Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by A346Dude » Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:05 pm

AirFrame wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:23 am

In the event that traffic *doesn't* get passed to you, and you have a loss of separation, they could always fall back on "well, they didn't request resolution..." if it ever came before TC.
Conflict resolution is on request but traffic is not, so in your hypothetical the tower would have no defense.
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by photofly » Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:03 pm

AirFrame wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:23 am
(b) conflict resolution between VFR aircraft on request;
Note the "on request". I'd hazard a guess that most VFR pilots assume they are getting conflict resolution when they fly into a control zone, and don't realize that they have to request it to be sure.

In practise, the Class C towers near me (at least in my experience) have voluntarily offered conflict resolution without me asking for it. If they do it for everyone, that reinforces the expectation that you don't have to ask for that service to get it. In the event that traffic *doesn't* get passed to you, and you have a loss of separation, they could always fall back on "well, they didn't request resolution..." if it ever came before TC.
Conflict resolution (“descend 2000 for traffic”) is on request, but information about conflicting traffic (“Cessna 172 same altitude, opposite direction, at your 12 o’clock”) is a mandatory service; you don’t have to ask for it.
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by AirFrame » Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:13 am

So a tower really is only supposed to just call off traffic until impact? "12 o'clock 3 miles... 12 o'clock 2 miles... 12 o'clock 1 mile..." without suggesting a change in altitude/heading/etc.? I find it hard to believe that's where they would stop, and in my experience they have been more helpful than that.

When you have traffic on opposing downwind legs, and the tower tells one to extend their downwind and that the tower will call the base turn, that's also (potential) conflict resolution. If we're both on downwind at the same point, we'll both turn base at about the same point, which will put us head on to each other... A potential conflict.

The point is, conflict resolution is provided for VFR traffic without them asking for it... The expectation is set that this is "normal" in all circumstances.

What phraseology should be used to explicitly request conflict resolution? Does it have to be asked only once per interaction with ATC? Or does it have to be asked every time a potential conflict arises?
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by ahramin » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:42 am

I believe it's "request deconfliction service" but I don't have the reference handy so take that as unconfirmed as I've had to use it perhaps 5 times total. In any case as you have pointed out there is a large gap between the CARs and the real world and this phraseology is not used in Canada.
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by photofly » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:58 am

AirFrame wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:13 am
So a tower really is only supposed to just call off traffic until impact?
No, a tower controller is required to call off traffic. Everything else is discretionary, until you request another service and the controller agrees to provide it.
What phraseology should be used to explicitly request conflict resolution?
“ABCD request conflict resolution service” service should do the trick.
Does it have to be asked only once per interaction with ATC? Or does it have to be asked every time a potential conflict arises?
Now you’re being silly.
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by photofly » Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:11 am

Here’s what the old MANOPS has to say:
D85082C6-0FD9-4330-877D-DA0A0F3E7192.jpeg
D85082C6-0FD9-4330-877D-DA0A0F3E7192.jpeg (186.46 KiB) Viewed 3095 times
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by RexKrammer » Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:18 pm

The bare legal minimum in Class C/D airspace is for the Tower controller to pass traffic information to potentially conflicting VFR aircraft. I will provide conflict resolution, even if not explicitly requested, such as "remain south of Rwy XX arrival path" or "not below 2'000 ft"
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by A346Dude » Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:11 pm

AirFrame wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:13 am
What phraseology should be used to explicitly request conflict resolution? Does it have to be asked only once per interaction with ATC? Or does it have to be asked every time a potential conflict arises?
I don't know what the proper phraseology is, and as a tower controller I've never been asked it. I have been asked "can you give me a heading?" and that works for me.

My tower provides VFR-VFR conflict resolution within the zone 99.99% of the time, even though it is almost never formally requested. Outside the zone you may just get traffic, and if you do get conflict resolution it is a suggestion only since we do not control outside the zone.
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by AirFrame » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:41 am

photofly wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:58 am
AirFrame wrote: Does it have to be asked only once per interaction with ATC? Or does it have to be asked every time a potential conflict arises?
Now you’re being silly.
How is that silly? There is no indication in any reference provided that the deconfliction service has a duration. If I ask for deconfliction while departing an airport, do I have to ask for it again when I return half an hour later on the same flight under the same transponder code?

