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'The Why' Behind the Change: TC Capital


Harry Sugden

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Harry Sugden

Reference: 

TC Capital Ownership Changes

As part of a suite of changes to the South sectors related to preparations being made for new event splits in South, the ownership of what’s known in the real world as ‘TC Capital’ is changing.

Previously, all of the TC Capital airspace (consisting of TC CPT and TC VATON) was part of our Worthing sector. This was the reason - to take a commonly used agreement - that Gatwick LAM departures were transferred from TC SE to Worthing, who controlled the airspace up to FL215 in this area.

From 2021/04, the TC Capital airspace is being divided up - TC CPT will be owned by our Worthing sector, and TC VATON by our Dover sector, when split. This should make the coordination sequence more logical for a number of agreements.

The Figure below shows the new TC CPT/VATON division of airspace, labelled with the real world sector names.

1098864110_TCCapital.png.a1425d61e6dd170723486c852b69e496.png

The Figure below shows the same airspace, but now labelled with our Worthing and Dover sector names:

1825650101_TCCapital-WOR_DVRLabels.png.34e689ef53a3417fe39d4184b949ec92.png

The dark blue line indicates the new boundary between Worthing and Dover, up to FL215. This means that almost all of the border between Worthing and Dover is now coincident at all levels, with the exception of a small bit of airspace to the west of the BNN-LON track (see the Procedure Change Post for full diagrams).

We have also taken this opportunity to refine the ownership of TC VATON (soon to be owned by Dover) where it sits on top of TC SE, to better reflect the real world sectors. Two new boxes of ownership are created:

  1. South of a line running OCK-BIG (FL165-FL215), an extra level will be given to Dover (TC VATON) from TC SE - this is primarily for EGLF outbounds from TC SW.
  2. In a box north of MAY (FL175-FL195) airspace will be given to Dover (TC VATON), again from TC SE - this is to allow for the earlier descent of Essex inbounds via MAY to FL180.

 

Why have we changed this?

There are a number of reasons as to why we have changed the sectorisation:

  1. It means that the lateral boundary between Worthing and Dover is now much simpler, running almost along one line for the entire length of where they meet (with the exception of a small section west of BNN-LON).
  2. It should make it easier for Clacton and TC SE controllers (and others) to understand ownership in the LAM area, with only one controller covering from the top of the TC airspace upwards, rather than two.
  3. Dover now has control over all of the northbound flow into Daventry - so they will control both Midlands inbounds via HEMEL and EGKK LAM departures. This makes it easier for them to position them correctly relative to each other, and also gives Daventry RFC for EGKK LAMs, even when Worthing and Dover are split.
  4. For traffic via BPK with TC East/Clacton, only one release for climb is now required. Previously, when Worthing and Dover were split, the TC E/Clacton controller would need an RFC from Worthing up to FL215, then Dover was on top. Now, all of the airspace here will be owned by Dover.
  5. The new DB-125 area in TC SW to the southwest of GWC resolves the conundrum of AC Worthing still having control of planes descending 130 by GWC/TELTU/HAZEL, yet already being inside TC SW’s airspace.
  6. The two areas of TC SE given to AC Dover as part of the TC Capital change gives Dover greater flexibility for the descent of Essex inbounds.

 

Essex Inbounds via VATON

It is worth highlighting the changes to traffic via VATON that this new sectorisation introduces.

Dover (as TC VATON) has to merge 3 streams of Essex inbounds, all from different controllers. It is extremely important to pay close attention to the release conditions:

  1. BANVA 1L - FL200 level MAY. This is no longer an agreement, but pilots will be expecting this descent, as per the charts.
  2. BEDEK 1L - FL180 level BEDEK from AC West. This traffic is not released for descent until within Dover’s airspace (i.e. passed OCK). It is ‘skipped’ by AC Worthing, but must not be descended in their airspace. If the traffic is not on a radar heading, then it is released for right turns only.
  3. AVANT/TELTU 1L - FL190 level AVANT/TELTU from AC Worthing. This traffic is not released for descent until within Dover’s airspace (i.e. passed OCK), regardless of whether TC SW is online. If the traffic is not on a radar heading, then it is released for right turns only.

