ATC IssuesA place where pilots may enter the 'lions den' that is Air Traffic Control in complete safety and find out the answers to all those obscure topics which you always wanted to know the answer to but were afraid to ask.
I remember the open mic trial that Terminal Control at West Drayton was implemented. Anywhere else require the physical "recording" through either an open mic or the physical selecting of a button/whatever for a controller handing a position over to another when being relieved for a break?
I believe this happens in YYZ ACC but not here in the tower... yet. The capability is here as well, as we use the same Frequentis VCCS. You have to remember to move your headset jack from "coach" to "operator" after the handover is complete, otherwise your hotlines won't work!
My first experience of an open-mike handover was 21 years ago in Perth Flight Service, where the releasing FSO plainly did not trust me to last 5 minutes without welding a couple.
Has got into the culture now in Melbourne Center, and no reflection on the spud you are handing over to. Has greatly enhanced the chances of hearing what you need to, with a lot of ass-covering waffle also.
Ahhhh, this was the point I hoped somebody would raise.
We've just had the requirement introduced here, and the checklist we've been given to follow is great for enroute, yet doesn't really apply to Approach/Terminal. You start getting/giving your life story on handover, what you were going to do and watch out for them tower guys who ain't in the best mood today ( ).
And the response from the guy taking over? "Yeah, yeah. Get out of the way while I have time to fix it"
In the UAE, we have set crews, so we all arrive for a morning shift together and all take over from Night shifts and then handover to afternoon crew etc., so not like Oz where you have 6am starts, then some in at 7, then some at 10am etc etc. So because of that the Supervisor hands over all pertinent info to taking over crew, and that is all written on a briefing sheet, which means only the traffic needs to be handed over at the radar, controller to controller, as all other stuff (eg. Active Danger areas, radars U/S, areas of turbulence etc.) will have been covered by the supervisor.
It has been advised to us here that shortly there will be the equivalent of a "black box" flight recorder installed in the Ops. room, as per an ICAO recommendation, in response to the Uberlingen (Sp??) Crash. It will pick up all voice conversations in the room that wouldn't normally be recorded (supposedly??!!). But at the moment handovers here aren't recorded as there is no voice log in/ recording facility as there is in Oz.