Controlling Tower in the Absence of Approach
Picture this: you’re controlling Tower at the FNF hub, alongside Approach. Suddenly, the approach controller disconnects, leaving you with an outrageous line of inbounds and a long string of departures.
Fortunately, Tower has a few key commands at their disposal to ensure the separation of arriving aircraft:
This exact scenario occurred when I was controlling at TNCM (Princess Juliana). Using those four commands listed above, however, made the whole experience quite manageable.
Before leaving, Approach (@Panther) had set up a line of perfectly separated aircraft. I prioritized that line, having each aircraft enter the right downwind leg.
I instructed the line-leader (SPEEDCAT) to extend downwind in order to service the astronomical amount of departures. All following aircraft were promptly sequenced behind one another. A few inbounds from the West were given 360s to help fit them into the defined line of arrivals.
While it was a challenging session, the respectful and professional pilots helped me out a great deal. Approach later came back online, allowing me to end my session stress-free. Utilize all your available commands, and trust your sequencing to do the work for you! A big thanks to @Panther for giving me such a well-organized line before leaving, and for coming back after an hour to help me out again.
Enjoy the video!