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.
After 22 yrs at BB have been a GW based guy for the last 9 months.
Hats off to NE Deps in particular who are great and keep us eastbound and climbing whenever the BRASO-LAM stream and workload allows
On the numerous times that can't be acheieved, it's a real slog round the system at MSL to eventually get higher from SE. 99% of time it is clear that Longitudinal sep is clearly not an issue. A while back a LTMA trial of not lifting the speed restriction took place supposedly to 'reduce bunching at the UK exit point'. This has clearly become a full time procedure. In reality it provides DVR with no extra flexibility towards KONAN/KOK - so what is the real position?
I regularly end up 3/4 mins and 200-300kg down at my first fuel check by not being able to get above MSL for 10-15mins. If I could accelerate round the SID through NE till clear of the LAM congestion and release to SE Deps for further climb, it would save time and fuel
Genuine input and learning sought from TC guys - thanks
In reality and sensibility however?? As I said, open to be educated on this if such a neccesity, but hugely frustrating! If I can find GOOD reasons and suggestions for this it would hugely reduce my frustration/fuel burn/Co2 emmission, and allow me to educate those similarly frustrated beside me...
Certainly didn't when I was there till end of last year so obviously changed - for the better??
TC Mids were more than happy to release on speed and get the BB's westside of the LL droppers to position laterally and get climbing further Also almost immediate climb to FL140 under the TMA droppers to FL150 until lateral received against them and climb to release to Capital.
The GW deps is a completely different scenario - a huge amount of time stuck at MSL. Vertically the only thing to do given the airspace limitaion around and under the stacks - everyone does a great and best job possible. It's whilst flogging round at MSL though that the departure waste occurs, and going at ECON speed rather than 250 would definately help us. Broke my own years record last week - 21 mins from T/O to get above FL100 on a GW DVR dep
This marvelous missive from above also causes annoyance on LL westerly DVRs, easterly SAM/MIDs where instead of accelerating away from OCK/BIG holding traffic, everyone just eeks ahead slowly, delaying their climb. Still, as long as everyone wants it, which apparently the airlines do, so we're told. Although not the airlines that actually fly in the TMA and talk to us, obviously. Lose count every day of number asking 'any speed restriction/request high speed'. And the answer from the non-compliance police when questioned why we can't remove the speed restriction, ah well, because "it says so." That's fine then.
Sorry, must relax and breathe deeply, it's only a game....
It is done because somebody in an office told us to do it, it is meant improve safety. Even if there are no other aircraft in the sky we have to do it. It is very interesting what has been said about fuel economy, because NATS wants to improve this. Therefore I would suggest that Airline Ops talks to NATS and perhaps an improved method of operation could be found. Heavies are allowed to fly up to 280kts, for operational reasons.
As someone who worked pre and post 250kts speed restriction, I was originally very negative about this introduction. BUT the difference in safety of the TMA after the introduction was something that could not be argued against. I am sure that the Swanwick safety department would be only too happy to provide the statistics on this - they did at the time so it would not be too difficult for them to do it again. It had alot to do with avoiding action turns, more predictable spacing and a few other things. IFIRC the original trial was not about safety but more with traffic flows. The safety improvment was a by product as was the reduction in noise complaints around the airfileds
I'll have a chat with the SD and see what they have to say about it. With an understanding of the reasons it might reduce our frustration! Still. Painful experience trying to escape GW though, first waiting for release from NE then 20 mins to get above FL100.
If this is the best we can collectively do, as another thread queries - is there really airspace for a third runway at LL. I won't thread creep further - but it doesn't look good :-(
originally all aircraft were required to fly 250kts including heavies. After representations from a large carrier based at heathrow, it was decided that heavies that could not fly 250kts clean on departure would be allowed to fly at 280kts. Although this required them to request high speed - which was always allowed. The airline in question then pointed out that all of their 747 departures would be requesting this so it was decided that they would be allowed to do this without having to request it..... Not sure I understand your comment not long now
Yes it could, or it could be slower or there could be no catch up. A long haul A343 infront of a short haul B738 or A320 is a very quick catch up. In fact even a DH8D will catch it until the big bus finally finds the go faster button. My point is, even with nothing in the sky within 200 miles, we are not allowed to cancel the speed restriction unless for overriding safety reasons, what ever that might be. Allowing or even instructing aircraft to accelerate is, or rather now, was, a very useful tool, which is now not allowed to be used. I too had heard it was possibly to do with avoiding action turns, but if that is the case, why is it not a blanket ruling for ALL traffic not just departures from some but not all airfields, and not for arrivals and overflights, and why only up to FL100? Experience is the key to this matter, and it is being lost by this blanket ban. How many newly valid ATCOs know now that Swiss would never accelerate over 250, Tarom would do mach 9 given the choice, An Egyptair A340 will be flown like it's a hire car whilst Virgin A340s fly like a mobility scooter etc.