What to do when a radar controller comes online

October, 4, 2020 by

In this post I’ll be giving you a few tips on what to do and what not to do when a radar controller first comes online.

When it is the first radar controller:

When a radar controller first comes online it might take a bit of time for the him to get started because if the controller is using STAR’s he would probably first want to select all the STAR’s to show on his screen, this is very time consuming so please be patient and only request your approach once. He will get to you as fast as he can!

During a controller change:

When this happens you will know it because the previous controller would have announced that there is a controller change in progress. In this case, if you have been vectored and assigned your approach by the previous controller you only need to check in. If it’s your initial contact feel free to request your approach. Remain on the heading and altitude the previous controller assigned you and don’t change course the moment the controller is offline.

Sometimes your controller will have a brief drop in connectivity or he can have an app crash during his session. He will be back as soon as he can, please be patient and attentive. You will be tuned out and tuned back in when he is back online. If you see it is the same controller as the one you had before then there is absolutely no need to request your approach again. Just carry on! Your controller would also really appreciate it to come back to an airspace that is still organised and not one that has disintegrated into chaos for the brief span that he was offline. Do your part to help your controller out and to give everyone a better experience!

Juan Oosthuizen is a contributor for the IFATC Education Group. He is an IFATC Supervisor and real-world PPL student pilot.