Based on what controllers here are saying, it sounds like deconfliction *is* provided at some airports whether it's asked for or not. So the policy is not being applied uniformly... That will lead to people assuming a service will be provided, and at some airports (or maybe with some specific controllers) it may not be.

Question for the controllers: Why can't deconfliction be provided for all aircraft within a control zone? If the tower is doing it for the IFR/commercial flights anyway, can't they do it for VFR as well? Is it a large increase in workload?
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by dpm » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:59 am

photofly wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:08 am
I’m in favour of good airmanship but I’m resistant to signing up for voluntary rules where real rules already exist.
There's nothing in the Criminal Code of Canada requiring me to hold open a shop door for someone with their arms full of bags, either. Rules are bare-minimum requirements for people who are too clueless to do the right thing on their own—basically, what it would take to squeak by with a life or flying grade of D-. I appreciate my fellow pilots who want to aim higher than that, and I think it's an entirely-reasonable topic for this forum.
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by A346Dude » Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:52 am

AirFrame wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:41 am
Question for the controllers: Why can't deconfliction be provided for all aircraft within a control zone? If the tower is doing it for the IFR/commercial flights anyway, can't they do it for VFR as well? Is it a large increase in workload?
It is a large increase in workload if you compare it to passing traffic only. If you're just passing traffic you can depart anyone in any direction without that much pre-planning.

If the rules were changed to make VFR-VFR conflict resolution mandatory, efficiency would be reduced as you'd have to guarantee, for example, 500ft vertical separation. As it stands now you can run things a little more closely and if you end up with only 400ft due to poorer than expected climb performance, you have still met the rules as long as traffic is passed. In places with a low control zone ceiling, it could reduce 2 usable altitudes to 1, which would require a change to standard practices and lower airspace capacity.
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by digits_ » Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:12 pm

dpm wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:59 am
photofly wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:08 am
I’m in favour of good airmanship but I’m resistant to signing up for voluntary rules where real rules already exist.
There's nothing in the Criminal Code of Canada requiring me to hold open a shop door for someone with their arms full of bags, either. Rules are bare-minimum requirements for people who are too clueless to do the right thing on their own—basically, what it would take to squeak by with a life or flying grade of D-. I appreciate my fellow pilots who want to aim higher than that, and I think it's an entirely-reasonable topic for this forum.
Actually, calling in for no reason when traffic is busy on tower (or if we extend it, to FSS/radio), can actually be really annoying.

There are some busy airports up north that are uncontrolled and have an FSS station. If there are 4 planes waiting for take off, 3 are on approach and 2 are trying to get a clearance, it is unbelievable irritating when a VFR airplane that is planning on staying 10 miles from the zone anyway at 2000 ft clogs up the frequency to be "a nice guy" with a humongous message for 30 seconds.

An alternative solution for the topic would be to not fly within 1 mile of a control zone if you want to be a "nice guy".
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by photofly » Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:41 pm

digits_ wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:12 pm
An alternative solution for the topic would be to not fly within 1 mile of a control zone if you want to be a "nice guy".
I have a better idea. Why not let’s extend all control zones by an extra mile, then nobody has to decide if they want to be a nice guy or not.

And then we can come back and have a discussion about how far outside the six mile control zone we should stay, in order to be a “nice guy”.

Come on, people: a control zone is a certain size, for a reason. If that’s not big enough, make it bigger. Don’t build yourself voluntary “nice-guy” no-fly zone extensions that aren’t asked for by anyone.
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by A346Dude » Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:24 pm

photofly wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:41 pm
I have a better idea. Why not let’s extend all control zones by an extra mile, then nobody has to decide if they want to be a nice guy or not.

And then we can come back and have a discussion about how far outside the six mile control zone we should stay, in order to be a “nice guy”.

