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Standard Practice, Tips & Tricks for ATC TAGs

Standard Practice, Tips & Tricks for ATC TAGs

The scope for Tags is to provide information about clearances and restrictions given to a specific aircraft directly in its label. The receiver of this information is the next controller that will assume the aircraft when hand-offed.
A secondary role for Tags is to serve as reminder for instructions given.

There are 3 different tags:
-   Altitude (A)
-   Speed (S)
-   Procedure/Vector/Fix Clearance (C)

As the first aim of tag writing is to incorporate information on the label for the next controller, a common code is necessary. For Altitude and Speed there is no freedom and the code is already set up in the software. However, for the Clearance tag a standard practice is needed to allow all the controllers to “speak the same language”.
-   Vector to heading XXX -> HXXX
-   SID abcde Xw -> abcXw
-   STAR abcde Xw -> abcXw
-   ILS Approach rwXX -> IXX
-   VOR/DME Approach rwXX -> VXX
-   Visual Approach rwXX -> VISXX
-   RNAV Approach rwXX -> RXX
-   Direct to VOR nnn -> nnn
-   Direct to FIX abcde -> abc
-   Direct to FIX abcde with Mach restriction .YY -> abc.YY
-   Alternative to FP RTE for traffics going outside the FIR -> LI for Italy, LF for France and ED for Germany
-   VFR Route A -> A

A special case is reserved for Altitude tag for approaching traffic. The altitude should be changed into APP as soon as the traffic is cleared to the assigned approach procedure

A trick that can be very helpful in case of high traffic load on ground for IFR clearance is to use the Altitude tag as a reminder of who received the clearance and who has not yet. Meanwhile the Procedure Clearance tag can be used as a reminder for which Flight Plans have been already checked (route, equipment and requested FL) and confirmed as correct.
In this way as soon as a Flight Plan is received the controller can check it immediately and write the tag with the assigned SID. After the clearance is communicated to the traffic, the initial climb can be insert in the Altitude tag. In this way the controller can use the “quiet time” to speed up operations in “busy time”. 

Some Examples:
IFR Clearance from Zurich on DEGES 2W
-   A: 050
-   S: n/a
-   C: DEG2W

IFR Clearance from Geneva on KONIL 4J
-   A: 090
-   S: n/a
-   C: KON4J

Route re-clearance to FIX ODINA with Mac restriction .76
-   A: as requested
-   S: n/a
-   C: ODI.76

Cleared to ILS 28
-   A: APP
-   S: 160
-   C: I28