2nd May 2003, 01:35
Could this be true or just hype? " Air traffic controllers say they can no longer keep the airspace around Chicago safe and have asked the NTSB to intervene. In a news release Wednesday, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) said chronic understaffing, rule changes and the extra burden of traffic from now-closed Meigs Field have pushed ATC staff and facilities too far. "
2nd May 2003, 01:58
All I can say is every ORD Controller I've heard says the same things in private as the press release. Chronic under-staffing, traffic increasing, and now new and drastic limits on LAHSO operations, causing a lot more crossing vectors to sequence to the remaining runways. Plus closing Meigs means more traffic at MDW. It wasn't an easy place to work 3 years ago. I imagine they're pretty sick of it....:ooh:
2nd May 2003, 11:49
Chicago has been using a procedure that we have used in the US for a VERY long time where you have one aircraft hold short of a runway and land another aircraft full length on the other one. It was called simultaneous operations intersecting runways ( spelling could be a bit off. ). We changed it a few years ago to make some tweaks to the procedure and called is LAHSO ( Land and Hold short.) Part 121 pilots ( Airlines ) looked at it and all of a sudden decided in the US that they weren't comfortable with the procedure any more. SO, there had been a lot of negotiations going on back and forth. Finally came to an agreement and started using it.
Chicago got an interpretation from someone that stated that a non participating aircraft is just that, you can't have them hold short of a runway or taxiway area. So Chicago let those aircraft use the full length runway and only did the LAHSO procedure with those air carriers that were doing it. There were a couple of non US carriers who didn't like this and brought it to the attention of the FAA in Washington. The suits in DC stated that there was no participating and non participating. If one aircraft was doing LAHSO then both of them were involved and so told Chicago to cease this practice with people who didn't want to participate. This caused a bit of a problem at Chicago since it reduced the amount of aircraft that they could put on the ground at any time. This meant more aircraft airborne waiting to get on the ground.
Another issue was that the controllers there restructured routes and such to try to maximize the runway combinations so that they could still try to get as many aircraft on the ground as they could. Now, they have a LOT of aircraft criss crossing above the airport all trying to get on a final that doesn't conflict. They are also doing it with only about three quarters of the controllers than they should...
2nd May 2003, 14:27
With how many due to retire in the next few years?
Nogbad the Bad
2nd May 2003, 16:31
They are also doing it with only about three quarters of the controllers than they should...
Aren't we all.........and because of Privatisation, NATS has taken it upon itself to delay (and thus reduce) the ATCO intake !!!
Just how stupid is that ???
:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
2nd May 2003, 18:54
Nogbad the bad - it's very stupid indeed!!!!
See the "July 03 course to become Jan 04?" posting for the delays happening with NATS recruitment - and the effect it's having on us potential recruits.:(
Morale within NATS isn't meant to be the best anyway - is that why they are messing us around so much?
4th May 2003, 05:38
The US is doing the same thing. No money budgeted due to the continuing resolution. So this year we didn't get the input that we were expecting. Now our new Administrator is saying that we aren't short, we are actually 600 controllers OVER what we need to run the system. Maybe she is right and they are all in STAFF jobs <sigh>. I can see where we do have some waste at some of the slower facilities. But most of the busy ones only have an overflow of controllers during the few months in the year when no one wants to take any vacation time and when we aren't doing any training. That is going to get even worse in the near future as we train for new software and new equipment. Then of course the training that we will have to do for the new folks.
4th May 2003, 12:28
Oh what a familiar story....
I work radar in the Perth(civil)/Pearce(military) terminal area. We have a somewhat congested airspace during periods of military activity (9am to 5pm, Mon-Fri).
The company's solution... make the route structure more complicated, push the cross-overs into the Area controller's airspace (who has to use 5NM instead of 3NM and little, or no, use of visual separation), add the element of a chronic staff shortage in Area so that the poor bastard is working 2 or 3 sectors combined and watching those cross-overs on a screen set to 450NM range (his sector boundary goes out to 200NM radius, plus a bit) and when they have a breakdown in separation.... blame the controller.