Remote ATC Tower

Discussion in 'Change to my Frequency...' started by denverpilot, Jul 27, 2017.

  1. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Good luck "running" one without any "operators".

    Your argument is incredibly stupid. You realize that, right? Nobody cares.
     
  2. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    The TV stations around here have that stuff on some of theirs. It works. Until it doesn't.

    But I'm sure they'll have some poor on-call schmuck who's job it will be to climb up on whatever they're mounted on and chisel the ice off when they fail and Allegiant can't get into FNL. LOL.

    That's probably the funniest thing about them choosing FNL. Nothing really flies into there that needs a tower. Perfect for a "test" I suppose. Even Allegiant stopped flying there, last I checked.

    Not sure what in the world they need a remote tower for there, other than to sequence training aircraft flying practice approaches all day. And as soon as they start to annoy all the CFIs and students with it, they'll all go over to GXY anyway. :)
     
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  3. murphey

    murphey Final Approach

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    Neither one. Serco won the contract to operate the towers when the FAA published the RFP in the CBD X number of years ago. The towers operate using the same rules and regs as the FAA. Employee benefits may or may not be the same as FAA employees, never bothered to look. But they are not PATCO. When the contract is up, Serco will compete again to be awarded the contract. AFAIK the FAA management is the FAA CO (contract officer) that handles the contract and authorizes payment to Serco, and possibly the FSDO. I don't know, perhaps I'll call the FDSO in the morning or ask the FTG tower mgr next time I see him.

    On DOD contracts, the customer never gives direct instructions, only specifies requirements, dates and dollars in the contract. The customer can change the contract, hence changing instructions. But if a military officer or DOD civilian employee (a rep of the customer) comes in to my office and tells me to do something, I just laugh and tell them to have their Contract officer call my contracting officer or the company lawyer.

    Of course if you're interested, feel free to contact a local FSDO and ask how non-FAA towers are managed.
     
  4. flibmeister

    flibmeister Pre-Flight

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    Non-Federal Control Towers used to be fairly common-- Gary, Indiana, was one; Lakeland, Florida was another. In the old days, when FAA controllers arrived at LAL for Sun 'N' Fun, all the city-employed controllers went on vacation for the week.

    While most NFCT's were converted to FCT's, there may be a few NFCT's left-- Gillette, WY; Valdosta, GA; Portsmouth, NH; and East Hampton, NY, were all NFCT's as recently as 2012, although I don't know if that's still the case.

    NFCT's can also be found occasionally at temporary sites, such at air shows or forest fire fighting operations.

    FAA direction regarding NFCT's can be found here: https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_90-93B.pdf.
     
  5. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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  6. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route

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    KLEE has one.
     
  7. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 En-Route

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    I'm a controller and I don't work for the FAA. I work for the Department of Defense. My buddy Marc is the air traffic manager at KFLG and doesn't work for the FAA, he works for Serco. Another friend, Gloria is the air traffic manager at KRYN and doesn't work for the FAA, also Serco.

    We use and apply the FAA rules because that's all we have in this country although ICAO rules are slowly creeping in. (ie. line up and wait) We take the same tests, train the same rules and regulations and have to take the same physicals as FAA controllers. In addition we work closely with the FAA because we have to. When I worked as a PAR controller, I was in the same building and one scope away from an FAA controller. So although "private" may not be the operative word, non-FAA would be more accurate. Imagine how much bitching pilots would do if they had to fly by the FAA rules en-route then had to change to some sort of "private ATC rules" when they got to their destination.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
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  8. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    That *is* exactly what airlines want, you know. Maybe even only when they show up, in the case of remote towers...