Come on, people: a control zone is a certain size, for a reason. If that’s not big enough, make it bigger. Don’t build yourself voluntary “nice-guy” no-fly zone extensions that aren’t asked for by anyone.
For what it's worth... if you fly 100 ft over the top of a zone as you are legally allowed to do, and not monitoring or stating your intentions, the tower may have to delay the IFR departures below as there is no IFR altitude they can level the departure at to stay below you. On the approach side, you may unknowingly be in the path of high speed IFR traffic dropping out of the clouds, not to mention the wake turbulence they produce. It has the potential to decrease the efficiency and safety of the system. So go ahead and exercise your right, I just don't think it's particularly wise.
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by photofly » Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:45 pm

A346Dude wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:24 pm
For what it's worth... if you fly 100 ft over the top of a zone as you are legally allowed to do, and not monitoring or stating your intentions, the tower may have to delay the IFR departures below as there is no IFR altitude they can level the departure at to stay below you. On the approach side, you may unknowingly be in the path of high speed IFR traffic dropping out of the clouds, not to mention the wake turbulence they produce. It has the potential to decrease the efficiency and safety of the system. So go ahead and exercise your right, I just don't think it's particularly wise.
But these are not restrictions caused by VFR traffic not monitoring the tower, or not stating intentions. These are restrictions caused by VFR traffic being there in the first place. Even if I monitor the frequency or state my intentions you still can't depart that traffic. So why not make the control zone seven or ten miles in radius? Or extend to six thousand feet above airport elevation?

If efficiency and safety are the priorities (and let's be clear that means prioritizing someone else's efficiency over mine) we must certainly make all airspace Class C, and have ATC direct all traffic. For maximum safety and everyone else's efficiency. But that's not the system we fly in. Our system is designed with control zones of a certain size, and inside those areas traffic has to contact the tower and/or have a clearance to enter. Why is the system "better" if we voluntarily extend that airspace beyond what the system planners deem acceptable?

And, your arguments apply well outside control zones too: I can loiter overhead any of the bedpost fixes for CYYZ at 8,000 for as long as like and cause all sorts of headaches for ATC. Or practice my holds over the FAF for any one of dozens of different ILS approaches outside the relevant control zones.

To make this argument into something special about contacting the tower six or seven miles outside is specious.
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by A346Dude » Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:01 pm

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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by A346Dude » Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:02 pm

photofly wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:45 pm
But these are not restrictions caused by VFR traffic not monitoring the tower, or not stating intentions. These are restrictions caused by VFR traffic being there in the first place. Even if I monitor the frequency or state my intentions you still can't depart that traffic.
If you're monitoring then I can ask if you're able to climb or alter your heading 10 degrees, increasing your enroute time by a few seconds while keeping the airline traffic moving.
photofly wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:45 pm
If efficiency and safety are the priorities, we must make all airspace Class C, and have ATC direct all traffic. For maximum safety and efficiency.
I am not arguing anything close to that.
photofly wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:45 pm
And, your arguments apply well outside control zones too: I can loiter overhead any of the bedpost fixes for CYYZ at 8,000 for as long as like and cause all sorts of headaches for ATC. Or practice my holds over the FAF for any one of dozens of different ILS approaches outside the relevant control zones.
Yes you can, and it's equally ill advised. The attitude that it's allowed, so I'm going to do it, is justification for increasing the amount of rules and restrictions which is ostensibly what you are against.
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by photofly » Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:05 pm

A346Dude wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:01 pm

Yes you can, and it's equally ill advised. The attitude that it's allowed, so I'm going to do it, is justification for increasing the amount of rules and restrictions which is ostensibly what you are against.
I'm arguing for rules and restrictions that I don't need to be guilt-tripped into "voluntarily" extending, for the sake of everyone else's efficiency. Instead I ask that the system tells me the rules it expects me to follow. After which I expect the system and the people who operate it to be happy and leave me alone, as long as I follow those rules. I ask not to be offered "grey areas", extra "rules of thumb" and "please voluntarily don't enter this airspace if I want to be a nice guy".
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by A346Dude » Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:24 pm

