You can be away when with Center, it’s okay

While I controlled Oakland FIR briefly today I was noticing a lot of people where requesting frequency change while inside my sector. My guess is that they thought they needed to be active while they were with me on my frequency. This is not the case.

When you’re with Center at Cruise you can leave your device. We will leave you alone and you do not need to change frequency. During climb and descent you need to be at your device, but at cruise you do not and we expect you not to be.

When you leave our sector you will either be handed off to the next controller or given a frequency change.


This is great to hear from an IFATC controller! Although I knew this before, it’s helpful to be confirmed once someone has had first-hand experience :D


If the user is not at their device while passing to a new sector will a hand-off to the next sector be automatic, and would a frequency change be issued only if the user is active?


Thanks for the clarification, Trio. It’s all new to us, but pretty soon everything will be working like a well oiled machine.

I think this will ease the minds of many.


Not automatic, just check your device if you can periodically when you’ll be passing through sectors. We can see if you are away though so we’ll still leave you alone till you are active.


I hope this didn’t scare anyone I gave it to but I was issuing please follow instructions to those requesting frequency change after a stay on my frequency, so if you receive that that means you can’t leave me just yet because you’re still in my jurisdiction.


how long is the timer between active and away though? i’m worried that it may show “active” when i’m actually away.

its like 2 mins or something around there

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As stated above, it is two minutes since your last input. But if you are at cruise and you have just left your device and still show active, you don’t need to worry. Centre controllers will realise soon enough when your strip turns to away and you aren’t responding. As stated before, conflicts will be assumed accidental at cruise.


Somewhat unrelated (but it has to do with the Center frequency) I have seen some center controllers on the expert server telling people to expect an approach. Can they clear us for an approach if there is no approach frequency?

They can if it’s within their sector but they shouldn’t be assigning an approach

One question - yesterday I was told to connect to Oakland FIR a little while after I departed LAX and I was at cruise altitude. I was away but luckily came back within 2 minutes and did so. Would I be punished if I didn’t?

We can see if you’re away so that’s fine, we may do that so that when you return you can just switch. No rush if you’re at cruise.

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Ok awesome, thanks for the post!

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So I’d my plane is flying over the Atlantic overnight when I’m asleep and I fly through a active airspace, it won’t matter?

If* wow that’s spelt bad

Great to know, thanks!

Nope, you’d be perfectly fine. We’ll see that you’re away and at cruise, so we won’t try to contact you or anything like that.


Oh ok that’s good, i was worried I would get reported for not responding

Thanks, last night I quit my flight from EWR-SIN simply for the fact that I thought I would be in trouble for being AFK.