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Old 2nd Jan 2022, 08:42
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Maybe actually look at what the BOH operation is before comparing it to Manchester? Do you really think it's driven by airport CEO's and airport marketing departments?
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Old 2nd Jan 2022, 08:49
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Originally Posted by SWBKCB View Post
Maybe actually look at what the BOH operation is before comparing it to Manchester? Do you really think it's driven by airport CEO's and airport marketing departments?
I think the CEOs at both airports lead by example ?
Despite their limited resources they maximise opportunities !

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Old 2nd Jan 2022, 09:31
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On the question of parking stands, I recall some concern was expressed when it was suggested (I believe by an airport spokesman) that when the TP was complete, there would only be 1 extra stand. This was later modified along the lines that a comparison was difficult because of more multi-purpose stands to accommodate different types of aircraft.

With delays to the project, what is the current situation? The plans incorporated for example parallel taxiways for T2 to reduce delays which would mean the loss of some parking stands on the western apron and I think in the centre block - the 80s and 240/250 stands. However, there was to be a new bank of about 12 new stands to the far side of the new Pier 1 along the airfield boundary edge. I think those stands have been constructed but I'm not sure if they are commissioned and in use. Last time I looked the 70s stands on the western apron were still very much operational.

Given what's happened in aviation due to the pandemic and the impact on finances, is there any timescale when work on the TP may resume? There were comments, weren't there, that some initial work on Pier 2 would shortly be underway?
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Old 2nd Jan 2022, 09:52
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Originally Posted by OzzyOzBorn View Post
I see the apron regularly and the airport is NOT permanently full for days on end. Yes, there are plenty of parked-up aircraft, but that is not the same thing as 'full'. If the airport were actually "full" as you say, it would be necessary to hold each inbound flight until a departing aircraft vacates a stand for it, wouldn't it? That is clearly not required, as the airport is not "full". Some (vacant) stands may indeed be set aside for an incoming flight, but not all of them. And not all day - a 'splash-and-dash' could certainly be accommodated in the middle of the day. Most diverted flights don't require contact stands anyway. And that is why a dynamic diversion policy should apply. The alternative reflects the lamentable "do not disturb" mentality which Manchester Airport highlighted to great effect when challenging the Department of Transport all those years ago.

Not every diversion can be accepted. We all recognise that. But some certainly can. I strongly suspect that those aforementioned Jet2's could have been accommodated. And what about smaller aircraft such as Citations and Learjets? A catch-all blanket no-divs notam prevents them from enquiring about access by default also.

A dynamic diversion policy allows for aircraft which genuinely cannot be accommodated to be turned away. But those which can be accommodated can be accepted. That is a good thing, though the "not my problem" brigade clearly need some convincing. Almost all other major airports operate a dynamic diversions policy without issue. But perhaps this is another example of the "Manchester way" alone being right beyond question, and every other major airport being incompetent without realising it.



Yes, on a regular basis. That means not permanently. Which is why a dynamic policy should apply. Scope to use discretion is a good thing in a successful business.
May I ask how this 'dynamic policy' conjures up a bunch of loaders, security, catering, refuellers, cleaners, engineers etc at short notice? Do you think there are lots of standby staff sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring at any hour? Even if, and it's a big if, there are any stands available.

Oh and by the way, I have personally witnessed several wide bodies sitting on the taxiway recently waiting for a contact stand to be cleared either because a flight is late departing or a tow team is struggling to get the aircraft pushed back because the (caterers, cleaners, engineers etc) are busy on board so the aircraft can't be moved or even the classic waiting for an overstretched dispatcher to drop what they're doing on the other two flights they're sorting out to come and take the Air bridge off!
These are very real day to day issues that those of us onsight witness everyday, not what a keyboard wannabe airport manager who thinks they have all the answers because they use the airport twice a week. The view from the departure lounge/window seat is very narrow and cannot see the bigger picture.
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Old 2nd Jan 2022, 11:25
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Navpi, perhaps you saw those pictures on another forum of a B777 and A330 on the apron at LPL just before Christmas and idly wondered, like me, whether they could have been at MAN instead. I notice there are 2 more A330s due there today. LPL must consider it worthwhile extra business.

I take Hovis's points on board about staffing constraints, but I'm still waiting for a satisfactory explanation of why it's Manchester alone that adopts this blanket policy of no diversions (except emergencies) over extended periods. I agree with Ozzy that there is an air of arrogance about it and doing things the 'Manchester Way', a sentiment that has also been expressed on here regarding security processes.
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Old 2nd Jan 2022, 11:47
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Originally Posted by MANFOD View Post
Navpi, perhaps you saw those pictures on another forum of a B777 and A330 on the apron at LPL just before Christmas and idly wondered, like me, whether they could have been at MAN instead. I notice there are 2 more A330s due there today. LPL must consider it worthwhile extra business.
Was it not mentioned on another thread that the LPL contract was dropped from BHX? I think we need to stop thinking of these as MAN, BOH, LPL or BHX decisions. I would expect that in these ad hoc (particulalrly bulk loading) cases there are independent operators getting the business which the airport provides the basic facilites for.
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Old 2nd Jan 2022, 11:53
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May I ask how this 'dynamic policy' conjures up a bunch of loaders, security, catering, refuellers, cleaners, engineers etc at short notice?
Erm ... The same way it works at almost every other major airport? BHX (citing one example) regularly accepts diversion traffic on an opportunity basis. Do they use a magic wand to enable this?

