Air Traffic Control in the United
Kingdom (& Isle of Man)
ATC is provided at Aerodromes
and Air Traffic Control Centres in Accordance with CAA document
Manual of Air Traffic Services Part One
and locally published
Manual of Air Traffic Services Part Two
The MATS Pt1 provides
general instruction for Air Traffic Control applicable to all units, whereas
the MATS Pt2 provided instructions
specific to a particular
unit. MATS Pt 2 is published locally but is subject to scrutiny by the
Civil Aviation Authority Safety Regulation Group.
Air Traffic Control
is carried out from numerous locations around the British Isles. Most people
will be familiar with the control towers to be seen at airports and airfields.
From these, various types of ATC service are provided, generally at the
lower altitudes in the area up to about 40 miles away from the airfield.
ATC services over a
wider area are provided by the two Area Control units. The three main types
of service provided are: Air Ground Communications, Flight Information
Service and Air Traffic Control Service.
At Ronaldsway we provide
an Air Traffic Control Service, although elements of the two other services
are also provided.
Airspace around the Isle of Man
In compliance with international
agreements, all UK airspace is divided into different classes, from A to
G. In each class there are requirements and flight rules
for aircraft and differing
levels of Air Traffic Services available. Around and above the Isle of
Man we have airspace falling into classes A, C, D, F & G. All airspace
above Flight Level 245 is Class A, and between FL195 and 245 is Class C.
Below Flight Level 195 the airspace is defined by Control Areas and Control
Zones, the Airways system being Controlled Areas. Control Zones start at
ground level and have an upper limit, Control Areas have defined lower
and upper limits.
Irish Sea Area Airspace
UK Airspace Classifications
Table showing the different
types of airspace
and rules applying to
Ronaldsway Air Traffic Control
- Callsign 'Ronaldsway Tower' 118.9 Mhz
At Ronaldsway, ATC is
provided from two locations, Aerodrome Control - located at the top of
the 'stalk' and
Approach Radar Control,
located in the lower building.
Runway and Taxiway
During the hours of
darkness or in poor visibility the airfield runways are illuminated with
white lights and the taxiways with green centreline and blue edge lights.
These lights are all controlled from the Visual Control Room using a touchscreen
display. Taxiway holding points adjacent to runways are protected by red
'Stop Bars', a row of red lights across the taxiway which aircraft and
vehicles are forbidden to cross. When the controller gives permission to
enter the runway, he deselects the stop bar on the lighting panel and the
green centreline lights continue onto the runway.
Aerodrome Control has
authority over aircraft on and in the immediate vicinity of the airport
and vehicles on the Runways & Taxiways. Ronaldsway has two runways
available, giving a total of four possible landing and take-off directions,
they are designated according to the first two digits of their magnetic
directions, the longest runway is either 26 or 08 with the shorter cross-runway
21 or 03. ATC decide on the 'Runway in Use', based mainly on the wind direction
as aircraft performance is enhanced by operating into the wind, but also
other factors such as navigation aids available or in light winds the direction
traffic is arriving from or departing to. Pilots can request a non standard
runway and ATC will try to oblige, but it may not be possible as our aim
is to provide a 'safe, orderly and expeditious' flow of traffic and what
might be advantageous to one flight could result in delays to several others
and reduce overall expedition.
Diagram - December 2011
Diagram - December 2011
The tower controller
keeps track of aircraft and vehicle movements using a 'flight progress
board' This holds paper flight progress strips in coloured holders appropriate
to the type of flight: Departures in blue holders, Arrivals in yellow,
Local flights (not landing away from Ronaldsway) in green and Overflights
in Red. Vehicles operating on the manoeuvring area have laminated strips.
All ATC instructions are recorded on the strips which are moved around
the board to indicate positions of aircraft. A specific section of the
board is used to show aircraft or vehicles that have been allowed to enter
the runway. To assist the controller an Aerodrome Traffic Monitor shows
radar derived information of the traffic situation in the vicinity. To
aid visual acquisition of aircraft it is orientated 'south up' to replicated
the window view.
