Bill’s Aeronautical Listening and Observation Pages and Links

I refer to this as my aero jumpoff page.  This is where you begin and head off to what particularly interests you. 
Last updated November 30, 2019

Back to Bill’s Site Homepage:  www.marscan.com

THIS PAGE IS IN ACTIVE RECONSTRUCTION AS OF DECEMBER 2019.  CHANGES WILL BE FREQUENT.

RCAF CF-188 (CF-18A) 118796 in special show colours, by Howard Doucet.

 In these pages I intend to cover listening to and observing of predominately civil aircraft flying over the Maritimes whether or not they are landing or departing locally, or merely passing by.   Seeing as how this is a radio website, this is all anchored in listening in on your VHF scanner, supplemented by usage of websites that will help you to geographically locate what you are hearing, or listen from afar.   You will learn about the frequencies and the areas they are used in, and also about the codes for locations and for the flights themselves.   For example, if you hear Lindbergh 4302 cleared for VOKIL or for MLT or to Flight Level 290 do you know what you are hearing?  Or on the websites if you see 3V1408 and identifying on-air as Quality 1408, going from ORD to LGG, do you know that is a TNT Airways cargo flight from Chicago to Liege?    This will all be covered in these pages.   Rather than try to cover it all in one page, I have divided things up. I hope it works for you.

NEW in December 2019:  Dedicated page re Shearwater and as well the four helipads in Halifax, plus Porters Lake airfield.  Click here.

AERONAUTICAL RADIO AND OBSERVATION

  I have been listening to aeronautical radio for several decades and have become very familiar with it, and with the procedures used n air movements.  I combine radio listening with occasional live observation out at the local airport, plus I very commonly watch the flights on sites such as www.flightradar24.com and  www.planefinder.net  that depict aero traffic in real-time and near real-time.  I often use Flightaware for aero arrivals and departures at Halifax and elsewhere. My pages focus on Halifax but are useful for others in the Maritimes and elsewhere.

Supplement your observations with on-line feeds of aero communications from places that are out of range of your home location.  The prime page for this is ATC Live.  Click here to access ATC Live's Halifax page. At this page, select CYHZ Del/Gnd/Twr/App   To find other areas enter the appropriate code in the search box at the upper left.  I commonly also listen to Moncton Centre remote transmissions from Yarmouth (enter CYQI) and also Boston Center's 133.45 from Cape Cod (enter ZBW)

Halifax Airport & Shearwater VHF Frequencies at a Glance
(More frequencies, including UHF and regional ones are on my pages linked below.)

ATC

121.0 Halifax ATIS
123.95 Hfx Clearance Delivery
121.9 Hfx Ground Control
118.4 Hfx Tower   
 119.2 Terminal
118.7 Terminal VFR
128.55 Arrival (rarely used)
129.175 Shearwater ATIS
121.7 Shearwater Ground
126.2 Shearwater Tower/Advisory
134.1 Shearwater Radar


123.275 Halifax Rsdio

DE-ICE (Seasonal)
Three providers share the 4 de-ice pads, and each have contracts with various aircraft operators. The owners shown in brackets are not complete lists.  Corporate, military and smaller aircraft are generally deiced at the FBO's.

129.25 Chorus Aviation De Ice (Air Canada family) 
122.35 Swissport De Ice (Westjet)
122.95 Inland Tech De Ice (Porter, Fedex)) 

FBO's

129.1 Gateway FBO 
123.4 Shell Innotech FBO
129.3 Esso Avitat FBO

AIRLINE SUPPORT


130.8 Air Canada Ops
130.175 Air Canada STOC
130.375 Air Canada LOAD
128.9 Jazz Ops
129.375 Jazz Maintenance
131.275 Westjet Ops

130.65 Swissport (United/Transat)
129.475 Strategic Aviation
(Sunwing & Flair)
131.925 Morningstar (Fedex)
131.875 Cargojet
130.075 Air St Pierre Ops

Some other local area frequencies of note:

 133.95 Moncton Ctr hi-level (Hfx xmtr)
135.3 Moncton Ctr lo-level (Hfx xmtr)

[for other Moncton Centre frequencies see my specific pages linked below]

122.8 Stanley & Trenton Unicom
123.0 Debert Unicom

118.1/120.6 Greenwood Terminal

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Halifax Airport Webcams

 Public Webcam (from the terminal toward junction of 05/14) and showing de-icing bays. impaired by new construction.

