New York Center Working Departures and Arrival for KIAD

I’m coming from KMEM, on the COATT5 arrival (from the south). Getting ready to start the downwind for 19C. I contact tower to announce inbound and I get told to contact New York Center. My flight plan wouldn’t have put me in that airspace. So why contract New York Center?

Looks like Center was providing approach services for KIAD as well as acting as Center. This is perfectly normal if Approach isn’t active (which it wasn’t), as per the ATC Manual:


So because of this, Center would clear you for an approach and then hand you off to tower. That’s why the tower controller sent you to Center’s frequency. If your in doubt though you can contact the controller, @Anthony_Morgan was the Center controller and @Piazza was KIAD Tower.

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But wouldn’t that be something for Washington Center vs New York Center?

Yes that would be correct, if Washington Center was open that would be the Center you would have worked with. I don’t have the reasoning behind New York Center providing approach for KIAD so I’d leave that with Anthony. I’ve tagged him above anyways.

Cleveland, Toronto, Washington, Boston, and New York center were all open. They might have mistakenly on guarded on the wrong frequency.

Hello. Thank you for reaching out. I believe I am the New York Center who onguard you. I have instructed the local Washington controller, Piazza to send all aircraft heading North to New York Center and I will handle KIAD approach from New York Center as well. I just did not open Washington Center as that would clog my radar screen with 3 frequencies and since Washington was quiet at that time, I can handle their approaches from New York Center as well.

Hope this clarifies ;)

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I understand your issue; just one note - when possible, use RNAV arrivals into airports like KIAD (for example, the CAVLR arrival).
Non-RNAV arrivals are seldom used in real life and are typically misflown in game when RNAV arrivals are available. They require use of VOR radials and DME, both of which are somewhat inaccurate in IF - which is why I suggest not using said arrivals.

I know this may be somewhat rude and off topic, but I’m just pointing it out for future reference.