Aerodrome Control is
where the ATIS - Automatic Terminal Information Service broadcast is prepared.
Transmitted continuously when the airport is open and routinely
updated every 30 minutes, it gives the runway in use, type of instrument
approach to be expected, latest weather report from Met and any other pertinent
information on the airfield or ATC operations. Each broadcast is identified
by an incrementing letter of the alphabet.
Data Managment System (FDMS)
Integrating all the
ATC data together is the Copperchase Flight Data Management System. Flight
Plans are automatically recieved via the Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunication
Network (AFTN) and live estimates on inbound flights by phone from Scottish
Centre are entered to print paper Flight Progress Strips. Flight plans
filed directly with Ronaldsway ATC are entered into the system for dissemination
via the AFTN and Airways or local aircraft transponder codes (squawks)
entered. Weather information from the Ronaldsway Met Office is displayed
and relevent flight data is exported to the Park Air surviellance displays.
The main duties of the Air Traffic Service Assistants (ATSAs) are keeping
the FDMS up to date, by processing flight plans, inputting estimates and
logging arrival and departure times of aircraft to produce the movement
log book. FDMS terminals are located in both Aerodrome and Approach Radar
ATSA and ATCO working positions enabling data to be entered as required.
Tower Flight Progress
Inbound aircraft will
normally establish communications with tower when transferred by radar
at 10 miles or less from the airfield, either when they are established
on an instrument approach or visual with the airfield.
FDMS Computer Terminal
Inputting an inbound
estimate and squawk
Message Editor Window
Tower has absolute control
of the runways and will clear an aircraft to land once a preceding landing
aircraft has taxied clear of the runway or a departing aircraft is airborne.
Normally aircraft will receive a landing clearance by about 4 miles from
touchdown but it may be later if an aircraft is departing or a vehicle
crossing the runway. Once the aircraft has landed and slowed to taxiing
speed, instructions are issued to the parking stand, e.g. 'Logan Five One
November Yankee, taxy to stand eleven via bravo, alpha and foxtrot'.
Departing aircraft operating
under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) will call tower before starting engines,
giving the ATIS information letter and are passed an 'airways' or
local clearance as appropriate. A typical 'airways' clearance would be:
'Jersey Eight Alpha Hotel is cleared to Manchester via (airway) Lima Ten.
Climb Flight Level seven zero, after noise abatement turn right (onto)
heading one five five, squawk zero four seven seven. This gives the pilot
his initial departure clearance and he will read it back to ATC for confirmation.
Departures operating under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) will normally make
their first call after starting engine(s) and be issued with a local clearance
and squawk. As Ronaldsway is situated in Class D controlled airspace, all
flight require a flight plan to be submitted to ATC before departure. Sometimes
pilots will pass this by radio after starting, but this inevitably results
in some delay to their flight as the plan has to entered into the computer
system to print a flight progress strip.
'Tower, Propstar 123
ILS established at 5 miles'
'Propstar 123 continue
'Propstar 123, runway
26, cleared to land'
'Propstar 123 cleared
When the flight has
completed boarding and is ready to go he will call tower again and be cleared
for 'push and start'. This authorises engine start and for the aircraft
to be pushed back off stand by the tug, positioning onto the apron centreline.
When engine start is completed and the tug disconnected the pilot will
call for taxy instructions and if the route is clear a typical ATC response
would be 'Jersey 8AH taxy to hold alpha nine via bravo, the QNH is 1021',
which the pilot will read back. All ATC instructions must be read back
for confirmation. The pilot will switch on the aircraft ATC transponder
with the issued 'squawk' code to show his position on ATC secondary surveillance
radars and taxi to the holding point. As the aircraft approaches the holding
point, the tower controller phones Ronaldsway radar and requests a 'release'.
