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Kilian Thornton

atc-discussion Scottish Control- Antrim Sector Callsign

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Kilian Thornton

Hi,

I was wondering if we could reconsider the callsign allocated to the Scottish Sector covering the Strangford CTA and resultantly the Belfast TMA. This callsign is slightly frustrating when logged on as it does not show up on any of the VATSIM online viewers such as VATspy, Vroute, VATASTIC etc. and therefore is difficult to attract any sort of traffic when there is just the Belfast ATIS logged on. There is not much point of logging onto the position other than to surprise pilots going into AA/AC that there is actually ATC on. 

Is this something we could revisit?

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Harry Sugden

So STC_A_CTR does show up on VATSpy, if one updates the data - see this website. That said, I cannot remember whether it is allowed to be opened without SCO_CTR online anymore...?

There were reasons behind the change from BEL_APP to STC_A_CTR a couple of years back, not least because the Antrim sector is exactly that (a sector) - so it wasn't deemed appropriate for S3 controllers to be performing the competencies assessed under the C1 exam. The use of STC is in line with the change from EGPX/SCO to SCO/STC, which was in turn to align with the use of LON/LTC/MAN in the EGTT FIR.

However, according to THIS POST, EGAA_R_APP does have top-down responsibility for EGAC as well, so you could logon as that and maybe even host the EGAC ATIS to make it clear you cover both! I notice though that the sector file does not reflect this, and nor was I aware of this the last time I logged onto EGAA_R_APP - so there is some clarification required here.

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Kilian Thornton

I'm aware of the VATspy update but I'm not convinced of the numbers of those who have updated.

I understand and supported the change when it was implemented a number of years back and agree with your points.

Unfortunately I do ultimately log onto EGAA_R_APP  instead of the STC_A_CTR and do as mentioned with the ATIS- of which I have no issue with. However, I think it's a shame that we are therefore wasting the Antrim/ Strangford Scottish position if that is the solution to just log onto EGAA_R_APP. 

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Harry Sugden

Hmm, I see what you're saying, but is there any advantage in logging on STC_A_CTR over EGAA_R_APP, when SCO_CTR is not online? I would assume that the primary function one wishes to serve when logged on as STC_A_CTR is to handle EGAA/AC departures/arrivals, which in the absence (or even presence) of SCO_CTR, EGAA_R_APP is able to achieve?

It might, however, be an idea to re-establish BEL_APP such that EGAA_R_APP and EGAC_R_APP may be bandboxed as a single position. Then were EGAA_R_APP or EGAC_R_APP to log-on in addition to BEL_APP, the BEL_APP controller would have to switch callsign to act as the remaining approach function?

Edited by Harry Sugden

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Kilian Thornton

The main advantage of the position is an increase of the control area for those dep/arr extending out to the IOM upto FL245.

If we are talking about BEL_APP as the same position as STC_A_CTR then it is the low level Scottish CTA covering that extends past just past IOM upto FL245. Under that we have EGAA_R_APP (Belfast Approach) which covers the Belfast TMA that extends 5nm parallel to the east of Belfast City upto FL105. Then under that we have EGAA_APP (Aldergrove Director) and also EGAC_APP (Belfast Approach). So with the STC_A_CTR covering all of them positions, from my understanding I don't think we would have an issue regarding the question you have raised.

Could I suggest SCO_A_CTR (Antrim) maybe?

Edited by Kilian Thornton

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Harry Sugden

So what I was proposing was to have EGAA_R_APP and EGAC_R_APP which can be opened separately, covering only their respective airfields. Then BEL_APP could be a bandbox of those two positions, clearly distinguishing it from EGAA_R_APP and covering both EGAA and EGAC. (So a separate issue to the Antrim callsign one this thread is about!)

44 minutes ago, Kilian Thornton said:

Could I suggest SCO_A_CTR (Antrim) maybe?

I suppose this depends on whether we view 'STC' as referring to "low-level" sectors - of which we have Antrim and ScTMA (STC_CTR) - OR whether we say that 'STC' should be the identifier for the ScTMA position only... and then as you say, Antrim uses SCO_A_CTR.

  • Does 'SCO' light up the EGPX FIR for those who have not installed a VAT-Spy update?
  • If it does, then would the potential confusion of the whole EGPX FIR being lit up despite it not being covered, outweigh the inconsistency by not using 'STC' for lower level sectors?
  • Will a change from STC->SCO necessarily bring more traffic to the Antrim sector, than say hosting an ATIS for EGAA does, even if the sector doesn't appear lit up?

I have no answer to this question, as I suppose I'm indifferent - I tend to just log onto SCO_CTR, but I do acknowledge the privilege(?) of being able to do so (I don't know what the situation is regarding VATeir/Antrim atm, and of course you might not want to log onto the whole of Scottish regardless which is understandable too!). So if the change would make people more inclined to log on to Antrim... and draw more traffic... then I guess it would seem sensible?

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Kilian Thornton

Ah ok my apologies I understand your idea now.

Yes some clarification around STC corresponding with ScTMA may help perhaps. 

In response to the points you raise:

  • Yes it does light up the entirety of the FIR in the original, however this is not just a VATSPY issue as it is across all the VATSIM viewers I believe.
  • Yes I would agree maybe on reflection SCO_A_CTR may not be the best as it could cause confusion.
  • This is hard to say, I think comparatively somewhere that is displaying active controlling will always have a higher attraction that somewhere that is not. I take tonight for example where we have staffed Aldergrove up and I've never seen Belfast as busy other than for events. 

If we take the positions from what they use in real world- we have just the one approach for EGAA (130.850) & EGAC  (128.500) and then above that is this low level Scottish Sector Strangford CTA. I would point out that neither the BEL_APP showed up on anything either- it too was a ghost position haha

There does not seam to be an answer to this question... or at least a simple a one. 

 

 

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