By Jason Shen
I followed the steps on the website and I chose to start covering theory content before my Introduction to ATC group session. I have read and finished all the staff in Course:S1 . Also, I successfully passed the theory exam for S1. but I haven't received the email yet. When can I receive it and know when will the session begin?
At last, I am from China and there is a time difference between UK and here. So I can get ready for the session if you can inform me early
By Barney Wakefield
Sorry to bother anyone, but I've been on the waiting list for roughly a year now (that's fine I realise it's a long queue) but the thing is I no longer see on the VATUK CTS my position in the queue. I don't now if its like this for everyone but about 3 months ago that just stopped appearing. I guess they moved to a different queue system. I don't want to make a ticket at the helpdesk if I don't have to so I'm just wondering if this is normal.
By David Etheridge
After recently returning to Vatsim I've been assigned to EGNX_TWR for S2 training which is great as it's my local major airfield and the one I use for PPL training. However several other controllers have mentioned that EGNX is no longer used for mentoring sessions.
Are there any kind mentors willing to take on an S2 wanabee who was previously half way through S2 training on EGCC?
By Oliver Gates
We have been running the weekly Gatwick MWM event for a few months now, so I have collated a few tips for ADC controllers. Thanks to everyone who submitted their ideas. If you have any suggestions for improvements or additions to the post, please send me a message on Slack. Thank you to @Harry Sugden for reviewing the post.
Detailed procedures regarding intra-TMA flights will follow soon, but – in general – GMP should prenote the first receiving TC controller (as well as KK FIN in some cases*), who will inform GMP of any delay. This delay shall be absorbed on stand. Note that this includes flights to the Solent Group. See the vMATS Part 2 for more information regarding further action(s) based on estimated delays.
* See local documentation for details on actions for flights to each TMA airport.
Pre-notes to TC controllers
It is likely that the TC controllers will be quite busy (with traffic and coordination). It is therefore preferable (but not mandatory) to use text coordination for pre-notes in this case.
On a separate note, there is no need to prenote TC controllers regarding departures on old or non-RNAV SIDs; these don’t cause any major issues for the receiving TC controllers (as the majority of departures are vectored off the SID during periods of high traffic levels anyway).
Use of the northern runway as a taxiway
When using the northern runway as a taxiway, the name of the taxiway included in taxi instructions is not dependent on which runway (26L or 08R) is in use. If the aircraft is taxiing west, the instruction should always be “taxi via 26R…”; if the aircraft is taxiing east, the instruction should always be “taxi via 08L…”. The word ‘backtrack’ should not be used.
Particular care should be taken when taxiing aircraft down 26R when Gatwick is on easterly operations. It is likely that there will be a constant stream of arrivals during the event. Because of this, it is not advisable to taxi departing aircraft along 26R east of D, as this may cause arriving aircraft to stop on the rapid exit taxiway to give way (which may lead to a delayed takeoff and/or a go-around). Instead, it is recommended that aircraft are instructed to taxi via J, T and 26R. Note that taxiway E is not available for vacating 08R, so this should not cause a conflict.
Transfer of departures
Departures should be handed off to AIR in good time. Ideally, departing aircraft should be handed off before reaching the runway holding point(s). GMC should consider using the instruction “monitor” instead of “contact” to reduce RT congestion on the AIR frequency.
Final approach spacing
If the final approach spacing is consistently too low, AIR must coordinate with FIN to make them aware. Equally, if there are far more arrivals than departures, coordination should take place to reduce the spacing (for increased efficiency).
Anticipate, don’t just react. On VATSIM, pilots may not be aware of MROT. If a pilot expresses concern about the lack of landing clearance, tell them to expect a late landing clearance. If a pilot is clearly going to stop before vacating the runway, or is travelling far too slowly, tell them to keep rolling until they have passed the stop bar and/or to expedite. If necessary, request that pilots vacate via a particular exit. It is important to remember that this is VATSIM, not real life, so the pilots will often not be as vigilant.
"BAW73J, expedite, vacate first right [via E/FR]" "BAW73J, keep rolling, taxi first right onto RW08L / second right onto J" Conditional landing clearances
Special landing procedures exist at Gatwick (and Stansted) to assist with high-intensity runway operations. Further details can be found in the AIP (GEN 3.3) or in this forum post, and these will be included in the new KK vMATS Part 2. AIR controllers should use these procedures to their advantage (assuming the appropriate conditions are met). These should be used with caution, though, and issuing one of these clearances when the departing aircraft hasn't even started its takeoff roll is ill-advised, as there is no way to ensure that the two aircraft will be far enough apart by the time the landing aircraft crossed the threshold.
Do not underestimate the importance of departure releases. If there is initially no response from the TC controller regarding an aircraft requiring a release, this is probably because the controller is busy. This is not an excuse to simply depart the aircraft anyway, as this will simply increase their workload.
There has been some confusion about releases following missed approaches. After a go-around, AIR must obtain (or re-obtain) a release from FIN only if the next departure is:
on a TIGER/WIZAD/DAGGA SID; on SFD SID from 08R/L; a non-standard IFR departure; an SVFR/VFR departure to the south. Note that the lack of release for other SIDs is, of course, dependent on the aircraft executing the correct missed approach procedure. If an aircraft turns right after a go-around from 26L, it isn't particularly wise to launch a LAM departure (for example)!
It is also important to emphasise that the route separation criteria are minima and should not be reduced by the AIR controller. Departing two aircraft 60 seconds apart on a LAM1Z SID (for example), putting one on a heading, and coordinating this with TC is not helpful and, again, will unnecessarily increase the TC controller’s workload.
Departures turning in the wrong direction or busting levels
If you notice that a departing aircraft is deviating from their SID (or after departure instructions), don’t just hand off the aircraft to TC to let them solve the problem; by the time the pilot calls TC, the problem will be worse. This is particularly prominent for aircraft which incorrectly make an immediate sharp left turn after departure from 26L. For obvious reasons, this will be problematic, and if the aircraft has turned into the arrival stream, do not just hand it off to the original receiving TC sector and hope for the best. Coordinate with FIN/INT and TC to resolve the issue.
Similarly, if an aircraft climbs above the initial climb altitude whilst still on your frequency, don’t just hand it off to the receiving TC sector to let them stop the climb; again, by the time the pilot calls up, they will be even higher above the initial climb altitude and (probably) still continuing to climb. Stop the climb yourself and coordinate with TC if necessary.
By Oliver Gates
As per Dan's forum post, I'm sad to say that I will be resigning as TGI for Approach and leaving the Training Department. Going into my second year at university, I have realised that I will no longer be able to dedicate sufficient time to the role, and it would be unfair on the division and department for me to continue. This isn't to say that I won't be around at all - just not as much as before, and I will continue to help out where I can. I hope that I'll be able to return at some point in the future, if/when I eventually get a bit more time.
I'd like to thank @Daniel Crookes and @Oliver Rhodes for their excellent management of the department over the past few years, and @Charlie Watson and @Jack Edwardsfor working with me. I can confidently say that the standard of S3 training has gone up this year, whilst waiting times have decreased significantly. I'd like the thank all the training staff, mentors and students, and I wish Charlie and my successor the best of luck.