ATC (Air Traffic Control) Service

The primary purpose of the ATC system is to prevent a collision involving aircraft operating in the National Airspace System (NAS). ATC also provides a safe, orderly, and expedition flow of air traffic.

In some cases, additional services may be provided. These services are not optional but only required workload permitting.


ATC Service is provided on a first come first serve basis. No aircraft regardless of registration, type or real-world priority status will be given higher priority than other aircraft. This includes emergencies.

Expeditious Compliance

State “immediately” when an aircraft must quick comply with an instruction to avoid an imminent situation.

DAL1465, turn left immediately

State “expedite” only when aircraft must quickly comply with an instruction to avoid the development of an imminent situation. When time permits provide a reason.

DAL1465, expedite climb.
DAL1465, expedite descent for traffic.

Safety Alerts

Issue a safety alert to an aircraft if you are aware the aircraft is in a position/altitude that, in your judgment, places it in unsafe proximity to terrain, obstructions, or other aircraft. Once the pilot informs you action is being taken to resolve the situation, you may discontinue the issuance of further alerts. Note: It is the pilots prerogative to determine what course of action, if any, will be taken. If the aircraft is not in your sector, inform the appropriate controller. There are two safety alerts: Terrain/Obstruction Alert and Aircraft Conflict/Mode C Intruder Alert.

Terrain/Obstruction Alert

Issue this alert if you observe the aircraft’s altitude to be in unsafe proximity to terrain/obstructions.

Low altitude alert, DAL1465, check your altitude immediately.
Low altitude alert, DAL1465, check your altitude immediately. The MVA in your area is 6,000. (Not on FA)

Aircraft Conflict/Mode C Intruder Alert

Issue this alert if you observe the aircraft in an unsafe proximity of another aircraft. Provide a suggested course of action to resolve the conflict. If an alternate course of action is provided state “immediately”.
Traffic Alert, DAL1465, 12 o’clock 1 mile.
Traffic Alert, DAL1465, 11 o’clock 2 miles advise you turn left heading 120 and climb to 9,000 immediately.
Traffic Alert, N312PD, 12 o’clock 1 mile advise you descend immediately.

Formation Flights

Formation flights should be controlled as a single aircraft. When individual control is requested issue advisory information which will assist the pilots in attaining separation. When pilot reports indicate separation has been established, issue control instructions as required. It is ultimately the responsibility of the pilots in the formation to maintain separation until approved separation has been reached.

Coordinate Use of Airspace

Ensure required coordination has been accomplished before allowing an aircraft under your control to enter another controllers jurisdiction. Do not issue any instructions that would have an aircraft enter another controller’s jurisdiction without first coordinating.

Control Transfer

Transfer control of an aircraft at a prescribed or coordinated location, time, fix, or altitude or when a radar handoff and frequency change to the receiving controller has been accomplished and when authorized by SOPs. Only transfer control of aircraft once the potential for conflict has been eliminated. Only assume control of aircraft once they enter your airspace unless otherwise directed by SOP.