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3c - Communication

3c.1 - General
Revision: 05 Jul 2022

The following policies apply to all operations.

3c.1.1   Language Usage. All ATC must be proficient in the English language. All communication initiated in English must elicit a response in English. ATC must not assume that a POSCON Member (pilot or ATC) knows the local Division language. Local languages may be used so long as both the communicator and the receiver mutually agree to such exchanges.

3c.1.2   Working Microphone. A working microphone is required and all controllers must be prepared to talk on frequency at all times.

3c.1.3   Monitoring Guard. Controllers shall monitor Guard (121.500 MHz) at all times. If this Guard is not set up in the VSCS panel, consult with the Division Facility Data Specialist. Controllers shall only use Guard frequency to attempt to contact an unresponsive pilot and get that pilot to the correct frequency. Conversations, animal noises, or any other unrelated chatter is strictly prohibited on Guard.

3c.1.4   Unnecessary Communication. Keep unnecessary chatter on active control frequencies and landlines to a minimum. Any form of trolling on any communication method is strictly prohibited. In this context trolling is defined as screaming, intentionally blocking transmissions, playing music, pretending to be another aircraft or ATC, intentionally leaving your mic open, or anything else deemed as overly disruptive.

3c.1.5   Phraseology. Controllers must follow the phraseology standards outlined in 3g.2.2. That means controllers should make every effort to keep all communications as standard as possible. Controller should avoid "shortcutting" or being lazy with phraseology.


3c.2 - Controlled
Revision: 05 Jul 2022

The following policies apply to all operations that are conducted at a Controlled Airfield or in Controlled Airspace.

3c.2.1   Top-Down Service Frequency Usage. Typically, one frequency shall be used for top-down controlling. In this case, role playing of lower positions is not permitted. For example, you are working New York Center on 125.325. You are not permitted to handoff to yourself on the same frequency and pretend to be New York Approach. If you desire to role play in this way,  you can electively enable additional transmitters/frequencies as long as the quality of services is not degraded. As soon as you begin missing radio communications or there is a significant amount of blocked transmissions occurring, you MUST switch back to the single frequency method.

3c.2.2   Unresponsive Pilots. This procedure may only be initiated when the unresponsive pilot is within Controlled Airspace and only by the applicable ATC. There are two exceptions to this rule: ATC must attempt each step in following procedure before using self-help moderation methods (e.g. Compliance Timer or Report Issue):

  1. If the pilot is already tuned to the appropriate ATC frequency as indicated via the Live Map, then ATC must first attempt basic communication verification on the appropriate frequency using phraseology similar to: "<Pilot Callsign>, <ATC Callsign>, if you read this transmission, acknowledge with an IDENT." If the pilot does in fact acknowledge, then ATC can assume pilot is having transmission issues and no further action is necessary. If acknowledgement is not received from the pilot within a reasonable amount of time, then proceed to step 2.
  2. If the pilot is logged into CPDLC, ATC must uplink the appropriate frequency to the pilot. If the pilot does not respond within 3 minutes, then proceed to step 3.
  3. If the pilot is tuned to Guard on either radio as indicated via the Live Map, then ATC must make two attempts to contact the pilot on Guard using the following phraseology: "<Pilot Callsign>, <ATC Callsign> on Guard, contact <appropriate ATC Callsign> on frequency <appropriate ATC frequency>." If neither attempt is successful within a reasonable amount of time, move to step 4.
  4. Will ATC be required to issue a control instruction while the pilot is in Controlled Airspace?
    • If NO, then continue to monitor pilot and attempt contact. File negative feedback for the pilot regarding the repeated attempts to contact them with no response.
    • If YES, then move to the procedures outlined in the Self-Help Moderate Methods methods.

3c.3 - Uncontrolled
Revision: 05 Jul 2022

The following policies apply to all operations that are conducted at an Uncontrolled Airfield or in Uncontrolled Airspace.

3c.3.2   Early Contact Attempts. In some cases it may be operationally beneficial to establish communications early with a pilot entering Controlled Airspace from Uncontrolled Airspace. If it is deemed to be operationally beneficial, then ATC may make one early attempt to contact the pilot either via CPDLC or on Guard so long as the pilot is within 50 NM of entering the lateral boundary of Controlled Airspace. The pilot can choose to ignore the contact request without retribution; however, if the pilot does establish communication with ATC, then the pilot is responsible for maintaining two-way communication.

3c.3.3   Unresponsive Pilots. The procedure found in 3c.2.2 maybe be used. There are two exceptions to this rule:

  1. If the pilot's TOD (as calculated from published procedures using the 3 to 1 ratio) is located outside of Controlled Airspace, then these procedures may be initiated no earlier than the calculated TOD.
  2. If the pilot will enter Controlled Airspace in conflict with other traffic (e.g. dead-heat tie to the same destination airport), then these procedures may be initiated no earlier than 3 minutes prior to the ATC's boundary.

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