourself, and then close.

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Here's the deal...

 

For me, logging off can be a hard thing to do, especially if you have pilots approaching your main airports. I always feels like I should stay that little bit longer so that these pilots will have had ATC all the way to the airport.

 

When I have had enough of a shift, I will usually announce that I will be close i.e in 10 minutes. More often than not, the neighbouring controllers will ask, if there is an aircraft approaching the common boundary, if I will take the handoff. Sometimes its 'yes', sometimes its 'no'. It all depends on what is going on. If I'm waiting to get one last aircraft on the ground, its probably going to be no; however, if I'm still waiting on several aircraft and I know it will be another 5 mins before they will be on the deck, then I will take the handoff. For me, its all about limiting workload at the end of the shift. There is no point in generating more work for yourself, and then close.

 

Agreed. (Edited to bold item of importance)

Edited by Guest

Michael D. Hodge Jr

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