Center approaches/separation to towered airports?

tink

Member
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68
Centers seem to have a few different rules they can or cannot use than tracons. No MVA's apparently and no divergence and not saying HEAVY, for a few examples.

Let's say a tracon goes ATC-0 for COVID cleaning. Is the Z that takes over the airspace going to be able to clear aircraft for approaches at a fairly normal rate if the tower controllers at the airports are still there? They shouldn't have to use one in/one out, right? Tower is there.

I have not worked a Z. Or been near one that had approaches into towered airports, only untowered; so pardon me if this is a ridiculously dumb question.
 

MKK

Active Member
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88
If I had to guess if the TRACON is down the whoever is working that sector the Z is pulling up approach plates on one of those fancy monitors.
Yeah exactly. Plenty of uncontrolled airports I somewhat try to remember approaches for but when you working tons of airspace with over 20 uncontrolled airports I def don’t have time to remember the approach plates for airports I may work a few times a year.
 

Dialoutmfer

Trusted Contributor
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103
Yeah exactly. Plenty of uncontrolled airports I somewhat try to remember approaches for but when you working tons of airspace with over 20 uncontrolled airports I def don’t have time to remember the approach plates for airports I may work a few times a year.
ZID owns plenty of airspace to the ground. A few years ago IND APCH went ATC-0. The controllers at ZID that initially took over the airspace tried running it like an APCH control. Legend has is that QC gave up trying to count the number of deals and wrote it off as a single incident. Centers are just not equipped to run APCH control airspace. One in and one out is the only way and this is from someone who has run a ton of instrument approaches in multiple centers and is very comfortable with them.
 

MKK

Active Member
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88
ZID owns plenty of airspace to the ground. A few years ago IND APCH went ATC-0. The controllers at ZID that initially took over the airspace tried running it like an APCH control. Legend has is that QC gave up trying to count the number of deals and wrote it off as a single incident. Centers are just not equipped to run APCH control airspace. One in and one out is the only way and this is from someone who has run a ton of instrument approaches in multiple centers and is very comfortable with them.
Exactly. If approach has to give you 5 miles and increasing......enough said.
 

jdatc

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371
. One in and one out is the only way and this is from someone who has run a ton of instrument approaches in multiple centers and is very comfortable with them.

Having worked a couple centers, and at a large tracon, they are both different beasts. Vectoring at an approach control is much easier in fusion. You want a tight turn, sure, I'll join you at the FAF all day long. Center, no thanks, you will get a super legal turn on with your long-ass updates.

Tower closed, Center; one in one out. Approach control with good radar, I'll have more then one cleared, but the second not over to advisory with the first one warned I need a fast cancellation. I might even get a departure out in between if everyone plays the game.

It's too different. Each one does an excellent job. Throw non-radar into the mix and everything gets fucked.
 

Dialoutmfer

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103
Having worked a couple centers, and at a large tracon, they are both different beasts. Vectoring at an approach control is much easier in fusion. You want a tight turn, sure, I'll join you at the FAF all day long. Center, no thanks, you will get a super legal turn on with your long-ass updates.

Tower closed, Center; one in one out. Approach control with good radar, I'll have more then one cleared, but the second not over to advisory with the first one warned I need a fast cancellation. I might even get a departure out in between if everyone plays the game.

It's too different. Each one does an excellent job. Throw non-radar into the mix and everything gets fucked.
Well said
 

tink

Member
Messages
68
Having worked a couple centers, and at a large tracon, they are both different beasts. Vectoring at an approach control is much easier in fusion. You want a tight turn, sure, I'll join you at the FAF all day long. Center, no thanks, you will get a super legal turn on with your long-ass updates.

Tower closed, Center; one in one out. Approach control with good radar, I'll have more then one cleared, but the second not over to advisory with the first one warned I need a fast cancellation. I might even get a departure out in between if everyone plays the game.

It's too different. Each one does an excellent job. Throw non-radar into the mix and everything gets fucked.


So what do you think a Z would do with assuming tracon airspace and the towers are still there? Still one in, one out?
 

