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3o - Operational

3o.1 - Coordination
Revision: 04 Jul 2022

3o.1.1   Requirements. ATC are required to coordinate the following items whenever another ATC is staffing an adjacent sector or facility:

  • Opening, closing, combining, or de-combining Positions.
  • Point outs
  • Approval requests

3o.1.2   Venue. ATC coordination must be conducted in voice channels within the Division's official Discord server. Any other means of voice coordination is prohibited.


3o.2 - Denial of Service
Revision: 18 Jul 2022

3o.2.1   Definition. When an air traffic controller intentionally denies service to a pilot on POSCON when the same service would normally be provided to the pilot in the real-world under the same set of circumstances.

3o.2.2   Policy. In general, denial of service to pilots is not permitted for any reason. The only exception to this rule is if a pilot declares an emergency and, due to workload the controller is unable to handle the emergency, the controller is permitted to ask the pilot to ghost.


3o.3 - Deviations from Real-World
Revision: 04 Jul 2022

3o.3.1   AIP Standards. Per 3g.2.1, real-world AIP rules and regulations shall be followed by air traffic controllers at all times.

Each Division Manager is permitted to submit a formal request to POSCON to approve certain deviations from real-world procedures. If approved, then those approved deviations will be listed in the respective Division page. Some examples of possible deviations include:

  • The ability to issue clearances into closed/inactive airports.
  • The ability to utilize closed runways and/or taxiways.
  • The ability to utilize inactive navigational equipment, charts, and routes.

The following deviations are globally approved for all Divisions:

  • The ability to provide service to pilots during times when a real-world air traffic control facility is normally closed (operating times).
  • The ability to provide VFR clearances to pilots during instrument meteorological conditions.

3o.3.2   Weather. Per 3o.9, controllers must use real-world weather to determine airport/airspace configurations and traffic patterns. Per 8g.2.9, pilots must use real-world/real-time winds aloft and atmospheric pressure settings, but can deviate from other weather conditions so long as the deviation does not interfere with air traffic operations. In the case of a pilot requesting a unique airport/airspace configuration due to a custom weather setting, the controller may accommodate the pilot workload and traffic permitting at the controller's discretion.


3o.4 - Early Issuance of Control Instructions
Revision: 06 Mar 2022

In some cases it may be operationally beneficial to issue early control instructions to a pilot entering Controlled Airspace from Uncontrolled Airspace. If it is deemed to be operationally beneficial, then ATC may issue control instructions via CPDLC or via the appropriate ATC frequency so long as the pilot is within 50 NM of entering the lateral boundary of Controlled Airspace. Per ATC Policy 2.4.0, the pilot can choose to ignore early contact attempts by ATC, thus the pilot can also choose to ignore early CPDLC control instructions as well. However, if the pilot does establish communication with ATC or WILCOs a CPDLC message, then the pilot is responsible for maintaining two-way communication and complying with all additional instructions.


3o.5 - Non-Compliant Pilots (Pilot Deviations)
Revision: 06 Mar 2022

3o.5.1   Usage. These procedures may only be initiated when the non-compliant pilot is within Controlled Airspace and only by the ATC whose airspace the pilot begins the deviating in. The only exception to this rule is if the pilot has established two-way communication in Uncontrolled Airspace and has been issued a control instruction accordance with the Early Issuance of Control Instructions policy outlined above.

3o.5.2   Procedure. ATC must attempt each step in following procedure before using self-help moderation methods (e.g. Compliance Timer or Report Issue):

  1. Tactfully reverify the control instruction with the pilot. If the pilot is logged into CPDLC, attempt to send the control instruction via CPDLC in case there is a language barrier. If compliance cannot be achieved within a reasonable amount of time, then proceed to step 2.
  2. Will the pilot deviation cause an issue with other live traffic now or in the near future?
    • If NO, then continue to monitor pilot's progress. File negative feedback for the pilot regarding the pilot deviation.
    • If YES, then move to the procedures outlined in the Self-Help Moderate Methods methods.

3o6 - Position Utilization
Revision: 18 Jul 2022

3o.6.1   Opening Positions. ATC should open the highest unstaffed Position for which they are authorized to control within a given FIR, unless conditions exist that would prevent them from doing so. In addition, the following must be complied with:

  1. A Facility primary Position (denoted by an asterisk in the Sign-In/Sign-Out menu) must be staffed prior to opening any secondary Position within the same Facility.
  2. An Area primary Position (denoted by an asterisk in the Sign-In/Sign-Out menu) must be staffed prior to opening any secondary Position within the same Area.

While not a requirement, consideration must be given to traffic levels and workload. Often times it makes more sense to open the primary Position of a different Facility rather than opening a secondary position of a Facility that already has a the primary Position staffed.

Refer to Division SOPs and LOAs for specific guidance on Sectors, Positions, and staffing.

3o.6.2   Combining Positions. Combining is handled automatically by the server.

3o.6.3   Decombining Positions. Decombining is handled automatically by the server.


3o.7 - Self-Help Moderation Methods
Revision: 18 Jul 2022

3o.7.1   Usage. After all other options are exhausted from the Unresponsive Pilots and Non-Compliant Pilots sections, then ATC may utilize the self-help moderation methods available on POSCON. These methods should be utilized in the following order until the problem is rectified:

  1. Compliance Timer
  2. Report Issue Button

NOTE: If the pilot is blatantly violating any POSCON Legal or Member Conduct policy, then ATC should disregard utilizing the Compliance Timer method and move straight to the Report Issue button.

3o.7.2   Compliance Timer. (Still in development) (see Glossary for full definition and functionality)

  • This method may only be utilized if the procedures outlined in Unresponsive Pilots or Non-Compliant Pilots have been accomplished first.
  • ATC should use this self-help moderation method first, before the Report Issue button.
  • Abuse of this self-help moderation method is grounds for removal from the POSCON ATC program.

3o.7.3   Report Issue Button. (located on the Live Map by clicking on any aircraft)

  • In most cases, the Compliance Timer method should be utilized before the Report Issue method.
  • To report the pilot to the POSCON Moderator staff, click the Report Issue button on the Live Map. In your report, make sure to include as much detail as possible and a Moderator will intervene in real-time to ghost, disconnect, or ban the aircraft.

Use your best judgement when using these methods. Sometimes a trolling event will require immediate intervention and the POSCON Moderation staff is happy to assist in these situations.

Always make sure to document as much as you can while dealing with feedback or moderation issues.


3o.8 - Top-Down Service
Revision: 18 Jul 2022

Refer to Division SOPs and LOAs for appropriate staffing and combining procedures for top-down service in the Division.

3o.8.1   Unstaffed Sectors. ATC are required to provide top-down services to all unstaffed sectors and facilities below the current sector/facility that they are controlling. For example, you are are staffing KJFK Tower and both JFK Ground and KJFK Clearance Delivery are offline. In this case, you are responsible for providing KJFK Ground and KJFK Clearance Delivery services as well as KJFK Tower. The same concept applies if you are controlling an Enroute position with no ATC online below you. You must control the Enroute position in addition to any other Approach and Towers that may exist below you in the FIR.

See Top-Down Service Frequency Usage policy for more information.

3o.8.2   Adjacent Sectors. ATC are not permitted to provide top-down air traffic services to adjacent sectors, facilities, or frequencies that are not specifically authorized in the Division's SOPs and LOAs.


3o.9 - Weather
Revision: 04 Jul 2022

Controllers must use real-world weather to determine airport/airspace configuration and traffic patterns. See 3o.3.2 for exceptions to this rule.


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