HSIA Weather webcams, from the tower (slow refresh rate)
NW Webcam (Taxiway D and intrsctn 05/14) 
NE Webcam (Taxiways D & M, end of 14/32) SW Webcam (Distant view of A/P south end)

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Professional quality photos of aircraft at CYHZ  (on the airliners.net website). [In keywords, type in CYHZ]
Most of these are taken by fellow members of the Halifax Airport Watch group.  You won't find any from me as I am not a photographer like these guys!

Ive Wind and RVR's at Halifax  This Nav Canada page shows the wind at CYHZ, indicating the best use runway.  Links to other airports too.

The remaining topics and links shown below are about to be moved to a jump-off page in order to clear space here on the opening page.

Sleeping in Airports A fascinating guide to sleeping in airports overnight between flights. Yes, Halifax is in here!

   Halifax Airport Watch Group.  You might be interested in joining!

Listening to high flyers?  What does it mean when they report "light chop" or "moderate turbulence"?  See the explanation of this kind of comment at this page.

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The following are mostly my own aero pages with descriptive detail of aero movements from a radio perspective, for the Halifax area but also the surrounding region.  Also included is a variety of great external links.

Aero Radio  
   
Intro to Aero Radio Bands and Aero Frequency List for the Maritimes. revised August 2015.

   Identifying Places
Codes and Abbreviations for Airports, Radio Aids and Reporting Points. 
Revised August 21, 2015

Identifying Aircraft
Guide to Aircraft Registration Marks, Call Signs and Airline Codes

 

General outline of the Aero Scene in the Halifax area and the Maritimes.

At the Airport: Halifax Stanfield Info including Observation areas, Frequencies, Photos

 Stanfield:  Flight Plan, Taxi, Takeoff

Stanfield Departures: Aircraft Leaving the Halifax Airport Area and Heading Out.  Includes my map showing the major initial destinations (waypoints and navaids)

Controlled Airspace and Sectors.  Including low level and high level sector maps and frequency charts. This page briefly outlines tower control zones and terminal control areas but mostly focuses on the area control centre sectors and frequencies in this region. This is where you can see which centre frequencies are used where in our region.   You need to get a handle on this if you want to listen effectively, or want to watch on the computer.  But you may want to read about aero radio first.

Arrivals:  Observing and Listening to Aircraft Approaching Halifax for Landing, includes maps and info re approach points, and frequency list re liaison with FBO or company

Listening to and Observing High-Flying Aircraft Passing over Nova Scotia. This is where you go if you want to know about the multitude of aircraft flying over our area on their way to and from Europe.  REQUIRES RE-WRITING.

Observing on Your Computer
 
(with FlightAware, planefinder, etc.)    REQUIRES RE-WRITING

U.S. Military Aerial Refueling over Nova Scotia 

Click here for an external webpage listing many American military aero call signs.   

 

Runway designations.   What does “Runway 35” really mean?   And why did the designations at Halifax change a while back? 

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Official Airport Sites of Interest

Halifax Stanfield International Airport (CYHZ) official website

Charlottetown Airport     Moncton Airport    
 
Fredericton Airport     Yarmouth airport         Sydney airport    Saint John airport  Bangor International Airport

Other External Reference Links

Airnav.com  Get info on airports, navaids, reporting points, etc.

Airportnavfinder  is where I go to get info on airports and relationship to navaids and adjacent airports.  I use this in my Flight Simulation grand tour of North America.

VFRMAP - Digital Aeronautical Charts

SkyVector: Flight Planning / Aeronautical Charts

        www. aviation.ca

Canadian Airport Weather Cameras   

Nav Canada's Notices to Airmen (NOTAMS)

Transport Canada's North Atlantic Operating Regulations

Rockwell Collins (AIRINC) page

GlobalAir.com an eclectic aero website including aircraft sales and a listing of airspace fixes in the USA 

VATCAN Moncton This is one of many sites from around the world established for the benefit of serious flight simulation enthusiasts.  This site provides airport maps, along with diagrams of standard approaches and departures at the major airports in the Maritimes, all of which originate in Nav Canada publications and reproduced superbly at the simulator site

 

Canairradio   -- for info on Canadian aero frequencies

Nav Canada's Airport Diagram Site
This page will also link to Nav Canada’s chart sales if you want the real thing, 

FAA Site for USA Airport Diagrams and Terminal Procedures (Arrivals and Departures) Search by State

Milcom Monitoring Blogspot 

www.planespotters.net (Lists of current and historic aircraft types, deliveries, etc)

 

NTSB (United States National Transportation Safety Board) reports on incidents.  This has reports on all aviation incidents that the NTSB has been involved in since 1962.  This includes some incidents outside the USA in which for some reason the NTSB played an official role. Very interesting as it gives more details on accidents and incidents than you would find in the press.

