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Vehicle UHF R/T procedure

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Vehicle UHF R/T procedure

Old 8th Nov 2018, 13:40
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Vehicle UHF R/T procedure

May I ask what is supposed to happen at your airfield, however busy/big, quiet/small when a vehicle calls you ? Is the driver expected to transmit callsign only and await a reply from ATC, or transmit the callsign and message in one ? Either way, I'd be interested to hear. At the airfield where I work, the rule is, apparently, callsign and message all in one. I swear the procedure keeps changing from one to another. I've certainly done both in all the years I've been R/T qualified and just now, it seems what I am doing and what is expected are at odds !

Thankyou.
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Old 8th Nov 2018, 14:32
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I would expect to hear "XXX Ground, this is Works 1"

"Works 1, XXX Ground, pass your message".

That's how it was for the whole time I did GMC.
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Old 8th Nov 2018, 14:38
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Movement Instructions
4.125 Drivers on first call should state the ground station they are calling,
identify themselves by their vehicle call sign and state their position
and intended destination. Where the planned route includes crossing a
runway, this should be included in the initial call.
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Old 8th Nov 2018, 14:39
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Thankyou ZOOKER. That's what I do but apparently it isn't local procedure (at the moment, anyway).
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Old 8th Nov 2018, 14:43
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Thankyou cotton. What you have quoted/described is what is now required, it seems.

I don't know what to make of this. I could seek clarification from the folks in the unit but I'd probably get a third, distinct answer ! Is it possible that individual units are permitted a slight deviation from the rule book ?
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Old 8th Nov 2018, 17:48
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Bearing in mind that the cross couplng of VHF and UHF frequencies is normally set up so that transmissions from pilots can be heard in vehicles but transmissions from vehicles cannot be heard in aircraft, I would agree with Zooker; initial call callsign only.
If you were to make a long winded transmission from a vehicle, it might prevent a pilot from telling ATC they have a problem (maybe requiring the attendance of emergency services) or prevent ATC from passing an urgent message to a pilot eg 'cancel takeoff clearance and hold position'.
So in my opinion, initial call callsign only giving the controller the option to say 'stand by' or 'pass your message'.

Last edited by chevvron; 9th Nov 2018 at 09:47.
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Old 8th Nov 2018, 19:27
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Thankyou chevron. Until about four years ago, we had a cross-couple system like you describe where the vehicle TX on UHF couldn't be heard by pilots, meaning our transmissions were frequently stepped on. Now it's a fully-coupled VHF/UHF system so everyone can hear everyone.

My concern with passing the full message with the initial transmission is that the controller isn't, for whatever reason, in a position to copy our message and so we are instructed to stand by and then have to repeat our previous transmission which wastes time. I frequently am a little concerned that one or two particular controllers aren't paying attention, usually given away by a vacant reply along the lines of, 'Sorry, vehicle calling, missed your callsign. Say again.' Raises the question, do you want just the callsign again or the full message ? They don't seem to have any difficulty with aircraft callsigns.
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Old 8th Nov 2018, 20:16
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Callsign only would be preferable for the resons given by chevvron and Mooncrest. Unfortunately at my unit the habit of whole message at the least appropriate seems SOP and unlikely to ever change.
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Old 8th Nov 2018, 20:37
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with often just one controller on duty on tower frequency, who is maintaining a listening watch on ground, we call briefly "xxx ground, bowser" etc. then wait for reply or be told to standby if busy in tower. unless we have enough atc staff on duty, ground is just used for ops vehicle, a bowser and rffs- minimal traffic.
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 07:24
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Thankyou for your replies everyone; it's an interesting question with more than one reasonable answer. Cards on the table time. I work at EGNM - Leeds Bradford Airport.
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 09:51
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I'm sure the system of cross coupling I described was the system recommended in MATS Pt 1 at one time but I'm blowed if I can find it now so maybe the CAA policy of its use changed,.
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 10:48
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I'd expect first message to be the station you are calling followed by your callsign and nothing else.

"Ground, works 1"

Then you should receive an invitation to pass your message or be instructed to standby.

"Works 1, ground, pass your message"

Then you say whatever it is you need to say.

"Works 1, holding at the base of the tower, request permission to proceed to apron November."

I find vehicles that launch into their complete spiel on first contact, extremely irritating. More so when I'm on the phone to radar, centre, airfield ops,etc. And even more so when I'm pushing a tight gap with a departure and need to give a take off clearance pronto.

The point is you never know what air traffic are doing behind the scenes even if the frequency sounds quiet. So the shorter the first contact message, is the better.

Hope that helps.
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 10:54
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I would agree with the comments reference Callsign only on first contact. Theres nothing as irritating as someone giving their entire story on first contact, you've missed the first bit of the transmission and have to ask them to repeat the entire thing again. I know its in the book but seriously, who thought that was a good idea!

On another point I notice transit aircraft sometimes doing exactly the same thing, you get the entire transmission on first contact along with several waypoints and its just a nuisance.
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 12:15
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Thankyou Doody and escaped. I agree entirely.
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 12:41
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As cottonquick said in post #3, from CAP413 paragraph 4.125

Drivers on first call should state the ground station they are calling, identify themselves by their vehicle call sign and state their position and intended destination. Where the planned route includes crossing a runway, this should be included in the initial call


So this is what I would expect
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 12:49
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Originally Posted by golfbananajam View Post
As cottonquick said in post #3, from CAP413 paragraph 4.125

Drivers on first call should state the ground station they are calling, identify themselves by their vehicle call sign and state their position and intended destination. Where the planned route includes crossing a runway, this should be included in the initial call


So this is what I would expect
And they'll be told 'standby' then 'say again' if the controller is busy.
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 15:00
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When all said and done, I'll follow whichever procedure EGNM ATC requires, and expect adequate notification if and when it changes.
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 17:22
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Then why pose the question?
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Old 9th Nov 2018, 21:00
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Because changes to procedure haven't recently been notified. And I'm interested to see what goes on at other units.
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Old 10th Nov 2018, 11:35
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The VHF/UHF cross couple at my unit works by repeating the VHF onto UHF but not visa versa. If an aircraft transmits at the same time as a vehicle the UHF is suppressed. It is my understanding that the CAA want all vehicles crossing the runway to be on the same RTF frequency as aircraft taking off or landing.
Personally I would prefer a vehicle driver to state his position and where he wants to go in the initial message as I find it can save time when the frequency gets congested (2 transmissions rather than 4)
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