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Danger of JFK ramp and ground ops

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Danger of JFK ramp and ground ops

Old 2nd Feb 2024, 01:38
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Danger of JFK ramp and ground ops

Hi,

We almost had a collision out of JFK. While holding at international ramp and with ground clearance to taxi out from H, rightt turn A. We were at a stop and was cleared but out of the corner of our eyes, we saw a delta 767 on A. Ground asked Delta to give way to us but there wasn't any reply. Ground called again, nil reply. Delta taxi past us. We were still stationary. We assumed Delta was calling their ramp and hence missed the call.

It is a big threat with Ground not talking to Ramp. Pilot's attention is being taken away when they are trying to get their bay number. Given that JFK is a high traffic airport, this makes the threat even more severe. I hope this gets changed.

Regards
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Old 2nd Feb 2024, 03:33
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That's almost a collision like landing is almost a crash.
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Old 2nd Feb 2024, 04:52
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umm. no. If the only remaining unholed cheese layer between a ground collision and a happy day is the fact that you do not execute your taxi instructions in order to give way to a non-responding aircraft you spotted by sheer luck, then an incident has occurred. I hope OP filed a corresponding report.
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Old 2nd Feb 2024, 08:57
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by physicus
umm. no. If the only remaining unholed cheese layer between a ground collision and a happy day is the fact that you do not execute your taxi instructions in order to give way to a non-responding aircraft you spotted by sheer luck, then an incident has occurred. I hope OP filed a corresponding report.
Well said.
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Old 2nd Feb 2024, 10:15
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I have always thought that having to call ramp on box 2 - leaving PF to taxi and talk to Ground and "write down" taxi clearances and execute them correctly at a very busy and complicated airport - while PM is on box 2 trying to find out which stand they are destined for, is utterly crazy and is just asking for trouble. You can do it with heavy crews, (three pilots), but it's very marginal otherwise.

I've always wondered why can't JFK Ground ATC have a screen or an annotation on each aircraft strip to tell them what stand each aircraft is going to ??? (yes, I know Ground and Ramp are different companies at JFK, which is also crazy).

Perhaps my memory is becoming selective, but I don't remember having to do that elsewhere, and that includes places such as Paris CDG.
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Old 2nd Feb 2024, 10:25
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At Kennedy, it’s the ramp controller that clears you into the ramp area of your destination terminal. Knowing your gate assignment wouldn’t preclude you having to call the ramp on box 2 whilst being controlled by Kennedy ground as you taxi towards the terminal.
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Old 2nd Feb 2024, 15:56
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Originally Posted by physicus
aircraft you spotted by sheer luck
Airplanes have windows and it is your responsibility to look out of them whenever you're moving. Taxi slowly, keep a good look out and luck should have nothing to do with it.
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Old 2nd Feb 2024, 18:29
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As a final line of defence against an accident, yes. However a commercial aircraft should never be put in a situation where it needs to see and avoid to prevent an accident on the ground or in the air.

If you rely on the final line of defence as the only line of defence an accident will happen eventually.

This is what the OP is getting at.

LD
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Old 3rd Feb 2024, 13:54
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Originally Posted by Uplinker
I have always thought that having to call ramp on box 2 - leaving PF to taxi and talk to Ground and "write down" taxi clearances and execute them correctly at a very busy and complicated airport - while PM is on box 2 trying to find out which stand they are destined for, is utterly crazy and is just asking for trouble. You can do it with heavy crews, (three pilots), but it's very marginal otherwise.

I've always wondered why can't JFK Ground ATC have a screen or an annotation on each aircraft strip to tell them what stand each aircraft is going to ??? (yes, I know Ground and Ramp are different companies at JFK, which is also crazy).

Perhaps my memory is becoming selective, but I don't remember having to do that elsewhere, and that includes places such as Paris CDG.
Valid points raised in this thread. The only colour I’ll add is that it’s not a JFK thing. Essentially all major US airports have a ramp frequency. The arrival gate is typically known prior to landing, and the PM will contact the ramp at a low workload point during the taxi.

If Delta wasn’t responding, it sounds more like somebody messed up a radio. You’d still monitor ground until you’ve left the movement area.
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Old 3rd Feb 2024, 19:04
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Originally Posted by Check Airman
… the PM will contact the ramp at a low workload point during the taxi.
With all the accidents cause by taxying errors, remind us all when the 'low workload' point is please?
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Old 4th Feb 2024, 03:56
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Originally Posted by pilotmike
With all the accidents cause by taxying errors, remind us all when the 'low workload' point is please?
Let's say the "relatively low workload" point then.
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Old 4th Feb 2024, 12:39
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what is the advantage of delegating to a ramp authority compared with the ground movements controller controlling any aerodrome movement as takes place here . Seems unnecessary.
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Old 4th Feb 2024, 15:08
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Originally Posted by 22/04
what is the advantage of delegating to a ramp authority compared with the ground movements controller controlling any aerodrome movement as takes place here . Seems unnecessary.
As it is the USA I would guess $$$
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Old 4th Feb 2024, 18:33
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Originally Posted by Lomon
As it is the USA I would guess $$$
Money is the motivation for many things. This is true throughout much of the planet Earth.

But on the subject of operations on airline ramps within the USA, it's simply that airline terminal ramp and apron areas are designated as non-movement areas for ATC purposes. Such areas are not subject to FAA air traffic control. These non-movement areas are simply outside of ATC's jurisdiction. Airlines or airport operators are responsible for what goes on in non-movement areas. The boundaries of non-movement areas and movement areas are delineated by 2 yellow lines, one solid line on the non-movement area side and one dashed line on the movement area side. (similar to a runway hold short line, but with only one line on each side rather than 2)

Non-movement areas are typically under the jurisdiction of the airport operator. Control of these areas is often delegated to the tenants of the leased terminal gates or contracted to service providers hired by the respective tenants. Some non-movement areas are controlled and some are not. Certain non-movement area ramps or aprons do not require communications with any controlling entity. In these areas it is up to flight crews to look out for themselves. Ground vehicles, workers and associated equipment may also operate in such areas without a specific authorization to do so. However these entities will typically require an airport driver permit/ID or an airfield escort.

