FAQ's


Q - What are East Midlands Hours of Operation?

A - East Midlands is H24 unless otherwise NOTAM'd.

Q - Is EMA a designated LARS Unit?

A - No, however a Traffic Service or Deconfliction Service may be provided at the Controller's discretion (subject to workload, weather etc.)

Q - What type of Airspace is the EMA CTR/CTA?

A - EMA's Controlled Airspace is designated Class D, meaning that VFR flight is permitted subject to certain criteria being met. These include maintaining the VMC Minima of 5km Flight Visibility and remaining clear of cloud by 1000 feet vertically and 1500 metres horizontally. Special VFR flight may be permitted in Class D Airspace below these minima. Pilots intending to fly within the notified Airspace should:

  • Call East Midlands Approach on 134.175MHz
  • Obtain a Clearance to Enter
  • Obey ATC Instructions &
  • Listen Out at All Times

Q - Will I be expected to fly headings within the CTR/CTA?

A - It is possible that the Radar Controller may ask transiting VFR Pilots to fly radar headings, or to otherwise deviate from their requested routing for separation purposes. In this event, it is the responsibility of the Pilot to inform ATC as early as possible if they consider that such instructions may result in them being unable to maintain VMC, or otherwise result in being unable to fly within the terms of their licence.

Q - What if I become Lost or Unsure of my Position?

A - Firstly remember that ATC are there to help you. If you have a problem, the earlier that ATC are made aware, the sooner the situation can be resolved & the less likely that a serious incident will ensue. If not already identified on radar, Approach will endeavour to locate the aircraft using SSR codes, or by Primary Radar methods if no Transponder is carried or it is unserviceable. Position & Guidance Information will then be passed until such time as the Pilot is certain of their position & no longer requires assistance.

Q - I am not a very experienced pilot - will you bite my head off if I make a mistake?

A - No, we shouldn't! Clearly if someone is not up to scratch on the R/T it makes life much more difficult for everyone involved, especially if it is busy. Make sure you are competent using the radio, as this will give you confidence and will also build up a good working relationship with the controller. Several of our controller's are current pilots, so we and the commercial boys do appreciate that everyone has to start somewhere.

Q - At what point should I call East Midlands for CTA/CTR transit?

A - Call as early as practical. Sometimes you will be working another ATSU, which might delay your call to us, but remember it is your responsibility to stay outside controlled airspace unless you have been given a clearance to enter it. The fact that an ATSU has kept you on their frequency is no excuse.

Q - Do I need to squawk other than 7000?

A - Maybe, but only when asked to change to a different squawk. If you are flying close to other traffic in the vicinity of East Midlands we may ask you to change to one of our local squawks to help us identify you. However, take note that identifying you on radar does not mean a radar service is being provided, it purely makes life easier for ourselves and thus safer for you.

Q – Are there more convenient altitudes and tracks to request to help the controller, and thus the chance of a more successful transit?

A - Yes. Avoid transiting through the Standard Instruments Departure (SID) tracks and altitudes, and also avoid transiting through the final approach area. An aircraft carrying out an instrument approach to whatever runway will be approximately 3000’ at 10nm, 2000’ at 7nm and 1000’ at 3nm. A request for transit at these altitudes and corresponding ranges does not necessarily mean you will be refused transit, but it really does depend on the traffic situation at that time. Clearly a B757 will not be delayed due to a VFR transit. Sometimes a route through the overhead or over the threshold may be offered. Another useful tool to getting transit is a serviceable transponder.

Q – What is a SID?

A - A SID is a Standard Instrument Departure. These are standard procedures at most large airports. They allow a pilot to plan ahead and program the FMS (Flight Management System). These routes must be followed by large aircraft as they also include noise routings from that particular airport.


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