Opposing Bases: Air Traffic Talk

Two air traffic controllers who are also rated pilots discuss air traffic stories, news, and real interactions with the aviation community. Learn about our pilot experiences and how they relate to our daily work as air traffic controllers.

The term “Opposing Bases” is not in the 7110.65, the AIM, or any other publication we can find.  In terms of air traffic, it’s used to describe the positions of aircraft approaching final approach courses for parallel runways from opposite sides of the final approach courses. For example, an aircraft approaching the final for runway 27R from the NORTH and an aircraft approaching the final for runway 27L from the south would be on opposing bases.  Controllers are required to follow strict separation standards for aircraft in this scenario so that both aircraft arrive on their respective final approach courses in a safe, orderly, and expeditious manner.

Will AG and RH be arguing like talking heads on sports channels or network news?  Will the conversation be based on opposing views between the air traffic controllers and the pilots that use the system?

Perhaps the show will have disagreement between any and/or all parties involved in a particular subject but it certainly won’t be forced, dramatized, or conjured up to gain listeners.  Instead, we’d like the audience to experience a show that takes into consideration all sides of an issue. Our professional experiences in aviation on both sides of the microphone as pilots and controllers will add value and help dispel myths, misinterpretations, or misunderstandings in the complex world of aviation. The audience plays an important role in the dialogue.

Just as two airplanes aimed directly at one another in opposite directions end up being side by side on their way down final, seemingly holding hands, our listeners and users of the NAS can start off in conflict and hopefully arrive at a joint conclusion that is based on facts, valid opinions, and respectful dialogue.

Audio playback: liveatc.net

Music: audionautix.com/