Air Traffic Controller Discussion With a Global Perspective
By Lindsey Wiebe 1101951
#513519 Are Approach controllers allowed to operate more than one airport?

For instance I flew into CYTZ (Toronto City airport) and there was an approach controller for CYYZ (Toronto Pearson); they are very close in proximity. I asked him through PM if he was controlling YTZ, he replied no. This is fine, but I got to wondering (dangerous I know!) if this is restrictive by Vatsim, the FIR, or maybe just personal restriction (he didn't feel up to it, etc)?

I thought I've seen a comment on some approach controllers particularly SoCal where they list a wack of airports. I'm not looking to call the controller out or anything, as it's his choice, I'm just curious. Same as a CTR controller giving me a clearance from an out of the way airport (Truckee for instance with OAK CTR) then sending me back to Unicom till airborne, this is very realistic anyways. And speaking of which I wonder how many pilots forget to call a CTR controller back once down and clear of a class G airport to close IFR flight plan!

Thanks!
By Magnus Meese 997444
#513522 If the airport is underlying the covered horizontal airspace, it's up to the vACC/vARTCC/vFIR, I guess. If the airport is a major airport, a separate checkout for each airport is necessary (think NY area). Looking at pilot's charts, it's weird to me that CYYZ APP can't cover CYTZ, as it's underlying the same class B, but then again I'm not too strong on North American stuff.
By Krikor Hajian 1283146
#513524 It typically depends on the airspace. At least in the US, large TRACONs (Terminal Radar Approach CONtrol) cover multiple airports. Typically, they will have a "focus" airport, a large class B or C such as BOS, IAD, JFK and LAX. They often will include a bunch of "satellite" airports. For example, Boston TRACON also covers MHT, PSM, BED, OWD, and LWM (all towered), as well as some untowered fields (such as GHG). Some very large TRACONs, such as New York (N90), Potomac (PCT), SoCal (SCT) and Norcal (NCT) are split up into many "areas," each with their own focus.

As an example, Potomac TRACON is split into 4 main areas; Chesapeake (BWI), Shenandoah (IAD), Mount Vernon (DCA) and James River (RIC + CHO). James River is considered a minor position, but CHP, SHD and MTV all require additional certifications/endorsements from the ARTCC (and we list these on our roster). A controller may control multiple areas, assuming they are certified for them, or may only control one. N90, SCT and NCT are all similar in their structure, in that they have multiple areas which can be certified for individually.

As to your question about Toronto, the SIDs out of TZ list Toronto Departure on 133.4 as the departure frequency, so it is still part of the same facility. YZ has two other frequencies, 128.8 and 127.575. So I can't say whether they're treated differently on VATSIM, that would be inside the CYZY FIR, however it is possible, since different frequencies are used (and this is not uncommon).
By Ernesto Alvarez 818262
#513541 CYTZ is a non towered airport, hence they dont cover it. last time i flew in to CYTZ they only gave me approach services, then once on approach the service gets terminated and off to unicom you go.

to depart, same thing you can call on the ground to pick up your IFR clearance. then takeoff and call when in the air
By Tomas Hansson 840812
#513542
Ernesto Alvarez 818262 wrote:CYTZ is a non towered airport, hence they dont cover it. last time i flew in to CYTZ they only gave me approach services, then once on approach the service gets terminated and off to unicom you go.

to depart, same thing you can call on the ground to pick up your IFR clearance. then takeoff and call when in the air


CYTZ is definitely a towered airport. It is the main hub for Porter airlines. It is the third busiest airport in Ontario and number six in Canada. An approach controller always has the option to discontinue services at secondary fields if they get busy at that may have been the case in this instance. Your best bet to get this clarified would be to use the feedback page over at the Toronto FIR website: https://czyz.ca/?page_id=806
Last edited by Tomas Hansson 840812 on Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By Krikor Hajian 1283146
#513543
Ernesto Alvarez 818262 wrote:CYTZ is a non towered airport, hence they dont cover it. last time i flew in to CYTZ they only gave me approach services, then once on approach the service gets terminated and off to unicom you go.

to depart, same thing you can call on the ground to pick up your IFR clearance. then takeoff and call when in the air


CYTZ is a towered airport, as seen in these charts; https://www.czyz.ca/files/charts/class-c/CYTZ_All.pdf. It's also in Class C airspace as seen on the VFR sectional chart. Also, just because an airport is non-towered, a TRACON can still cover that airport. Yes, they would not give a taxi or takeoff clearance, but they can provide IFR separation into and out of the field (one in, one out), IFR clearances and approach clearances. Many non-towered airports fall under major TRACONs, such as KGHG Marshfield under A90 Boston TRACON and KCGS College Park under the Potomac TRACON.
By Lindsey Wiebe 1101951
#513553
Tomas Hansson 840812 wrote:
Ernesto Alvarez 818262 wrote:CYTZ is a non towered airport, hence they dont cover it. last time i flew in to CYTZ they only gave me approach services, then once on approach the service gets terminated and off to unicom you go.

to depart, same thing you can call on the ground to pick up your IFR clearance. then takeoff and call when in the air


CYTZ is definitely a towered airport. It is the main hub for Porter airlines. It is the third busiest airport in Ontario and number six in Canada. An approach controller always has the option to discontinue services at secondary fields if they get busy at that may have been the case in this instance. Your best bet to get this clarified would be to use the feedback page over at the Toronto FIR website: https://czyz.ca/?page_id=806


Well like I said, I don't want to rock the boat it was no biggey, it was more of a "huh, I wonder" kind of situation.

Good discussion throughout though, thanks everyone for their input!
By Ernesto Alvarez 818262
#513555 thanks for the correction, then im definitely confused why they treated it as non towered when it was just me in the airspace. but then again top down for some fields is on the discretion of the controllers above. one reason I always call to check if they are covering , then just roll with the service given. for example some ARTCC's in the the US dont provide any service to their class D's, whether it has a tower or not in the real world, others will provide limited service during the fields actual operational hours, others will always provide service to them even when the field would normally not have the tower open.

when in doubt, ask :) then just go with what you get. something is sometimes better then none :)
By David Sapira 1334621
#513677 Hi Lindsey,

Thanks for the question. I can answer this as I'm a C1 for the CZYZ FIR.

We used to allow our departure controllers to control the satellite airports for Toronto Pearson's airports (which includes CYTZ amongst others). However, in order to help our controllers progress faster through training, we decided to move the control of those airports outside of Departure/Arrival's ownership onto Centre's ownership.

In real life, those airports would be controlled by Toronto Terminal, and not departure or arrival. This was a decision made by the Toronto FIR, and other FIR's, ARTCC's (or what not) may have different policies or procedures.

Hope this help you understand why this was done. We welcome feedback at www.czyz.ca