2
$\begingroup$

Most of the TRACONs in the US are colocated with a control tower. The location IDs of these match their airport IDs, which makes sense.

There are also several TRACONs that are not located at a control tower. Most of these are designated with a letter and two numbers, such as A11 for Anchorage. The first letter usually matches the TRACON name, but not always. Where did these IDs come from? Does the number signify anything?

Also, there are a few of these non-tower TRACONs that use three letters and no number - what makes them special?

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

An "up/down" facility is where the tower and TRACON are in the same building and most of the traffic is to/from that airport (typically one class C or TRSA), so they share the identifier. They do provide services for satellite (class D or untowered) airports, but their traffic levels are usually negligible.

A "standalone" facility is where the TRACON is separate building, often on the grounds of a large airport but not the same building, and serves multiple airports (typically one or more class Bs plus any underlying class Cs, plus any satellites) so it gets a distinct identifier with numbers, which can't be confused with an up/down. I've never found a source for where the specific numbers come from; they don't seem random, but there isn't any obvious pattern either.

Recently, the FAA has created "consolidated" TRACONs that merge several neighboring standalone facilities. I'm not sure why the FAA has assigned them all-letter identifiers (e.g. PCT for Potomac Consolidated TRACON), but perhaps it's because there are so few of them (so far) and they cover such large areas that they're relatively well known and there isn't much risk of confusion.

$\endgroup$
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ But how are the IDs of standalone facilities determined? $\endgroup$ – J. Hougaard Oct 22 at 19:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.