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Departures (29)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
AAL2546 KLAX MMMX Arriving
NKS76 KLAX KEWR Enroute 2235
DLH457 KLAX EDDF Enroute 0002
BVI73 KLAX KATL Enroute 2301
AAL2453 KLAX KBOS Enroute 0026
UAL1942 KLAX KPDX Enroute 0908
SWA2030 KLAX KBOS Arriving
VOI995 KLAX MMMX Enroute 2346
DAL1558 KLAX KDTW Enroute 0039
ACA786 KLAX CYYZ Enroute 2342
DAL1145 KLAX KSLC Enroute 0819
UAL3038 KLAX KORD Enroute 0011
ACA555 KLAX CYVR Enroute 0737
DAL2385 KLAX KLAS Enroute 1215
CFTPG KLAX KSAN Enroute 1318
JBU1080 KLAX KLAS Enroute 0751
VRD1474 KLAX KLAS Enroute 0842
SWA639 KLAX KLAS Enroute 1600
NKS7759 KLAX KPHX Enroute 1719
N204RM KLAX KSAN Enroute 0600
ASA140 KLAX KSFO Enroute 1600
UAL1250 KLAX KSFO Enroute 1600
SWA251 KLAX KLAS Enroute 0905
CDN1683 KLAX KAUS Enroute 1600
ASA4308 KLAX KSEA Enroute 1600
KAL012 KLAX RKSI Enroute 1600
UAL398 KLAX KSFO Enroute 1600
SWA2212 KLAX KSJC Enroute 1600
UAL1727 KLAX KLAS Enroute 1600

Arrivals (23)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
QTR741 OTHH KLAX Enroute 1935
FIN1 EFHK KLAX Enroute 1104
AST2877 PANC KLAX Enroute 0708
FIN11 EFHK KLAX Enroute 1524
FDX6075 KIND KLAX Enroute 0810
UAL1756 CYVR KLAX Enroute 0648
SWA2194 KABQ KLAX Enroute 0939
DAL2321 KLAS KLAX Enroute 0818
VNT722 KLAS KLAX Enroute 1600
SWA28F KOAK KLAX Enroute 0945
CHASE01 KSEA KLAX Enroute 0806
SWA1516 KSAT KLAX Enroute 1136
AAL2984 KSAT KLAX Enroute 0803
AVA84 SKBO KLAX Departing
SWA3155 KSFO KLAX Enroute 0637
KANGA1 KSGU KLAX Enroute 0703
SWA1513 KSJC KLAX Enroute 1250
SWA697 KLAS KLAX Enroute 1237
SWA373 KSJC KLAX Enroute 1600
FDX1049 KSAN KLAX Enroute 1600
UAL2676 KORD KLAX Enroute 1658
UAE13EA OMDB KLAX Departing
NKS1719 KLAS KLAX Enroute 1600

Los Angeles (SoCal) 52

Departures (1)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
SWA895 KONT KOAK Enroute 1600

Empire (SoCal) 1

Departures (13)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
PAC1262 KSAN BIKF Arriving
DSH4049 KSAN PHNL Enroute 1600
AAL518 KSAN KORD Enroute 2216
SWA1049 KSAN KBWI Enroute 0059
SWA873 KSAN KSFO Enroute 1919
DAL7689 KSAN KDEN Enroute 0710
OEWSP KSAN KLAS Enroute 0518
ASA518 KSAN KPDX Enroute 0841
SWA1458 KSAN KLAS Enroute 0724
SWA2325 KSAN KLAS Enroute 0707
NLL89 KSAN KCRQ Enroute 2141
FDX1049 KSAN KLAX Enroute 1600
AAL96 KSAN KPHX Enroute 1600

Arrivals (7)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
N117HS KHND KCRQ Enroute 2335
FFT2127 KLAS KSAN Enroute 1008
CFTPG KLAX KSAN Enroute 1318
NLL89 KSAN KCRQ Enroute 2141
DAL902 KSJC KSAN Enroute 0800
N204RM KLAX KSAN Enroute 0600
AAL811 KDEN KSAN Enroute 1600

