View Full Version : London Military and ATS routes in the North Sea
12th Apr 2007, 14:46
Can anyone shed some light on what's happening with this situation?
Returning to Newcastle from the Eastern Med, and routeing via UL602 to MIMVA, the UIR boundary between EH and EG, it used to be the case that we could take a nice shortcut across the North Sea towards Newcastle, receiving a RAS from London Mil., saving approx. 10 mins of flight time and half a tonne of fuel.
Things have changed however, and we are now told that London Mil. will only accept us if we file UL602 from MIMVA via OTR to Newcastle. However, both the Eurocontrol RAD and the UK SRD indicate that the 'long routeing' (UL602 NALAX UL46 RIMTO UM150 GASKO P18 NEW) is compulsory for traffic from the Dutch UIR with a destination of Newcastle. Therefore, we cannot prompt the direct routeing with London Mil., although it seems that a number of other carriers are able to file this route and 'cut the corner'.
How is this the case? Not begrudging anyone a shortcut obviously, I'd just like to avoid taking a tour of Yorkshire at a level well below our optimum. :) Not that Yorkshire isn't a lovely thing to look at on a nice clear day you understand!
12th Apr 2007, 16:30
mbcxharm, please don't take this the wrong way, but as an ex-London Mil controller, hurrah, finally someone has started to fight the corner a little and stop people just deciding to cut the corner.
If the North Sea danger areas (D323A-F) are active then you can't go direct to NEW and you would end up routing to OTR then NEW. However, it should always have been the case that unless you'd flight-planned that route, you couldn't fly it!
Having been away for a little while now I don't know whether the RAD has been changed but as you say, a lot of companies are still able to file the route. The problem is that there are a lot of people flying that route who don't understand that they're going through an area of intense aerial activity with upwards of 40 aircraft flying VFR in that airspace up to (I guess now FL195?). What you don't want is a A320 (I think) Lufthansa captain refusing to accept the hard 50 degree avoiding action turn, arguing that he's en-route traffic and that the VFR traffic (which I'm not talking to) should move out of his way.
Have I started this argument again? :E
12th Apr 2007, 17:38
I think the current deal is "subject to unit capacity". File the SRD route but as soon as you can after crossing the FIR boundary ask London Control if you can take the short cut. As WWW says, if 323 is active then you have no hope. If it isn't, well it then depends upon whether London Mil have the capacity to take you. Of course, your company may have a view upon you flying through bandit country - that isn't any of our buisiness.
I heard there had been a couple of occurences of pilots who had filed nalax-rimto requesting nalax-otr, then not fully understanding what service they were receiving from the mil controller, as www says. Over the last couple of months, more and more flights have been filing via rimto. If you're unable to file via OTR, request a more direct routing with London on transfer from Maastricht. Depending on D323 activity and military workload (if you've not filed that way, they wouldn't be expecting to work you), you may be lucky!
You could also mention how many kilos of carbon you'll save.....;)
12th Apr 2007, 23:33
Bring back Pennine Radar.....Sorry, 'tis [now] an Airway[s] sector...oh hum ..