This gives him permission to let the aircraft depart in accordance with
any instructions radar might issue. If there is no conflicting traffic,
the reply might be 'released to Scottish Control on 133.050', i.e. the
aircraft can depart in accordance with the clearance already issued and
be transferred directly to Scottish Centre on frequency 133.050. If there
is conflicting traffic, the radar controller can change the assigned heading
or add a level restriction, e.g. 'Jersey 8AH climb straight ahead after
departure, released'. In this case the tower controller passes the amended
clearance to the pilot and obtains a read back before instructing the aircraft
'Runaway zero eight, line up' and after again reading the instruction back
the pilot taxies the aircraft onto the runway.
The clearance issued
to Jersey Eight Alpha Hotel (BEE8AH) has been recorded on the flight progress
strip, passed to the crew and read back - the ticks indicates that the
read back is correct.
If there are no other
aircraft or vehicles on the runway the controller will then transmit 'Jersey
8AH runway 08 cleared for take-off' which will be read back and the pilot
will commence the take-off run. After the aircraft is airborne and established
in the climb, in this case probably passing around 2000 ft, communications
will be transferred to the appropriate departure frequency: 'Jersey 8AH
contact Ronaldsway radar, 120.850'.
Ground Movement Control
Ground movements are
controlled to de-conflict aircraft and to optimize the departure order
of aircraft on the same route, aircraft being cleared to one of the designated
holding points or given clear instructions regarding other aircraft, e.g.
'follow the Aer Arann ATR to hold Alpha' If a runway has to be crossed
while taxiing this must be specifically instructed, e.g. 'taxy to
hold alpha one via foxtrot and alpha, cross runway two one' .
The radar controller
has amended the initial clearance to instruct the aircraft to climb straight
ahead after departure which has been annotated on the strip, passed to
the pilot and read back. The revised clearance will be due to one or both
of the inbound aircraft shown by the flight progress strips above the runway
designator as the flight paths are required to cross at some point.
Vehicles are controlled
on the Manoeuvring Area using a discrete UHF frequency. 118.9 is re-broadcast
on this frequency so that vehicle drivers can be aware of aircraft movements.
ATC has no responsibility for vehicles operating on the airport Aprons
(aircraft parking areas). On the aprons, vehicles must use the designated
roadways and give way to all aircraft movements. Certain vehicles are permitted
to 'Free Range' on taxiways (but not runways) keeping well clear of all
'Vacate next right,
give way to the outbound company Dash8'
Radar Control 'Ronaldsway Approach/Radar' 120.85
Radar usually controls aircraft up to about 40 miles from the airport.
Inbound traffic arriving via the Airways system is transferred from Scottish
Control, usually with no telephone co-ordination required, in accordance
with standing agreements that vary according to the route flown. Off-route
traffic will be identified and issued a clearance into controlled airspace
at a level under Ronaldsway's jurisdiction, that is at Flight Level 70
Approach Radar Controller
Inbound aircraft flying
under the Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) are vectored (given headings to
steer and levels to fly at) using radar until they are established on an
appropriate Instrument Approach or wish to continue with a visual approach.
Separation is provided by ATC from other IFR aircraft either laterally
or vertically. The minimum separations allowed are 3 miles laterally
or 1000 ft vertically.They are then transferred to Tower.
Outbound Airways traffic
is worked by Ronaldsway Radar if there is a confliction with local traffic,
either inbound or overflying, once the confliction is resolved the aircraft
is transferred to the relevant Scottish Control sector in accordance with
the standing agreement. Levels are assigned to keep aircraft within controlled
airspace and radar cover (to the north radar cover at lower levels is restricted
due to screening from the hills). Within the Ronaldsway Control Zone, the
minimum altitudes to be used are defined by the 'ATC Surveillance Minimum
Under 'Standing Agreements'
with the Area Control Centre, inbound aircraft are descended by Scottish
Control and outbound aircraft climbed by Ronaldsway Radar to standard levels
as depicted. This ensures vertical separation with no co-ordination normally
required between units.