    "Attention all aircraft, airliner full of people arriving, remote tower is now activated... any traffic in the pattern, please advise?" LOL
     
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  9. BigBadLou

    BigBadLou En-Route

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    "Hal, Alliance 3580 over FAF on ILS 36 in the blizzard, landing, declaring minimum fuel, please turn on all the lights".
    "I'm sorry, Dave, I can't let you do that. Lights off. ILS transmitter off. Goodbye Dave".
    :D
     
  10. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    You are right, there is not a FAA control tower there. It is still a private advisory tower, which on the first position report they will give out current weather, winds, runway braking report, runway condition and advise of any other traffic. But they do weather, which they are well equipped and trained on. They can't give IFR clearances, and it looks like there is not a NDB approach there anymore so it is possibly a FVR only airport now. And it is still a privately owned airport.

    Since it is a mine, lots of traffic going in and out that supports the mine and employees. It is not open to the public except for emergency only. And they have a great mess hall. When ever I had to stay on the ground there, I chose going to the mess hall over taking a tour of the mine.

    And I see the runway is now paved. Too bad, I always enjoyed watching the Alaska 737s landing on gravel.
     
  11. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    If nobody cared nobody would respond.
     
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  12. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    Nope, KLEE has Federal Contract Tower.
     
  13. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    Towers give clearances. No clearances = no control tower.
     
  14. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    Private airport. No clearance, no land. If you aren't on the list, away you go. Emergencies excluded.
     
  15. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    Towers give clearances. No control tower, nobody on the list gets a clearance.
     
  16. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    Right. In the FAA tower world.

    I gave an example of a private tower. A private tower does not have to operate like a FAA tower or NFCT. Nor is it controlled by anyone except the owner.

    Since it is not a FAA tower, phraseology is not the same. Once a person has been in there a few times, voice recognition takes over. Usually we went not by tail numbers but by first names. Its an Alaska thing I guess.

    All I did was make a position report, the private tower took over from there. Sort of like going into a class C, no specific clearance will be heard.

    I have been into a few military airports as well. Former White Alice DEW line bases. I never got clearance to land from the tower guy, I got clearance in the form of paperwork in the US Mail. Most of the time the tower operator told me what runway to land on, and where to taxi or who to follow to parking, and where to stay away from. Yessir, those guys holding empty ARs look menacing.

    Maybe you should tighten up your criteria and say you are looking for a private FAA tower.
     
  17. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    You did not give an example of a private tower. You gave an example of a private airport.

    The F in FAA is for Federal. That which is Federal is not private.
     
  18. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    So I can't the thread, but I remember it well. Power outage caused some ARTCCs and other controllers to be unable to provide services. I recommended centralizing those services to allow for redundancy as part of a disaster recovery or business continuity plan and the counter was that there was no way a controller could possibly have the regional knowledge necessary to do that.

    Forgetting, of course, that standard procedures should be standard
     
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  19. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Towers give clearances? Really? Who woulda thought?

    How about follow the money? Who pays for the controllers? Maybe that is the part you are denying? The airspace is Federally controlled so any tower has to deal with Federal rules about that.

    In the case of the private airport mentioned above certainly the private tower may tell someone whether they can land or not. That would be a clearance. Furthermore that tower may tell people whether they may taxi or not. That would be a clearance. I know you like to argue and that is fine. Denying fact is also within your demonstrated behavior. That is fine too since your integrity is your business. HAND
     
  20. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    The latest available information indicates there is no operating control tower there. An owner of a private airport allowing or denying access to his field does not constitute an operating control tower.
     
  21. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Is an airport owner with an operating control tower obligated to inform you that there is a tower there? Keep throwing your strawmen out there. Nobody said a word about a private airport allowing or denying access to his field. There was mention of a private field communicating with incoming aircraft.
     
  22. wrbix

    wrbix Cleared for Takeoff

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    What kind of traffic you got in your underwear?! ;)
     
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  23. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Is that a question you really want answered?
     
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  24. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    They ran a test of the SAAB tower at Leesburg. It wasn't really remote, just in a windowless trailer on the airport property (sort of like putting foggles on the controllers).
     
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  25. BigBadLou

    BigBadLou En-Route

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    Now that is funny!
     
  26. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 En-Route

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    We've had that for years, its called radar.
     
  27. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Some have had it for years...

