Procedural Towers Policy

Procedural Towers Policy


   Director Operations

Update Date

   27 August 2016

Review Date

   31 August 2017

1. Procedural Controllers

(1) A Procedural Tower is one where separation of aircraft is conducted by procedural or non-radar means.

(2) Such towers also provide a procedural approach service, often out to a significant range (20-40nm).  In the online VATSIM environment, the maximum visibility range for ANY Tower position is 50nm (VATSIM Code of Conduct) which is generally sufficient.  Multiple visibility centres may be used to adequately cover the airspace.

(3) Such tower positions are extremely common in VATPAC (and VATNZ) administered airspace.

(4) Such tower positions may only be operated by a controller who:

(a) holds a rating of S3 or above; or

(b) holds a rating of S2 and has completed the Procedural Tower Endorsement

(5) A list of currently procedurally endorsed S2 Controllers is listed in Schedule 1

2. Procedural Towers

(1) Most controllers whose CERT indicates they are assigned to the VATPAC or VATNZ Divisions will be aware of which Tower positions are procedural.

(2) Some Supervisors (SUP) from outside the VATOCE Region may be unfamiliar with the concept of Procedural Towers, or be unaware of which towers within VATPAC and VATNZ airspace operate in this manner.  This can lead to situation where a SUP may ask a controller to:

(a) reduce their range settings below that required to correctly operate the procedural tower; or

(b) to disconnect from the network

(3) If this happens controllers should in the first instance direct the attention of the SUP to this policy document.

(4) If this fails to resolve the situation then you should at all times comply with any request from the SUP.  The SUP should have introduced themselves by name in their initial contact with you.  Please pass their name and a log of any chat session to the Director of Operations for action.  Controllers are warned that even under such circumstances, disrespect directed towards a SUP is viewed as a serious breach of the Code of Conduct.  This may result in significant penalties being imposed, even where the controller believes they are in the right and the SUP has not fully grasped the situation.  Allow the VATPAC staff to deal with the matter through the proper channels.

(5) A list of Procedural Tower positions in VATPAC airspace is listed at Schedule 2.


1. Table of Amendments

Effective Date


 27 August 2016    Policy review - added clarification on maximum visibility range.
18 November 2015    New Policy