By Chad Byworth
Effective 7 October 2021
The following amendments are made to Oxford ATC Procedures.
Low Visibility Procedures (LVP)
LVP are now implemented when the reported meteorological visibility is less than 650 m or the reported cloud ceiling is 300 ft (previous threshold was 1000 m / 300 ft).
Outbound IFR Procedures
Traffic routing to the WEST with an RFL below FL105 shall route via BADIM - this traffic (which will join controlled airspace in Bristol APC delegated airspace) shall be coordinated with Bristol APC for airways join.
Traffic to LTMA airfields shall route via SILVA, except for EGLL/EGWU inbounds which will continue to route via WCO.
Inbound IFR Procedures
Traffic inbound from the NORTH shall route either PEPUL - BUGUP - OX or HON - BUGUP - OX.
The old inbound agreement via DTY (routing DTY radial 215° to DTY DME 17 NM then left to intercept the 180° bearing to OX) is withdrawn.
The Oxford ACB will be amended at its next revision.
By Chad Byworth
Effective 7 October 2021
Jersey and Guernsey SIDs via CAN have been truncated to LUSIT and re-designated.
CAN 2A/2B → LUSIT 1A/1B
CAN 1E/1W → LUSIT 1E/1W
The Jersey (EGJJ) and Guernsey (EGJB) vMATS Part 2(s) will be amended at their next revisions.
By Chad Byworth
Effective 24 September 2021 - 12 November 2021
With thanks to @Reece Buckley for reminding me about this.
Following the UK’s exit from the European Union UK aerodromes are no longer permitted to make use of the EGNOS SBAS for the provision of LPV or RNP(AR) approaches. As a result the RNP(AR) approaches to RAF Gibraltar have been withdrawn from service until at least 12 November 2021.
Neither the approach charts nor the FMC approach coding is currently published and so, despite not being subject to the legal/technical issues, we are unable to continue using the approaches on VATSIM as pilots using up to date navigation data will be unable to select the approaches within their FMC.
As a result only the following approaches are available:
SRA Visual approach Pilots using old navigation data may still be able to select and thus request the RNP approaches. If any pilots request the RNP approach then controllers should clear them for an “RNP visual approach”.
This change will be incorporated into the RAF Gibraltar ACB if the approaches are not re-introduced by the end of the current NOTAM period (12 November 2021).
By Chad Byworth
Effective 9 September 2021
This procedure change post clarifies the coordination and control principles for handling non-standard IFR departures from aerodromes that define standard routes for traffic joining the ATS route network (airways).
For the purposes of this guidance a standard IFR departure is considered to include SIDs, standard or preferred departures routes (SDR/PDRs - eg. Biggin Hill or Southend departures), standard headings/levels (eg. Heathrow CPT departures off Runways 09L/R) and other standing instructions that provide a fixed and defined routing to join the ATS route network. This includes routes that have a standing coordination requirement be that a pre-note, a release or a requirement to obtain a pre-defined airways joining clearance.
Conversely, a non-standard IFR departure is any IFR departure not falling within any of the above categories or for which ad-hoc coordination is required. For this guidance we consider there to be three types of non-standard IFR departure:
IFR traffic joining the ATS route network on a standard routing (ie. a route which conforms to the UK SRD) but which is unable to accept the standard departure instruction. IFR traffic joining the ATS route network on a non-standard routing (ie. a route which does not conform to the UK SRD). IFR traffic not joining the ATS route network and remaining outside of controlled airspace. The key principle for all three categories of non-standard IFR departure is that, when an APC controller is providing services, all coordination from ADC shall be with the APC controller who shall coordinate with Area Control if required. This principle exists for two reasons:
To minimise coordination requirements for AC controllers. Because non-standard IFR departure routes may not be separated from inbound routes and may require APC controllers to deconflict. However, this procedure change post should not prevent ADC controllers from coordinating with Area Control whenever they deem it necessary, for example if any already airborne departure is not conforming to the expected clearance. Additionally, ADC may occasionally be required to coordinate directly with Area Control, when this is the case it will be documented in local aerodrome documentation.
Standard ATS Route but unable to accept Standard Departure
Traffic typically falls into this category for one of two reasons:
The pilot is unable to fly the procedure (conventional navigation) or does not have the procedure within an up-to-date navigation database (RNAV & conventional navigation). The pilot is simulating a navigation capability that prevents them from accepting the procedure (eg. flying an aircraft equipped with conventional navigation equipment with a SID that mandates RNAV1). In both situations ADC shall coordinate with APC.
APC shall provide alternate after departure instructions - where appropriate this should include the appropriate noise abatement procedure/noise preferential routing, however controllers may apply judgement as to whether they will be successfully flown and, if they suspect not, may stipulate a simpler set of after departure instructions.