OK, so you are arguing for more rules then. Because the system only works as well as it usually does because most pilots are willing to accept some grey and go beyond the rules to keep things running smoothly. If everyone did their VFR holds and approaches NORDO just outside the zone you would very quickly find those 10 mile, 6000 ft Class C's a reality.
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by photofly » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:06 pm

A346Dude wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:24 pm
OK, so you are arguing for more rules then. Because the system only works as well as it usually does because most pilots are willing to accept some grey and go beyond the rules to keep things running smoothly. If everyone did their VFR holds and approaches NORDO just outside the zone you would very quickly find those 10 mile, 6000 ft Class C's a reality.
I call bullshit on you. (Sorry.)

My local flight school’s TC-sanctioned practice area abuts a class D control zone and sits right in the middle of the instrument approach to the airport’s longest runway. Dozens of students and instructors from that one and at least two other FTUs are out there every VFR day doing their thing right up to the 5nm zone limit, monitoring and transmitting to each other on the CTAF, not talking to the tower or monitoring the tower frequency. And they have been, for twenty years and more.

Nobody has asked to increase the size of the control zone, and they’re not going to.

The system works just fine.
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by photofly » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:14 pm

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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by dpm » Mon Apr 02, 2018 2:02 pm

digits_ wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:12 pm
Actually, calling in for no reason when traffic is busy on tower (or if we extend it, to FSS/radio), can actually be really annoying.
Thanks—I think that was the kind of constructive input the OP was looking for with his/her innocent question.

A negative (voluntary) rule like this is just as much a rule as a positive one, but perhaps we should avoid the term "rules" and just call them "guidelines" to avoid triggering the more-sensitive libertarian types on the list.
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by Redneck_pilot86 » Mon Apr 02, 2018 3:11 pm

So we're obligated to call in 5 minutes prior to entering the zone (assuming there is no terminal freq we're already on)
We're typically cleared on route 5 miles from the airport on departure.

The "grey" area is that between 5 minutes and 5 miles out - are you on tower, or not? Not all aircraft have multiple comms.
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by photofly » Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:43 pm

Redneck_pilot86 wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 3:11 pm
So we're obligated to call in 5 minutes prior to entering the zone (assuming there is no terminal freq we're already on)
We're typically cleared on route 5 miles from the airport on departure.

The "grey" area is that between 5 minutes and 5 miles out - are you on tower, or not? Not all aircraft have multiple comms.
Are you mixing up a couple of different things? You’re not obligated to call anyone any specific number of minutes or miles prior to entering any airspace.

If there’s an MF area then if VFR you must call before entering it stating the required information. And, where practicable, five minutes before entering. (602.101) Talking to ATC on a terminal frequency doesn’t absolve you either of these duties. IFR traffic must report five minutes before commencing an approach at an uncontrolled aerodrome, MF or not (602.104)

If there’s a class C or D control zone your bligation (VFR) is to have a clearance (601.108) or be in radio contact with the controlling agency (601.109) before entering the control zone. There’s no extra five mile or five minute rule.
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Kirk: This is a dangerous mission. Likely, one of us will die. The landing party will be me, Spock, McCoy, and Ensign Ricky.
Ensign Ricky: Aw, crap.

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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by A346Dude » Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:43 am

photofly wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:06 pm
I call bullshit on you. (Sorry.)

My local flight school’s TC-sanctioned practice area abuts a class D control zone and sits right in the middle of the instrument approach to the airport’s longest runway. Dozens of students and instructors from that one and at least two other FTUs are out there every VFR day doing their thing right up to the 5nm zone limit, monitoring and transmitting to each other on the CTAF, not talking to the tower or monitoring the tower frequency. And they have been, for twenty years and more.
That's great. I regularly reach out to flight school aircraft 5-15 miles from the airport, who usually monitor tower frequency, advise them of high speed traffic inbound and suggest an alternative location to do their airwork. They seem to appreciate it and I suspect the airline pilots who don't have a TCAS target right on their approach 5 minutes later appreciate it too.
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