IFR/VFR Traffic advisories in controlled a/s?

I know that when ATC is controllin a IFR a/c, they are supposed to make traffic calls to IFR a/c when the traffic is a VFR a/c that is not radar contacted. No vectors can be given because ATC does not know what that VFR a/c will do next. Should ATC give a vector to an IFR a/c if the traffic is a VFR a/c in which it is in direct contact with? Or should only traffic advisories be issued when traffic is a VFR a/c?

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It depends. If an aircraft is in IFR conditions then ATC is responsible for separation. If the IFR aircraft is in VFR conditions on an IFR flight plan or VFR on top then the pilot is responsible for separation. ATC will make the call and the IFR aircraft will confirm that they have the VFR traffic in sight and have them on the fish finder (TCAS). If it is CAVU outside then the controller will point out the aircraft but the IFR pilot must maintain separation.

    ATC might control both aircraft, the IFR A/C and the VFR A/C through VFR flight following or because the VFR aircraft is in controlled airspace. That is not the case in point. If you are VFR in controlled airspace and the controller has time, they will even alert you to other VFR traffic in your vicinity.

    Generally ATC (center, approach, departure, tower) has a good idea where a VFR aircraft is headed when it travels through the airspace, above the airspace, or below the airspace. If it is maneuvering it is likely doing so in a specificed practice area and the IFR traffic will be vectored around that area. The Victor airways don't run through designated practice areas. If the VFR aircraft is in a climb or descent to their odd+500 or even+500 altitude on an airway is not in contact with ATC (usually center) and the IFR aircraft does not see the VFR aircraft then the IFR aircraft will be given vectors to keep it separated. They may have it climb over the VFR traffic if it is descending or temporarily move off of the victor airway, or get a direct route to the fix ahead of the one they are travelling to if that fix moves them out of the path of the VFR aircraft.

  • 1 decade ago

    Just to clarify one thing, ATC will (where appropriate, workload permitting) give IFR traffic vectors around VFR traffic they are not talking to. If the IFR aircraft does not spot the VFR traffic, ATC will normally do whatever they can to ensure they can confirm IFR separation.

    The sequence might be that ATC calls the traffic to the IFR aircraft. The IFR aircraft does not report the VFR aircraft in sight. ATC watches the two planes appear to converge on his radar, and then instructs the IFR aircraft to climb, descend, or turn if they do not see the traffic.

    If the altitude of the VFR traffic is unknown, ATC will normally assume that the aircraft is probably too high or too low to matter. They may make traffic calls to IFR aircraft, time permitting, but they're unlikely to request a course or altitude change.

  • 1 decade ago

    ok, you may know this, but if traffic has not contacted the tower/ approach, they cannot go into a class b airspace. if its class c, the VFR aircraft can go in without contact. the IFR aircraft will be vectored, yes. alot of time he (the ifr airplane) will be told to decend 500 ft. below the altitude of the VFR plane (that is if they are at the same altitude). umm, they would also be turned a few degrees if neccesary

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