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General Control — Coordination Between Controllers Last updated: 2017-07-10

Coordination of airspace

When a controller works airspace at a tower position or above, he is delegated certain airspace. He must ensure that his aircraft remain in his airspace or are coordinated using one of the following methods with the controller owning the adjacent airspace. To ensure safe separation, controllers must ensure that aircraft remain a certain distance from his boundaries, unless those aircraft are coordinated with the adjacent controller. The specifics of how far an aircraft must be kept from the boundaries will be discussed in later lessons.

When you require another controller's approval to issue an instruction or clearance, you make an Approval Request (APREQ). For example, if a pilot requests to land on a runway other than those declared to be in use, the approach controller would make an APREQ with the tower controller to use that runway. The specific phraseology to use in these interphone communications will be covered later in this lesson.

If an aircraft will operate briefly in another controller's airspace, you may request a radar pointout from the controller responsible for that airspace. In this case, you pointout the aircraft to the other controller via voice or text and make your request. The adjacent controller then either approves the pointout or disapproves it. He may also issue restrictions on the aircraft based upon his other traffic. This will be covered in more detail in later lessons.

Transfer of control

Prior to an aircraft leaving your airspace, you must handoff that aircraft to the appropriate controller. If the controller does not accept the handoff, you must issue instructions to the aircraft to ensure it remains within your airspace.

ZLA operates with airspace boundaries that are much simpler than the real world boundaries. Because of this, our airspace is incompatible with real world procedures in a few areas. To facilitate the flow of traffic in these areas, ZLA has an SOP titled “pointout/controller coordination.” We have created both permanent pointouts and prearranged pointouts that are described in detail by the SOP. Controllers are required to be familiar with the sections of the SOP that affect their position.

{Reference: FAAO 7110.65 2-1-14 and 15}

Transfer of Communications

When you no longer require communications with an aircraft, issue an instruction to contact the next controller. The phraseology for this instruction is “Contact . For example:

“Contact L.A. Center one two five point eight.”
“Contact Socal Approach one two four point five.”
“Contact Las Vegas Ground one two one point one.”

The frequency may be omitted when the pilot already knows it. This is normally the case when the pilot is instructed to “contact departure.” He was already informed of the departure frequency when he received his clearance.

In some instances it may be desirable to have the pilot monitor a frequency and wait to be called. In this case, issue the instruction “Monitor .” For example, “Monitor Los Angeles Tower one two zero point niner five.” The use of “monitor” instructions must be coordinated between controllers, so that the receiving controller knows to expect the aircraft to be monitoring his frequency.

{Reference: FAAO 7110.65 2-1-17}

Position Relief

When a controller is relieved by another controller, he must ensure that the new controller is briefed on all aspects of the position's responsibilities. ZLA has a position relief SOP that describes the exact details that are required in a position relief briefing. This SOP is used whether the controller change is happening on a clearance delivery position or on a center position.