ADC shall pass the clearance in the format:
“Callsign, cleared to Destination via First Fix then flight planned route, after departure Runway XX/after noise abatement Runway XX, Instructions, squawk XXXX.”
Example 1: BRO6P, a 727, has filed from Birmingham to Aberdeen via TNT, the pilot requests clearance and reports “unable LUVUM SID due equipment”, Runway 15 is in use - “BRO6P, cleared to Aberdeen via TNT then flight planned route, after departure Runway 15 climb straight ahead, at 2 DME I-BIR turn right and track 165° to 4 DME I-BIR, then turn left heading 360 degrees, climb to altitude 6000 ft, squawk 5271.”
Example 2: BA45 has filed from Gatwick to Frankfurt via DVR, Runway 26L is in use, they call for clearance and are cleared via MIMFO, they report they “cannot find this SID”, they also do not have the previous DVR or ADMAG SIDs - “BA45, cleared to Amsterdam via DVR then flight planned route, after departure Runway 26L climb straight ahead to altitude 4000 ft, speed 220 knots or less, squawk 6314” - in this scenario Gatwick FIN can then vector the departure into the right-hand turn towards DET before transfer to TC South East at altitude 4000 ft.
ADC shall obtain a release from APC prior to departure.
APC shall vector the departure to mimic the standard departure and:
On routes where APC does not normally control departures - transfer to Area Control on an appropriate radar heading, climbing to the standard departure initial level, with the instruction to “report your heading” on transfer. On routes where APC does normally control departures - transfer in accordance with the documented standing agreement. Note: Where local aerodrome documentation provides positioning instructions for non-standard departures handled by APC controllers should position traffic as instructed prior to transfer to Area Control (currently only the Gatwick vMATS Part 2 has such instructions).
Provided traffic is transferred to Area Control either positioned to mimic the standard departure or positioned in accordance with a standing agreement there is no coordination requirement with Area Control beyond those specified for the standard route (ie. on routes that are free-flow there is no requirement to coordinate or obtain a release from Area Control).
Non-Standard ATS Route
Traffic may file a non-standard route either inadvertently, in which case pilots should be encouraged to re-route via a standard route outlined in the UK SRD, or to achieve a particular route for simulation purposes.
When a pilot opts to fly a non-standard ATS route then ADC shall coordinate with APC.
APC shall coordinate with Area Control to agree any delay or routing restrictions and to agree on positioning of traffic upon transfer to Area Control. Following this, APC shall provide ADC with the clearance and after departure instructions which shall be passed as described above.
ADC shall obtain a release from APC who shall obtain a release from Area Control prior to departure.
APC shall vector/climb the departure to position as coordinated with Area Control prior to departure.
Traffic not joining the ATS Route Network
This traffic shall be coordinated with APC as described in local aerodrome documentation. There is no requirement to coordinate with Area Control unless to coordinate a handover of radar service to traffic operating outside of controlled airspace; however, the preference should be a radar handover to an adjacent APC unit where possible.
This procedure change post is considered complementary to local aerodrome documentation. It is not anticipated that this procedure will produce any discrepancies against local procedures (this procedure change is merely documenting/clarifying how this traffic should already be worked) however, if controllers note any inconsistencies, please discuss with the Operations Department via the #Operations_Help channel in the VATSIM UK Discord or via the Helpdesk.
By Chad Byworth
Effective 9 September 2021
The Stansted LYD 6R/5S SIDs are removed due to a planned decommissioning of the LYD D/VOR at a later date. This is part of the UK’s removal of dependencies from the historic D/VOR network as part of the transition to a PBN route network.
Departures via LYD
Departures via LYD shall now route via the corresponding DET SID before routing via M604 to LYD.
DET SID Restrictions
During the day the DET SIDs are normally restricted to intra-LTMA flights routing to Gatwick and to traffic routing to leave the UK FIR via RINTI below FL115. At night (2300-0600 local) there are no restrictions on departures via DET.
The following, additional restrictions will now apply during the day for traffic routing DET M604 LYD:
Available for traffic to Jersey below FL175 via M604 LYD M189 NEVIL G27 ANGLO JSY 2B/2H Available to traffic leaving the UK FIR via NEVIL or SITET below FL175 Available to traffic leaving the UK FIR via XIDIL below FL265 Controllers should reference the SRD for restrictions and preferred routes for such traffic.
Because of interactions with the Thames RMA all departures via DET SID (including departures routing M604 LYD) are subject to the coordination requirements outlined here.
To summarise, SS AIR is required to:
(1) Prenote TMS DIR (THAMES_APP) before the departure enters the runway, and
(2) Obtain a release from TC North East.
TC North East is required to coordinate with TMS DIR prior to climbing the departure above 5000 ft (but may issue a release to SS AIR prior to coordinating with TMS DIR).
The Stansted (EGSS) vMATS Part 2 will be amended at its next revisions.