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VRPs mandatory for VFR?

This is an old issue…

In my pre-IR days I used to find, outside the UK, that ATC nearly always asked you to report at some VRP. Sometimes this was done forcefully; I recall one absolutely comical one at La Rochelle in 2004 where the ATCO screamed at me “bring a map next time you visit”, but even the French pilots parked on the ground did not understand the name of the VRP he was asking for. I solved this by using a GPS to find VRPs, and the KMD550 is very good for that, but this works only with published VRPs, not locally known ones.

UK ATC does this too, with the silliest one being Cranfield asking to report at Woburn (a less than obvious country house in the woods, south of the airport) even if one was coming from the north, and with the area full of FTO training and their B52 sized circuits, that would be a 10-20 minute detour. The FTOs have gone bust, the landing fee has dropped from £30 to £5, but I believe they still do it.

In CAS, ATC obviously has the power to send you anywhere, but how mandatory are VRPs, in Class G?

Presumably they cannot force a VRP if you are IFR and landing with a visual approach, because a VA is still technically an IFR procedure. But if you file “Y” then you are arriving fully officially VFR so you are vulnerable to this.

Last Edited by Peter at 28 May 09:16
Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

It’s one of the reasons I like using pocketFMS for my EFIS map data. The data is collected from numerous sources, including local pilots and so I’ve not yet come across a VRP that’s not shown.
As for the legality of being forced to use them, I can’t imagine they can be legally enforced, especially if they’re not shown on an official chart.

Last Edited by Stickandrudderman at 28 May 09:32
Forever learning
EGTB

This weekend, Croatian ATCO asked us several times to report passing some islands when VFR from LDLO to LDDU and back. The only way to understand the request was to ask them to spell the otherwise totally unfamiliar names. It took us quite some time searching the map for the names :) It is all a Class D airspace of course and they are in their right to ask for it.

Last Edited by kwispel at 28 May 09:48
EHLE

VRP’s are a pain. The other day I was trying to get a zone transit across Luton just for fun, and OK my route was on the same trajectory as their runway so wasn’t likely to happen, but they said cleared to enter CAS not above 1500ft, hold at Offley. Now I am relatively familiar with the area, and even though I have been in possessions of UK NATS maps for 8 or 9 years or so, I have never seen or heard of Offley. Looking now, it is actually a legitimate VRP. While flying along I couldn’t find Offley on the map, so asked the controller where it was, and he having to describe it to me, while depriving Ryanair of talk time for their movements.

In the end I declined the zone transit, as I was low on fuel and circling around some town. further off my track was not ‘fun’. The nice ATC chap obviously wasn’t very busy so he jokingly said “your original route would have meant we would have had to close the airfield to jet movements for 10 minutes while we cleared you”, and I said “that’s OK, I didn’t want to be a pain, and am happy to route OCAS anyhow”. Not quite the proper lingo from either side, but Ryanair must have been on a lunch break and the ATC was chatty. In the end, he kindly cleared me for shortcut across CAS anyhow.

Personally I’d prefer a IFR reporting point, but that’s only suitable to those with a GPS, because armed only with a NATS chart, you couldn’t find them. When I describe my routing or position, I tell them my position based on IFR reporting points, rather than south of xxx VRP.

Cranfield asking to report at Woburn

Yep, I have been with someone when they have said that. I have been on a few occasions to visit the lovely animals, but unless you can spot said Giraffe’s or Lions, or the stately home, its not easy. Maybe on their VFR plate they have these places indicated and you are advised to expect Woburn as a reporting point. Henlow uses the A1 water tower, amongst others, and its a bugger to find from the air sometimes. But Henlow have a lot of gliding activity and they built their own joining procedures to give gliders a wide birth. As an outsider though, or a visitor, you have little chance of finding these official or even unofficial VRP’s.

An interesting Q is whether the capability to navigate to VRPs (CAS or OCAS) is somehow mandatory.

In the “modern age” it seems increasingly pointless. The option must be retained (because of the continued pretence that a PPL is somehow wholly useful for touring using purely visual nav with chart reading) but pilots should be given the option of using e.g. an airway intersection, a VOR, etc.

Here in the UK there is a widespread practice (even among normally excellent ATC like Shoreham) of using VRPs which are not just not on the VFR chart but are also invisible (“the tunnels” would be known only to a member of this).

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

When I recently filed a VFR flight plan BE-NL-DE by phone, for a flight wholly in class G, the (very friendly) man at the other side wanted to know my estimated times for crossing the FIR boundaries but never mentioned any position, VRP or otherwise.

OTOH I learn on another forum that recent VFR charts have begun to mention VRP’s on the German-Polish border, while earlier editions did not; this might indicate that some authority now requires them, either on the flight plan or reported in flight; or even both.

An interesting Q is whether the capability to navigate to VRPs (CAS or OCAS) is somehow mandatory.

This I cannot possibly imagine, at least for class G, given that OCAS neither radio nor transponder are mandatory equipment – how could such an obligation ever by enforced?

Last Edited by at 28 May 10:27
EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

Most of the time, VRPs are part of corridors in CAS which are deemed “separated” from the SIDs, IAPs,… Therefore they are mandatory. The VRPs need to be published though.
I agree that “made up” VRPs are not done in ATC. Or it should be very clear to everybody what they are. Eg, west of Tour Eifel, north of Brussels city,…

EBZW EBST

This I cannot possibly imagine, at least for class G, given that OCAS neither radio nor transponder are mandatory equipment – how could such an obligation ever by enforced?

Try going to EBGB without calling the mandatory position reports. It could be your last time

EBZW EBST

It gets interesting when mixing IFR/VFR style of reporting. i.e. PH-PCA is 6DME LONDI ON QDM140.
LONDI is a VRP for EBGB

@Airways: your comment regarding EBGB is mostly correct – I used to live very close to EBGB, and had a “listening watch” on their frequency almost permanently – but that is a matter of their own operational permission, which is indeed very strict. It has nothing to do with airlaw, and I understood the subject of this thread to be airlaw.

When flying into EBGB, one must be well aware of the rules that be, and the procedure to be followed – but one will not be suddenly pointed to an arbitrary VRP, documented or not, to hold there until further notice. So I think that this example, though not incorrect, is not relevant to the present discussion.

As for “It could be your last time”, I know a few people at EBGB, I once took the PPL ground course there and spent many hours at the cafe terrace. I don’t think they are “rancuneux” (“vengeable”?) enough to keep a black list. They do be strict about procedures but that is only because they really have to, to ensure the field’s continued existence.

Last Edited by at 28 May 11:31
EBZH Kiewit, Belgium
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