 

Changes to Agreements

These agreement changes are already summarised in the main Procedure Change Post, and are all reflected on the revised Agreed Levels Diagrams. But here I have added a bit of an explanation before each table that explains how and why the agreements have changed.

AC West

Inbounds into TC Capital Airspace
One agreement from AC West is amended - this traffic will ‘transit’ through Worthing at FL180, but will be handed directly to Dover.

Status

Change

DEST

Agreement 

Condition

Amended

To AC Worthing

AC West → To AC Dover

Essex Group, Thames Group 

FL180 lvl BEDEK

‘Skipped’ by Worthing. Not RFD until within Dover’s airspace. If not on a heading, released for right turns in Worthing’s airspace.

TC East

Inbounds into TC Capital Airspace
Reflecting the new ownership of the area immediately west of LAM, two agreements from TC East are affected.

Status

Change

DEST

Agreement 

Condition

Amended

To AC Worthing

TC East → To AC Dover

Brize Group, EGLF, EGTK 

FL210 lvl 15 NM before LAM

 

Amended

To AC Worthing

TC East → To AC Dover

Solent Group 

FL210 lvl 20 NM before UMBUR

 

TC North East

Inbounds out of TC Capital Airspace
Since Essex inbounds will now be with Dover rather than Worthing, the agreement into TC NE is amended to reflect this.

Status

Change

DEST

Agreement 

Condition

Amended

From AC Worthing

From AC Dover → TC NE

Essex Group

Descending FL160

Routing VATON-BPK. Aircraft should be transferred in good time to be able to reach FL140 by BPK. Descent below FL160 not permitted until the TC N/S boundary.

TC South West

Outbounds into TC Capital Airspace
Outbounds from TC SW from Solent/Farnborough will no longer enter Worthing’s airspace - instead, they will be transferred to Dover. A new agreement is created for traffic via OTSID.

Status

Change

DEPA

Agreement 

Condition

Amended

To AC Worthing

TC SW → To AC Dover

Solent Group, EGLF

FL170 lvl OCK

Via OCK-KOBBI (RFL175+)

New

TC SW → To AC Dover

EGLF

FL170 lvl OTSID

 

Inbounds out of TC Capital Airspace
Similar to the Essex Group inbounds, the following agreements change so as they are from Dover (rather than Worthing).

Status

Change

DEST

Agreement 

Condition

Amended

From AC Worthing

From AC Dover → TC SW

Solent Group

FL160 lvl 5 NM before OCK

 

Amended

From AC Worthing

From AC Dover → TC SW

EGTK

FL160 lvl 35 NM before CPT

 

TC South East

Outbounds into TC Capital Airspace
Gatwick LAM departures will now be transferred from TC SE to Dover.

Status

Change

DEPA

Agreement 

Condition

Amended

To AC Worthing

TC SE → To AC Dover

EGKK

FL130 lvl TC N/S boundary

Positioned on a heading west of the DET-LAM track.

Inbounds out of TC Capital Airspace
Thames Group inbounds will now be transferred from Dover to TC SE.

Status

Change

DEST

Agreement 

Condition

Amended

From AC Worthing

From AC Dover → TC SE

Thames Group

FL160 lvl BIG

 

Internal Worthing & Dover Agreements

Inbounds via MAY/BISRU no longer need to be transferred from Dover to Worthing because they won’t leave Dover’s airspace. However, a new agreement is created for Essex and Thames Group inbounds via AVANT/TELTU into TC VATON’s airspace. This traffic is not RFD until within Dover’s airspace, unless otherwise agreed.
Two outbound agreements are also removed, since the traffic no longer needs to be transferred from Worthing to Dover.

Status

Change

DEPA

DEST

Agreement 

Condition

Removed

N/A

Solent Group, EGLF

-

Climbing FL210

Via KOBBI

Removed

N/A

Solent Group, EGLF/Wessex Group

-

FL210 lvl DIKVU

Via BIG

Removed

N/A

-

Essex Group, EGTK

FL200 lvl MAY

 

Removed

N/A

-

Brize Group, EGBP

FL200 lvl BISRU

 

New

Worthing → Dover

-

Essex Group, Thames Group

FL190 lvl AVANT/ TELTU

Not RFD until within Dover’s (TC VATON) airspace. If not on a heading, released for right turns in Worthing’s airspace.

Edited by Harry Sugden
Updated wording
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