Author Topic: Terminal Controller Handoff Instruction: "Cleared Enroute Frequencies"  (Read 10162 times)

Offline janlam01

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While listening to the CYOW (Ottawa) feed as of late (or maybe something I didn't catch before), I have noticed that the Terminal Controller would handoff an aircraft by by saying "You are about to leave Class D airspace. Radar service terminates with me, cleared enroute frequencies. "

Given that I'm not a pilot, my interpretation from that instruction is that the pilot is about to leave Ottawa Terminal airspace and the pilot is to switch to an enroute frequency without any guidance from the Controller on what frequency the pilot should switch to afterwards (I'm guessing the pilot would speak to someone from an Area Control Centre - a Montreal Centre frequency).

My question is: why does Terminal Control occasionally handoff an aircraft without telling the pilot what frequency to switch to?

Offline 1053857

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This isn't a handoff. This is a VFR aircraft that is leaving controlled airspace, and basically the controller is releasing the aircraft. Probably the Canadian equivalent of frequency change approved.

Offline martyj19

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Outside Class D, C, or B airspace under VFR, there is no requirement to be in voice contact with ATC.  Likewise, there is no requirement that the controller provide a handoff for VFR traffic.  The flight having progressed to a point outside, the controller is advising that the pilot is no longer required to maintain contact.  The flight is then in Class E airspace.  The pilot may very often choose to continue the flight out of radio contact until approaching another airspace where contact is required.  The airspace around CYOW is a little complicated but fundamentally is a Class C primary airport with class D airspace around it, and radar available as usual for a Class C.

In the US, the instruction would be "radar services terminated, squawk 1200, frequency change approved".

Under IFR, the aircraft would be in contact with ATC for the entire flight and would be handed to the next appropriate controller all the way as they move from one controller's coverage area to the next.

Offline janlam01

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Thank you for the replies. I did not know that the instructions is not a handoff. When I heard the word "enroute", I thought it meant Area Control Centre.

This leads me to another question: If a "VFR aircraft" has no requirement of voice contact with ATC outside of controlled airspace, who would pilot talk to when need to? Would it be with Area Control Centre?

Offline RonR

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I'm close to Farmingdale/Republic Airport (KFRG) here on Long Island.  When VFR traffic departs the KFRG area, they are given the instruction "radar services terminated, squawk 1200, frequency change approved".  At this point, they can chug along without having to communicate with anyone as long as they remain below the Class B airspace (KJFK is just a few miles to the west of KFRG).

But they can ask for "flight following" if they want to receive traffic advisories.  In this area they would contact a NY Departure controller and for KFRG that would be 125.7.  If the departure controller isn't too busy he'll grant your request for flight following.  He'll give you a new Squawk code and most likely ask you to "Ident".  When I flew around the NYC area, I always asked for flight following and almost always got it.

If you're in a far less congested area that does not have an approach control facility, then you would probably get in touch with an enroute center controller if you wanted flight following.

Me as a pilot?  I'd make sure I would know what frequencies are in use in the area I would be flying so that I would know who to call and how to reach them if I needed to.  Of course, if it's an emergency, there's always 121.5
Feed Provider:
NY App (Liberty/North)

Offline martyj19

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My quick pass at research indicates that things are quite different in Canada, that VFR flight following as we know it doesn't exist, and that coverage of 121.5 is spotty.  Maybe a Canadian pilot will help with some details.

The part about researching the frequencies that would be needed ahead of time is spot on, though.