Question for ATC - when does Approach ATC hand-off to Tower

I haven’t flown in over a few decades but, if I’m correct I think IF approach controllers may be handing off arrivals too soon to tower. When I flew GA aircraft in the New England area approach controllers wouldn’t hand you off until you were established on the ILS. I recently listened in to communications at KBED and KBOS and confirmed that that was still the case in real world. In the case of KBOS they were handing off in the 7 to 9 mile range and aircraft were contacting tower 6 to 8 miles out.
So I was looking to see if anyone was current in IFR to confirm this or if New England just does this different.
Either way awesome job to ATC in IF. It looks to me that IF is growing fast.

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Approach should only hand off to tower once they confirm successful intercept of the localizer and glideslope. Hopefully this is what you are experiencing on the expert server.

On the training server there is a lot of, well, training going on so you will likely have a wide range of experiences.


Thanks for the response. I’m not seeing it. I’m usually full deflection on localizer and sometimes on glide slope as well. Usually about 18 to 22 miles out about 90% of the time. Intercept angle seems correct.
No worries here.

In real life, you can be given the dogleg radar vector instruction, approach clearance and the contact tower radio call in one big radio call from approach, I have personally experienced this with radar vectors in Center controlled airspace

however, it is more common to vector planes to establish a 10-15 mile localizer final, then switch them to tower a few miles closer

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As mentioned, ATCs on Expert should switch you to Tower only when they see you’re fully established. Handover to Tower at a distance you mention is far too early - this is not what IFATCs are being trained on. Personally I hardly ever see this on Expert.

When you see this again, I suggest you send a Direct Message to the controller and query him or her. Screenshots can help here, of course.

additionally, you shouldn’t really get vectored outside of 18 mile final, as that is range of a standard localizer, however some airports have extended range ones too.

You sure you are on the expert server when you’ve seen this? I don’t recall that happening often / at all. If so then @azeeuwnl’s response above is spot on. Would be good feedback for the controller.

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