Airway 'Lima Ten' to
the southeast is worked as a one way system, aircraft positioned on radar
headings to keep inbounds on the north side and outbounds on the south
Two common ATC Scenarios
- vectoring aircraft arriving via airway L10 for an Instrument Landing
ILS Approach Runway 26
Minimum Altitude Chart
Shows the lowest altitudes
that can be allocated by controller when vectoring aircraft
(Click for larger map)
ILS Approach Runway 08
||A significant proportion
of the airways traffic to Ronaldsway arrives via Lima Ten from the south
east direction. As the aircraft are already positioned by Area Control
on the north side of the airway, they are easily de-conflicted with outbound
traffic being routed by Ronaldsway to the south side of the airway. The
only problem that can occur is aircraft wanting to 'stay high' for fuel
conservation and having to be retained inside the confines of the airway
as the top of Ronaldsway's Control Zone only extends up to Flight Level
65. MATS Pt1 instructs controllers that aircraft are to be retained within
Controlled Airspace if possible.
complicated as the arriving traffic is still positioned by Area Control
on the north side of the airway and departures have to be positioned on
the south side due to a traffic orientation system involving the whole
route structure between England and Northern Ireland. At some point the
aircraft tracks have to be crossed and vertical separation must be maintained
until horizontal radar separation is obtained. Often not helped by inbound
aircraft wanting to maintain an optimum descent profile (staying high)
to save fuel. This can result in outbound aircraft effectively being 'trapped'
at lower levels. (And using more fuel!)
A close up view of the
surveillance display showing runway 26 in use. 'Aer Arran 8 Lima Charlie'
was being vectored to the ILS but has become visual with the airfield and
released for a visual approach (own navigation with no ATC level restrictions)
as it is horizontally separated from departure 'Neptune 521' which is being
vectored to the south side of the airway climbing to Flight Level 70.
Air Traffic Services
Outside Controlled Airspace (ATSOCAS)
ATC is mainly concerned with aircraft operating within controlled airspace,
sevices are also provided to aircraft operating in uncontrolled (Class
G) airspace. Services available outside controlled airspace are either
'Basic Service', ''Traffic Service', 'Procedural Service' or 'Deconfliction
Service', which are defined in the Manual of Air Traffic Services and other
The green slashes on
the display are from the Primary Radar showing track history with a diamond
symbol showing current position from the Secondary Surveillance Radar.
The aircraft data block shows the radio callsign 'Jersey 821' with the
SSR ATC Squawk code, 7026. The next line shows the current level reported
by the aircraft transponder, in this case Flight Level 57 with the down
arrow indicating that the aircraft is descending. The bottom line shows
the computed ground-speed, 232 Knots.
In the event of a radar
failure, Ronaldsway is able to offer a 'Procedural Approach' service, providing
separations based on time, level and distance in accordance with MATS part
1. Although it is quite possible to work the airspace in this way (and
not unlike the service provided in 1937 in 'QBI') it is un-expeditious
and large delays are likely to build up in busy traffic situations, with
traffic being held both in the air and on the ground. The Flight Progress
Board becomes essential to the control of traffic, levels allocated to
aircraft being recorded as with radar control, but in addition many more
radio calls are required between ATC and aircraft to ascertain when levels
are vacated and can be allocated to another aircraft. Expected Approach
Times (EATs) are issued to inbound aircraft that have to hold, as a rule
of thumb when aircraft are making instrument approaches, one aircraft can
land every 10 minutes, providing that there are no conflicting departing
aircraft. Inbound aircraft may have to enter a holding pattern at a higher
level if there is a departing aircraft below. Once the departure is laterally
separated (time or distance) the inbound aircraft can be descended in the
hold to a suitable level to commence approach.
approaches are designed to allow an aircraft flying in Instrument Meteorological
Conditions (IMC) to become visual with the airfield and complete a landing.
