I've heard these 3 terms in ATC recordings and on web pages. Do they all use the same frequencies and the same controllers?


SoCal TRACON (Terminal Radar Approach CONtrol) is the name of the facility.

SoCal Approach and SoCal Departure are the call signs used over the radio by that facility, depending on whether the particular aircraft they’re talking to is arriving or departing. They’re the same controllers on the same frequencies.

  • $\begingroup$ So basically the purpose for using the call signs is to improve the situational awareness of all the parties on the frequency. $\endgroup$
    – Jpe61
    Nov 9 '20 at 14:21
  • $\begingroup$ Does the same controller work approach and departure at the same time? $\endgroup$
    – JoelFan
    Nov 9 '20 at 16:31
  • $\begingroup$ Approach and Departure aren't necessarily "the same controllers on the same frequencies". It's fairly normal to have them split, or at least have the option to do so $\endgroup$ Nov 9 '20 at 18:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @expeditedescent The same controller will use both names as needed on the same freq. A given sector may be dominated by one or the other, but you’d never have two controllers with different freqs in the same sector. $\endgroup$
    – StephenS
    Nov 9 '20 at 21:56

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