    SAF is still waiting....and a few areas have WAM, no treble....;)o_O
     
  28. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Except it isn't. It's looking at an optical feed. Visual procedures.
     
  29. exncsurfer

    exncsurfer Pattern Altitude

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    No, you just get to sit in a cube under florescent lights like the rest of us 9 to 5ers. No window for you!
     
  30. ColoPilot

    ColoPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Just think, the FAA could outsource tower controllers to call centers in India. I heard some of those centers are hurting as some US companies bring their call centers back to the US.

    "Podunk Tower, N1234 inbound for landing with delta"
    "Please Mr. N1234, it would please me very much if you will land on 23 runway. Thank you very much, have a good day "
     
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  31. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    Yes. An airport owner who has built and staffed a control tower but has not notified the aviation community of the presence of that facility has not established an operating control tower.

    You wrote; "In the case of the private airport mentioned above certainly the private tower may tell someone whether they can land or not. That would be a clearance. Furthermore that tower may tell people whether they may taxi or not. That would be a clearance."
     
  32. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That is only your opinion. Your claim cannot be supported by fact, logic, or reason. Clearly members of the aviation community know of the tower since it has been mentioned here. Your continued denial means nothing.

    Not a strawman at all. You said clearances came from towers. I pointed out the private tower previously mentioned gave clearances.
     
  33. ejensen

    ejensen Pattern Altitude

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    FNL is now Northern Colorado Regional, signs going up this week. Must make it sound more important. I think it will affect training. Folks like to practice without a tower. Who ever mentioned Greeley is right. Many instruction flights will head over there.

    Virtual Tower is shooting for Fall 2018.

    http://www.flynoco.com/faqs/remote-tower-faq/
     
  34. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Pattern Altitude

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    I got a tour of the cab... I think I've seen bigger hot dog carts. I could be wrong, but my understanding was they were just collecting data from the camera feeds and not using it operationally inside the "tower".
     
  35. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    They were supposed to be operationally testing the remote tower (never got a report on the results) with a temporary "real eyes" tower backing them up.
     
  36. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Marketing. Same as JeffCo changing their name to Metro. :)

    GXY also has food.

    The thing GXY needs to fix is their after-hours ramp access for transients.
     
  37. Doggtyred

    Doggtyred En-Route

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    Who issues the W2 for the employees payroll...

    Regardless of where the funds ultimately originate, if its not being paid directly to the employee by the FAA its what a layman or businessman would consider a private contractor.
     
  38. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    It's pure logic.

    The private control tower at Red Dog? There's no control tower there, it's unlikely there ever was.

    Clearances do come from towers.

    It was asserted that there may be a private control tower at PADG, a brief bit of research shows that there isn't. The airport is shown on the sectional in magenta, airports having control towers are shown in blue. Towered fields show a CT frequency, PADG shows only 123.0, a frequency allocated by the FCC for UNICOM at airports with no control tower. An examination of aerial imagery shows there is no structure resembling a control tower, but does show a ramp area so small that operations at a level approaching the need for a control tower to be impossible.

    And then there is Zeldman's description of the operation:

    "You are right, there is not a FAA control tower there. It is still a private advisory tower, which on the first position report they will give out current weather, winds, runway braking report, runway condition and advise of any other traffic. But they do weather, which they are well equipped and trained on. They can't give IFR clearances, and it looks like there is not a NDB approach there anymore so it is possibly a FVR only airport now. And it is still a privately owned airport."

    That's not a bad description of the services available through Unicom, it does not describe control tower operations.

    PADG.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2017
  39. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    Perhaps some would, but it's what those who understand these things would consider a government contractor.
     
  40. murphey

    murphey Final Approach

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    Jeffco had to change the name because it was no longer in Jefferson county, but in Broomfield. Norco Aka Ft Collins or Ft Love depending on your age, just decided it wanted to be a Big Time Airport, which is silly, since it hasn't had the one scheduled Allegiant flight to Vegas for years. There's no food other than the popcorn in the office.