ATC Department

Delivery (DEL)



The Delivery controller, identified as DEL, covers an important duty. DEL is the controller that gives the pace to the outbound flow of traffic from an airport.

Departing traffic has to request a clearance to the DEL controller. Without a correct clearance a smooth traffic flow would not be guaranteed as well as other controllers will suffer the lack of information between ATCs and pilots. This would end up in delays in departure or risk of collision when in air.

As such, despite the low rating required to start to control this position, DEL controller has a very important role in an airport.

A standard clearance should include:

  • Aircraft Callsign
  • Confirmation of current ATIS
  • Clearance Limit (destination airport or last point of IFR routing)
  • Standard Departure Route (or alternatives if coordinated with affected controllers)
  • (Initial Climb)
  • Squawk code


Basic Knowledge Requirements

A DEL controller must be perfectly familiar with:

  • IFR routes from controlled airport
  • SID procedures including all form of restrictions applied to them and use accordingly to traffic flow
  • Aircraft equipment and restrictions to fly in RVSM
  • Semi-circular rule


Controller in Action

The first step for the virtual controller that wants to act as DEL would be to be sure he/she is in line with the knowledge requirements highlighted above.

As this is done, the controller should load the sector file for the airport in which he/she wants to control. The sector file can be found on the mainpage.

The second step is to check the latest Handy Sheet on the airport page, availlable for LSZH and LSGG, where all the necessary information are summarised in a single document. This includes SIDs and Squawk codes.

In the IVAC's COMM Box the controller has to set his primary frequency in line with DEL frequency for that airport. In order to do so just type //199.999  where 199.999 stands for the frequency one wants to set up.

The next step is the setup of the altitude filter. As the DEL controller is responsible for clearance on the ground, the filter should be set up in such a way that he excludes all the traffics that are airbone. In order to do so under the menu "PVD" (top left) select "PVD Options..." the controller will set Primary filter from 0 to 100 ft above ground level. This is for example 1'500ft at Zurich.

Once IVAC is ready, it is time to connect.

As soon as the controller is online the first priority is to create the TS channel followed by the filing of a correct ATIS. Please remember, the Tower is responsible (always) for runway selection and thus the DEL ATIS would be exactly the same as TWR ATIS. The station name and frequency have to be in line with guidelines from ATC Department and can be found here: LSAZ and LSAG. The remarks box must be left empty unless a special situation requires to be communicated to pilots. This is the case for "LOW VISIBILITY PROCEDURE ACTIVE" or "ALL RWYS CLOSED DUE TO EMERGENCY" or also "ALL RWYS CLOSED DO TO SNOW CLEARING". Personal message or greetings to pilots are not allowed.

Always inform nearby controllers of your presence online.

Once the Flight Plan has been confirmed, the DEL Controller will issue the clearance to the pilot that requested it. A full description of communication exchange between Pilot and ATC is proposed below in the "Phraseology Examples" section.

Flight Strip tags. The Swiss Division applies a standard code for tag filing. Refer to the Zurich Delivery Manual in the airports section.

No traffic can move or receive a hand-off if the transponder is not showing the squawk code assigned during the clearance. It is part of the DEL Controller duties to remain pilots to set the correct code if they forget about it.

Once everything is done and the pilot reports ready to start the engine(s) it is time for the DEL Controller to say goodbye to him/her and Hand-off to the Apron/Ground controller. Remember that "Contact Apron 199.999" is different from "Monitor Apron 199.999". The former requires the pilot to inform the next controller of his/her presence on the frequency; the latter requires the pilot to tune the frequency and stay mute until the ATC will call him.


Phraseology Examples


IFR Flight Plan

 Pilot  ATC

Zurich Delivery good morning, Swiss 324, Airbus 320, stand B36, information Papa, request IFR clearance to Heathrow


Swiss 324 Delivery hello, [check Information Papa] cleared to Heathrow via VEBIT3W departure, Runway 28,  initial climb 5'000ft, squawk 3014

Cleared to Heathrow via VEBIT3W departure, initial climb 5'000ft, Runway 28, squawk 3014, Swiss 324


Swiss 324 readback is correct, [report ready for start-up and push back]

WILCO (will comply) Swiss 324


Swiss 324 ready for start and push


Swiss 324 monitor/standby Apron 121.750

121.750 Swiss 324




Y Flight Plan (IFR changes to VFR in flight)

Pilot ATC

Zurich Delivery Hello, Fraction 215, Falcon 7, GA sector 5, information Oscar, request IFR clearance


Fraction 215 Delivery Guete Tag [check Information Oscar] Cleared to PELAD* via VEBIT3W departure, Runway 28 initial climb 5'000ft, squawk 3014

Cleared to PELAD* via VEBIT3W departure, Runway 28, initial climb 5'000ft, squawk 3014, Fraction 215


Fraction 215 readback is correct, [report ready for start-up]

WILCO (will comply) Fraction 215


Fraction 215 ready for start-up


Fraction 215 roger, monitor/standby Apron 121.750, good day

121.750 Fraction 215, bye


 * note that instead of the final destination pilots receive clearance to their final IFR waypoint



Vectored Departure

Pilot ATC

Zurich Delivery Hello, Swiss 1074, RJ100, stand I92, information X-ray, request clearance


Swiss 1074 Delivery Grüezi, [check Information X-ray, Cleared for Frankfurt, after departure maintain runway heading and climb to 5'000ft, Runway 28, squawk 3014

Cleared to Frankfurt, after departure maintaining runway heading and climbing to 5'000ft, Runway 28 squawk 3014, Swiss 1074


Swiss 1074 readback is correct, [report ready for start-up]

WILCO (will comply) Swiss 1074


Swiss 1074 ready for start-up


Swiss 1074 roger, monitor/standby Apron 121.750

121.750 Swiss 1074