Military Radar Training Without Airspace

SOBS

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Sep 22, 2008
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Background- Working at a Ground Control Approach Military Facility, not co-located at the FAA Approach Control but in our own facility. We use to have a block of Airspace but now operate without any Airspace under the Approach Control. We have a Radar, FD, and Final Position. The FAA Facility is requesting we Point-Out all of our Aircraft.

7110.65 Glossary for Quick Reference..

RADAR CONTACT− "The term used to inform the controller that the aircraft is identified and approval is granted for the
aircraft to enter the receiving controllers airspace."

RADAR POINT OUT− An action taken by a controller to transfer the radar identification of an aircraft to another controller if the aircraft will or may enter the airspace or protected airspace of another controller and radio communications will not be transferred.



My questions is How can we do a Point-Out when the Aircraft cannot be Radar Contacted because we don't have airspace?

I know some of you out there have Military GCA or Tactical Facilities. How do your facilities do it? Should we be using something instead of Point-Out maybe APREQ?

Is this a good way to do it?

1. Request the Pattern
a. If coming off the Runway simple request the GCA Pattern to inform ABC Approach of Practice Approaches. Example. “ABC East Side, Military GCA. Requesting the GCA Traffic Pattern.”
b. If the Aircraft is inside the Pattern simple have the aircraft maintain VFR and request the Pattern from FAY.
c. If near the Pattern have the ACFT continue towards the Pattern VFR. Ask yourself is he close enough to the pattern to just request the pattern? Example H60, 4NM NE of the pattern. “R12345 continue toward the GCA Pattern VFR, standby for Radar Identification.” ABC East side, Military GCA, Requesting the GCA Traffic Pattern” When approaching the pattern Radar ID the ACFT.

2. Outside the Pattern
a. If not near the pattern use this method. Example- H60 20 NM NE of the Airport. ACFT-“Military GCA, R12345, 20NM NE of the Pattern Requesting the Practice PAR.
1) “R12345, Ident” Do this to Verify the ACFT location. If the ACFT is in an acceptable position to do a APREQ safely without conflicting with TWR, or Approach then do the APREQ as followed.
2) R345, squawk 0220, and standby” while doing this contact FAY East Side.
3) Verbally APREQ request from Approach. “ABC East side, Military GCA” “Request Control, R12345, 20NM NE of the Military Base, Squawking 0220, will be climbing to 020, requesting a PAR Approach into the Military Base”… Ensure you say the altitude you’re requesting.
4) If APREQ is Approved Radar Contact the Aircraft. If ABC says Radar Contact have the ACFT Contact ABC Approach for Vectors.

3. The issue is in order to do a Point-Out the Aircraft must be Radar Identified. We cannot Radar Identify an Aircraft until approval is granted for the aircraft to enter the receiving controller’s (ABC) airspace.
 
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Stinger

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May 24, 2009
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I worked a facility where we (FAA approach) ran the GCA pattern for the military airport (class D). Tower gave them an IFR clearance, cleared them for takeoff, transferred communications to us, we vectored them back around until they were on the intercept heading to final, and then we handed the aircraft off to the military GCA controllers for the final approach. Aircraft that were out flying in the working areas and wanted to do approaches after, would call us on approach, and we would do the appropriate coordination with the GCA/tower.
We were not linked via automation with the military tower, so every aircraft required a manual inbound call, as well as a manual handoff via landline.

Are your GCA aircraft conducting the approaches IFR or VFR?

Your "outside the pattern example".....why are the aircraft calling you for a GCA approach, when they have to get vectors from the approach controller?

If they're in the tower pattern, and then request a GCA, either send the aircraft out VFR and have them contact approach with the request...or depending on your LOAs and automation capability, give them the IFR clearance (if needed) and put them on a standard release heading from approach, or as coordinated.
 

Stinger

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May 24, 2009
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Or if none of that applies and you're only looking for how to do a point-out without radar IDing the aircraft...Have the aircraft ident (vfr code, company code, discrete code, doesn't matter) to get position, call approach and say, "traffic, 20NE of airport, squawking code, is R12345, climbing to 2,000, vectors for a GCA."
None of that makes sense to me, because:
1. it makes no sense to give approach a point-out unless you're going to control that aircraft,
2. it makes no sense to do an APREQ in your example,
3. it makes no sense to request control of the aircraft, just to radar ID it, and then switch it to approach.
 

SOBS

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Sep 22, 2008
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Thank you for your Rapid Response Stinger very informative.

For the last 30 years we've been doing it the way listed above. We've been using our own STARS for about 10 years. We are tied into the FAAs STARS ASR-9 also. The GCA also has a Radar(Feeder) position that is required for Training Military Air Traffic Controllers not just Final by regulation. Controllers must do Radar(Feeder).