Each Instrument Approach Procedure has defined minimum altitudes below
which an aircraft is not allowed to descend without visual contact with
the airfield. The Instrument Landing Systems are certificated to 'ILS Category
One' enabling instrument approaches down to a minimum altitude (runway
26) of around 200 feet (subject to pilot/company minima). At the specified
'Decision Height' pilots must be able to continue the approach visually
or commence a missed approach. Automatic landings are not permitted at
Ronaldsway has instrument
approach procedures published for runways 03, 08 & 26. The main instrument
approaches used are the Instrument Landing Systems on runways 08 &
26. Both runways also have non-precision NDB/DME approaches and Surveillance
Radar Approaches available. Runway 08 also has a VOR/DME approach available,
using the en-route 'IOM' beacon to the west of the airfield. The only instrument
approach available to runway 03 is a Surveillance Radar Approach. There
are no instrument approaches available to runway 21, if required an instrument
approach can be made to another runway followed by visual manoeuvring to
land on runway 21.
CAA Approach Procedure
These give a pilot all
the information required to complete a instrument approach to land, including
the point at which the approach must be discontinued if the airfield is
not sighted. This varies according the aircraft category (based on size
& speed) and the approach type. Pilots will more normally use charts
produced by one of the big commercial companies, e.g. Aerad or Jeppesen.
Charts are published for every approach available, those below are just
Navigation Aids used at
Ronaldsway is equipped
with a variety of radio navigation aids, to enable pilots flying in Instrument
Meteorological Conditions (IMC) to fly to a point where they can safely
complete a landing on one of the runways. These days the use of GPS is
becoming common for en-route navigation and airfield approach procedures
are published for some airfields in the UK. As yet, no such procedures
have been designed for Ronaldsway.
beacons transmit an identification in morse code, usually two or three
letters. Pilots will listen to the beacon to ensure that they have tuned
the correct frequency although equipment on some modern aircraft can 'auto
tune' the beacon and display the identification visually on the flight
'RWY' 359 kHz
Located on the airfield
the NDB is a basic Medium Frequency homing beacon, can be used for holding
and non precision instrument let down procedures. NDBs have been in use
for aircraft navigation since the 1930s and radiate a signal in all directions
(hence 'non-directional'). Automatic Direction Finding (ADF) equipment
in aircraft enable pilots to navigate to or from the beacon. The beacon
radiates on a continuous basis, even when the airport is closed.
'I-RY or I-RH'
Located adjacent to
the 'RWY' NDB, DME
is a radar based system that provides aircraft with a distance from the
beacon. DME frequencies are paired with an associated VHF navigation aid,
in this case the Instrument Landing Systems on runways 26 & 08. The
airborne DME equipment is automatically tuned by the ILS/VOR equipment
and interrogates the ground beacon, receiving a reply pulse that enables
it to calculate and display the slant range to the beacon, which is displayed
in a digital format on the flight deck. This gives distances from touchdown
on either runway, being located equidistance from the runway thresholds.
The DME beacon codes according to the ILS system in use, but is also used
in conjunction with the NDB approaches and just to give a distance to the
||ATC engineering is a small
section of specialist engineers who keep all of the ATC technical equipment
operating. This ranges from the many computer systems used to radio beacons,
radio transmitters and receivers, instrument landing systems, radar and
radar display consoles and radio and radar recording systems. Whilst based
in the control tower, considerable amounts of equipment are located around
or away from the airfield. The picture shows the main equipment room in
the control tower.
I-RH & I-RY 111.15
Mhz DME CH48Y
approach aids installed for runways 08 & 26. Comprising a VHF Localizer
signal for horizontal guidance and a UHF Glideslope signal for vertical
guidance together with Distance Measuring Equipment giving range from touchdown.
The runway 08 Localizer is offset by 4 degrees to the north of the final
approach track, this was due to siting problems for the localizer aerial.
