Do I contact Centre or not?

Hi, I was beginning my descent into KJFK and contacted New York centre to request a descent via PARCH3 arrival.

I was given no answer and told to change frequency twice so I’m a bit confused right now, he/she approved others for descent…

I think you have to be one minute away from your STAR to request it. Was the airport in their airspace? This might also be a reason.

The only thing do you have to send when join center is

“Check in”
She/He’ll say
“Radar contact”

Then you’re fine to continue with the descent :)

Were you in the New York FIR? Centre has set airspace boundaries laid out on the map, if you are outside those boundaries then you don’t need to contact that facility. Unlike approach where you contact them within a certain vicinity of the airport, centre’s boundaries are laid out in the map irrespective of any airport.


Hi there, the PARCH3 arrival is mostly in Boston Center’s airspace, so the New York Center doesn’t have to clear you for that if it’s too busy. Also, in response to Victor’s comment, you check in with center if you’re climbing or cruising and request descent one minute or 10NM from your TOD.

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Oh, maybe I’ve caught my mistake now, thanks! I should have contacted Boston Centre instead.


That is an incomplete answer that can vary based on the conditions at hand. If you are an overflight you can do that, but you should request descent via a STAR if you have one filed into the airfield with the center frequency. Please see section 6.6 of the IFATC manual for additional information:


Yeah that’s a pretty soft aswer that i did, so, the first thing you must do when contact Center? You check-in and then request a STAR to airport or im wrong? Sorry, im still learning these features

Responding with radar contact is not a clearance to continue with a descent when dealing with center. Once you’ve reached your cruising altitude, all altitude changes require an altitude change request. If you’d like to descend via the STAR, you must request this.

Edit: @Aceorbit was much faster than me.


If you’re contacting centre in order to request your descent, you don’t need to check in, just request descent via the STAR. The only time you need to check in is if you’re tuning into a frequency but not requesting any services right away.

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Top Of Descent

TOD = Top Of Descent

Can ATC assign stars or just clear aircraft on STARs they’ve chosen?

they can say to use ATC preferred stars instead

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