Tower to Tower IFR Clearance Under Same Class B

Devil07

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Jul 14, 2018
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Tower to Tower IFR Clearance - satellite airports

I've been reading about tower enroute control ("TEC") lately, and it sounds awesome, but I've never used it. It makes perfect sense, though. If I'm flying a short flight at low altitude that doesn't involve Center, why make a big production--let the towers and local controllers fit me in.

My questions are, whether this is only available between specific large airports (published routes)? Or can I request this for smaller airports?

For example, there are two towered airports, one is below Class B the other is about 30 miles away (and I'd fly at 3000ft), pretty much on the Mode C ring of the Class B. This seems like the perfect scenario for tower-to-tower concept, but these airport's aren't in the pre-published TEC routes.

In this situation, can I call ground/clnc del and ask for Tower to tower IFR clearnance to the other airport, or would that be bad form?
 
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NovemberEcho

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Dec 8, 2010
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Is called Tower eneoute control but you’re actually talking to approach control during the enroute portion. Basically TEC routes are pre-determined routes to various airports at a low altitude to avoid having to deal with the center and for planes unable to fly at high altitude. They are designed to avoid SUA and keep you clear of SIDS and STARs at airports along the way.
 

Stinger

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May 24, 2009
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Re: Tower to Tower IFR Clearance - satellite airports

I've been reading about tower enroute control ("TEC") lately, and it sounds awesome, but I've never used it. It makes perfect sense, though. If I'm flying a short flight at low altitude that doesn't involve Center, why make a big production--let the towers and local controllers fit me in.

My questions are, whether this is only available between specific large airports (published routes)? Or can I request this for smaller airports?

For example, there are two towered airports, one is below Class B the other is about 30 miles away (and I'd fly at 3000ft), pretty much on the Mode C ring of the Class B. This seems like the perfect scenario for tower-to-tower concept, but these airport's aren't in the pre-published TEC routes.

In this situation, can I call ground/clnc del and ask for Tower to tower IFR clearnance to the other airport, or would that be bad form?
If there aren't any TEC routes published for your airports, there's no need to worry about it.
If you ask the ground/clearance controller, in all likelihood they'll be confused about what you want if there's nothing published.
 

Devil07

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Jul 14, 2018
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Ok. So is there something similar that can be requested when doing a short little hop like this, short of filing a full flight plan? I know I can take off VFR and ask for a pop-up, but what I'm wondering is if there is something similar that I can ask for from Ground/Clnc Del when its just a 10 min flight at 3000, and likely departure and approach control will be the same controller on the same frequency. Or will that be a lot of extra work for the Ground controller?
 

NovemberEcho

Epic Member
Dec 8, 2010
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Ok. So is there something similar that can be requested when doing a short little hop like this, short of filing a full flight plan? I know I can take off VFR and ask for a pop-up, but what I'm wondering is if there is something similar that I can ask for from Ground/Clnc Del when its just a 10 min flight at 3000, and likely departure and approach control will be the same controller on the same frequency. Or will that be a lot of extra work for the Ground controller?
nothing the ground/clearance controller can do for you if you’re flying IFR. You’d have to file a normal flight plan.
 

Devil07

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Jul 14, 2018
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#NovemberEcho, thanks. I'll continue to do that. I was hoping there was a secret inside trick for those short little local flights where the flight time is actually less than the time it takes to file the flight plan. :)
 

Stinger

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May 24, 2009
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#NovemberEcho, thanks. I'll continue to do that. I was hoping there was a secret inside trick for those short little local flights where the flight time is actually less than the time it takes to file the flight plan. :)
Try having the ground/clearance controller file a flight plan for you...tell them you want "a local IFR flight plan to XXX, if you're able to type that in."
It's really no different than giving someone flight following.
 

007hamster

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Feb 25, 2009
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As stated above if you go VFR thats the trick, we can usually get away with handing you off directly to the other tower if you ask, Approach usually doesn't bat an eye. With IFR there is coordination involved. For the most part each controller is going to want to talk to that plane in THEIR airspace.

TEC routes can also be annoying because they are pre-determined. Our LOA requires us to issue it. If the pilot wants ANYTHING different, I have to call and coordinate. Say 6000 instead of 4000. Or the TEC route is KMOD direct KSMF and you file for KMOD LIN GALTS KSMF, I have to call and ask even though direct will practicality put you over those fixes.