View Full Version : Monitor request !
18th Dec 2011, 21:09
When a " monitor ---:--- " is given by the tower, can you advise if this means switch to this frequency on Box 1 and don't call in and wait to be called, or does it mean listen to that frequency on Box 2 and continue to be ready to transmit on Box 1 ?
18th Dec 2011, 21:28
Monitor means - Listen out on (frequency). That is, change to frequency x and wait for ATC to call you.
18th Dec 2011, 21:48
That's what I thought too !
Thanks for your reply !
18th Dec 2011, 22:08
From CAP 493 (my bold)
Transfer communication At (time or significant point)/When passing/leaving/ reaching (level):
contact (ATSU callsign) (frequency).
Contact (ATCU callsign) (frequency).
Stand by for (ATSU callsign) (frequency).*
Monitor (ATCU callsign) (frequency).*
*An aircraft may be instructed to 'Standby' on a frequency when it is
intended that the ATS unit will initiate communications soon and to
'Monitor' a frequency when information is being broadcast thereon.
Basic Service available from (agency) (frequency).
18th Dec 2011, 22:22
Thanks for your reply, to save me going thru all 410 pages, could you tell me what page that is on ?
18th Dec 2011, 22:48
The UK version gives it in CAP413 on chapter 2 page 13 point 1.13.4 (page 47 of the document) with an example.
Also appears in CAP493 on E(attach)page 4 which seems to be page 372 of the document.
CAP 493: Manual of Air Traffic Services - Part 1 | Publications | CAA (http://www.caa.co.uk/application.aspx?catid=33&pagetype=65&appid=11&mode=detail&id=222)
So in the context you have opened with, "standby on..." seems more appropriate, monitor would seem to be for an ATIS or similar broadcast.
18th Dec 2011, 23:06
thanks for all replies so far and the page's to look at !
The situation was we were 3rd or 4th in the que to take off from a busy international airport (in the ME) which has two tower frequencies, we normally transmit on box one, first tower frequency said " monitor ---:--- " and I changed box 1 to that frequency ( I thought it means change to but don't transmit, they know you've been handed over and will call you when they want you to line up), but the skipper said no it means listen to that frequency on box two while keeping the first freq on Box 1, what would be the point in doing that ?
Who's right ?
19th Dec 2011, 07:53
If I tell a pilot to monitor a freq, I would expect them to remain on my frequency and listen out on the other freq for whatever I need.
Monitor 121.5 for a beacon....
Or tower wants to talk to the aircraft briefly... contact tower blah, monitor this frequency.
I can't think of when I'd need a pilot to change frequencies but not check in. Maybe different in tower enviroment. I rarely use it if ever anyway.
19th Dec 2011, 08:18
Interesting... It's a few years since I was operational and I vaguely recall monitor being introduced into standard phraseology. At that time the clear distinction was that Contact meant change frequency and check in on the new frequency whereas Monitor meant change frequency and keep quiet until you're called.
I don't remember the idea that it should be used to listen to the ATIS or whatever - maybe it was introduced later or maybe it just didn't go into my head (because it doesn't seem very intuitive). Either way, having now checked some more of the books, the UK text reflects the current ICAO procedures so we are not talking about a UK anomaly.
In the books the meaning of Monitor is 'Listen out on (frequency)'. The guidance 'An aircraft may be instructed to 'Standby' on a frequency when it is intended that the ATS unit will initiate communications soon and to 'Monitor' a frequency when information is being broadcast thereon' seems to create the ambiguity that you have raised.
Given this background I think it's a matter of opinion as to who's right. But like you, I can't see the point of instructing an aircraft to to listen out on box 2 so I tend toward my original interpretation....but equally, in the absence of any more detail, I could accept someone interpreting the instruction differently.
I guess it beautifully illustrates the benefits of standardisation and the problems caused by poorly written rules!
19th Dec 2011, 08:26
When we use 'monitor' at EGLL we mean switch to the new frequency, but wait for the controller to call you (used for departure tower freq).
When 'stand by for Tower on.......' phraseology was introduced (about 2005?), we tried it for a week and then switched back, as we had many problems mainly due to confusion with the more traditional meaning of 'stand by' which means do nothing!
19th Dec 2011, 08:33
Same at many other airports around europe. Requests to listen out for something on set 2 were always given in plain language, never heard monitor being used for that.
19th Dec 2011, 10:23
At EGLL I found that a number of pilots would call up on the new frequency to state 'monitoring', which is not the intention at all. I, and a significant number of others, used the non-standard word 'Listen' e.g. 'Listen 118.5 Good-Day' which had a significantly better success rate than 'monitor'. 'Listen' was much better understood by less than Level 6 English speakers although sometimes some Brits would interrupt by piping-up 'Hello, X listening 118.5'. A certain infamous outspoken ATCO (and I occasionally...) would be moved to reply 'no you're not you're transmitting, I-will-call-YOU'. I believe that the intention of the word 'monitor' has changed over the years. I believe its intention was to listen to a broadcast rather than change freq and wait to be called but 'Wait to be called on 118.5' is not compatible with 'one word-one meaning'.