When your airspace gets congested or aircraft need time to descend, holding patterns can be a great option! With our Summer 2016 update you can add holding patterns to your tool belt. Before putting an aircraft in a hold, it’s important to determine if you need a full holding pattern or a simple 360.
1.) If you wish to put the aircraft in a holding pattern, choose an airport or VOR along their route to initiate the hold:
If an aircraft does not have a flight plan, simply have them hold present position or at a nearby airport/VOR of your choice.
2.) Drag your vector tool over the desired VOR or Airport and release:
3.) Select Hold:
4.) Select Airport/VOR, present position, or 360:
5.) Direction of turns:
You also have the option of instructing an aircraft to begin holding at their present position. When aircraft are instructed to hold, a real world speed restriction will automatically be issued based on the aircraft’s altitude. The Reminder Tool is a great feature to help you remember each aircraft in a holding pattern, sending you a reminder after the desired time.
Reasons you may use a hold:
- The destination airport is full
- Tower needs space to work through the departure line
- Spacing to resequence aircraft in congested airspace
Reasons you may use a 360:
- Aircraft is too high and needs to lose a small amount of altitude
- Some additional spacing is required between aircraft
While holding you may issue an altitude adjustment simply by tapping the aircraft icon, selecting altitude, and choosing the desired altitude:
To have an aircraft exit the holding pattern, simply issue a new heading and vector the aircraft back onto their route or to their desired destination.
For an in-depth look, check out this short holding pattern video tutorial: