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Luton-9

Old 20th May 2018, 20:14
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East Anglia Helimed landed at the airport (circa 19:00) and some ambulances also in attendance.

Sunday 20th May 2018.
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Old 21st May 2018, 05:34
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Seems that Luton is the worst UK airport for flight punctuality with departures from the Bedfordshire hub leaving on average 19.7 minutes late although there is not much in it with Birmingham,Teeside, Jersey, and Gatwick all above 18 minutes.

Looking at Luton today there are 17 departures from 5:55 to 6:30 and 44 to 08:00. There are also 13 arrivals between 07:00 and 08:00 making a total of 57 moments to 08:00 which is rather impressive at almost 1 movement every 2 minutes.
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Old 21st May 2018, 07:11
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Plus you can add a number of executive movements. Wizz 20 departures this morning between 0600 and 0930.
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Old 21st May 2018, 07:20
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Unfortunately, LTN is not an impressive airport at all. From today’s stats each of those departures will run on average nearly 20 mins late.
Whilst the airport layout does not help, and I accept there are external factors like Northolt departures which throw a spanner in the works occasionally LTN is still a slow and ponderous operation. From basics such as late Marshallers leading to blocked taxi ways, to the “mandatory hectopascal” read back which the rest of Europe don’t require, LTN needs a thorough revamp of procedures. From the simple things like straight or 45degree push backs to auto frequency changes and getting DCL sorted for northbound departures to name but a few.
The new gates on the East apron mean that 7 stands will be blocked as soon as one aircraft moves due to no thought given to allowing a double width access and let’s not even talk about the new improved airport road access or the inadequate immigration hall.
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Old 21st May 2018, 07:54
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I think most of the delay comes from airport congestion really. I am confused about taxiway foxtrot which might allows more pushbacks on to Delta - is that happening.

Hectopascals isn't the airport's fault - you'll need to change the CAA's view after several incidents where American crews have got it wrong- they are used to one simple scale of inches.

Remember Luton has a higher percentage of large aircraft/short turnrounds than many of its competitors.

Oh and auto frequency changes- again difficult - as unlike say Birmingham they are more variable- sometimes Approach needing to work traffic before London control to de-conflict inbounds and outbounds. So another reason is the crowded bit of the London TMA in which the airport sits.

Last edited by 22/04; 21st May 2018 at 07:57. Reason: spelling
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Old 21st May 2018, 08:15
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The new gates on the East apron mean that 7 stands will be blocked as soon as one aircraft moves due to no thought given to allowing a double width access and let’s not even talk about the new improved airport road access or the inadequate immigration hall.
Soon to be 8 but a double width access would have reduced the size of the CTA road layout and car parks so there was no room to do that.

I am confused about taxiway foxtrot which might allows more pushbacks on to Delta - is that happening.
Work is meant to start next month.

At the end of the day we are talking about a minutes difference between Birmingham,Teeside, Jersey and Gatwick. The airlines factor this in so what is more important is the arrival times at the other end of the route.
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Old 21st May 2018, 08:37
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If you push on to Delta you block it.
Nowhere else in Europe insists on the Hectopascal read back and American crews fly to Europe.
The auto frequency change is not difficult. Some of the largest airports in Europe use it very effectively to cut out unnecessary chat. If it’s not appropriate for some reason the controller simply says “remain on this frequency until instructed, clear take off.” Another option is simply “Contact departures” or “contact ground” without the verbiage of a frequency.

Luton needs a real operational kick in the backside to sharpen up the whole operation.

LTN Man. You have summed up the problem with Ltn very aptly when referring to the fact that roads and car parks get priority over a dead end East apron that is going to cause taxi delays for probably decades. The whole car parking & drop off area has been dug up several times and losing another 30-40m to create a free flowing apron would have been insignificant in the grand plan.

Last edited by Airbrake; 21st May 2018 at 08:55.
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Old 21st May 2018, 08:49
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Nowhere else in Europe insists on the Hectopascal read back and American crews fly to Europe.
The auto frequency change is not difficult. Some of the largest airports in Europe use it very effectively to cut out unnecessary chat.
Just saying that a lot of the problems you mention are not directly under Luton's control but rest with the CAA and NATS so won't be sorted quickly and can't be sorted by the airport. .

The London TMA is more complex than most in Europe with many stakeholders and lots of traffic. Witnessed it yesterday in My Jodel joining the circuit at White Waltham with an A380 2000 feet above me on left base for LHR
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Old 21st May 2018, 08:52
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And where else in Europe says taxi to stand 42 Lima?
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Old 21st May 2018, 08:53
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I think that is totally unfair airbrake. Personally I think ATC and everybody tries there damnest considering the layout of the airport. I suggest you should channel your grievances to NATS.
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Old 21st May 2018, 11:26
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I don't think you can blame having to say the word hectopascal on a read back to ATC (which takes less than 1 second) is the cause for delays at Luton ... I mean, really???

