Ground Movement controllers are responsible for issuing information and instructions to aircraft under their control to achieve a safe, orderly and expeditious flow of air traffic and to assist pilots in preventing collisions between aircraft moving on the apron and aircraft and vehicles, obstructions and other aircraft on the manoeuvring area (excluding the runways and their access points).
Apron - The part of an aerodrome provided for the stationing of aircraft for the embarkation and disembarkation of passengers, for loading and unloading of cargo and for parking.
Manoeuvring Area - The part of an aerodrome provided for the take-off and landing of aircraft and for the movement of aircraft on the surface excluding the apron and any part of the aerodrome provided for the maintenance of aircraft.
Ground controllers will also issue IFR clearances when Delivery is not open, or doesn't exist at the airport.
In short the job of a Ground controller is to get aircraft from the aprons to the runways and back safely, with minimal delay. In conditions of low visibility they may be called upon to provide guided taxi, though one must be very careful as some scenery won't match perfectly with your sector file.
What You Need To Know
In addition to the general guidelines, a ground controller must:
Firstly you will need the following information:
The movements of aircraft on the manoeuvring area and the movement of aircraft on the apron are at all times subject to permission from the Ground Movement Controller. Responsibility on the apron is limited to providing advice and instructions to assist prevention of collisions between moving aircraft.
Aircraft will contact for pushback. This action will have to be approved, with supplementary instructions if required (e.g. "Push facing south after British Airways 737 crosses left to right"). In the UK, a pushback is always "Approved" and not "Cleared".
|Pilot||Ground, BAW634C gate A17, request start and pushback|
|ATC||BAW634C, after the British Airways A320 on your right hand side, start and pushback approved, facing west, Call for taxi"|
|Pilot||After the A320 on our right, push approved facing west, will call for taxi, BAW634C|
When the pilot of an aircraft requests start-up or taxi, the following information shall be given:
The items which are known to have been received (except the QNH) may be omitted. (If the pilot calls up and says he has "information Alpha", we can assume he already knows the runway in use, surface wind, air temperature and significant met conditions because they are on the ATIS).
The QNH should always be given again in a taxi clearance.
It is important that taxi instructions are clear and concise. The visibility from a flight deck is limited so the pilot is dependant to a large degree upon Ground control to assist him in determining the correct taxi route to be followed.
Heavy aircraft are not to be given instructions that would require the use of more than normal power for taxying.
In the interests of safety, use of the active runway for taxying purposes is to be kept to a minimum. If this cannot be avoided, then a clearance to cross should normally be withheld until no conflict exists.
It is important that the Ground controller has permission from the Tower controller to allow an aircraft to cross. It is only the Tower Controller that can issue a crossing clearance.
EZY1212 is an Airbus A320, just pushed back from stand 12 at Luton, runway 26 is in use.
|Pilot||"Luton Ground, EZY1212, request taxi"|
|ATC||"EZY1212, Luton Ground, behind the company aircraft just pushing from stand 15, taxi holding point A1, runway 26, via A, QNH1015"|
|Pilot||"Behind the company aircraft pushing from 15, taxi A1, runway 26, via A, QNH1015, EZY1212"|
|* Aircraft should be handed off to the tower frequency, as they are approaching the holding point to the runway*|
|ATC||"EZY1212, Contact Luton Tower, 132.550"|
|Pilot||Liverpool Ground, EZY134, vacated 27 on E, Request taxi to stand|
|ATC||EZY134, after the company 737 crosses left to right, left turn, taxi stand 11 via V|
|Pilot||After the company 737 crosses left to right, left turn, taxi stand 11 via V, EZY134|
ATC doesn't clear aircraft for shutdown, that is the pilots responsibility. Flight plans are also not closed by ATC - this is done automatically.