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ATC Issues A 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.

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Old 25th Nov 2016, 11:24   #41 (permalink)
 
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throw a dyce - I couldn't agree more. I'm just grateful I'm retired - and I never thought I would hear myself say that. Sad times for UK ATC.
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Old 26th Nov 2016, 17:52   #42 (permalink)
 
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Good times though for people looking for jobs or who fancy a move after years of no one hiring. And a good opportunity for both NATS and non-NATS people who fancy giving it a go elsewhere. Maybe the last chance before automation makes it all a bit dull. RNAV approaches are just the start.
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Old 26th Nov 2016, 23:41   #43 (permalink)
 
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Completely agree with the above comment. It's a brave new world ... until automation
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Old 27th Nov 2016, 11:47   #44 (permalink)
 
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There won“t be automation in our lifetime. Too many unknown variables, no computer in this world can calculate with these, especially down low.
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Old 27th Nov 2016, 13:12   #45 (permalink)
 
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Great time for jobs mobility in the UK as the Nats monopoly is breaking up. No doubt there'll be more to come!
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Old 27th Nov 2016, 13:17   #46 (permalink)
 
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I joined ATC at LATCC in June 1971. At Christmas that year I was told by a person who owned some sort of computer company that I was facing an uncertain future as computers would make ATCOS redundant within a few years. I completed 37 years as an ATCO in 2008 & have been retired since then. In those 45 years ATCOS have been, & are still doing, basically the same jobs in the same ways. I know that there has been a gradual introduction of various computer aided tools & systems, but how long will it take before ATCOS really are redundant ? I don't think that I will ever see it !
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Old 27th Nov 2016, 13:32   #47 (permalink)

 
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Of course there will be automation. There already is.

We pass 90% of our airways clearances with no ATCO interaction at all.

Doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out where the intention is for the future. Whether it's deliverable in the desired timescale is another thing.
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Old 27th Nov 2016, 14:40   #48 (permalink)
 
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Yes, gonzo. I appreciate that sort of thing, pointsmerge , CPDLC etc. And I know that these innovations will continue; & gather pace. But, the point of my question is , how long will it take before the ATCO is no longer sitting in front of the RADAR taking the decisions ? Any idea ?
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Old 27th Nov 2016, 16:17   #49 (permalink)
 
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KC... It must have been 45+ years ago when I was working GMP in the tower a bright chap came and sat next to me. "What are you up to?" I asked. "Replacing you with a computer chip" was the reply. I told him he would be better off working out how to run the EG list on a chip. Never heard nor saw him again...
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Old 27th Nov 2016, 16:31   #50 (permalink)

 
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Sorry kcockayne, wasn't aiming my post at you.

But when you see what effect iFACTS has had on controllers over the years, in that the vast majority of the time the proposed resolutions are followed (and I'm prepared to be corrected), the controller will have fewer decisions to make, and fewer interventions.

I can see a similar transition in the future on Ground and Air in terms of departure sequence, the optimum sequence is presented to the controllers, and the 'best' taxy route is suggested.

HD, there are issues with it of course, and some of them are of our own making, but our kit is pretty good at determining an optimum departure sequence and from that the start order.

Controllers won't go away by any means, but the job at the major airports will be very different in 10-15 years than it is now.

Anyway, I don't want to get into this again.
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Old 27th Nov 2016, 16:37   #51 (permalink)
 
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We might be saved a while by airlines and airports being cheap. I work at a fairly busy airport and CPDLC is probably only used half the time, lots of airlines don't want to pay for it. And our kit in the tower is hardly cutting edge...

I'll be worried when some higher ups come in and declare they're going to invest loads of money in the operation.
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Old 27th Nov 2016, 16:53   #52 (permalink)

 
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Yes, all the Gucci stuff is not cheap!
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Old 27th Nov 2016, 19:46   #53 (permalink)
 
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I can see a similar transition in the future on Ground and Air in terms of departure sequence, the optimum sequence is presented to the controllers, and the 'best' taxy route is suggested.
Unless you only have a single taxy route and no run up areas to integrate with GA.

Quote:
Controllers won't go away by any means, but the job at the major airports will be very different in 10-15 years than it is now.
Hurrah for the minor airports - keeping their place as the best apprenticeship for controllers.
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Old 27th Nov 2016, 19:49   #54 (permalink)
 
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Yes, all the Gucci stuff is not cheap!
until it becomes cheaper than an ATCO. Units are run lean these days as SOP. . . the gap will become less as technology advances / becomes cheaper as it has already proven to do so.
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Old 28th Nov 2016, 19:04   #55 (permalink)
 
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that sort of thing, pointsmerge , CPDLC etc.
Point merge, quite literally, is a complete waste of space.
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Old 28th Nov 2016, 20:27   #56 (permalink)
 
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Yes, all the Gucci stuff is not cheap!
But in Europe we are heading toward a situation where only stuff approved by the European Commission/EASA can be used. And the approval process will be so complex and costly that only a small number of manufacturers, perhaps only the ones that paid their dues by supporting SESAR (like Thales, Leonardo and Indra), will have approved stuff available. And they will need to recover their costs from a, possibly relatively small user base, and no doubt add a premium to recover the cost of supporting the SESAR project.

So the kit is unlikely to to become cheaper than the controllers for a while yet.

And never forget that all of this is to ensure that aviation in Europe is safe.

But to be more serious, or more correctly, less cynical, the real problem is that human controllers will be replaced by the kit because it will be faster or be able to handle more complex tasks than the human. Then, if the kit fails, where do we turn to get the job done? But, for just a moment there I forgot, it won't fail because it will have been approved by EASA......

(Sorry, didn't manage to get less cynical, ho hum.....)
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Old 29th Nov 2016, 19:05   #57 (permalink)
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I seem to spend increasing amounts making Camelot more profitable. Seems to be a theme at my unit. Bring on the automation I say!

Happiest bloke I know stacks bread on the shelves in our local Tesco, always smiling, always whistling a wee tune. Sometimes I envy him.
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Old 29th Nov 2016, 21:08   #58 (permalink)
 
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Pretty sure shelf stacking will be automated entirely before ATC
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Old 29th Nov 2016, 22:18   #59 (permalink)
 
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Happiest bloke I know stacks bread on the shelves in our local Tesco, always smiling, always whistling a wee tune. Sometimes I envy him.


Yep £7;50 an hour, happy as a sandboy and here's me at Swanwick 0n £110000 a year and totally p####d off, what a funny old world.
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Old 30th Nov 2016, 09:34   #60 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by obwan View Post
Happiest bloke I know stacks bread on the shelves in our local Tesco, always smiling, always whistling a wee tune. Sometimes I envy him.


Yep £7;50 an hour, happy as a sandboy and here's me at Swanwick 0n £110000 a year and totally p####d off, what a funny old world.
When I was younger my parents told me that money doesn't buy happiness, I'm starting to see they might have been (begrudgingly) right!!
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