In the decade or so that I held an LAX airfield driver permit, I saw several accidents between vehicles and airplanes. And these accidents tended to occur near the interface of movement and non-movent areas within the Airport Operating Area (AOA) of the airport. The entire AOA is within the Security IDentification Area (SIDA) of LAX.

My next aviation job involved flying charter jets into airports all over North America, with occasional visits to destinations within both the EU and UK. As a pilot I've been left alone with my flying partners to find our own way at times. Pilots are always responsible for safety outcomes regardless of who was supposed to have done what. At least that's my attitude every time I fly. So far that manner of thinking appears to have served my pax and airplanes well. Not a bump or scratch on any of them. ( fingers and toes crossed!)

Good job to the OP for recognizing a situation developing and reacting proactively by holding position until it was safe to move. I'm guessing this pilot considers terrain and weather before blindly accepting vectors too.

Remain engaged and fly safely.
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Old 4th Feb 2024, 19:39
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Originally Posted by Check Airman
The arrival gate is typically known prior to landing, and the PM will contact the ramp at a low workload point during the taxi.
When I was flying there, Terminal 1 ramp would not tell you the entrance(two of them) until after landing. That meant coordinating between them and ATC during ground ops. Typical procedure was to land on 22L with tower telling you to hold short 22R. During that time, someone contacts ramp and gets the entrance with gate confirmation(one might have a significant time window before crossing the runway). Then cross 22R and contact ground who is given the entrance(saves chatter as then they don't have to ask). I would always remain in contact with ground until actually entering the ramp. Sometimes, ramp want you to hold short due to traffic). Therefore, if it looks like you may be stopped on the taxiway for a while, you can let ground know(but I only try to do let them know during a decent break in ATC chatter, which may not happen, as usually[but not always] it is of little concern to them).

On departure, you always contact ground while still on the ramp. Most pilots know that, but a situation can happen where you will actually be pushed back onto the taxiway(or partially so). You want to contact ground before this happens for a clearance to do so.


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Old 5th Feb 2024, 12:42
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In my experience, I find the situation where a preceding aircraft turns off a taxiway, then stops awaiting their gate to clear or whatever reason. The taxiway is clear, in front of you, but the stopped preceding aircraft’s tail is intruding into the taxiway slightly. Very difficult to judge. And I know these type of incidents have occurred at JFK and other airports regularly. Taxi slow, keep your head on a swivel, and err on the safe side.
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Old 5th Feb 2024, 12:46
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Originally Posted by extricate
Hi,

We almost had a collision out of JFK. While holding at international ramp and with ground clearance to taxi out from H, rightt turn A. We were at a stop and was cleared but out of the corner of our eyes, we saw a delta 767 on A. Ground asked Delta to give way to us but there wasn't any reply. Ground called again, nil reply. Delta taxi past us. We were still stationary. We assumed Delta was calling their ramp and hence missed the call.

It is a big threat with Ground not talking to Ramp. Pilot's attention is being taken away when they are trying to get their bay number. Given that JFK is a high traffic airport, this makes the threat even more severe. I hope this gets changed.

Regards
Absolutely on the money. Happens nowhere else - its setups like these that are rapidly making the US a third-world aviation country.
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Old 5th Feb 2024, 15:55
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As far as I know in JFK , at least the last time I was there, Ramp control in JFK is performed by FAA air traffic controllers, so they can issue instructions . the position is not the most interesting to do hence some of the guys rostered to do it may not be that motivated on it sometimes. Again that was like this last time I was there. might have changed since.. By contrast in many other airports , ramp control is often delegated outside of ATC to a firm . Cheaper , less training, less pay etc.. and those guys are not controllers , just Ramp agents, so, according ICAO cannot issue instructions . Only information , This subtilty is often missed, but in case of mishap, the PIC will be held responsible, even if the crew followed exactly what the ramp agent said. Very similar to AFIS in fact..
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Old 6th Feb 2024, 07:12
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Originally Posted by ATC Watcher
As far as I know in JFK , at least the last time I was there, Ramp control in JFK is performed by FAA air traffic controllers, so they can issue instructions . the position is not the most interesting to do hence some of the guys rostered to do it may not be that motivated on it sometimes. Again that was like this last time I was there. might have changed since.. By contrast in many other airports , ramp control is often delegated outside of ATC to a firm . Cheaper , less training, less pay etc.. and those guys are not controllers , just Ramp agents, so, according ICAO cannot issue instructions . Only information , This subtilty is often missed, but in case of mishap, the PIC will be held responsible, even if the crew followed exactly what the ramp agent said. Very similar to AFIS in fact..
How would aircrew be able to tell the difference between one set of controllers and the other?
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Old 6th Feb 2024, 10:44
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Originally Posted by Maninthebar
How would aircrew be able to tell the difference between one set of controllers and the other?
This is not easy I grant you that ! Normally on Aerodrome charts you have a green line separating the responsibilities between where ATC ( Ground) control applies from Apron Management Services ( AMS) . but it is not uniformed, even more complicated when a State calls its AMS , Apron Control .( example Germany .EDDF)
And even more so when ATC ( Ground ) is only available at certain times, and AFIS at others ( example in France , Vatry , LFOK )
Not very transparent to the user who is who. But it all in AIPs and NOTAMs of course..
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