Bean Counters 1, Customer Satisfaction/Service 0 Thanks Paul :D
13th Apr 2007, 10:06
Im sorry to get a bit emotive, but this is how I feel;
Civil traffic carry fare paying passengers want ... no expect ...to get to their destination within an ATC sytem which, albeit for human error, vitually GUARANTEES their safety or best cannce tehreof, - hence controlled and regulated airspace . And this is the UK airways system! Go outside this and all bets are off - you are in non regulated ...Indian Territory.. with a real risk of collison (remeber CARNO) If you, as a pilot decide, purely for expediency and fuel saving, to leave the protection of that system and go and cut a corner (OTR - New) and go OCTA (Outside controlled airspace) then you are adding an unbeknown risk to you, your aircraft and whats more your passengers, for commercial gain. Does uyour company have an RMP for such occurences for example? I cannot imagine an airliner taking an AVOIDING ACTION, , turn of up to 80/90 degrees as advised by the mil area or LARS controller ( as mil jets do regularly and expect under RAS - IT WAS DESIGNED FOR THEIR OPERATIONAL FREEDOM DONT FORGET) just to avoid traffic several miles away, (so the controller can achieve his "Standard i.e 5nms etc". I could visualise a hostess spilling hot coffee, warm babies,or cold beer all over the shop if this was the status quo. Bearing in mind another thread which deliberates the value of insisting that seat belts are worn at all times when any inkling of Turbulence is about - due liaibilty etc - I think any civil pilot who expects to cut the corner within the Mils playground (class G ... helloooo ! ) is bonkers! Civil stay in class C/D Unregulated traffic including the 420kts mil, stay outside etc ...hey are.....unregulated!!!! If this doesnt work then lobby for more controlled airspace more direct routings and more civvy controllers while your at it - as the two (mil/ civ) in UK play by completely different rules!(unlike Oz)
Dangerous stuff. As an ex area LJAO guy I have had my own civil moment some 20 ago years .. and now, fully enlghtened ,I can see the errors of the Task and whats more The Process !!:=
DogGone - Hackels Up!:*
13th Apr 2007, 18:14
Penine? Are you having a laugh? I controlled when Penine was open and after they transferred the task to us. Without having the stats to hand it's guesswork, but I would be willing to bet that there were less AIRPROXes filed under mil control than with Penine. Nothing specifically against them, but normally it was one guy working his arse off trying to provide RAS in bandit country - never going to work! The amount of times that Penine guys requested coordination when the conflictor was within 10nms of them and they'd not started avoiding action I'd lost count of by the time that I'd been on Unit for 6 months. :ugh:
The problem has always been, especially as we approach bucket & spade season (ahh, the old season of dread, summer schedules etc. Good luck with that one fellas) you get everyone and their monkey flying the route to NEW and DTV and few of them understand RAS. No this is not another ATSOCAS conversation, but a lack of planning/appreciation/awareness gripe at the airlines. I'm going to lie down now...sorry everyone
13th Apr 2007, 21:00
Ok, I am "biting" Please tell me that you are having a Giraff..[laff]
I was a Pennine Radar Assistant until the end. I worked/co-ordinated with a great lot of guys/gals. :ok: And guess what...during my seven plus years on Pennine, i witnessed 1 [that is ONE] Airprox [700' 2.9nm] Low Level abort into the teeth of a Tees inbound.
There was also the Manch-New Shed.....had 7 Airproxes between POL and NEW...oh yes, he was Embelish :E [The Leeming CAP had a go at him]
Get me some traffic
13th Apr 2007, 22:29
Staying inside CAS is all very well IF you have CAS to stay in!!! The military usually blocks any airspace change applications.
Staying inside or outside CAS is not an option for some of us, it has nothing to do with "cutting the corner."
I also say bring back Pennine. Pennine and Border before that, did a superb job in very difficult conditions. They never got the recognition they deserved. However I must also praise Lon Mil, they also do a good job.
13th Apr 2007, 23:47
Get Me Some Traffic.
If Mil block airspace changes, tell me why CAS just dropped from FL245 to FL195, why 2 new airways have been introduced, where all the CAS around Hurn has just appeared from?
What about the airway from NEW to ADN, or the Scottish TRA overhead Spadeadam Range?
The new CDR's through Kirkcudbright and Eskmeals ranges?
Do I need to go on?
The CAA, DAP, MoD and HM Govt work hard to provide the best overall medium, and at the end of the day the crown (ie mil) have the inalienable right to any airspace they want. We don't want another 9/11 to occur here in the UK. I was working in Atlantic House that day, the civ and mil controllers both learned to appreciate each other more than ever before.