Your Traffic Method is basically the way it's been done in the past but controlling agency is now wanting to do Point Outs.

I'm open to Brainstorming, any thoughts anyone?
Open to Concepts about Radar Identification in another agencies Airspace?
Does anyone share a Sector with 2 ATC Facilities?
 

Stinger

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May 24, 2009
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Our approach and the military facilities all used the same ASR-9 at the international airport. We had two different STARS feeds that came off it...one for the FAA and one for the 3 military towers, their GCA, and a radar sector they provided VFR advisories for their aircraft in the Warning Area. Our STARS systems were not linked and could not communicate together, everything had to be done manually.

Why does your Approach want you to do point-outs? Aren't those aircraft that would need a point-out going to be requiring services by Approach?

One of our radar positions (AA) was delegated airspace from sfc-1,000 and only controlled VFR aircraft. Another (ZZ) was delegated the same airspace from sfc-1,600....mainly IFR radar pattern. AA also had prearranged coordination to use all of the airspace up to 15,000 with three other radar positions. The only requirement was AA had to be keep datablocks current, see everyone else's datablocks, and just miss everyone's traffic.
 
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SOBS

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Sep 22, 2008
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Main Question I need answered now is ... to do a Point Out I understand an Aircraft must be Radar Identified but does it have to be under Radar Contact or Control in order to be Pointed Out?

Interesting. Thanks Stinger after reading that a light is coming on. Approach vectors aircraft and hands them off to our Feeder. Feeder has a 20 NM rectangle from surface to 2000ft that the Aircraft remain in conducting multiple approaches. This fees up Approach and allows the military controllers to get experience. We have about 4-5 normally in the GCA Pattern with exactly 3-4 miles separation expanded to the 6 miles needed on Final for the GCA approach separation. (We only have one frequency and controller on Final).

I think I'm beginning to understand how to work this out. Thanks.
 

Stinger

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May 24, 2009
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Main Question I need answered now is ... to do a Point Out I understand an Aircraft must be Radar Identified but does it have to be under Radar Contact or Control in order to be Pointed Out?
No. You can tell an aircraft "radar contact" while it is in someone else's airspace...there's nothing preventing you from giving an aircraft a code and telling them Radar Contact in Approach airspace.
Prior to you issuing any instructions to that aircraft (heading or altitude or IFR clearance) you would need to do a point-out with Approach.
 

SOBS

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Sep 22, 2008
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Thanks that Helps. I forgot to mention most of the Airspace is Class G or my Towers Class D.

"Prior to you issuing any instructions to that aircraft (heading or altitude or IFR clearance) you would need to do a point-out with Approach."

That's probably what they are looking for.
 

SOBS

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Sep 22, 2008
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Final Question I think....

For the FAA how is Traffic Counted? I'm thinking that is why they want us to do Automated Point-Outs. In the past before STARS we just gave them a count via Direct Line. I notice since STARS they stopped caring about what we called them with. I'm guessing the FAA has some type of Automated Traffic Count system where you can't enter stuff in?
 

Stinger

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May 24, 2009
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Final Question I think....

For the FAA how is Traffic Counted? I'm thinking that is why they want us to do Automated Point-Outs.
In your example, all that traffic would be counted via automation for the FAA.
If your STARS systems are linked, any datablock you type in will show up on the FAA scopes. As long as you're putting all the information in correctly (callsign, airport, type, scratchpad) CountOps will count it automatically. Depending on what's required in the datablock, CountOps may be configured differently so it's counted correctly based on the local facility adaptations.
Are you doing a true "automated point-out"? Where you make a STARS entry, it flashes on the receiving controller's scope, and they accept it? Or are you still calling Approach verbally on the landline?

You mentioned FAY in your original post, and then Class G and D airspace. A GCA approach to runway 27 at FBG would probably begin in Class E, enter the Class C, and finish in the Class D.
 

SOBS

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Sep 22, 2008
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Your quick Stinger... :). Yes depending on the Location of the Aircraft it could be in 3 different airspace type. The ones in our Class D or G or E airspace not an issue. It's those pilots that call up and they are not where they are suppose to be contacting the wrong facility that causes an issue.

Coordination has always been Verbal. We can do Automated Point Outs but it just remained Verbal since they just received the STARS 2 years ago and we attached to there system just in the last year. I'm guessing since the Airport we put in is a military airport it's not counting the military movements. We've been practicing the Automated Point-Outs with each other. Just trying to make sure I'm not stepping on any toes when I start Point-out some pilot who contacts me from a Class C. I normally have them Ident First and then have to explain why I can't take control of them and have them contact Approach.

Furlough and cutbacks has cause some issues or I'd be asking these questions directly to Approach. Soon we'll all be controlling traffic, working management, and fixing our own equipment. :)