The usual location at the far end of the runway was not available and the
aerial had to be located to the south side of the runway.. Only one of
the two ILS systems can be radiating at any time and a complex interlocking
system is installed to facilitate changing from one to the other.
The mast on the left
of the picture with the 'hat' is the RWY Non Directional Beacon radiating
on 359 KHz.
On the right is the
vertical aerial for the airfield
Distance Measuring Equipment.
The orange and white
hut contains the beacon equipment.
'IOM' VHF Omni
Directional Range with Distance Measuring Equipment (VOR/DME)
IOM 112.2 Mhz
Located to the west
of Ronaldsway near Cregneash
The 'IOM is an en-route
navigation aid operated by the UK National Air Traffic Services (NATS),
but also used by Ronaldsway
for holding and approach to runway 08
Offset ILS Localizer
Aerial - Runway 08
ILS Glidepath Aerial
- Runway 26
S band Primary Surveillance Radar (PSR) & Cossor Secondary Surveillance
Radar (SSR) Mode A/C
Article - Radar
Article - Secondary Surveillance Radar
out to a range of 60nm, the radar is used for separation and tactical vectoring
of aircraft to a final approach aid. The watchman can also be used to conduct
Surveillance Radar Approaches (SRA) to runways 03, 08 & 26, the controller
giving headings to steer to maintain the final approach track to 2nm from
touchdown, together with advisory altitudes or heights. The radar aerials
are co-located on the same turning gear, with the SSR aerial mounted on
top of the PSR aerial. Primary radar works by detecting radar pulses reflected
from objects, generally aircraft but also ships, land surfaces and precipitation
and produces a 'blip' on the radar screen. Secondary radar works by interrogating
a transponder fitted to the aircraft and returns a discrete code (squawk)
and a height, which is displayed on the screen. Using the display processor
a particular code can be associated with an aircraft callsign to display
it on the controllers screen.
The aerials for the
co-located 'IOM' VOR & DME
The large circular aerial
is for the VOR with the vertical aerial for the DME above. Electronic equipment
is in the building below the aerial.
The co-located radar
aerials for the Watchman Primary Radar and Cossor Secondary Surveillance
The PSR aerial is the
lower solid dish type aerial with the Large Vertical Aperture SSR aerial
Radar showing 'uncancelled'
returns from weather and land areas in the IOM and England
A more normal picture
with and weather and land returns processed out.
The Area Control Centres
& Scottish (Prestwick) Centres operated by National Air Traffic Services
Air traffic control
services over a wider area around the British Isles are provided from the
two Area Control Centres, London ACC at Swanwick and Scottish ACC at Prestwick.
In the vicinity of the Isle of Man, most Area ATC is provided by Scottish
Control some by London Centre. Services are provided by both civil and
Pictures courtesy of
and © NATS PC
Scottish controls en-route
aircraft operating within the controlled airspace structure over the northern
half of the UK
traffic in the vicinity of the Isle of Man are:
Antrim Sector 123.775,
Isle of Man Sector 133.050, Rathlin Sector 129.1
Scottish Area Control
London Area Control
controls Lima 10, Whiskey 911 Delta and Whiskey 928 Delta to the north
and east of the Isle of Man.
Isle of Man Sector
10 and and Whiskey 2 Delta to the south and east of the Isle of Man.
When 'bandboxed' (combined)
with Wallesey Sector uses 128.050.
Sector controls the high level routes over the Isle of Man and
as such has no direct interface with Ronaldsway.
Centre Operations Room
Scottish Centre 'West
NATS Radar Stations
covering the airspace surrounding the Isle of Man
A Scottish sector
using Electronic Flight Progress Strips
Surveillance Display picture
provides a Flight Information and Alerting service to all aircraft that
require it to the north of the Isle of Man.