San Diego (SoCal) 20

Departures (2)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
SWA2785 KBUR KABQ Enroute 1600
SWA3437 KBUR KSMF Enroute 1600

Arrivals (3)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
N800KS KOPF KVNY Enroute 0650
SWA596 KLAS KBUR Enroute 1001
ASA2152 KEGE KBUR Enroute 0846

Burbank (SoCal) 5

Arrivals (1)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
SWA2606 KLAS KPSP Enroute 1600

Palm Springs (SoCal) 1

Departures (21)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
DAL1422 KLAS RPLL Enroute 0322
N117HS KHND KCRQ Enroute 2335
SWA596 KLAS KBUR Enroute 1001
NKS540 KLAS KAUS Enroute 2257
AAL20 KLAS KAUS Enroute 2251
DAL660 KLAS KATL Enroute 0033
DAL2321 KLAS KLAX Enroute 0818
ROU1846 KLAS CYYZ Enroute 0039
ASA776 KLAS PANC Enroute 1246
VNT722 KLAS KLAX Enroute 1600
FFT2127 KLAS KSAN Enroute 1008
DAL966 KLAS KATL Enroute 0030
SWA2231 KLAS KRNO Enroute 1600
SWA213 KLAS KPHX Enroute 1131
SWA697 KLAS KLAX Enroute 1237
N301TL KLAS CYVR Enroute 1214
SWA1162 KLAS KRNO Enroute 1600
SWA2606 KLAS KPSP Enroute 1600
NKS1719 KLAS KLAX Enroute 1600
NKS1038 KLAS KDTW Enroute 1600
AAY526 KLAS KPDX Enroute 1600

Arrivals (14)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
BAW275 EGLL KLAS Enroute 1205
HAL2 PHOG KLAS Enroute 0601
SWA2105 KSLC KLAS Enroute 0721
JBU1121 KIAH KLAS Enroute 0723
N737GG PHOG KLAS Enroute 0551
OEWSP KSAN KLAS Enroute 0518
DAL2385 KLAX KLAS Enroute 1215
SWA1458 KSAN KLAS Enroute 0724
SWA2325 KSAN KLAS Enroute 0707
JBU1080 KLAX KLAS Enroute 0751
VRD1474 KLAX KLAS Enroute 0842
SWA639 KLAX KLAS Enroute 1600
SWA251 KLAX KLAS Enroute 0905
UAL1727 KLAX KLAS Enroute 1600

Las Vegas 35

Departures (1)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
KANGA1 KSGU KLAX Enroute 0703

Other 1
  • Flights To/From ZLA: 115
  • Flights in ZLA Airspace: 50
  • Controller Schedule

    October 5th, 2022

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    The Art of the Timely Handoff

    As a controller, one of the easiest things you can do to improve your life and that of your fellow controllers is to work on timely handoffs. Nearly every controller will find him or herself guilty of holding onto an aircraft too long. The result can range from delays at the runway to airspace busts or go-arounds, but it is almost always bad for everyone involved.

    So, when should you hand an aircraft off to the next controller? As soon as you no longer need to talk to the aircraft. It really is as simple as that. If there is nothing more you anticipate needing to say to a pilot, hand them off to the next controller or approve a frequency change if there’s not a “next” controller.

    Let us look at a couple of practical examples, starting with LA Ground.

    LA Ground

    As a ground controller, your primary mission is the safe and efficient movement of aircraft around the airport. For our purposes, that means not crashing airplanes into one another, and getting them to the correct location on the airport. The biggest opportunity you will have to elevate your handoffs while working LA Ground is when aircraft are taxiing from Terminals 4 through 8 to Runway 25R.

    First and foremost, make sure the pilot is on the correct taxiway and headed in the correct direction (the green arrow in the diagram below). Pilots may be unfamiliar with the field or get disoriented, so it is important to make sure they’re going where you want them to go and that they won’t get lost.

    Secondly, you want to make sure that there are no conflicts with other aircraft, which would most likely take the form of an aircraft coming out of the “Box” or one of the cargo/GA pads north of the 25R departure end (the orange boxes). Absent any potential conflicts from those areas, there is no reason you shouldn’t advise the pilot to contact Tower (or the controller staffing that position) as the aircraft approaches C5 (the yellow circle) or, at the latest, C3 (the red circle).

