Oolite Docking Clearance Protocol (v1.72 or later)

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Starting from Oolite version 1.72, the GalCop Docking Clearance Protocol has been introduced. It is disabled by default in versions up to 1.80, and enabled by default from 1.81 onwards. From 1.77 it is configurable through the Game Options menu.

If enabled, the commander will have to request authorization from the space station, before they attempt to dock. If there are vessels in the launching queue or in their final docking approach, the station will respond by asking the player to hold for a few moments while vessels which have priority complete their departure sequences or docking runs. Once this has been done, the station will notify the commander that they are clear to approach and give them a two minute window to complete the docking manouevre. The station will notify the commander 20 seconds before the window closes that their time is running out, at which point the commander can request an extension of the slot. At any point in time, the pilot can cancel out the request to dock and will have to leave the docking corridor to other ships on approach. It must also be noted that the ship's docking computer will always request docking permission as part of its automated approach procedure, so a manual clearance request is not necessary when using it.

If a commander docks without requesting clearance or after their docking slot has expired, the GalCop Station Traffic Control Authority will impose a penalty equal to 5% of the commander's credit balance up to a maximum of 5000.0 Cr for unauthorized docking. No fees will be imposed if the commander has docked in accordance with the protocol. No change in legal record will occur as a result of docking without permission, however, fugitive pilots will not be granted clearance to dock on a GalCop station and they will be subjected to penalties whenever they dock.

In the case of major emergencies, the protocol states that no authorizations to dock be required.

Enabling the Docking Clearance Protocol

To enable the feature, you will need to edit the universal section of planetinfo.plist. You will have to change the entry that reads

universal =
		// Default docking clearance requirement for main stations.
		stations_require_docking_clearance = no;


universal =
		// Default docking clearance requirement for main stations.
		stations_require_docking_clearance = yes;

You can also set each station's docking clearance requirements individually by editing their corresponding shipdata.plist entry and adding the key

requires_docking_clearance = yes/no;

The local requires_docking_clearance key has priority over the global stations_require_docking_clearance one. By combining these two keys you can adjust which stations you want to require clearance and which not to. It is noted that by default, the stations_require_docking_clearance key is set to no. This way, the default game behaviour remains unchanged with respect to what it was before the introduction of the DCP. Additionally, the rock hermit's requires_docking_clearance key is set to no by default. It is up to the player to enable this feature, if they want to experience the new gameplay elements.

Instead of doing the changes yourself you can also download a small oxp that sets the universal docking clearance to true.
Download: Docking Clearance
Starting with Oolite 1.77 the global clearance is set inside Oolite with the user settings and there is no longer any need to use this oxp or set the universal value manually.


To request docking clearance, the commander must first target the station they request clearance from.

  • DC1.png

Once the station has been targeted, the commander must contact GalCop Station Traffic Control and request clearance. This is done by pressing "L" (shift-l). Traffic Control will respond according to the status of traffic at the station at the time of the request. In this example, there are ships in the launching queue and the player will have to wait for a few moments. Note that in most cases, the station will inform the player how long they have to wait by giving them their number in the waiting queue.

  • DC2.png

As soon as the commander's turn is up, Traffic Control will inform accordingly and notify the commander that they have a two-minute window within which they will need to complete their docking approach.

  • DC3.png

If the commander is close to missing their approach window, the station will notify them so that they can take action as needed.

  • DC4.png

The commander can press "L" (shift-l) after the station has notified them in order to extend their docking clearance window. The station approves.

  • DC5.png

The commander can cancel the request to dock by pressing "L" at any time after their original request has been approved (unless they are timing out, in which case "L" (shift-l) will renew their permission).

  • DC6.png

This commander has failed to observe the Docking Clearance Protocol and has entered the station without requesting clearance. He is therefore subjected to a 5% on current balance penalty.

  • DC7.png
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