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  • VATPAC Tutorial: Transferring Departures To The Next Controller

    Transferring Ground Traffic To Tower

    Once an aircraft is at the runway holding point, the ground controller is no longer relevant for the aircraft - only tower can clear the aircraft to either enter an active runway, or takeoff. In Australia, most domestic aircraft will independently contact the tower once at or approaching the holding point. There are special operations at different airports around Australia, Sydney is an example of one with a contact tower sign present on the B10 taxiway. In this instance the taxing traffic is to contact TWR independently once passing that sign. 

    For international aircraft, who may not be as familiar with local procedures, an explicit transfer is required.

    An example of this would be:

    [ML_GND] Singapore 256, contact tower 120.5
    [Pilot] Tower 120.5, Singapore 256

    Since some aircraft may switch independently, while others may not, you may like to use an altered phraseology which can minimize confusion.

    An example of this would be during the aircraft's taxi phase, prior to the holding point:

    [ML_GND] Singapore 256, at the holding point, contact tower 120.5
    [Pilot] Wilco, Singapore 256

     

    Transferring Departure Traffic To The Next Controller

    In most cases, aircraft departing Class C aerodromes should contact departures once airborne. The instruction to do so can either be given after the aircraft has been observed to become airborne, or immediately preceding the takeoff clearance when no potential aerodrome conflict exists. If given as a separate instruction, the tower controller should instruct the pilot to "contact departures" once the aircraft has been observed to be airborne on the scope.

    An example of this would be:

    [ML_TWR] VOZ843, runway 16 cleared for takeoff
    [Pilot] Cleared for takeoff, VOZ843

    VOZ843 becomes airborne shown on screen

    [ML_TWR] VOZ843, contact departures
    [Pilot] Departures, VOZ843

    Alternatively, tower controllers have the option to issue transfer instructions immediately preceding the takeoff clearance, if there is no conflict between the departing aircraft and other aerodrome traffic. 

    For example:

    [ML_TWR] SIA223, contact departures airborne, runway one six cleared for takeoff
    [Pilot] Contact departures airborne, cleared for takeoff runway 16, SIA223

    Pilot becomes airborne then will transfer to the departure frequency given in the airways clearance

    When choosing between these two options, it is important to make sure that you are trying not to give the pilot too much information at once. If you have an aircraft departing on a radar SID with an altitude restriction, it could become quite unwieldy if you include the instruction to contact departures in the takeoff clearance:

    [ML_TWR] JCR, assigned heading right 220 degrees, climb to 4000ft, contact departures airborne, runway 16 cleared for takeoff

    In this case, it would be much easier for both the pilot and you as the controller to issue a separate instruction to contact departures. However, it is ultimately up to you to use your common sense to decide whether an instruction like this would be appropriate or not for a given aircraft.

     

    Transferring Departure Traffic To Unicom

    When no departures service is available the aircraft should be approved to change frequency to UNICOM. It is best to separate your transmissions for this situation.

    Example:

    [ML_TWR] SIA221, runway 34 cleared for take off.
     
    Once airborne
     
    [ML_TWR] SIA221, monitor UNICOM 122.8, frequency change approved.
     
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