    146568dc7d5353afb3c4a6f9eb85811307432817.png

    There are numerous operational advantages for all parties involved. As the Ground controller, you relieve yourself of the burden of remembering to hand off the aircraft later. Anyone who has received an annoyed transmission from a pilot or message from a Tower controller can relate to this. Additionally, pilots may switch to Tower on their own. This is quite common in the real world but can result in confusion when on VATSIM.

    From the pilot’s perspective, an early handoff makes better use of their time. It is also important to remember that a handoff isn’t instantaneous. The pilot’s workload may not allow for them to switch over immediately, so build in time for that to happen.

    Additionally, by giving the Tower controller (or the radar controller providing Tower services) more time with the aircraft, you open up a wealth of options: intersection departures, takeoff clearances without the aircraft coming to a stop, and more.

    Now let us look at a radar example but stay in the area of KLAX.

    SoCal Departure

    Working a departure position (be it sectorized or as part of a larger area of responsibility) is an excellent example of both needing a timely handoff from Tower (remember Tower controllers: as soon as you see the altitude block increment, ship ‘em to Departure!) and wanting to ensure a timely handoff to Center. Let’s look at everyone’s favorite example, the ORCKA 5 departure out of KLAX.

    2017900fcc4927233cd785e0ddf698d2c0960559.png

    As the Departure controller, you’re going to still be focused on the same two tasks as earlier: the safe and efficient movement of the aircraft. In this instance, we of course want to prevent loss of separation – that’s our top priority. Secondly, we want to make sure the traffic departs the terminal area efficiently and gets headed toward its ultimate destination. No one on the ORKCA5 is looking to fly heading 251 or 236 a minute longer than they must.

    After establishing radar contact with the departing aircraft, your first instruction will likely involve canceling the restriction that they stop their climb at 5,000 feet. This is accomplished either through “climb and maintain one-three thousand” or “climb via the ORCKA Five departure” if you still need compliance with the published crossing restrictions.

    The next instruction (provided you didn’t have to correct an erroneous pilot) will likely be the left turn back toward KLIPR. This instruction is usually provided as the aircraft is climbing through 5,000 feet, which serves two purposes. One, by observing the climb through 5,000 feet, you’ve verified the aircraft has correctly canceled the restriction they received on the ground to level off at 5,000. Secondly, at that point they are over halfway to their vertical goal of crossing KLIPR at or above 10,000 feet and can start the turn.

    Looking ahead on the SID, you’ll notice things progress quickly and if left unmonitored, an aircraft climbing via the SID can climb out of your airspace in little time. So, let us review our checklist:

    • Is the aircraft clear of conflict? Is there going to be a loss of separation?
    • Is the aircraft complying with your vertical instruction to climb above 5,000 feet?
    • Is the aircraft complying with your lateral instruction to make the LEFT TURN direct KLIPR?

    If these criteria are met, it’s time to initiate the handoff to the next controller. Even though your airspace goes all the way up to 13,000 feet, you gain nothing by holding onto the aircraft. And you run the very real risk of forgetting about the aircraft and a) having it level off at 13,000, or b) having it bust through your airspace if it’s climbing via the SID (note: the ORCKA5 has a top altitude of FL230).

    Adding to the delay in the handoff from a pilot’s perspective of changing frequencies, you also now need to consider the delay in the next controller seeing your handoff. By building in this extra time, you give everyone more breathing room while also freeing up your resources for the next pilot who just took off. And you never know, that next one could be someone trying a right-turn off the deck toward KLIPR – you’ll be glad you made things easier on yourself.

    Conclusion

    Ultimately, there is no reason to hold onto an aircraft until they are right at the end of your airspace or jurisdiction. You do not increase your level of interaction with the traffic, and you do not increase safety or efficiency. All you risk doing is causing undue delays or worse, a loss of separation. Keep in mind, this is a lesson that applies at every controller position, from Ground to Center, and most controllers would benefit from being more proactive with their handoffs.