Position Reporting in the NZ FIR

This article explains some of the basics in position reporting within the NZ FIR.

It is important for both pilots and air traffic controllers to know where you are going to be at certain times.  Not only does it let you know what is coming up in your flight but allows the air traffic controllers to coordinate things easier.  In the real world of flying, pilots who are on an IFR flight plan are required to give an estimated time of when they are going to cross their next waypoint on their route in certain portions of the NZ FIR.  This does not include estimated time for waypoints on a SID or STAR typically.  In accordance with NZ AIP ENR Section 1.1 requires pilots to only give these types of position reports at the listed aerodromes or within controlled airspace operated by that aerodrome tower at:

  • Invercargill
  • Queenstown
  • Dunedin
  • Gisborne
  • Napier
  • New Plymouth

The reason position reporting is mandatory at these aerodromes/airspace is because of poor low level radar converage.  On VATSIM, we have the ability to get radar coverage everywhere.

If you are flying an aircraft fitted with an FMC, you can use the 'Progress' screens to give you estimated time for waypoints in your flight plan.  If you don't have an FMC, all you need is your groundspeed and distance to go to the point you are required to report.



Let us look at an example.  We are flying from Invercargill to Dunedin.  We get to 40 NV DME (waypoint BIMAX).  We are in a small aircraft doing 120 knots groundspeed as indicated by the GPS.  To work out how long it will take until the next waypoint (BE NDB - 33 nm away) we have to do a quick calculation:

LEGTIME REMAINING = (33nm / 120 knots) * 60 = 16.5 minutes

If your time crossing BIMAX was 0956 UTC, then your arrival time will be 1012.5 UTC (1013 UTC).