Yes pushing back blocks taxiways, but have you seen the cul-de-sac at Manchester - this is not a specific problem, and from what I have seen of LTN they do try to plan stands and plan ground movements in such a way to minimise these delays.

I think a lot of the problems come from having an airport which is more leisure focused and hence the passenger mix tend to (on average, and I know this not not exclusive), but on average passengers tend to travel less, are therefore less airport savvy and inadvertently cause delays ... it's the nature of leisure orientated low cost travel
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Old 21st May 2018, 11:49
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Originally Posted by compton3bravo
I think that is totally unfair airbrake. Personally I think ATC and everybody tries there damnest considering the layout of the airport. I suggest you should channel your grievances to NATS.
No, LTN ATC management and LTN airport management should be getting a grip of it and going to NATS instead telling us to “turn left, hold A4.” Pause....... “contact ground blah”. ATC may be doing their best but this type of change has to be pushed through by airport managers. I don’t know if you are involved with ATC at LTN, but the resistance to change shown on this thread is why delays at Luton and operational efficiencies are only going to get worse. With increasing numbers of aircraft many of the bottle necks and operational short comings are only going to add exponentially to existing delays.

PS. Cumbrianboy, you clearly haven’t heard some of the Hectopascal RT conversations at LTN!
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Old 21st May 2018, 13:48
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Ref. the hectopascals this is a national requirement.
See CAP413 p27

The ATS messages listed below are to be read back in full by the pilot/driver. If a readback is not received the pilot/driver will be asked to do
so.

Altimeter Settings, including units when value is below 1000 hectopascals
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Old 21st May 2018, 14:03
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I haven't got by head around if and how Taxiway Foxtrot would help trapped aircraft on the Eastern Apron. If the tug took the aircraft to the south of the intersection it then can't get back as the towed aircraft is now in the way. If it took the aircraft to the north of the intersection as happens now what has been gained? I am assuming Taxiway Foxtrot will allow arriving and departing aircraft to pass each other rather than waiting at Alpha.


Out of date now but this is the NAT's view of Luton

Control tower view

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Old 21st May 2018, 15:23
  #1235 (permalink)  
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Don't know if anyone else noticed. There's 5 aircraft parked on stands on pier B in below video. This 1st Easyjet seems too close to be on Delta. Are they going to squeeze another stand somehow?

Can't post link. The video is titled A Journey Through The New London Luton Airport (one that plays on the car park buses) and the shot I'm talking about is at exactly 1 minute.
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Old 21st May 2018, 17:33
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Why exactly are a/c being tugged out to Delta anyway?
Is it not due to the builders compound being in the Apron?
Once the compound has gone would the problem not disappear and a/c would push and start on the Apron?
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Old 21st May 2018, 17:42
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Something like this. Links have been named zulu ( opposite the East apron) and "x-ray" to the north of that in my proposal.
"Lowcost 123 push back on to taxiway delta and ask your tug to pull you forward to leave link z clear. "
"Cheapflight 789 ( who has already pushed to the back of the cul de sac and started) taxi link zulu taxiway foxtrot and alpha hold alpha one." (when the lowcost has cleared)
"Blue Eastern 921 ( from say stand 9) taxi exho, delta, link x-ray foxtrot alpha hold alpha one runway 26" (when the lowcost is still starting).

Though I guess Airbrake won't like the verbage.

Airbrake, if we let airport mangers dictate aviation policy, it would be to the detriment of safety and certainly other airspace users like me in my little Jodel, gliders, hot air balloons, pipeline inspection flights etc etc. Exeter's Airspace change policy proposal has just been rejected remember.

Last edited by 22/04; 21st May 2018 at 17:43. Reason: punctuation
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Old 21st May 2018, 17:51
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22/04.

What a shambles that is going to be for years and years.
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Old 21st May 2018, 18:41
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Originally Posted by Falcon666
Why exactly are a/c being tugged out to Delta anyway?
Is it not due to the builders compound being in the Apron?
Once the compound has gone would the problem not disappear and a/c would push and start on the Apron?
Not enough room to dogleg (do 180) the aircraft from 43L or 46, some pushback drivers are struggling to do it from 44L or 47 as well. But the apron taxiway is being widened (or should I say stands moved closer to the piers) and when builders and Azurra temp crew rooms will be relocated I see it being possible to push within the apron.
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Old 21st May 2018, 19:28
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Grrr

The barking mad plan to build a tinminal in a cul-de-sac! I fondly remember the then Airport Director barking at me for my cynicism!

The original plan was of course for an additional tunnel to the north that would have exited along Frank Lester Way. That was design engineered out of the plans for financial reasons. In effect, a circular one way system.
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