Ways to radar Identify A/C?

MDAutry

Newcomer
Jul 5, 2009
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I just want to make sure I am understanding this correctly. This should be an easy answer....

5-3-3. BEACON IDENTIFICATION
METHODS

b. Request the aircraft to change to a specific
discrete or nondiscrete code, as appropriate, and then
observe the target or code display change. If a code
change is required in accordance with Section 2,
Beacon Systems, of this chapter, use the codes
specified therein.

This means that if an aircraft calls my class C twr and requests to enter and land... All I need to do is say: "A/C ID squawk 4356, xxx altimeter 30.00." ...and when I see a target change to that specific squawk code then I can radar ID, or say radar contact to that aircraft? There is no need to say Ident, correct?

Thanks, all...
 

WatchThis

Trusted Contributor
Apr 29, 2010
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Arizona
No need to ident but why say "radar contact"? It's pretty clear to me a tower controller shouldn't use that phrase. You have established radar identification, the phrase is not necessary, nor suggested, in a tower environment unless the tower is also functioning as the arrival facility.
 

irishcarbomb

Epic Member
Dec 3, 2008
1,795
6
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Houston, TX
work like you're busy...what if you have other things going on and you can't watch the code change?


also
No need to ident but why say "radar contact"? It's pretty clear to me a tower controller shouldn't use that phrase. You have established radar identification, the phrase is not necessary, nor suggested, in a tower environment unless the tower is also functioning as the arrival facility.


5-3-7. IDENTIFICATION STATUS
a. Inform an aircraft of radar contact when:
1. Initial radar identification in the ATC system
is established.

2. Subsequent to loss of radar contact or
terminating radar service, radar identification is
reestablished.
PHRASEOLOGYRADAR
CONTACT (position if required).
b. Inform an aircraft when radar contact is lost.
PHRASEOLOGYRADAR
CONTACT LOST (alternative instructions when
required).
 

WatchThis

Trusted Contributor
Apr 29, 2010
557
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Arizona
All good for a radar controller, no argument there. A tower controller, however, is a different situation. From 3-1-9: use of Tower Radar Displays:

Unless otherwise authorized, tower radar displays are intended to be an aid to local controllers in meeting their responsibilities to the aircraft operating on the runways or within the surface area. They are not intended to provide radar benefits to pilots except for those accrued through a more efficient and effective local control position. In addition, local controllers at nonapproach control towers must devote the majority of their time to visually scanning the runways and local area; an assurance of continued positive radar identification could place distracting and operationally inefficient requirements upon the local controller. Therefore, since the requirements of para 5-3-1, Application, cannot be assured, the radar functions prescribed above are not considered to be radar services and pilots should not be advised of being in “radar contact.”
That last part is true whether at a B, C, or D surface area. So, again, a tower controller shouldn't be saying the phrase unless they are performing some sort of arrival function from the tower (unless otherwise directed).
 

meatasaurusx

Trusted Member
Jun 19, 2008
369
2
18
Chi-town
I just want to make sure I am understanding this correctly. This should be an easy answer....

5-3-3. BEACON IDENTIFICATION
METHODS

b. Request the aircraft to change to a specific
discrete or nondiscrete code, as appropriate, and then
observe the target or code display change. If a code
change is required in accordance with Section 2,
Beacon Systems, of this chapter, use the codes
specified therein.

This means that if an aircraft calls my class C twr and requests to enter and land... All I need to do is say: "A/C ID squawk 4356, xxx altimeter 30.00." ...and when I see a target change to that specific squawk code then I can radar ID, or say radar contact to that aircraft? There is no need to say Ident, correct?

Thanks, all...
You can do this, but you have to be able to see the target change from 1200 to the discrete beacon code. This works fine if it is slow and you have only a couple of aircraft in the airspace. If it is a little busier, you might all of a sudden see an acquired target, but that doesn't mean you saw the code change. You are better off having the aircraft ident just to make sure that you have your bases covered.
 

irishcarbomb

Epic Member
Dec 3, 2008
1,795
6
38
Houston, TX
All good for a radar controller, no argument there. A tower controller, however, is a different situation. From 3-1-9: use of Tower Radar Displays:



That last part is true whether at a B, C, or D surface area. So, again, a tower controller shouldn't be saying the phrase unless they are performing some sort of arrival function from the tower (unless otherwise directed).
Ahh I missed the tower part
 

FM_Weasel

Senior Analyst
Dec 9, 2008
988
7
18
I think SOP can further specify tower's obligation to provide any radar services. We don't tell anyone they're radar contact from the tower, but maybe other facilities do.

Our tower also doesn't have any radar separation responsibility for arrivals (that's the radar controller's job here) but I understand some facilities require the tower watch spacing on final and issue go arounds if radar sep/wake sep is decreasing below minima. Everyone's different.
 

MDAutry

Newcomer
Jul 5, 2009
10
0
1
I appreciate all of the input from everyone. I personally believe there is a lot of evidence to support the idea that a twr can radar ID aircraft without the requirement to say "radar contact.". However, that is not how it is typically done where I work.
 

StuSEL

Moderator
Aug 23, 2009
1,014
10
38
You know where.
My local Class C up/down facility allows for appropriately-certified local controllers to provide radar services to certain flights within or just slightly outside of the inner area of the Class C. After departing, the local controller says "Radar contact," instructs the aircraft to turn on course, and terminates radar service when the aircraft reports the uncontrolled in sight.

This occurs only when Approach has a lot of traffic, which, on VFR days in the summer, happens a lot. The tower cab (per a tour they gave me and their SOP) is setup to allow for combined tower and approach operations when there is only one controller available to work the facility, though that rarely ever happens.