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philbrown

Traffic Information

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Having used RC for a number of years now, one thing that frustrates me is the amount of traffic information given. However, listening to the US background chatter, it seems this is based on realistic US operations.So, why do the US controllers give so much traffic information? 99 times out of 100, the traffic info being given is usually about 10 miles away or more and is usually level seperated. In the UK, traffic info is only usually given during avoiding action, or to stop nuisance RA's, where you have aircraft climbing and descending towards each other, but given safe levels.Why do I need to know about aircraft that are radar seperated from me by ATC?

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Sorry to jump in before the developers do but I think this has been raised before and is probably considered to be a legal requirement.In UK it is done rarely and mainly in the circumsatnces you describe.

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You're right, Chris, it has been raised on the forum before (and by me in the beta team) and Phil, you're correct when you suggest RC's giving of traffic information is based on US-practices. The reason, of course, is that RC started life as an American ATC program with more and more "internationalisation" being added to each subsequent release. However, these changes have to take their turn with all the other new and improved aspects of RC - ground taxi instructions, SIDs and and STARs etc. - and this particular improvement has not reached the top of the pile yet. I'm sure it will at some time but only jd can tell you when. :( As far as the real world goes, I can't comment specifically on US procedures but, certainly, in the UK, the amount of traffic information issued depends on the type of service (and ATC services are many and varied) that you're receiving. Outside controlled airspace, providing, say, Radar Advisory or Radar Information Service (those names and services are changing soon but the principle remains the same) passing traffic information is the name of the game for the controller but on an airways flight where all traffic is known and notified it's much rarer to pass traffic information. As RC doesn't know about these different types of airspace and services, all flights are controlled on the basis of being on airways under Radar Control which does, indeed, mean that far too much information is passed for UK/European practices.As an airways controller, I only ever gave traffic information when I felt there was a worthwhile advantage to be gained from doing so. Usually, this involved safety - for example, a "belt and braces" check that climbing and descending aircraft knew why they had to stop off at a particular level if they would be in close lateral proximity to the conflicting traffic and, latterly, to (attempt to) prevent the nuisance RAs caused by high rates of climb and descent in crowded areas which has already been mentioned. There is no requirement (in the UK) to pass traffic information on separated traffic as our American colleagues seem to do - to me that's just a waste of valuable RT time - but, if it is passed in this situation, we always avoid direct mention of the actual levels - FL120, FL290 etc - but pass them only as relative positions - 1000ft above, 2000ft below etc - to avoid any possibility of a misunderstanding.Pete

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A very useful explanation of the thinking that goes on behind the scenes in the development of this program Pete.It is a tribute to RC4 that so many of the developers and beta testers come on here and offer up their thoughts.It must be very difficult to incorporate all the minutiae of the ATC process into the product.

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