Ok, I am so lost. I exited the station in the training mission, turned to face. And attempted to gain docking clearance. LH panel confuses me as cannot seem to move to 'Contacts' and get clearance there, Comms Panel, asked for clearance.
You may want to review the your keyboard controls bindings. There is a section for UI panel navigation, play around with the bindings there until you are comfortable with the keys used to go between panel tabs.
The confusing thing about panel navigation is that there are separate bindings for tab selection left-right, and for in-tab left-right (such as on the navigation panel).
While my input method is keyboard/mouse, I've watched lots of fellows on Twitch with the flight sticks. I recall FieryToad mentioning it's the hat switches that move through menus? Have a go with that.
For the Saitek sticks (at least the x52 and pro), once you focus on a panel, you should be able to use the hat to get around. Might need to use the other hat too, because of the 2 kinds of navigational modes (between tabs, within tabs)