Flight/Ground Ops, Crewing and DispatchA forum for the people who are engaged in operational control/flight dispatch/crewing and their colleagues airside in ramp dispatch, load control and ground handling, to discuss issues directly related to keeping their aircrew and aircraft operational.
Just out of curiousty, who has heard of Global load control the centralised loadcontrol centre? They are based in Cape Town, Brno and Istanbul. They do in excess of 50000 loadsheets p/m which is quite alot,however I have never seen or heard anything about them except on their website. Just find it weird if they handle so much loadsheets why are they not very well known in the aviation circles.
Professionals who make some startling errors!! You'd be surprised but some have never been close up to actual aircraft they work on!
It's pretty common (at least for the airlines I've worked for) that load controllers have never stepped foot on the ramp of an airport, why would they need to? As long as the LIR / loadsheet are correct then that's all that matters
You need at least a basic idea of the size of different aircraft holds to be a good load controller. You can produce a loadplan that gives an ideal trim on paper, but if it won't actually work in real life it's no good. I've lost count of the number of loadplans I've had to get changed because the load controller that issued it has never actually seen inside the holds of the aircraft he is load planning.
I have spoken to someone that works there and what they have said is that some agents handle in excess of 30narrowbody flights per 8hour shift. It all comes down to how well they know the loading because what was told to me is that after a while you get the know-how as to how many bags,cargo can fit where. obviously each flight can have its deviations.
My buddy says they handle about 40 airlines and the margin for error is extremely low(under1%). All in all I was curious about them because of a potential employment opportunity. What iv seen is good so far centralised load control.
Incorrect/bad LIR's shouldn't be a problem if you've got a decent dispatcher/TCO/team leader doing the flight who can spot whether or not the LIR will work. I get it frequently but a quick phone call soon produces a fresh LIR.
That is true, but then again based in CPT, the smallest airplaine is the 319, theres no e95s,AT7, dash4 etc that lands here so hard for load controllers to see the physical inside. there is however diagrams on the ATMs. But yeah a quick phone im sure would fix the bad LIR.
The idea of a Load Controller who "never stepped foot on the ramp" is pretty scary, isn´t´ it...? Yeah, I know very well this happens but that does NOT make it less scary. Where I work (a Handling Company with no CLC of its´ own) the Airline Reps / Station Managers go berserk if the Flight Dispatcher / Load Planner just focus on Load Planning and does not get involved with isssues at the Ramp. Of course there are numerous of other arrangements that might work fine but "never stepped foot on the ramp" is
- once again - scary! Anyway aadil: An employment opportunity at Global Load Control CLC? Any chance of telling where/when/how/ads? I guess you want to wait until your own application/interview is done but once (hopefully) employed - pls give us a tip!
@750XL I have worked with various CLC load controllers as a dispatcher. Some of the errors are shocking to say the least. Even simple gross error cross checks highlight many issues. There is no understanding of how things work on the ramp. There is little flexibility on changing loads. LIRs with incorrect load priorities. Doors in wrong positions despite being commonly used aircraft. Getting calls 10 mins to STD saying we need to move passengers to get in trim. Yes, this can happen to anyone but when the load control and dispatch function is performed by a single person at the aircraft side the "trim" is usually monitored throughout planning and during the flight. They have the ability to make prompt decisions about load changes. It seems pointless having someone input bag figures into a system only for someone else to duplicate the same task. Often three or four load controllers will be involved at planning and during the flight, so it's no wonder when they need to take time to understand what and deal with problems as they acquaint themselves with a particular case. Dispatchers at aircraft side often bear the brunt of these mistakes and had to explain to reps an station managers why someone else has made an inept error. Mr CLC sitting 1000s miles away will have finished their shift having nothing to explain. Sadly CLC is here to stay. Can't think why the uptake has been so great. Obviously financial.
I have worked with various CLC load controllers as a dispatcher. Some of the errors are shocking to say the least. Even simple gross error cross checks highlight many issues.
I've seen several shocking errors from experienced load controllers, dispatchers, loaders, check-in staff etc... Mistakes happen.
There is no understanding of how things work on the ramp. There is little flexibility on changing loads.
I've always had full flexibility with all load controllers I've worked with, including GLC. They appreciate what I say and change the load according to my instructions.
It seems pointless having someone input bag figures into a system only for someone else to duplicate the same task. Often three or four load controllers will be involved at planning and during the flight, so it's no wonder when they need to take time to understand what and deal with problems as they acquaint themselves with a particular case.