Aviation Safety Network (descriptions & photos of air crashes and incidents)

See current location of Lifeflight air ambulance

 THE FOLLOWING IS AN OLDER SET OF LINKS TO MY PAGES AND EXTERNAL PAGES.  BASICALLY THIS IS THE SAME MATERIAL AS SHOWN ABOVE, AND THE TWO WAYS OF DOING THINGS WILL BE AMALGAMATED AS PART OF MY RECONSTRUCTION

Here are my various aeronautical pages.  Most of these interconnect so that on one hand you may need to read several of them, and on the other, there mayb be some overlap or repetition encountered.   On the whole you will find that updates are few and far between which will mean that a frequency, airline, or other piece of information might be absent or obsolete, but yet the overall package might be of continued value to you.  I hope so.

General outline of the Aero Scene  in the Halifax area and the Maritimes.

.

Aero Radio  
  
Aero Radio Bands and An Aero Frequency List for the Maritimes

 

Controlled Airspace and Sectors.  This page briefly outlines tower control zones and terminal control areas but mostly focuses on the area control centre sectors and frequencies in this region. This is where you can see which centre frequencies are used where in our region.   You need to get a handle on this if you want to listen effectively, or want to watch on the computer.  But you may want to read about aero radio first.

Revised August 2015

Listening to and Observing High-Flying Aircraft Passing over Nova Scotia. This is where you go if you want to know about the multitude of aircraft flying over our area on their way to and from Europe.

NEEDS SERIOUS UPDATING, AND MAY CONTAIN A FEW MISCONCEPTIONS OR OUT OF DATE CONCEPTS.

Stanfield International: Listening and Watching   Essentially this is your guide to low-level flights and how they work, but centers on the Halifax Airport. This gives the lowdown on what is there, where to go, what the frequencies are, and the whole cycle of aircraft movements beginning with pushback at the terminal, to the time the aircraft goes out of range of your scanner several hundred miles away, and again as aircraft arrive, make their approach, and eventually taxi to the gate.  A comprehensive guide. 

  Identifying Places
Codes and Abbreviations for Airports, Radio Aids and Reporting Points.

Observing on Your Computer
 
(with FlightAware and planefinder)   

Aircraft Photos of aircraft at HSIA, from airliners.net.  Professional quality, taken by local photographers at Stanfield.

Identifying Aircraft
Guide to Aircraft Registration Marks, Call Signs and Airline Codes

Canadian Military aircraft 5-letter Call Letters   Did You Know They Existed?

Runway designations.   What does “Runway 35” really mean?   And why did the designations at Halifax change a while back? 

U.S. Military Aerial Refueling over Nova Scotia 

Click here for a map of the high level sectors and frequencies for Moncton ACC (CZQM). This will be moved to my control sectors page when I complete it.  This is a large pdf, so you need a pdf reader, and if your download speed is slow, it may take a few seconds to appear.  "The chart is based on various sources primarily from personal monitoring. Any additional updates or corrections from other listeners are always appreciated".

The following are links to external pages and will take you out of marscan.com

First are some sites that bring you on-line aeronautical charts, airport and navigation info and more.  At present I do not know of any on-line chart site that covers Canada beyond the border area with the USA.

VFRMAP - Digital Aeronautical Charts

SkyVector: Flight Planning / Aeronautical Charts


AirportNavFinder - Trust Me! Im a Pilot!
 Easy to use resource for airport diagrams. I use this a lot when on my Flight Simulator tour of North America!


AirNav
  
This is another site I use a lot to get info on airports, navaids and navigational fixes.

Nav Canada's Airport Diagram Site
This page will also link to Nav Canada’s chart sales if you want the real thing, but be prepared to shell out $$$$

 

FAA Site for USA Airport Diagrams and Terminal Procedures (Arrivals and Departures) Search by State

Canadian Aeronautical Communications Website 
No charts but this site brings you valuable aero radio frequency information from all of Canada.  If you don’t have access to the current official documents, this is the place to go.

 

 

SITES THAT PROVIDE REAL-TIME AND NEAR REAL TIME DEPICTIONS OF AIRCRAFT LOCATIONS AND MORE.
 
Watch aircraft approaching your location, or elsewhere, and know who they are, what they are and where they are going!   This list is incomplete and at present only includes the sites that I regularly use.   May also include airport specific departure and arrival information.

www.planefinder.net

www.flightaware.com

 

 

 

LISTENING IN FROM FAR AWAY, FROM BEYOND THE RANGE YOUR SCANNER CAN PROVIDE.

