Center Boundaries
« on: December 22, 2017, 09:28:33 pm »
Hi Crew,

When flying in Vatsim, what is the best way to determine when you have entered a center's area? I flew from DTW to BDL and Vatastic showed me inside Toronto CTR, but when I called in, he advised me that I was outside his area. In a private message, he said that Vatastic was wrong. Thanks for any assistance.

Brad

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Camden Bruno

  • Air Traffic Manager
  • 3314
  • If God meant man to fly, we'd all have more money.
    • Boston Virtual ARTCC
Re: Center Boundaries
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2017, 09:54:28 pm »
I'm not too familiar with airspace delegation in that area, but I imagine they have an airspace shelf. Although Vattastic depicts lateral boundaries of airspace, it does not show vertical boundaries.

For example, in the most southwest portion of ZBW's (Boston ARTCC's) airspace, we own from the surface to 17,000', along with FL240 and above. However, ZNY (New York) owns from FL180-FL230.

Those are the types of things not depicted on Vattastic. I suspect in the southwestern airspace of Toronto, ZOB (Cleveland) actually owns the airspace (at least at the altitude you were at).

Unfortunately, there's not much of a way for a pilot to know the vertical portions of airspace, as you can only see the lateral boundaries through observing softwares like VATSpy, Vattastic, etc.

Does that make sense? Let us know if you have any further questions.


Camden Bruno (BN) – 1253785
Air Traffic Manager | ATC Instructor
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VATSIM Network Supervisor

Re: Center Boundaries
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2017, 11:43:42 pm »
It does, and thanks. When I called him I was at 9000 for 290. I'll have to do some more research into this.

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Evan Reiter

  • Training Administrator
  • 5922
    • Boston Virtual ARTCC
Re: Center Boundaries
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2017, 01:17:24 pm »
As Cam said, it can be challenging to identify complex (and often unpublished) airspace boundaries. The best thing to do if you think you might be in/close to airspace is to ask. We would much rather say "no, sorry, that's outside of my coverage area" than have to pick up a guy who has entered it.

Just key up the mic, state your callsign, your location, and altitude (most people forget to talk about where they are), and then ask the controller if you need to be in touch. He or she will advise if there's another frequency, or if UNICOM is the best place to go.


Evan Reiter
Training Administrator

Re: Center Boundaries
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2018, 11:47:56 pm »
I've never had any issue determining what airspace I'm in using vatspy. Might not be a good option if you don't have multiple monitors(or computers) on hand while flying. 

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Camden Bruno

  • Air Traffic Manager
  • 3314
  • If God meant man to fly, we'd all have more money.
    • Boston Virtual ARTCC
Re: Center Boundaries
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2018, 12:09:29 am »
I've never had any issue determining what airspace I'm in using vatspy. Might not be a good option if you don't have multiple monitors(or computers) on hand while flying.
If you read his post, the issue Brad was having had nothing to do with how many monitors he had or if he was hand-flying or not. The issue is that VATSpy (and all other monitoring softwares) does not depict all airspace shelves between different TRACONs and ARTCCs. Therefore, it's difficult for pilots to determine if they're within someones airspace or not. For example, looking at this photo, most pilots would assume that Long Island airports are covered by Boston Center when there are no approach controls online. However, they are actually covered by New York ARTCC (specifically New York TRACON (N90)).


Camden Bruno (BN) – 1253785
Air Traffic Manager | ATC Instructor
- - - - - - - - - -
VATSIM Network Supervisor