Approach Question About Frequencies

I have a question: Say N1TJ is being vectored by KSAN center for an approach runway 27. Then, he gets closer to KSAN and Center hands off N1TJ to Approach. When the pilot switches frequencies, I can already see in his status bar what he wants(ex. ILS - KSAN 27). Should he request an ILS approach again, or should he just say “with you” and know that I know what he wants?


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The way the ATC is set up you should request the approach to the xrunway again since ATC from one frequency doesn’t know to the next.

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But I can see what we already requested to Center

If a prior radar controller has already told him what to expect, then check in is fine.

If he wants to switch runways from what he has already been given, or has never been assigned a runway by a prior radar controller, then he should request / wait for the controller to tell him what to expect.


This should better your understanding of checking in. As @Reedgreat pointed out it’s more appropriate for a check in then a re request. Why Center took an ILS though is beyond me.


This is incorrect. We can see what the pilot was given by a previous RADAR frequency.

[Center shouldn’t be giving ILS approaches, but that’s a discussion for another time.]


As Tim and Brandon already pointed out, check in is fine in this case.

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Oh yeah I forgot about that- center just gives radar vectors / FF right?

Center controls aircraft cruising along FIRs by providing radar vectors or Flight following instructions

App/dep control all aircraft between airport pattern and cruise flight

Twr controls at the vicinity of the airport

GRD for airport ground/ramps

Worldwide FIRs

Apologies for the low quality

######Hope I can assist you

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in reality, when your being handed off from approach to approach controller they will know weather your on Flight following, IFR, ETC.

In your case because sometimes IF doesnt always have a center freq and noone ever knows what to do because people dont fly above 18000 that often. Requesting flight following should only come from the pilot then the controller who will be vectoring you INTO KSAN will ask for your intentions or in the real world… and If you had a squawk code

checks in with San Diego Approach

N1TJ- " approach, N1TJ with you, level 3000"
SD App. - “N1TJ, radar contact, 10 miles north of San Diego, say approach request"
N1TJ- " location checks, requesting ( vectors, ILS or, GPS, or visual approach) to runway XX"
SD App. " N1TJ, roger expect ( vectors, ILS or, GPS,) to runway XX, turn HDG XXX” OR " N1TJ, San Diego is @ your 11 olcock 10 miles contact when you have it in sight"

KEYWORD: EXPECT! so from here on out approach will now vector you in for whatever. and get you on the approach course before handing you down to tower.
your expecting a visual approach. SD App will let you know you are cleared for the visual approach. in which case everything is up to you… and he will simply hand you off to the Tower when you are in their airspace and you will let Tower know you are on the visual for XX rwy.

Hope this elaborates on some of the topic. and is helpful when it comes to understand how ATC will be guiding you.

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