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Approach — Merging Target Procedures and Safety Alerts Last updated: 2018-01-23

A merging target procedure consists of two things: a mandatory traffic call and vectors around the traffic if the pilot requests it.


Except while aircraft are established on a holding pattern, you must apply merging target procedures to all aircraft at or above 10000ft or turbojet aircraft at any altitude.

Issue traffic information to those aircraft listed above whose targets appear likely to merge unless the aircraft are separated by more than the appropriate vertical separation minima.

If the pilot requests, vector his/her aircraft to avoid merging with the target of previously issued traffic.

PHRASEOLOGY-
TRAFFIC, (clock azimuth) O’CLOCK, (distance) MILES, (direction), (type), (altitude).

Example-
“Traffic twelve o’clock, seven miles, eastbound, MD-80, at one seven thousand.”

“Delta One Twenty Three, fly heading two niner zero, vector for traffic. Traffic twelve o’clock, one zero miles, opposite direction, MD-80 eastbound at flight level three two zero.”

NOTE-
Aircraft closure rates are so rapid that when applying merging target procedures, controller issuance of traffic must be commenced in ample time for the pilot to decide if a vector is necessary.

“{Reference: FAAO 7110.65 5-1-8}”


Safety alerts


Issue a safety alert to an aircraft if you are aware the aircraft is in a position/altitude which, in your judgment, places it in unsafe proximity to terrain, obstructions, or other aircraft. Once the pilot informs you action is being taken to resolve the situation, you may discontinue the issuance of further alerts. Do not assume that because someone else has responsibility for the aircraft that the unsafe situation has been observed and the safety alert issued; inform the appropriate controller.

Once the alert is issued, it is solely the pilot’s prerogative to determine what course of action, if any, will be taken. That’s why you must include the word “advise” in your transmission as you can only suggest appropriate courses of action. It is the pilot who will decide what to do.


Terrain/obstruction alert


Immediately issue/initiate an alert to an aircraft if you are aware the aircraft is at an altitude which, in your judgment, places it in unsafe proximity to terrain/obstructions. Issue the alert as follows:

PHRASEOLOGY-
LOW ALTITUDE ALERT (call sign),


CHECK YOUR ALTITUDE IMMEDIATELY.


THE (as appropriate) MEA/MVA/MOCA/MIA IN YOUR AREA IS (altitude)

Example-
“Low altitude alert, Delta one twenty three, check your altitude immediately, the minimum enroute altitude in your area is 10000”


Aircraft conflict


Immediately issue/initiate an alert to an aircraft if you are aware of another aircraft at an altitude which you believe places them in unsafe proximity. If feasible, offer the pilot an alternate course of action. When an alternate course of action is given, end the transmission with the word “immediately.”

PHRASEOLOGY-
TRAFFIC ALERT (call sign) (position of aircraft) ADVISE YOU TURN LEFT/RIGHT (heading),


and/or


CLIMB/DESCEND (specific altitude if appropriate) IMMEDIATELY.

Example-
“Traffic alert, Delta one twenty three, 12 o’clock 2 miles advise you turn left immediately. BREAK. American four fifty six, 6 o’clock, 2 miles, advise you turn right immediately”

“{Reference: FAAO 7110.65 2-1-6}”