At the bottom of the scope you will find the communication area shown above. The area marked A is the field where you communicate with other pilots using text, called the Pilot-Comm field. Commands available will be discussed in Chapter 3.1.1 Controlling with text. The field marked B is an indicator for voicetransmission. When you issue a voicecommand by pressing Ctrl the indicator will turn red while Ctrl is held down indicating a transmission is being done. How to control using voice is discussed in Chapter 3.1.2 Controlling with voice. Finally the field marked C is the ATC-Comm field used when issuing or accepting handoff to/from other controllers. The only valid command in that field is "+" followed by the aircraft datacode found either on the flightstrip (see Chapter 2.2) or on the aircraft datatag (see Chapter 2.3).
3.1 Communicating with pilots
Communication with pilots can be done in two ways, either via textcommands transmitted through the Pilot-Comm field or via voicecommands spoken into a microphone. We will first take a look at the textcommands available and how you use text to control aircraft.
3.1.1 Controlling with text
All text commands are issued in the Pilot-Comm field. To place cursor in that field just tap CTRL and the cursor will appear. Before you can give any commands you must specify what aircraft youīre about to communicate with. This is done by entering the aircraft callsign into the Pilot-Comm field followed by a Space. Then you can enter as many commands you want seperated by spaces, and to transmit your commands press Enter. First let us look at all commands available before showing some typical ways to use these commands.
In the table above there is a Key shortcut specified for some commands. These can be used instead of actually typing f.i. the letters CM. By pressing Uparrow these letters will be written automatically and you just have to enter the altitude/flightlevel.
Now letīs take a look at some example communications:
When entering a command perhaps you enter a command incorrectly and would like to change it before sending it using Enter. To get to the position where you want to change something you must use ALT+Leftarrow and ALT+Rightarrow since Leftarrow/Rightarrow alone is a shortcut-key for TL (turn left) and TR (turn right). If you have already sent an incorrect line you may bring up the last transmitted line by pressing "-". There will be some more examples in Chapter 4 where we discuss how to control traffic in more specific terms.
3.1.2 Controlling using voice
IMPORTANT! First of all you MUST run the Speech setup - Train profile. This can be found under Windows Control Panel - Speech. Within the tab "Speech Recognition" you will find a button labelled "Train Profile". You must complete at least the first setup to be able to use voice. If you donīt complete it, the result using Speech is very unpredictable. Make sure you only use the "Default Speech Profile". But, the more you train your profile the better the speech recognintion engine will become. Have also found that by using it within the ATC simulator it becomes better and better.
Ok, you have now completed some voice training. Now it is time to practice it in the real environment. You start a voice transmission by holding down the Ctrl-key (notice the red indicator light to the right of the pilot-comm field). You end it by releasing the button.
The first you must say is the callsign for the aircraft, f.i. "Scandinavian one one two nine" and then followed by the commands. This is a list of expected phrases that can be used while controlling (Words within () is optional):
At first the speechrecognition may seem like more trouble than fun but hang in there because it will be worth it when you start to direct traffic with fast and precise voicecommands just like the real controllers do!