Columbia Metro ATCT/TRACON

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Table of Updates

Date Revision Items Revised
2 May 2023 A Update of Organization
5 June 2023 B Added PDC Not Authorized, Removal LOAs, Added LUAW Section, Organization
6 February 2024 C update of Primary Tracon Frequency

Area Information

ICAO Code Airport Name Airspace IFR Beacon Codes VFR Beacon Codes
KCAE Columbia Metro Airport C 1601-1677 1601-1677

This document prescribes the procedures to be utilized for providing air traffic control services at the Columbia Metro Air Traffic Control Tower (CAE ATCT) and TRACON. The procedures described herein are supplemental to the Jacksonville ARTCC Facility Operating Guidelines and FAA Order JO 7110.65, as well as any published FAA guidelines or procedures.

This order is distributed to all Jacksonville ARTCC personnel.

Columbia Metro Airport via Google Maps

Operational Positions

Position Radio Name Callsign Relief Callsign Symbol Frequency
Clearance Delivery Columbia Clearance Delivery CAE_DEL CAE_1_DEL 7CD 119.750
Ground Columbia Ground CAE_GND CAE_1_GND 7CG 121.900
Tower Columbia Tower CAE_TWR CAE_1_TWR 7CT 119.500
Position Sector Name Callsign Relief Callsign Symbol Frequency
RN Radar North CAE_N_APP CAE_1N_APP 7RN 133.400
RS Radar South CAE_S_APP CAE_1S_APP 7RS 124.150
RF Radar Final CAE_F_APP CAE_1F_APP 7RF 128.500

Sector in Red is the primary sector.

Clearance Delivery

General Information

Clearance Delivery Responsibilities

The Clearance Delivery Controller Must:

  • Formulate and issue all IFR clearances to aircraft departing this field.
  • Review proposed flight plan information for accuracy and amend routings and altitudes, as necessary, in accordance with this SOP.
  • Enter amendments to flight plans into the controller client as required and advise the pilot what those amendments are.
  • Issue clearances or route changes to aircraft, as required complying with traffic management initiatives and/or weather avoidance.
  • Forward and await a response on all non-standard routing requests to the affected facilities.
  • During Events: Do not change routes or proposal times for aircraft participating in Traffic Management programs without prior coordination with the controller in charge.

Pre-Departure Clearances

Pre Departure Clearances are not authorized at this airport.

IFR Departures

Planned/Amended Routing

All Aircraft shall be "cleared as filed unless a route amendment is necessary.

Assigned Altitudes

Aircraft shall be instructed to maintain 4,000 feet and to expect their cruise altitude (if higher) ten minutes after departure.

Departure Frequency

The Primary Departure Frequency is CAE_S_APP on 124.150

Squawk Assignment

All IFR Squawk codes will be auto-assigned by the controller client.
It should assign a code between 1601-1677. Controllers shall not change the auto-assigned code if a code between 1601-1677 is not assigned.

VFR Departures


VFR Aircraft do not need explicit clearance to enter or exit the airspace.

Assigned Altitudes

Jet: VFR aircraft shall be instructed to maintain VFR at or below 2,000.
Turboprops: VFR aircraft shall be instructed to maintain VFR at or below 2,000.
Props: VFR aircraft shall be instructed to maintain VFR at or below 2,000.

Departure Frequency

Aircraft not remaining in the pattern shall be given the Departure Frequency of CAE_S_APP on 124.150.
Aircraft remaining in the pattern shall not be given a departure frequency.

Squawk Assignment

VFR Squawk codes shall be assigned by the controller client using the assign squawk feature in their controller client.


General Information

Ground Control Responsibilities

The Ground Controller is responsible for the movement of vehicles and aircraft on the airport movement areas except for the active runway(s)


Ground control shall confirm all pilots have the current ATIS code PRIOR to commencing taxi to the active runway. This can be achieved by requesting the pilot "state the current ATIS code". The ATIS is the responsibility of the tower controller.

Active Runway Operations

Except for runway crossings, Ground Control must transfer communication to Local Control if a vehicle/aircraft is to operate on a runway. Coordination for all runway crossings must be accomplished by requesting permission from local control by stating "(Number of Aircraft) to cross Runway (#) at Taxiway (Letter). Once approved and crossing has been granted and the crossing has been observed, ground control must state to local control "Runway (#) crossing complete"

Intersection Departures

Ground Control must advise local control of all intersection departures verbally.

Opposite Direction Departures

Ground Control must coordinate and obtain approval from Local Control, prior to taxiing an aircraft to a runway for an opposite-direction departure.

Pushback and Startup

Push back into a controlled area: Aircraft shall be instructed: "Push and Start Approved, tail facing (direction)." The direction should keep the aircraft pointed in the direction the aircraft will taxi.
Push back will not enter a controlled area: Aircraft shall be instructed: "Push and start at pilot's discretion."

Runway Assignments

The runway assignment should be the runway closest to the position of the aircraft based on the Active Runway Assignments as selected by the Local Controller.

Taxi Operations

Aircraft taxing to a runway shall be given the closest and shortest taxi instructions to the active runway.

Transfer of Communication

Departing aircraft shall be instructed to contact the local control frequency upon or slightly before holding short the runway for departure. Local control has the option to have the pilot "monitor" the frequency. If a pilot is going to monitor, ground control must send a private message via the controller client of the aircraft with their callsign and runway. </tab> </tabs>


Active Runway Selection

The active runway shall be determined based on wind and known factors that may affect the safety of takeoff/landing operations.
Runway 11 is designated as the calm wind runway.