One of the problems of off route GAT traffic being worked by mil controllers is that the mil controller doesn't necessarily have the capacity to work his fast jet traffic and a slow moving, sluggish passenger jet. NATS were (a few years ago) getting upset about the loss of en-route charges due to their traffic going off route with mil controllers, and Strike Command (as was) were concerned about the insurance implications involved in a possible incident with a civil airliner full of passengers being controlled by a mil controller. There were exceptions, when civ traffic had to descend into airports that had little or no CAS ie traffic from EHAM to EGPD and return or the Wideroe flights from Stavanger to Newcastle. Then there were the portions of Ryanair flights from Newquay ( better known as RAF St Mawgan) until they reached CAS.
At the end of the day, you have to weigh up the pros and cons of having GAT controlled by mil controllers. Be that fuel, time and route savings for the airline, the lower CO2 emissions (which will please the govt and tree huggers) or the fact civil aircraft captains are willing to mix it with the fast jet boys just to please the corporate bean counters.
14th Apr 2007, 06:31
Classic (related) example although not in N SEA!....BB-BCN and BCN-BB. The number of pilots who did not understand that when they asked me for RAS, 9 times out of 10 they would get avoiding action. I've been told 'we are on a tight schedule', 'we are on a slot time', 'actually we need to go DCT BCN/BB', 'we have filed DCT', 'we are already running late'.
aaarrrgggghhhhhhhhh!:ugh: :ugh: :ugh:
15th Apr 2007, 15:42
OK lets get some facts in here.
First of all, the UK operates a Joint and integrated ATC policy for the benefit of all users. If a route is outside CAS then in the London FIR, the military can provide a service, if a military jet wants to fly GAT, then he does. On the subject of the North Sea route, comments above about D323 are quite correct. However, there are vast tracts of the day when the D323 complex is NOT active and the routes through it, UM981/982 UM90 and I think the other one is UM91 become CDR3s. A CDR 3 can be used tactically. This means that you can fly along the CDR that goes to Newcastle.
This is when it gets a bit difficult. The boundary between the Scottish and London ATC sectors goes along the north of Y70. If you go to OTR, you remain with LACC and get transferred to LATCC Mil at about FL260 northbound. If you use the CDR, this is in SCACC airspace and they will of course not know about you because you have not flight-planned that route. So chucking you at ScACC civil for that portion of the route is a no go really.
The option is to work London Mil for that portion, as you will be going to them anyway at OTR. There are a number of ways this can happen. Either the civil controller can offer you at the FIR boundary to London Mil (either on their own volition or on request from you) or the Supervisor at London Mil can be proactive and suggest this to the LAS at LACC.
It does depend on the workload of LATCC Mil but as you will be in the upper air, you are a high priority and as I said before, they will be working you anyway. Benefits for the Mil controller are, He/she will get rid of you much earlier, he/she can avoid the Vale of York both laterally and vertically because you can stay higher for longer (not required to be level FL260 by OTR) Benefits for you are obviously time , fuel and carbon.
To know when the CDRs are available you will need to look at the CRAM (conditional route availability message) this is published by 1500 the day before so you can see if D323 is active or not and therefore know if your request is likely to be refused.
There is no such thing as Military or Civil airspace. "it is to be one continuum and used flexibly on a day to day basis" A one way street sometimes but, you are entitled to the short cut as long as it is a recognised route, which these are. It saves money and is safer for all concerned rather than descending through the Vale of York.
15th Apr 2007, 19:53
Someone has been reading CAP740 :zzz:
15th Apr 2007, 20:21
Some of us have contributed towards CAP740. ;)
16th Apr 2007, 10:05
I am CAP 740. Buck up the lot of you!
16th Apr 2007, 10:08
I am CAP 740. Buck up the lot of you!
When are you updating yourself 'cause according to the AMC you're a couple of years out of date? Still wearing kipper ties and moon boots? ;)
16th Apr 2007, 10:12
That's what happens when you allow Jackie and Ruth to dress you!!!
17th Apr 2007, 19:49
I thought NEW was u/s anyway !