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-   -   "Report Aerodrome Boundary" (https://www.pprune.org/atc-issues/286718-report-aerodrome-boundary.html)

Crashondeck 4th Aug 2007 10:34

"Report Aerodrome Boundary"
Some clarification please (in UK)

We are often required to "Report Aerodrme Boundary", which to me means the fence (since of course if they meant me to report at the ATZ boundary, then the ATCO would have said zone boundary). That's fine. But since most thresholds are quite close to the fence, it means that there is little time for a final call and subsequent clearance to land. What do you mean by aerodrome boundary and if you mean the ATZ boundary why don't you ask for it?

RAC/OPS 4th Aug 2007 13:41

In a previous life I worked at Carlisle, and we would ask helicopters to report at the AD boundary prior to giving landing clearance. This was because we would usually clear them straight to the SW corner of the apron, so this report was in place of a final call.

niknak 4th Aug 2007 14:28

In most, if not all cases, the "aerodorme boundary" is the airport boundary fencing, but at any licensed aerodrome this would always be further away from the runway than the holding points, thereby enabling you to clear a helicopter from the aerodrome boundary to a holding point prior to crossing the runway.

Hope that clears things up.

normally right blank 4th Aug 2007 19:07

I've only heard it used for helicopters. (Yes, you are - almost - always last ;)). But you are in the closest possible "hold" (expect!) to "get in".
Best regards

RAC/OPS 5th Aug 2007 14:56

And what niknak said.

Chilli Monster 5th Aug 2007 21:48

As others have said - aerodrome boundary means just that. Only used for heli's not fixed wing, as you're (as I'm guessing that's what you fly) are more flexible to handle than planks. If you hear that then don't expect to use the runway - you'll probably get sent straight from there to your landing / parking spot.

If we meant ATZ boundary - we'd say it, if we mean CTR boundary, we'd say that. Ambiguity isn't part of the job description.

Crashondeck 5th Aug 2007 22:02

Thankyou everyone. Cleared it up.

NorthSouth 6th Aug 2007 09:06

Chilli Monster:

Only used for heli's not fixed wing
For landing, maybe, but also in regular use for fixed wing transiting traffic, normally "report approaching the southern airfield boundary" or similar.

Must say I have on occasions found it a bit nerve-wracking when I've been unable to get the RT call in because of other traffic and have then had to commence an uncleared orbit until the frequency's clear.

Jumbo Driver 6th Aug 2007 11:13

For landing, maybe, but also in regular use for fixed wing transiting traffic, normally "report approaching the southern airfield boundary" or similar.
Must say I have on occasions found it a bit nerve-wracking when I've been unable to get the RT call in because of other traffic and have then had to commence an uncleared orbit until the frequency's clear.
NorthSouth, I am a little puzzled by this reply.

If the "southern airfield boundary" has been passed to you as a Clearance Limit, then ATC will expect you to hold or orbit there pending onward clearance if you haven't received it by the time you arrive there. Alternatively, if you are merely asked to "report approaching the southern airfield boundary", then there is no need to orbit simply because you have not been able to pass the requested position report.

Either way, you shouldn't be doing an "uncleared orbit" ...


NorthSouth 6th Aug 2007 11:35

JD: Yes, if it's a clearance limit, no ambiguity, no problem, orbit when you get there unless you have onward clearance. But in the case of "report...", when you know there's potentially conflicting traffic it seems to me to be irresponsible to plough on when you are unable to make your report. I'm talking here of me on a VFR transit crossing a runway with landing IFR traffic, when I would expect the ATC response to my report approaching the boundary to be a request if I'm visual with the landing traffic and if I say yes, an instruction to cross above and behind that traffic. Doing an uncleared orbit also makes me nervous, but it seems to me to be a better option than carrying on into the landing IFR's go-around path without a clearance. What do you think?

Jumbo Driver 6th Aug 2007 12:45

NorthSouth, I do understand your thinking but I don't consider the situation you describe to involve irresponsible "ploughing-on".

You talk about being on a "VFR transit" and "landing IFR traffic", so I assume you are probably talking about a Class D Zone transit. VFR/SVFR routings are quite often given through the overhead in these circumstances and, quite understandably, ATC may be unwilling to allow a VFR transit though the overhead with approaching IFR traffic, as there could be a potential conflict in the event of a go-around.

In these circumstances, I would expect ATC to make it absolutely clear if they required the Southern Boundary to be a Clearance Limit, as that would form part of your VFR Clearance. If this is not spelled out, then I believe the request for a position report is merely that - you call at the point requested, or as soon as you can after that if the frequency is busy.

I do believe that to orbit in such circumstances is both wrong and, indeed, might even be potentially dangerous. My reasoning is that, firstly, you would not be proceeding in accordance with your previous clearance and, secondly, you might even inadvertently generate another conflict by doing so, if for example there was traffic following you on a similar VFR transit.

Always remember there is one safe way to resolve any ambiguity in a clearance - ASK !!


NorthSouth 6th Aug 2007 17:18

I don't disagree with what you're saying but I have had - or heard - a number of experiences of being told "report approaching southern airfield boundary" which have then led to "orbit present position till advised", and also occasions when an unnecessary but inaccurate readback of a request to "report approaching southern airfield boundary" as "report southern airfield boundary" has led to an ATC correction - with the clear implication that the Tower controller is anticipating holding you at/before the aerodrome boundary if there's conflicting traffic.
With that experience in mind I tend to take a rather liberal interpretaton of "approaching" so that I get told whatever ATC wants me to do before I get to the position where I need to do it.
In my view there are regularly lots of opportunities for misunderstanding between ATC and pilots when there is a mix of VFR and IFR traffic within the ATZ. When you operate regularly in this environment you become experienced at predicting the Tower controller's plan, but it can be quite difficult. Worst examples are clearances to VFR traffic which put them head to head in the same patch of airspace, without consideration to how difficult it might be for the pilots to apply see and avoid.

Jumbo Driver 6th Aug 2007 19:52

NorthSouth, again I understand what you mean.

However, in an ideal world - and we all strive for that - there is really no room for ambiguity or misunderstanding in a clearance. With all due respect to you, I feel you are in danger of slipping into trying to second guess what ATC really means, rather than applying what has actually been (and not should have been) said.

The fundamental requirement of any clearance is that it should be unambiguous. If there is any doubt, it should be queried for clarification at the time it is issued and read back. Surely it is far easier (and safer) to add "Confirm clearance limit" to the readback than to spend the interim trying to second guess the TWR/APP Controller's tactics?

I really do feel that it boils down to the following:

1) If you are cleared for a "VFR transit", that means all the way from the entry to exit points of the Zone, unless otherwise specifically stated.

2) Alternatively, if you are only cleared to an interim point, then that becomes your clearance limit.

3) If you are cleared for "VFR transit" and subsequently asked to hold at an intermediate point, then that is a revised clearance.

The relevant point to note is that you should/will have a valid clearance at all times while you are in CAS.

Responsibility lies with both sides to minimise the chance of misunderstanding. I say again, if in doubt ... ASK !!


RAC/OPS 7th Aug 2007 07:48

And I would add that the aerodrome boundary in this instance is a little close to be an effective clearance limit against landing/departing traffic!

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