Need Help

Hi everyone,
You know when your approaching an airport but have to fly over/near another at low altitude that has active Approach do u have to contact ATC for vectors to your destination airport or can you just carry on?

Many Thanks
BA CityFlyer LHR

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Contact approach and state your intentions:

  • Flight following
  • Flying VFR
  • Request approach
  • Request vectors

ok fab thanks!
Happy Landings

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I see you will enter Gatwick approach airspace on your flight to Heathrow.

Since you are in an airliner it’s not realistic to ask for FF/VFR. I would have asked for vectors. Gatwick director does not handle approaches to Heathrow.

Contact Gatwick director 50-60 nm out and below 18000 ft

Have a nice and safe flight!


Thanks i’ll do that.

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I think FF is the best choice. Because EGKK rader controller doesn’t handle approach service for EGLL. But since you’re going to pass their airspace, you need to request for FF.

Read what was posted before you… Commercial aircraft do NOT fly VFR in the UK, full stop. So you would NEVER request a FF in an airliner. Realistically, London approach controls every airport. So asking Gatwick for vectors isnt a bad thing to do - the controller will hand over the aircraft to Heathrow should they need to.


Thanks. I’m sorry for the wrong advice😭

Realistic? For airliners, No, but flight following is a perfectly valid request in IF for all aircraft to follow their own flight plan to their destination while being able to be vectored clear of conflicts by approach.

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To be as realistic as possible, if I’m departing the airspace, what should I request for (if I’m in an airliner)?

All you need to do is:

Tune to EGKK approach and ask for flight following following to EGLL. We’ll ensure to clear you from traffic, once cleared. You’ll be handed over to EGLL Unicom/Controller.

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So, I was right, after all?

Check in will also work in this scenario and others.

Great, thanks for telling me.

No! Its unrealistic! Please read what is posted earlier in the thread!!

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Why unrealistic? You don’t know if he was flying VFR or IFR :)

For IF purposes, albeit annoying - flight following and check in have the same practical effect. The advice given is correct.

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Unrealistic because in UK airspace commercial aircraft are required to fly under IFR even if the weather is Gin Clear (CAVOK).

Commercial aircraft, particularly in and around London just receive a radar service no less than Deconfliction Service (IFR), while Traffic Service is given to GA and military aircraft outside of controlled airspace. In this case, the London TMA.

The UK along with Europe does not utilise Flight Following or Radar Vectoring.

Got it! Thanks for the insight into the real life procedures. Loved the “gin clear” reference :).

I know you are working on becoming IFATC - it’s great to know the RL procedures, but, always keep in mind we don’t necessarily follow those.

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In IF, you can simply check in with Gatwick director on your way to Heathrow. No need to ask for vectors or anything else. They should see your flight plan to Heathrow, and only vector you if absolutely needed for traffic avoidance until you’re for sure away from any collision possibilities then let you contact Heathrow Unicom.

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