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Old Jan 9, 18, 11:04 am
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,665
Originally Posted by Lost View Post
This is one thing I wanted to mention when I posted yesterday but didn't have time.

The ramp control is actually staffed and run by the airline operating within the individual ramp area, not by ATC. It has a similar function to ground control in that it keeps an orderly flow of aircraft inbound to and outbound from the ramp, and coordinates pushback from the gate to prevent multiple aircraft pushing back at the same time and creating gridlock.

If an aircraft is parked at a gate where they must push back directly onto an active taxiway (typically gates at the very ends of a terminal building), the aircraft will get approval from the ATC ground control to occupy the taxiway before they start to push back.
there are also smaller to mid sized facilities where the ramp is completely uncontrolled.

The average tower has 3 core positions which can be split up or combined based on the facility and traffic volume.
For a departure the first position they would talk* to is Clearance Delivery (CD). This position is responsible for issuing routing, transponder code, altitudes to aircraft. At times this is as simple as as filled, other times it is issuing completely new routes. In most facilities that have manual ATIS recordings this is also the person that will be doing the recording. **note automated Pre Departure Clearance (PDC) has replaced actually picking up a clearance from a person at most large and medium sized facilities.

The next person that the aircraft will talk to that is a FAA employee is ground control (GC), who is responsible for all* taxiways and inactive/closed runways and the movements on them. In many facilities this is actually the hardest position to work. In addition to just giving routings to and from terminals you have to take into account release times, direction of flight and aircraft performance in setting the order to the runway. **As with anything some facilities have some taxiways controlled by local

Next would be Local Control which goes by Tower, which is responsible for all runways and an area of airspace around the facilities. Where I am it is 5 miles and 2500 feet around the airport, In addition to clearing people to land and takeoff this position also sequences some or all arrivals, as well as working local airport traffic (touch and goes). Where I am which has lots of training this is considered the hardest position to work.

All three of these position are located in the Tower that you see at the airport from there it can change. The next person that the plane will talk to is Departure, which might be in the tower cab (tracab) which is uncommon, down stairs from the tower in a base building (updown) or in a completely diffrent location (N90, New York), (C90 Chicago). I'm at an updown which means we work both tower and radar functions sometimes on the same day. Departure control works from the point of being given the aircraft off the runway to a set point or altitude that varies by location. Their main task is to get aircraft on there way and avoid any inbound or over flight traffic. For the outbound leg this ends things with the Terminal division of the ATO and you get switched the Enroute division, which I've never worked at but I think their main function is to cause headaches for terminal controllers.

I will write a part two for inbound aircraft at the terminal latter.

Originally Posted by PAX_fips View Post
Ground to ramp/apron can be via telephone or something, too.. if I remember some "best of JFK ATC" correctly.
Long story short: it's complicated ;-) Most - if not all - ATC recordings I've been listening too had a handover (incl frequency) to the next controller (whoever it be, ATC or X) anyway. Eg. at or before being at the holding point, ground will "speedbird 123, contact twr at 131.25 (for departure/clearance)".
No "at" in a transfer, and ground on a telephone would be very very odd.

Last edited by ROCAT; Jan 9, 18 at 11:30 am
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