Even if, and it's a big if, there are any stands available.
There are many hours each day when MAN has plenty of vacant stand availability. It is at these times that ad-hoc supplementary traffic could be accepted on a discretionary basis, eg. for a 'splash and dash'. And there are plenty of occasions when space could be found for an executive jet. They don't require main apron stands. When the airport is genuinely full to capacity, a dynamic policy does allow for diversion requests to be refused.

Do you think there are lots of standby staff sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring at any hour?
I think that operators such as self-handling Jet2 know that they have sufficient of their own staff available to handle the B738 which they're asking to divert in. Why refuse this based on a crystal ball reading two weeks ahead of the event? And I think that there are times of day when other agencies have rostered staff on site who are not otherwise committed 100% of the time. As for people at the end of the phone, it is just possible that afew (not all) might appreciate the offer of overtime. Maybe try it? Folks have Christmas expenses to pay off, and heating bills are going up.

I have personally witnessed several wide bodies sitting on the taxiway recently waiting for a contact stand to be cleared
Yep. Me too. This is a particular issue when long-haul flights land upto an hour ahead of schedule before the first wave has departed. And, as you know, a number of the long-haul operators require a specific stand for company operational reasons - they can't take just any one which happens to be free. But this is not an H24 phenomenon. And even when an A330 has to wait, that doesn't mean that there is no space for an unrelated B738 elsewhere on the apron. Each aircraft has different requirements. Then, of course, following the departure of the first wave, there are a number of hours when MAN does have ample stand availability. Its a dynamic situation, which is why a dynamic diversion policy makes sense as a solution.

a keyboard wannabe airport manager who thinks they have all the answers because they use the airport twice a week.
Deary me. Once the personal insults start flying, I tend to think I must be cutting through in a debate. But you assume too much. I have around 25 years of shiftworking experience at MAN on my CV. In case you're wondering, I'm the good looking one!

Yes, looks like Oz let both of us out!



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Old 2nd Jan 2022, 13:20
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Originally Posted by SWBKCB View Post
Was it not mentioned on another thread that the LPL contract was dropped from BHX? I think we need to stop thinking of these as MAN, BOH, LPL or BHX decisions. I would expect that in these ad hoc (particulalrly bulk loading) cases there are independent operators getting the business which the airport provides the basic facilites for.
BHX still having very regular freighters from China, two the same day last week !
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Old 2nd Jan 2022, 13:44
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Originally Posted by BHX5DME View Post
BHX still having very regular freighters from China, two the same day last week !
I don't know about LPL but BHX seems to benefit from a dedicated local cargo handling agent with a team of motivated staff. If MAN is relying on a large corporate agent for cargo handling, where the management is quick to make demands but slow to get their hands dirty on the "shop floor" enthusiasm possibly wanes.
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Old 2nd Jan 2022, 13:50
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I don't know about LPL but BHX seems to benefit from a dedicated local cargo handling agent with a team of motivated staff.
Finally...
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Old 2nd Jan 2022, 13:51
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Originally Posted by SWBKCB View Post
Finally...
Many of who are also local aviation enthusiasts too who relish these freighters.

Last edited by BHX5DME; 2nd Jan 2022 at 13:52. Reason: Corr
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Old 2nd Jan 2022, 14:48
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Mr Cornish / Ms Smart

Please note: "BHX seems to benefit from a dedicated local cargo handling agent with a team of motivated staff."

Now there's an item for your New Year 'To Do' list. Please ensure they have access to Hi-Lo equipment too!
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Old 2nd Jan 2022, 14:59
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Originally Posted by OzzyOzBorn View Post
Mr Cornish / Ms Smart

Please note: "BHX seems to benefit from a dedicated local cargo handling agent with a team of motivated staff."

Now there's an item for your New Year 'To Do' list. Please ensure they have access to Hi-Lo equipment too!
Also "Please ensure they have a semi-autonomous area of the airport in which they can operate their business without impacting on the core operation (and park their Hi-Lo). A steady stream of freight only flights to keep them going so they can handle the occasional eye-catching big charters would also be handy. Ta!"
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Old 2nd Jan 2022, 15:31
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My understanding is the intention of the NOTAM is to advise operators not to use MAN as a flight plan alternate.

MAN has continued to accept diversions on the day where resources allow - it has continued to always accept emergency diversions.

There are very real stand shortages at peak times and throughout 24/7 there are Resource shortages across all departments/service partners.

There is a regular check of both stand, MAG , handling agent resources etc and the airport community is updated on this.

The staff in place each day are generally making a huge effort across companies/departments to support just the planned operation.

