Quick reminder: when you are ATC you can pull up anyone’s information and see their flight plan and the frequency they are currently tuned to.
I bring this up because I’m starting to mess around with controlling in playground and didn’t realize this until last night. I was KSAN approach and I kept asking people to tune to my frequency because I thought they were blasting through the controlled airspace not talking to anyone, in actuality they were already tuned to KSAN tower.
Which brings up another point. It definitely gets hectic but if you are controlling tower and someone jumps to your freq too far out while there is approach active take the second to kick them back to approach, it will make your life easier! I think some of the people I was asking to tune to my freq were ignoring me because they were already talking to tower even though they should have been talking to approach.
Hopefully my bone head mistake / oversight can help someone else out.
Please also remember as an ATC that you should only ask aircraft to tune to to your frequency, as long as they are really entering your airspace, which is 5 nm around the airport and from the surface to 5000 ft. If a aircraft is crossing the airport you’re controlling at, let’s say 7000 ft (or 24 000 ft), there is no need to demand on tuning to your frequency.
It’s tough because we are limited with the commands…
The GA guys obviously don’t need to be on the approach freq but it’s up to the approach controller, regardless if they are 50 miles from the field just buzzing around ( 50 being an arbitrary number) they don’t need to be up with a busy tower, it’s really out of their airspace.
If they are coming close to busy airspace Approach can still ask for their intentions and give them flight following. In that case Approach is the appropriate freq and not tower… so tower should push them back to approach. But again they are most likely outside of towers airspace in that scenario.