ATC question

Hello! I was controlling London centre and I was wondering what is the difference between expect vectors and continue as filed when clearing an aircraft to approach a runway. Thank you!

Expect vectors- prepare the pilot to change their altitude and heading.

Own navigation- that’s on them.

Correct me if I’m wrong.


Expect vectors is when you will be handing out vectors (Headings, speed and altitude). Contiune as file is when the A/C has a filed flight plan in their FPL (STARs and SIDs).

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Oooh, I get it. Thank you!


You don’t technically have to check for STAR and SID. Actually because of the issue where the ending point is sometimes the airport, it’s likely someone would have deleted the airport waypoint, especially cuz it’s training.

Expect vectors means the ATC will take over navigation for the aircraft. Without vectors the aircraft will continue on their flight plan.

You must clear for the approach still.


Expect vectors: The controller will give you specific headings and altitudes, and possibly speeds towards the runway, and then they’ll hand you over to tower a few miles away from the airport if the frequency is available.
Continue as filed: ATC wants you to fly your flight plan normally.

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