Sometimes referred to as the Big Island, the Hawaii sector will make you wish you could focus each eye on a different place and have two conversations at the same time. There are two main airports in this sector. Kona (PHKO) is on the west side of the island, and Hilo (PHTO) is on the east side. There are large mountains in the middle of the island and not much airspace over the water to vector aircraft. It is not uncommon to have two things to do at the exact same time. This sector is capped at 16,000 feet.
The minimum SEPARATION in this sector is either 3 miles or 1,000 feet.
ARRIVALS will come from 5 entry points into either airport. Players should vector aircraft to intercept final at approximately a 30-degree angle. The appropriate intercept heading for PHKO would be 140 degrees from the west, and 200 from the east. The appropriate intercept heading for PHTO would be 230 from the north and 290 from the south. Following the 1:3 ratio rule, aircraft should intercept final at a distance that is 3 times the altitude. For instance, aircraft at 2 thousand feet should intercept final at least 6 miles from the runway, and aircraft at 3 thousand should intercept final at least 9 miles from the runway. There is an arrow placed at the 10-mile mark as a guide.
Tip: Aim for 5 miles between arrivals and watch how close they get as the first aircraft lands, and then you can run them closer as you become more skilled.
Just as pilots will do in real life, the aircraft in this game will automatically slow down as they get close to an airport. Keep this in mind if using close to minimum separation between aircraft. It is not uncommon to lose 2 miles of spacing between aircraft that are on final approach.
Tip: Try and keep aircraft vertically separated if their paths will cross and then “ladder” the second aircraft down as the first aircraft descends. Aircraft that are 20 miles away can quickly become very close. When all else fails, vertical separation will work!
DEPARTURES will exit the sector at 5 fixes. All jets will climb to 16,000, and smaller propeller aircraft will climb to lower altitudes.
The SID (standard instrument departure) from runway 17 at PHKO is heading 295 degrees and climbing to 5,000 feet. From runway 26 at PHTO, aircraft will turn right and intercept a 345-degree track and climb to 5,000 feet.
Tip: It might be easier to level off some departures at a lower altitude if any arrivals are already down at 7,000 feet or lower.
Don’t forget to HANDOFF and SWITCH the aircraft before they reach 16,000 feet or leave your airspace horizontally.