Huh? A provisional load plan is produced based on the booked figure and the GLC/CLC agent will usually monitor the actual bag figure vs planned bag figure and update if required. People typing in the bag figures? Surely the load controller has access to the flight in their relevant system?
Dispatchers at aircraft side often bear the brunt of these mistakes and had to explain to reps an station managers why someone else has made an inept error. Mr CLC sitting 1000s miles away will have finished their shift having nothing to explain.
Not sure what CLC you've been using, but I've never had that problem. If the flight goes late due to load control issues (very rare in my case) then all I have to do is explain the problem and cover myself to prove I couldn't have prevented the problem, then the load controller is usually stuck writing reports for weeks and weeks when the airline come chasing up the delay.
Sadly CLC is here to stay. Can't think why the uptake has been so great. Obviously financial.
Financially CLC is good, but also extremely efficient in my opinon
750XL seems to have been lucky working with really professional CLC-staff.... But let me tell you about one of Western Europes´ most prestigious airlines and their CLC. 1. Not everyone who work at CLC have "set foot on ramp". As a matter of fact some of them never worked as Flight Dispatchers, i.e. they never worked with Load Planning/Weight & Balance! 2. When calling them it is a pretty good chance that the person who answers don´t speak English. I´ve spoken to people who got up and ran around, trying to find an English speaking colleague. 3. Quoting 750XL ¨People typing in the bag figures? Surely the load controller has access to the flight in their relevant system?¨. As I said, you must be working with great CLC:s but normally a CLC-guy is handling several flights and he/she doesn´t have a chance to check balance on all of them during check-in. Getting the final load report can be a nasty surprise.... 4. The risk of mistakes when (at least) one more person - 1000 miles away - is involved is pretty obvious.
Finally: Yes, CLC:s are here to stay due to financial reasons but the lack of professionalism still make them scary.
As an employee of GLC, I can tell you that we are extremely professional. With three centers in BRNO Czech republic and Cape Town, we service more than 40 airlines and the number is growing rapidly, we migrate more than 10 stations per month and we produce more than 50 000 load sheets a month, we are also getting close to our 4 million load sheet.
GLC has different nationalities, from German to American, French, Turkish, South African, Scottish, and hence a number of languages are supported. It’s highly unlikely that you will find agents that cannot speak English as our flight plannining is sorted to direct English speaking stations to English speaking agents, and German speaking agents to German stations.
Our error rate falls below 1percent and this is shown by the many customers that approach GLC for our service. As part of their training all agents are taken to the airport to familiarize them with some of the aircrafts we plan, and hence they possess a more than basic knowledge of holds and compartments.
In terms of planning, we have a high tech system that monitors, fuel figures, check in, zero fuel weight, and many other figures for all aircrafts in our systems, LIR is sent 120 minutes before STD giving the ramp agent plenty of time to voice out his/her complaint. We emphasize on Safety first and hence we monitor very carefully the weight and balance figures, so yes we might ask the ramp agent to load some bags in weird combinations and reseat passengers 15 min to STD but its all done for safety reasons as the figures do change sometimes when fuel figures are entered by stations 18mins to STD or DOW correction is done.
Completely agree with MaHell! We all make mistakes. I accept that. However it can take ten minutes to explain to someone just where the error was and they still don't accept it. The frustration comes from the same silly mistakes which should not be made at all. Despite highlighting this on many occasions before. Having to explain where the door is on a A321 or size of bulk 737 holds, typical bag/pax ratios for various flights. Having LIRs with cargo and bag ulds mixed up clearly shows the use of auto load without cross checking. Of course if they are doing 20 flights at once, it's difficult. Yet these errors should be spotted by them prior to releasing a load plan. Yes dispatchers enter bag figures into the system. How else do you know how many bags are physically in each uld? There is no link to the BRS in another country. I have worked with GLC and you enter bag figures, fuel figures and hit a button requesting load sheets to be released. This information is either duplicated or used in its own format. As you mention load controllers should monitor check in progress but with 20 flights simultaneously this isn't always possible. The CLC agents task is not easy by any means. There area by fine people who do a great job and are easy to work with. These criticisms are directed at the process not individuals.
The issue about load controllers not having been on the ramp isn't so much about lack of experience. Dispatchers too have to start from somewhere. Obviously from zero experience. Your post suggests a training issue and that is correct. Some time should be spent familiarising themselves with compartment volumes, lock restrictions and loading issues. A lot of frustration with CLC agents often stems from unrealistic load plans. For a brand new first timer this is understandable. However for a CLC agent (who incidentally does many more flights than a dispatcher) to have no understanding of these daily issues is unacceptable.