ATC communication

Hello IFC

So I am currently doing KIAD-CYYZ. As with this flight and 100s before… I have always been confused with what I’m supposed to say to IFATC on center, departure, or arrival frequencies after they say “Radar Contact Airline XXXX”


First off, please put this in the #atc category. To answer your question I believe that after you check in and they only say “radar contact [callsign]” you don’t need to do anything else. If they reply with “radar contact say approach request,” then say your approach into your arrival airport. I hope this helps!

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This might help: Descent and Approach | Infinite Flight

It’s pretty comprehensive and offers some good info from the approach/center check in all the way down. Hope it helps!

Assuming this is after takeoff: don’t say anything after you get Radar Contact. No altitude request, no flight following, no approach request. Only request a new altitude with Center after you’re at cruise and wish to step-climb or do a slight descent. In rare instances on Departure or Approach, you can, however, request a new altitude different from what’s assigned if the assigned altitude can risk a loss of separation with terrain or other traffic.

On Center, you shouldn’t be asking for anything other than a descent via the arrival when it’s TOD. This is of course assuming you’ve checked in prior. If Center comes online as you’re descending along the arrival or just as you’re about to start your descent, you can skip the check-in. It’s a waste of time at that point. If the airport doesn’t have an arrival procedure, state your approach request at the destination if the airport is within Center boundaries. If not, request a descent to the first VNAV altitude.

On Approach, skip the check-in. Go straight to the approach request. Only check-in if you’re handed off to another approach controller after being assigned an approach previously. Don’t restate the approach request; it’s unnecessary.


If you’ve gotten this reply, that means you’ve likely done something wrong from the get-go. You should never be checking in with Approach unless you’re handed off to another approach controller after having been assigned an approach type. The initial call-in should always be what approach you want, which should match what approach you’ve filed (unless it’s a Visual; in that case, file whatever approach you want).


You can also see

Thanks for all your Answers @J-F_V @ToasterStroodie @Mr-plane-guy1 and @Pilot_InfiniteFlight
this is very helpful

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