7110.65Z Runway Selection

Area of responsibility

LC has responsibility for a five-mile radius from the CAE field from the surface up to and including 2,500 feet. LC has the responsibility to control 4,000 feet and below 1 ½ miles on either side of the extended centerline within 5 miles of the departure end of the automatic departure runways.

Arrival Procedures

LC shall be responsible for separation of all arrival aircraft that have been handed off by TRACON from all departing aircraft still under LC jurisdiction

Practice Instrument Approaches: Issue special instructions as verbally coordinated with the TRACON. Practice Instrument Approaches shall assign runway heading and maintain 4,000 feet. Departure frequency as assigned by approach control.

LC shall NOT change the approach sequence without coordination. Communication transfer must be completed prior to five nautical miles from the runway.

Automatic Terminal Information Service

LC shall manage the ATIS for KCAE

The ATIS shall be on 120.150

Automatic Releases

LC is authorized automatic releases from the TRACON controller so long as the aircraft departs on the pre-coordinated active departing runway(s) on approved departure headings
In order for automatic releases to be authorized, procedures in this document shall be followed.
Departure releases must be obtained if automatic releases are suspended by TRACON.

Departure Procedures

LC will provide separation for aircraft in the LC airspace.
LC shall provide initial radar separation between successive departures.
When automatic departures are in effect, IFR jet/turbojet departures shall be released on runway heading climbing to 4,000 feet.
LC has the option to assign all NON-JET aicraft runway heading or a fanned heading that will conform to the applicable departure corridor.

Go Around/ Unplanned Missed Approaches

LC shall assign IFR aircraft runway heading and 4,000 feet
LC must verbally coordinate with departure prior to frequency change.

Line Up and Wait

Line up and wait is authorized at this field only in VMC Conditions. LUAW departures from an intersection are only authorized between sunrise and sunset.

Visual Tower

Columbia Metro ATCT is a visual/VFR tower and shall not initiate or accept any radar handoffs and shall not initiate control/start track on any target.

TRACON Information

TRACON Airspaces

RS (CAE_S_APP) is the secondary radar position for Columbia Metro Tracon. RN may delegate a portion of its airspace to RN. Once RS and RN are staffed, they both can delegate a portion of their airspace to RF

Provide Overflight Services, approach/departure sequence, and, where required, uncontrolled operation services to aircraft landing in the Columbia Tracon Airspace.

Jurisdiction RS area of jurisdiction is the South quadrant of the airspace as depicted, surface to 10,000 feet MSL. RS is responsible for departure control for Southbound traffic

RS Area of Jurisdiction
RN (CAE_N_APP) is the primary radar position for Columbia Tracon. RN may delegate a portion of its airspace to RS.

Provide Overflight Services, approach/departure sequence, and, where required, uncontrolled operation services to aircraft landing in the Columbia Tracon Airspace.

Jurisdiction RN area of jurisdiction is the North quadrant of the airspace as depicted surface to 10,000 feet MSL. RN is responsible for departure control for Northbound traffic.

RN Area of Jurisdiction

RN and RS may delegate a portion of their airspaces to RF, once both are in use.

RF area of jurisdiction is from the arrival end of the selected arrival runway to a 20nm radius for 10nm on either side of the selected arrival runway, from surface to 4,000 feet MSL. RF is responsible for sequencing arrival aircraft.

Arrival Procedures-General

The sector responsible for the primary runway shall establish the approach sequence for all arrivals.
Communications transfer of arriving aircraft to LC must be accomplished no later than five nautical miles from the end of the arrival runway.
When simultaneous approaches are being conducted on converging runways, LC is responsible for ensuring runway separation. However, TRACON must provide enough spacing to minimize the possibility of a go-around.
When vectoring to final from parallel downwinds, aircraft on opposing base legs shall be assigned altitudes to ensure vertical separation unless other approved separation has been applied. This ensures separation in the event of an overshoot on final.
Coordinate with LC for any aircraft conducting approaches to other runways than the active arrival runway(s) in use.

Departure Procedures-General

Forward departure instructions to LC for aircraft executing practice missed approaches.
Ensure all departures are on course as soon as practical.
All departures should be on course before handoff to Enroute Control unless otherwise coordinated. Aircraft shall be climbed to 10,000 or less if filed.
Provide airspace for automatic departures and radar final.
Provide airspace for missed approach on all runways.

Handoff and Radar Tracking

Columbia Metro ATCT is a VFR tower. No radar handoffs shall be initiated to LC.
TRACON controllers shall not drop the track on any arriving aircraft. This allows a controller to maintain radar identification during a missed approach.

Release and Rolling Calls

TRACON sectors give automatic releases to all departures from Colubia ATCT when departures follow the standard departure procedures as specified in this document.
All other airports within TRACON’s boundaries shall request a departure release. Upon approval of the release, the release shall be good for five minutes.
Upon issuance of the takeoff clearance, a departure message shall be sent to the appropriate departure sector. This can be accomplished non-verbally by the LC ensuring the aircraft is squawking the appropriate squawk code and mode C is enabled when airborne.

VFR Aircraft within TRACON

VFR Aircraft entering the Class Charlie airspace will be given a discrete beacon code.
If an aircraft departs from CAE and does not request a flight following, the aircraft will be handed off from LC to TRACON and released to UNICOM once clear of the Class Charlie.

{Callsign}, Change to Advisory Frequency Approved, squawk 1200.
7110.65Z Class C Service- Terminal