Dialoutmfer

Trusted Contributor
Messages
103
No. Tower changes the game. Run them 3-5 miles in trail based on the center and airport
No you cannot. You cannot use radar separation when you will not have radar on both aircraft. Also how do you separate the two aircraft 5 miles in trail when at some point you have to switch both aircraft to tower frequency ? Who is ensuring separation at that point? It certainly isn’t the VFR tower that normally is not a VFR tower. LOAs make different VFR towers unique I’m sure but the one I am most familiar with you have to retain the trailing aircraft on center frequency and not allow him on tower frequency until the leading aircraft lands or cancels. This gives you a means of separation if the lead aircraft cancels or something else goes tits up.
 

MKK

Active Member
Messages
88
So what do you think a Z would do with assuming tracon airspace and the towers are still there? Still one in, one out?
Yes this is exactly what happens. Basically gets treated as a non controlled airport. Only difference is they call for a release and you switch an a/c to tower frequency. Still need to provide separation until cancellation.
 

32andBelow

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5,338
No you cannot. You cannot use radar separation when you will not have radar on both aircraft. Also how do you separate the two aircraft 5 miles in trail when at some point you have to switch both aircraft to tower frequency ? Who is ensuring separation at that point? It certainly isn’t the VFR tower that normally is not a VFR tower. LOAs make different VFR towers unique I’m sure but the one I am most familiar with you have to retain the trailing aircraft on center frequency and not allow him on tower frequency until the leading aircraft lands or cancels. This gives you a means of separation if the lead aircraft cancels or something else goes tits up.
It’s called timed approaches it’s in the 7110

You can mix times approaches, 3 minute rule, SYD, 1 minute rule, 2 minute rule, tower applied visual separation, airplane applied visual separation, up in back off the ground, 44 kt rule, 22 kt rule, and more to move way more than 1 in 1 out with or without radar

Yes this is exactly what happens. Basically gets treated as a non controlled airport. Only difference is they call for a release and you switch an a/c to tower frequency. Still need to provide separation until cancellation.
You can do SYD with the tower so that’s a lie
 

MKK

Active Member
Messages
88
It’s called timed approaches it’s in the 7110

You can mix times approaches, 3 minute rule, SYD, 1 minute rule, 2 minute rule, tower applied visual separation, airplane applied visual separation, up in back off the ground, 44 kt rule, 22 kt rule, and more to move way more than 1 in 1 out with or without radar


You can do SYD with the tower so that’s a lie
Ok Yes but literally no one does this. That’s why I said BASICALLY. Not exactly.
 

jdatc

Trusted Contributor
Messages
371
So what do you think a Z would do with assuming tracon airspace and the towers are still there? Still one in, one out?

There are so many variables I can’t tell you. It would all depend. How busy is the sector, what’s the range of the sector, how’s the radar reliability and coverage at the sector, how familiar is the controller With the airport, approaches and PTAC’s, what’s the terrain around the airport, what’s the fleet mix.... etcetera etcetera.

I could go on and on.

There’s a lot of situations where one in one out makes perfect sense despite the tower and others that don’t.

You can use all sorts of rules if you are familiar and have the time, but if center is assuming something they normally don’t have it’s not usually the case.

So I would expect that a controller due to not being practiced, familiar or current in that situation would go to the safest route, one in one out. Then they would adapt as we always do.
 

CaptainObvious

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1,459
No you cannot. You cannot use radar separation when you will not have radar on both aircraft. Also how do you separate the two aircraft 5 miles in trail when at some point you have to switch both aircraft to tower frequency ? Who is ensuring separation at that point? It certainly isn’t the VFR tower that normally is not a VFR tower. LOAs make different VFR towers unique I’m sure but the one I am most familiar with you have to retain the trailing aircraft on center frequency and not allow him on tower frequency until the leading aircraft lands or cancels. This gives you a means of separation if the lead aircraft cancels or something else goes tits up.
Well considering we do it every single day at one of our towered airports I’ll stand with that. That being said, I should have clarified a bit, we run slightly more space depending on the airport, but far less than one in one out. Different LOAs do make a difference but with tower applied visual and the ability to reach the tower quickly for a cancellation, it does change the game. It’s not a timed approach/holding stack one in and one out scenario.
 
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