Want to listen to aircraft operations at or near airports or transiting various areas around the world.  Listen to VHF aero radio from wherever!  All depends on whether some kind person has set up a feed in the area you want.   Follow your friend’s flight from its takeoff in Los Angeles to its landing in Newark, then the connecting flight to Halifax….      Here’s the wonderful place:     LiveATC.netlink (aero) live streaming.      At present I do not know of any site that streams HF aero radio as used over the oceans, but then again I have never searched in LiveATC thoroughly, so maybe that is there too.

 

Miscellaneous Links

        www. aviation.ca

Canadian Airport Weather Cameras       

 Halifax Airport Webcam  from the terminal towards Junction 23 and 32

Nav Canada's Notices to Airmen (NOTAMS)

Transport Canada's North Atlantic Operating Regulations

Milcom Monitoring Blogspot 

Flightaware’s page on Activity at Hfx Stanfield A/P  Arrivals, Departures (Recent and Upcoming) Includes general aviation.   

 

VATCAN Moncton This is one of many sites from around the world established for the benefit of serious flight simulation enthusiasts.  This site provides airport maps, along with diagrams of standard approaches and departures at the major airports in the Maritimes, all of which originate in Nav Canada publications and reproduced superbly at the simulator site

Halifax Stanfield International official site

Charlottetown airport official site.

Moncton Airport official site.

Fredericton airport official site.

Yarmouth airport official site

Sydney airport official site.

Saint John airport official site.

Bangor International Airport - Fly Bangor

Rockwell Collins (AIRINC) page

www.planespotters.net (Lists of current and historic aircraft types, deliveries, etc)

See current location of Lifeflight air ambulance

Aviation Safety Network (descriptions & photos of air crashes and incidents)

GlobalAir.com an eclectic aero website including aircraft sales and a listing of airspace fixes in the USA 

NTSB (United States National Transportation Safety Board) reports on incidents.  This has reports on all aviation incidents that the NTSB has been involved in since 1962.  This includes some incidents outside the USA in which for some reason the NTSB played an official role. Very interesting as it gives more details on accidents and incidents than you would find in the press.

 

 

About me and aero radio and my aero background:


 
The first thing I need to say is that I am no expert on this or any other topic.  I am one of those people who knows something about a lot of topics but not everything about any of them, so you won’t find absolutely everything you might want to know here, but it will be a start for sure.   Let’s face it…. I like planes!   Not only do I enjoy seeing them on the ground, I also love flying!  I even enjoy the basics of Flight Simulator and am on a long-term (several years) project to fly around North America visiting thousands of airports! In real life, the highlight of a trip to Florida for me might well be the flights there and back, if the weather is good and I can look down on the land.  For decades I have been listening to aircraft on the scanner, and sometimes on the long-distance HF bands as well.  In today’s world it has been nothing short of fantastic to be able to bring up websites that display the movements of aircraft here overhead or really anywhere in the world, and other sites that allow listening in on traffic at airports all over the world.   I think I have a pretty good handle on at least some aspects of aircraft movements, especially as they relate to identification and locations, and what happens locally around Halifax.   On the other hand I am not a photographer, other than a few clumsy attempts once in a while, and you may be surprised that I do not have a radar transponder reception setup, but that is something that might come in time.   By the way when it comes to the type of aircraft that interest me, well they all do, but I am partial to airliners and cargo aircraft.  In fact, had I become a pilot in the armed forces, rather than being on the bridge of a ship, I would have preferred to pilot a Hercules rather than a Hornet fighter.  My favourite scanner is an old Bearcat BC-590 that has for years been the best I have seen for VHF aero reception.  It does little else but pick up conventional VHF but it certainly is my key radio.  

By the way, I am not a major air traveller.  Here are my highlights.  I think I was up in a small airplane when I was a child back in the late fifties, but that is lost in time.   A highlight around 1960 was to go on a new TCA Viscount from Victoria to Vancouver, and then back again in a Super Constellation, surely the best looking airliner ever!    In 1962 as a young teen I had a helicopter ride at the Seattle World’s Fair, and then in 1966 flew from Vancouver to Prestwick, Scotland in a Martinair DC-7C…  it was wonderful to fly over northern Canada and Greenland, and stop in Iceland for fuel.   In the military I flew on the Boeing 707 shuttle across Canada and which landed several times weekly at Shearwater, and on one occasion flew from Trenton, Ontario to Shearwater in a Hercules.  Since leaving the military I have been to Florida and California on various airlines, airliners and routes, including 727, DC-9, 737, A-319, A-320 and various Embraer and Canadair regional jets.   If I travel I try to avoid the jumbo jets, as there is less chance of getting to actually see outside, and to me a trip without seeing is a complete waste of time and money!