Minimum distance to contact Center frequencies

While flying from Istanbul to Oslo, I got within range to the Norway Center frequency, I checked in but was given “frequency change approved” even though I was able to tune in. It was the same case at a different flight several days ago, but when I did get very close within Center’s airspace, I was given the usual approach vectors.

With this in mind, what’s the actual distance where you check in with a Center frequency?

You should check in with Center either when you are initially handed over from another frequency or when you enter their FIR (the bold white lines on the map). After the hotfix, there shouldn’t be issues regarding radio emitter range.

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Hmmm, I just tried again when I got more close to the white bold line, checked in again, got the usual “Radar Contact”, and now I’m descending via the published STAR as normal.

Yes, unless you are handed off by another controller, only contact Center and check in one you are within their FIR or very close to it.

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Ah, gotcha, I’ll keep that in mind in the future then, thank you!

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No problem

To build off of that, some radar controllers will wait to respond to your check in until you make it inside their airspace so don’t be alarmed if it takes a few minutes for them to respond to your initial check in

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