Provide vectors to aircraft for separation, safety, noise abatement, operational advantage, or when a pilot requests. Aircraft must be at or above the published Minimum Vectoring Altitude (MVA) or Minimum Instrument Altitude (MIA). Only vector aircraft in your jurisdiction unless otherwise coordinated.

Provide direction and magnetic heading to be flown.

DAL1465, turn left heading 320.
DAL1465, fly heading 010.
N312PD, depart WAATS heading 060.

Provide number of degrees off the aircraft’s current track to be flown.

DAL1465, turn 20 degrees right.

For No-Gyro aircraft instruct the aircraft when to start and stop turning.

DAL1465, this will be a No-Gyro vector, turn left….DAL1465, stop turn.

When appropriate provide a reason for vectors. If the aircraft is nearing the end of its route, instruct the pilot of what to expect at the end of the route.

DAL1465, turn right heading 280 vector to J165.
DAL1465, fly present heading vector for spacing. Expect direct WAATS.
DAL1465, turn left heading 010, vector to ILS 16L final approach course.

When vectoring or approving a deviation off a published SID with published altitude restrictions, provide an altitude to maintain and inform the pilot if you will have him/her resume the procedure later.

DAL1465, turn left heading 250, maintain 10,000.
DAL1465, deviation approved, maintain 16,000 expect to resume LEEHY5 arrival at FFU VOR.

Instruct the aircraft to resume own navigation or resume the procedure. If the procedure has published altitude restrictions instruct the aircraft to Climb/Descend via as appropriate. If the aircraft is not RNAV, FMS, or DME equipped, provide a heading to fly until the aircraft can come in range of the navigational beacon.

DA1465, resume own navigation
DAL1465, proceed direct FFU, then descend via LEEHY5 arrival.
N312PD, fly heading 290. When able proceed direct PIH VOR.

If an aircraft is vectored off an RNAV route, the aircraft must be re-cleared to the next waypoint or as requested by the pilot.

Vectors Below Minimum Altitude
Aircraft may be vectored below the published minimum altitude if

  • They are a departing IFR aircraft or executing a missed approach.
  • If they will remain at least 3 miles and/or 1,000 ft from significant obstacles.
  • Diverse vector areas have been established in that area, meeting the minimum DVA altitude is authorized.

Speed Adjustment

Adjusting the aircraft’s speed is not the most ideal method of achieving separation, but may be used if necessary. Consider the following:

  • Aircraft type, configuration, altitude, etc. can effect the time required to get to the assigned speed.
  • Provide the minimum amount of speed adjustments required to maintain spacing.

Do not assign speed instructions to:

  • Aircraft above FL390
  • On a High altitude instrument approach
  • In a holding pattern
  • Aircraft on final with the FAF or 5 miles from the runway (whichever is closest).

A speed adjustment is cancelled when an aircraft is cleared for an approach. If required, the speed must be reassigned.

Mach numbers may be used in lieu of knots above FL240.

Instruct aircraft to say indicated airspeed or mach number when required.

DAL1465, say airspeed.
DAL1465, say mach number.

Instruct aircraft to adjust or maintain speed by providing the speed or the extent of increase or decrease required.

DAL1465, maintain 250 knots.
DAL1465, increase speed to 210.
DAL1465, maintain slowest practical speed.
DAL1465, reduce speed to mach .70.

Instruct aircraft to advise if unable to maintain the assigned speed.

DAL1465, maintain 280 knots, if unable advise.

Instruct aircraft to first adjust speed then descend/climb or vise versa. Exercise this method if the pilot informs you or in your best judgement the speed assigned cannot be maintained in the descent.

DAL1465, reduce speed to 250 then descend and maintain 8,000.
DAL1465, descend and maintain 8,000, then reduce speed to 250.

Instruct aircraft to adjust speed at a specified point or maintain a speed until that point if necessary.

DAL1465, cross JAMMN 250 knots.
DAL1465, maintain 170 knots until YYIPP.

If an aircraft is on a procedure with published speed restrictions issue the speed adjustment. Instruct aircraft to resume speed if the speed adjustment is no longer required. If the published speed restrictions are not required, they may be cancelled.


DAL1465, resume published speed.
DAL1465, delete speed restrictions.

Speed Assignment Rules
Do not exceed these rules unless operationally advantageous:

  • Aircraft between FL280 – 10,000 ft. – 250 kts or more.
  • Aircraft under Class B airspace: – 200 kts or less.
  • Turbojet aircraft under 10,000 ft. – 210 kts or more (170 kts if 20 flying miles of runway threshold).
  • Turboprop aircraft under 10,000 ft – 200 knots or more (150 kts if 20 flying miles of runway threshold).
  • Helicopters – 60 kts or more.