- If only LAX_CTR is online they will handle any IFR clearance requests, and will run tower and ground operations at all controlled airports within ZLA, for a list of these airports see this list. All airports listed as Class B, C, and D are served will full tower and ground services 24/7. If other controllers are on, center will not cover the airspace covered by another controller.
- If only LAX_APP is online they will handle IFR clearance requests for the entire Southern California region. This area is approximately bounded by KVNY to the NW, KPSP to the E (just East of KONT), South to the Mexico Border, and West to KAVX. LAX_APP will also handle tower and ground services at all Class B, C, and D airports in this area. If you aren't sure if your airport is covered, just ask.
- If another approach sector is online. That approach sector will only cover IFR clearance requests for airports within their airspace. A map of these approach controls is located at http://www.laartcc.org/airspace.php?map=socal . Note that LAX_APP will also cover the areas within BUR, ONT, SNA, SAN, and PSP Approaches if those controllers are not online. The reverse is not true.
- Tower will handle any operations for the specific airport they are at; this is also true for ground and delivery. They will not give you a clearance from another airport. For example, SAN_GND will not give you a clearance for departing LAX, nor will LAX_TWR give you a clearance for a departure out of ONT.
- Unlike other areas of the planet, controllers at ZLA do not give pushback, start-up, or shutdown approval. You are welcome to do these acts at your own discretion without informing the controller.
- If possible please operate in voice receive mode. This will reduce the controller's workload. It is understood that sometimes this is not possible for a variety of reasons, but when you are able, it is highly recommended.
- When using text to communicate to ATC, please refrain from using all capital letters. It can make your message hard to read.
- Please check your microphone settings. A radio check is a great way to do this. Depending on the controller you will either hear 'I read you X by X' where the first number is a numberic value of your volume, measered on a scale of 1 to 5. The second is the value of your clarity. So if your 5x5, your loud and clear, if your 1x5, that means we can hardly hear you, but your very clear (turn up the mike gain or talk closer to the mike will normally fix this), or if you're a 5x1, your volume is sufficient but your clarity is poor, (similar to someone talking in a moving car with the windows down).
- 'Los Angeles Tower, American 200, radio check'
'American 200, Los Angeles Tower, I read you five by five'
'American 200, Los Angeles Tower, I read you loud and clear'
'American 200, Los Angeles Tower, You sound (quiet/broken/muffled/over modulated)'
- If a controller tells you that you are unreadable and to switch to text, please do so unless you know exactly what is wrong.
- A radio frequency is a lot like a classroom in terms of rules. If a controller is talking to someone else, don't but in until the other pilot has responded. If a controller talks to you, please respond as quickly as possible. If you need to make a request or check in, wait until no one is talking and ATC isn't expecting a response from someone before saying something.
- When talking to a controller for the first time, all you need to say is your callsign and altitude. You do not need to say heading, airspeed, position, or anything else. For example:
"Socal Departure, American 413, climbing three thousand five hundred for one-three thousand"
- Controllers get busy. If you're told to standby, that means don't talk, and don't acknowledge the standby. It also means the controller understands you want something and will get back to you when he has the time. If you think you've been forgotten, try again (usually 5-10 minutes would be a good criteria unless you've been advised it will be longer).
- Call signs for civilian (non-airline) call signs are stated with each individual digit stated.
Example: Cessna N31ER
'Cessna, three, one, echo, romeo'
'Pilatus, One, Two, Three, Sierra, X-Ray'
- Airline call signs are stated in group form
'American two, hundred'
'UPS, four, twelve'
'Southwest, ten, twenty three'
- If you are using a airline call sign you may never abbreviate it to just the numbers.
'Fedex, two, thirteen' is Good.
'two, thirteen' is Bad.
- If you are using a civilian call sign you may abbreviate it to the last 3 digits as long as the controller does it first.
Example: Cessna N31ER
'Cessna, one, echo, romeo' Ok
'one, echo, romeo' Not Ok
'Pilatus, three, sierra, x-ray' Ok
'Pilatus, two, three, sierra, x-ray' Not Ok
Example of transmission with controller: (Pilot italic Red, Controller Blue)
'Los Angeles Tower, Cessna, three, one, echo, romeo, holding short runway two, five, right'
'Cessna, three, one, echo, romeo, Los Angeles tower, continue holding short for landing traffic' (Controllers are required to use your full call sign the first time)
'Continue holding short, Cessna, three, one, echo, romeo'
'Cessna, one, echo, romeo, runway 25R, position and hold'
'Position and hold, runway 25R, Cessna, one, echo romeo' (You may now abbreviate your call sign for all future transmissions as the controller has done it)