NATS Lowther Hill
NATS St Anne's radar
125.475 London Volmet North 126.6
Most of the airspace
controlled by London has no direct interface with Ronaldsway, however to
the south of the Isle of Man a Flight Information Service is provided by
London Information. London Volmet provides
a continuous broadcast of weather reports for airfields, including Ronaldsway.
London Military 277.625
Provides a service to
the many military aircraft operating around the northern Irish Sea. Often
providing an Airways crossing service, one of their major customers are
the Hawk aircraft operating from RAF Valley on Anglesey, that need to cross
the controlled airspace over the Isle of Man before continuing with operating
over southern Scotland or the Lake District. Provides a radar service in
Air to Air refuelling Area 13 which is located just to the east of the
Isle of Man.
Flight Information Service
Officer at NATS Prestick Centre
Snaefell Radio Station
Operated by NATS and
providing en-route ATC transmit and receive services for London & Scottish
Located on the highest
point of the Isle of Man, accessed by the Snaefell Mountain Ralway tramcars
or in Winter months by NATS own railcar
London Military Sector
NATS Snaefell Radio
Warton Radar 129.525
+ discrete UHF frequencies
Operated by British
Aerospace primarily as a flight test centre. Can be very busy usually with
military aircraft, most often Typhoons and Tornados. Provides an extensive
radar service to their aircraft all around the Irish Sea and also a Lower
Altitude Radar Service (LARS) to other users. Equipped with a Selex L band
radar, also has feeds from NATS en-route radars.
Adjacent airport to
the east, operating scheduled services to several destinations, including
the Isle of Man. Can be busy with private aircraft. Ronaldsway and Blackpool
will often conduct 'radar handovers'. Equipped with a Plessey AR15 radar
with SSR feed from NATS. Advisory route 'W2D' is often closed on weekdays
if Warton are conducting flight testing and Isle of Man - Blackpool flights
will route direct with a handover from one airfield radar to the other.
Busy commercial airport
to the south east, occasionally there are radar handovers between Ronaldsway
& Liverpool, but low level coverage is limited so more often aircraft
are 'free called' between units.
Valley Radar 125.225
+ UHF frequencies
Very busy military training
airfield to the south, although normally only operating Monday to Friday.
Two squadrons of BAe Hawk training aircraft, 208 (R) Sqn & 4 (R) Sqn.
Often Ronaldsway stands by as a diversion airfield for the Hawks which
also visit regularly for practice ILS approaches and sometimes visual circuits.
Valley is also home to 22 Sqn 'C' flight providing Search & Rescue
facilities using Sea King helicopters and the Search and Rescue Training
Unit (SARTU) operating Griffin and A139 helicopters. Radar handovers regularly
conducted between Ronaldsway and Valley. RAF Valley ATC also provides
a Lower Altitude Radar Service (LARS) in the area, offering Traffic Service
and De-confliction Service.
Belfast International (Aldergrove)
One of two commercial
airports serving Belfast in Northern Ireland. There is very little overlapping
radar coverage between Ronaldsway and Aldergrove so aircraft are normally
'free called' between units.
The second commercial
airport for Belfast. As with Aldergrove, poor overlapping low level radar
coverage normally precludes handovers between units and traffic is 'free
called' Airline flights between the airports operate via the airways system
so depart/arrive via Scottish Control. Light aircraft operating to the
club airfield at Newtownards also usually work Belfast City.
Dublin North 129.175
Dublin Information 118.5
The major airport for
the Irish Republic. Very busy and ATC there have a hold established just
the other side of the Flight Information Region (FIR) boundary at 'ROKNA'
which is between the Isle of Man and Dublin. Airline flights between
the airports operate via the airways system so arrive/depart via Scottish
Listening to ATC
I should probably mention
at this point that despite what has been published in the past and the
general availability of radio scanners and publications detailing frequencies,
monitoring ATC communications is in fact illegal without proper authorisation,
although as far as I am aware, nobody has been prosecuted for it and it
seems to generally accepted in the UK (and Isle of Man).
Ofcom publish guidance