On this question SentryRaven gave the following list of ATC stations:

  • Delivery (if available)
  • Apron/Ground (if available)
  • Tower
  • Departure (if available, sometimes handled by Approach)
  • Enroute ACC/Center (multiple stations along the route)
  • Arrival/Approach
  • Director (if available / in use)
  • Tower
  • Ground (if available)

I am not familiar with Director. What does this ATC position do and when is it used?

  • $\begingroup$ there's also "ramp control" at many US airports, which is different than ground. for example, at KMIA: RAMP CONTROL AT 305-876-7550 AND UPON ARRIVAL ON FREQUENCY 131.600 airnav.com/airport/kmia $\endgroup$
    – rbp
    Oct 23, 2015 at 15:29
  • $\begingroup$ Ramp control is not considered an ATC position. They aren't staffed by air traffic controllers $\endgroup$
    – fjch1997
    Feb 19, 2021 at 23:01
  • $\begingroup$ Related: Are en-route ATC callsigns standardized? $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    May 10, 2022 at 13:23

1 Answer 1


Some TMA arrival sectors can be further split up into an arrival/pickup part and a director/feeder part.

The arrival controller is responsible for getting aircraft separated either onto downwinds or onto transitions, where they are handed off to the director. The director is then only responsible for turning these aircraft onto the approach, in most cases the ILS.

Essentially, the arrival or pickup tries to get everyone onto the correct separation and speeds, so the director or feeder can turn and clear the aircraft onto their approaches, i.e. feeding the ILS with aircraft.

EDDF Director (Source: SentryRaven - Own Work)

The above picture shows the TMA airspace of Frankfurt (EDDF). The TMA arrival controller would clear aircraft onto the transition or a vectored downwind (indicated in red) and hand them over to director.

The director position would then vector the aircraft onto the ILS (indicated in green) for a handoff to tower.

  • $\begingroup$ It must require a phenomenally busy airport to require three controllers to handle such fine pieces of the approach and landing sequence. $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Oct 22, 2015 at 20:24
  • $\begingroup$ @FreeMan Nearly every larger international airport has a director/feeder position and frequency available on stand-by somewhere. Check the AIPs, you will find a frequency listed... ;) $\endgroup$ Oct 22, 2015 at 20:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ IANAP (Not A Pilot), didn't know that. Learned something new! But, then, that's what I come here for. Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Oct 22, 2015 at 20:28
  • $\begingroup$ That's a lot of handoffs! Keep the PNF busy! $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Oct 22, 2015 at 20:45
  • $\begingroup$ @FreeMan As here in Germany the Stations are staffed with 2 people it's actually 6 controllers :) And in Frankfurt we have up to 16 people at 8 stations working at the arrival/departure sector. $\endgroup$
    – pcfreakxx
    Feb 23, 2017 at 13:44

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