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Artcc And Tracon  
User currently offlineEjaymd11 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 193 posts, RR: 0
Posted (13 years 10 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 7437 times:

What is the difference between Air traffic control centers, and Terminal radar approach control. What does each one do, which one is the center, we are they located.

Ejay MD-11

6 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6170 posts, RR: 13
Reply 1, posted (13 years 10 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 7433 times:

ARTCC stands for Air Route Traffic Control Center. TRACON stands for Terminal Radar Approach Control.

Centers cover a vast amount of areas covering a vast amount of airspace, that can include many states (or outside of the US, many countries). These mainly handle enroute aircraft, from as low as 6000 feet, to 40,000. For example, Los Angeles Center, goes from Mexico, to central California, to partly into AZ and UT. It is based in Palmdale, CA.

TRACONS, cover a smaller area, although they can get just as big, but just control a lower altitude. These sequence aircraft into and out of airports. SOCAL approach, covers from San Diego, to northern Los Angeles. It is based in San Diego.

Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlineJETPILOT From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3130 posts, RR: 27
Reply 2, posted (13 years 10 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 7411 times:

ARTCC are centers.... ie Miami, New York, Jacsonville. Ceneters control enroute activity.

TRACONS are approch/departure control.... ie New york appraoch/departure. Approach/departure control transitions the aircraft from an airport/enroute environemt to the approach/departure environment. TRACONS receive traffic departing airports, and situate and clear aircraft arriving for an approach.

The NY TRACON For JFK/Laguardia is located on Stuart Avenue inGarden City about 15 miles from the airport. Idon't know where the NY ARTCC is

The Miami ARTCC is located about 1 miles from the airport on the north side. I don't know where the Maimi TRACON is.


User currently offlineEjaymd11 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 193 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (13 years 10 months 14 hours ago) and read 7365 times:

So when and how are you handed over between the two.


User currently offlineGoboeing From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 2829 posts, RR: 14
Reply 4, posted (13 years 10 months 13 hours ago) and read 7366 times:

So when and how are you handed over between the two.

Here's a typical departure from JFK on a flight to the west coast.

Takeoff JFK Departure frequency 135.9
About 5000ft NY departure on 124.75
About 10-12K feet NY ARTCC on 134.6
Passing about FL240-FL280 NY ARTCC on 134.32
Leveled out, then the ARTCCs just change every X miles depending on what sector. Each ARTCC is divided in to smaller sectors within it, just like states inside of a country. For example, here's the names of all the different sectors of airspace in New York Center with the frequency next to it:

Barnegat 132.15
Barnstable 135.8 125.92
Big Flat 132.2 133.47
Colts Neck 118.97
Douglaston 133.05 134.47
Elk Mountain 134.45 132.17 128.5
Flint Hill 135.75 132.1 134.6
Huguenot 132.6
Joliet 133.67 132.5
Matawan 125.32 127.17
Millville 134.32
Modena 135.45
Nantucket 121.12
North Mountain 133.5 120.97 118.45 128.57
Phillipsburg 134.8 132.87
Sayre 133.35
Ship Bottom 134.55 133.05

For approach into EWR for example, it goes like this:
Washington center 126.87
Down to FL270 132.52
Cleared down to 8000' via the DYLIN arrival on that frequency,
then at around 8000-11000' switch to Newark Approach on 128.55 (that's the TRACON)
Then switch to final approach at 6000' for vectors to the airport.
EWR tower 118.3 on 5nm final to 20nm.

Here's a link to a map of the USAs ARTCCs:

Hope that helps!


User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 7224 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (13 years 10 months 12 hours ago) and read 7357 times:

I'm no expert but:

It seems they have letters of agreement spelling out the responsibilities of each. Here in the Bay Area you might see an aircraft departing Oakland routed over the Linden VOR and another aircraft out of SFO also routed over Linden. So one has to follow the other, and it's the Tracon's job to get them sequenced. They can't hand the two aircraft off to Oakland Center with the two aircraft flying side-by-side five miles apart.

When there are no such complications flights east and north get handed off to the Center when they're climbing thru 8000-10000 ft, 12-15 nm from the airport. But out of the New York area departing flights are often level at 17,000 ft when they start talking to Center.

If you look at the published arrival charts you'll usually see "expect to cross XXXXX at 11,000 ft 250 kt" or whatever altitude. That point is the gate through which arrivals are fed to the Tracon, and they'll start talking to them a few miles before that point, usually near the end of their descent to that altitude. So flights from the north into Oakland and Newark are approaching 7000 ft when they contact the Tracon, but flights from the west into JFK are approaching FL 190.

User currently offlineZID From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 294 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (13 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 7348 times:

An approach control works planes from the ground to 10 to 14 thousand feet within a thirty to forty mile radius of it's primary airport. Think of a TRACON as an overgrown approach control that is usually found at busier airports or groups of airports, their airspace is usually a couple of thousand feet taller and ten to fifty miles wider than a run-of-the-mill approach control. Centers extend up to 60,000 feet above approach controls and in areas where there are no approach controls we control down to the ground such as my airspace in eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia. I routinely clear aircraft into and out of small airports like London, KY (LOZ) and Bluefield, WV (BLF).

Indy Center (ZID) has 41 sectors with a total workforce of approximately 410 controllers. Our stratums are: Low altitude sectors - ground or top of approach control airspace up to Flight Level 230(23,000 feet). High altitude sectors - FL240 to FL310. Super high sectors - FL330 to FL600. And a few intermediate altitude sectors - FL310 to FL330.

To go along with the map link provided by GoBoeing here is a list of the Centers ID and location listed in order from busiest to least busy from January to June of this year with their number of aircraft worked during that time period in millions of aircraft.

ZOB -- Cleveland -- 1.49 million
ZTL -- Atlanta -- 1.47
ZAU -- Chicago -- 1.38
ZNY -- New York -- 1.36
ZID -- Indianapolis -- 1.31
ZDC -- Washington -- 1.29
ZMA -- Miami -- 1.16
ZJX -- Jacksonville -- 1.14
ZME -- Memphis -- 1.09
ZKC -- Kansas City -- 1.05
ZFW -- Fort Worth -- 1.04
ZHU -- Houston -- 1.00
ZLA -- Los Angeles -- 1.00
ZMP -- Minneapolis -- 0.99
ZAB -- Albuquerque -- 0.89
ZBW -- Boston -- 0.86
ZDV -- Denver -- 0.83
ZOA -- Oakland -- 0.79
ZLC -- Salt Lake City -- 0.75
ZSE -- Seattle -- 0.63
ZAN -- Anchorage -- 0.28

Hope this helps.

I'm not joking! This is my job!
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