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Topics - Tomas Hansson

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ATC Controllers Forum / Radar Identification
« on: June 16, 2017, 02:07:53 PM »
An interesting question popped up on another forum that I monitor:

As a radar controller, when we have an aircraft entering our airspace from an uncontrolled area, what is the proper way to radar identify them? In the US it seems to be enough (based on my VATSIM flying) that you assign a discreet squawk code and confirm the tag change. Here in Canada I have been taught to both assign the code and have the aircraft Ident. The MANOPS states that an aircraft is radar identified if:

E. The appropriate change in the PPS is observed after the aircraft is instructed to operate the Ident feature of its transponder
F. The appropriate change in the PPS is observed after the aircraft is instructed to change from one code to another

(PPS is  Present Position Symbol)

So one or the other should be enough (plus of course a bunch of other cases). Would the additional ident that we request be because of the aircraft initially had a non-discreet code (2200)? If so, how would you in real life radar identify an aircraft entering domestic airspace from an Oceanic sector and squawking 2000?

General Discussion / FlightSimCon 2017
« on: May 30, 2017, 12:39:38 PM »
I will be attending FlightSimCon 2017 in Windsor Locks, CT next weekend (June 10-11). It would be great to be able to put a face to some of the names in VATCAN so if you are attending, please drop by the VATSTAR table to say "hi"!  :D

ATC Controllers Forum / Pre-departure clearances
« on: January 17, 2017, 10:47:50 PM »
Re-posted from the CZVR forum at Rob's suggestion. Is anyone using PDC's in their FIRs? How is it working? Pros/cons?

So something that I have been considering lately to add to our ops are pre-departure clearances (PDC). Here is a description from the Nav Canada AIC :
Pre-departure clearance (PDC) is a system that provides instrument flight rules (IFR) departure clearances via data link to subscribing airlines at selected airports. NAV CANADA PDC currently uses the 620/622 communications protocol, with service currently limited to ARINC data link service subscribers. On or after 20 April 2009, NAV CANADA will be introducing the PDC 623 protocol, which will be available to subscribers of both ARINC and SITA.

As per the IAC, PDC is available at Victoria and Vancouver.

Alias file entries (modified from the CYYZ forum):
Code: [Select]
.pdc PRE-DEPARTURE CLEARANCE (PDC) – FLIGHT $aircraft $dep/$arr - PDC - $aircraft SQUAWK:$squawk $dep - $type | $cruise | $route - USE SID:$sid DEPARTURE RUNWAY:$deprwy DESTINATION $arr. - CONTACT $radioname ON FREQUENCY $freq WITH IDENTIFIER $squawk - END MESSAGE

The way you would do this on VATSIM is to add a few commands to the alias file and use private chat to send the PDC to the pilot after they have filed their flight plan. The following descriptions have been adapted from the VATUSA and CYYZ forums:
  • Open private chat: .chat CALLSIGN
  • Type .pdcr and ENTER
  • Check flight plan and assign squawk code as usual.
  • Cursor select the aircraft, then type .pdc
  • You will see the PDC message pull up. We will use the squawk code as the identifier since it will be unique for each departure.
  • Confirm Identifier when pilot calls and you are good to go.

The advantage using this would be both realism and a uniform way to issue clearances to aircraft. The disadvantage is a lack of situational awareness for other pilots (since the PDC is sent via private chat) and the lack of explicit readback from a pilot which lets us both confirm the rwy/sid and judge the pilot's skill based on the interaction.

General Discussion / VATSTAR is looking for Pilot Instructors
« on: December 12, 2016, 09:14:10 AM »
VATSTAR is a VATSIM ATO currently looking for qualified pilot instructors. Here is the link to the original posting on the VATSIM forum:

Although VATSTAR is mainly teaching according to the US regs. and procedures, it is close enough to Canadian rules that I thought it would be worth re-posting here. (And yes, I have been an instructor with them for over a year now!)

Vancouver (CZVR) / Vancouver Forums
« on: October 16, 2016, 09:53:52 AM »
Welcome to the Vancouver forums on For more detailed topics and discussions, please head over to our dedicated forums at If you need to register, please use your full name as the username.

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