Approach for Fields Along Your Cruise Do Not Serve as Center

At any one time today at EGBB, I had 10-15 pilots on my frequency asking for vectors. Of those, 90 percent would be asking for vectors to Manchester or Heathrow, though I was Approach for Birmingham.

Just because you see an open frequency doesn’t mean you have to interact with it. In fact, if you’re at FL320 (although why you would be that high for a flight between EGCC and EGLL completely eludes me), you’re not in the airspace, even if it were for a field involved in your travel.

Interacting just for the sake of it clutters up the frequency and takes time away from the pilots who are actually meant to be served by the frequency.

You do not need to ask Birmingham Approach for Flight Following to EGLL as you cruise overhead at FL330. It serves no earthly purpose. You certainly shouldn’t be asking for an ILS approach to a specific runway.

If you want Approach service, try the Approach frequency for your destination, not just any frequency you happen upon along the way. And you most definitely do not need to switch to tower and ask for transition, or use “going around” in the completely wrong context.


That might be the product of on guards on the training server unfortunately.


Yes I can say from experience that if you’re passing over an active radar airspace on TS you do get on guarded.

Thanks for this Tim, much needed.

1 Like

You can be 500nm away and going the other way and you’ll get on guard 😂


You ain’t wrong lol


I think there is a general misunderstanding of how to interact with approach and departure! I am sure they genuinely believe they are doing the right thing.


I know, TS controllers probably guard the ISS if it passes overhead :)

But, the best we can do is focus on best practice on the Expert Server. TS controllers get dumped on enough here. I can understand why, but I don’t want to focus on that.


You’d be surprised with the altitudes that some routes operate at… i recently did an hour flight from EGSS to EIKY with Ryanair (FR701) am day that’s only just over an hour flight but we still went to FL380! I looked on FR24, that’s higher than some of the transatlantic flights haha!

1 Like

Rather than slagging off TS ATC controllers that do not have any option to tell overhead flights that not to contact them, maybe once the aircraft reaches a certain flight level the option for transition or other messages get removed from their options.

1 Like

Man, does this ever need a bump.

Guys, every airport between Miami and TNCM is not approach for Princess Juliana.

If you’re at FL330, TJSJ doesn’t need to say “keep doing exactly what you’re doing.” You’re not in their airspace. It’s just time that could be spent on actual traffic for the field that has to instead be spent controlling someone who is at cruise and isn’t going to change a single thing but still wants to send four superfluous messages.

The same is true of departure from other airports. TJSJ Departure is Departure for TJSJ. Not every airport within a 170-mile radius. If you’re departing TIST for TNCM, TJSJ isn’t involved. TJSJ Departure does not need, nor have the bandwidth, to tell every departure from every airport across four different islands they can go to TNCM.

It’s even to the point where pilots on short final to TIST were contacting TJSJ tower to request landing, because they both happened to have a runway 10. That isn’t even remotely reasonable, and it happened over and over.



Great topic, though. This should be pinned (or even mandatory to read before starting a flight, for some pilots 😂)

Once again with so many fields in close proximity to each other, we run into the if-the-frequency-is-available-it-must-be-for-me scenario.

Just because you can tune into EGKK a little earlier when approaching EGLL from the south (at FL300) doesn’t mean you should tune in at that altitude and request ILS approaches to Heathrow from a frequency which has Gatwick right in the name.


This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.