When considering (for example) a "splash & go" diversion it really won't work if the fueller makes clear it hasn't got the resources to fuel before the crew go out of hours.
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Old 2nd Jan 2022, 15:44
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Well done Liverpool, I hope their Cargo business comtinues to grow, its a good boost for them. The Managment there have done a good job turning the Nordwinds aircraft around quickly. They appear to be happy with the servixe so far received .
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Old 2nd Jan 2022, 16:40
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But you assume too much. I have around 25 years of shiftworking experience at MAN
Come on Shed, time to amend SYD to MAN 😉 on the old profile.
Let's cut to the chase, senior management have a lot on their plate, a cost benefit- analysis seems to have shown that they can only keep so many plates spinning and so something had to give. I haven't seen their numbers but ad-hoc freight is peripheral to their core operating model. EDI did the same when the GAT was closed and business aviation was actively discouraged, that was fixed over time. With Omicron testing threatening closures as so many are infected (and otherwise OK), there's simply not any contingency in the whole economy, why would MAN be excempt? Airports are barely getting BAU done due to staff shortages and isolation, it's not ideal but surely it's clear why they've done this.
This is a battle for better days, not mid winter pandemic days.

Have they cocked things up? Dropped the ball? I think so. Will ad-hoc freight and diversions make fixing things easier in today's Omicron case obsessed trading environment? Sadly not.
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Old 2nd Jan 2022, 16:49
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Originally Posted by OzzyOzBorn View Post
It is at these times that ad-hoc supplementary traffic could be accepted on a discretionary basis, eg. for a 'splash and dash'. !
So many points to come back on, but just to pick out the splash and dash one. Itís been a few years since I worked at MAN operationally, but at the time (and I doubt itís changed in any meaningful way) diversions were always at the bottom of the pecking order for resources, with planned pax flights at the top. Thus a captain in the hold choosing MAN (for example) might think heís on a splash and dash, but the reality is that after touchdown he may need to hold for a remote stand, then wait for a fueller to be free, then maybe wait for toilet servicing (may have just come non stop from the Far East), a bit of extra catering perhaps, and then at last a tug for pushback. Drag some of that out, and the crew may go out of hours, and before long a 45 minute refuel has turned into a 3 hour or more stay. Thus it is simplistic to suggest that an hourís availability on a remote stand would allow a few diversions, as any ramp planner worth their while would be mad to assume a splash and dash would have a good chance of a quick turn round.

Sure things may go according to plan, but as soon as they donít (and the very act of diversion is a change from the original plan) then the ripple effect can end up costing a lot of money to the handlers in particular. The tightness of handlersí margins is such that the risk of incurring penalties for not meeting the requirements of their regular customers will often outweigh the benefits of a few pounds for handling a diversion. And in the current climate with staff absences due to COVID, let alone the previous wafer thin staffing levels, that risk can only be higher.
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Old 2nd Jan 2022, 18:28
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Come on Shed, time to amend SYD to MAN 😉 on the old profile.
Absolutely - rumbled that several months ago.

But you assume too much. I have around 25 years of shiftworking experience at MAN
No doubt as part of a handling agent or perhaps airfield ops or terminal management?

The focus that Manchester had on itself for about 40 years from 1960-2000 was diluted as soon as MAG was formed and even further diluted when some of the shareholding was sold off to investment companies. When it was Manchester on its own, there was a lot of civic pride in the place and many decisions taken at that time, particularly on infrastructure, were taken with a view to the long term future and quite possibly would not stack up nowadays. Business cases were much more rudimentary in those days but risks were taken (yes by the local council) which provided the foundation of what the place is today.

Manchester's voice was well respected in the worldwide airports community and eventually in Whitehall. There was a concensus of local politicians of all colours that the Airport was an important factor in the North West economy. The place was highly successful and staff were buzzing and prepared to go the extra mile. It was a relatively small place and relationships between the teams from the different organisations that made the place tick were pretty good - there were always disagreements of course but solutions to most were hammered out and worked quite well.

With the advent of the low cost carriers things started to change. Manchester was perceived as a high cost airport by then and I was told as much by a large airline owner personally when I met him at a meeting. With changes in management and much more of a focus on costs, attitudes changed, relationships became strained and the pride in the job started to disappear.

I'll take my rose tinted spectacles off now...

The airport business environment nowadays is light years apart from what it was even 15 years ago. It's so sad to see all the reports of "no can do" nowadays rather than the positive attitudes of the past.

I suspect that none of the appeals to Mr Cornish or Ms Smart on here will cut any ice, however well argued and, assuming someone at MAN is monitoring this site, they will probably not be passed on. If you send the comments to them direct, you might get a reply? The opinions of people on a specialist internet forum about how to run the business don't really count - none of us can see the total picture that the Board are looking at.

Last edited by Suzeman; 2nd Jan 2022 at 18:43.
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Old 2nd Jan 2022, 18:49
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To all who commented on diversions: keep in mind that risks and challenges apply wherever the aircraft diverts to. There is rarely a stress-free option in the mix.

I suspect that none of the appeals to Mr Cornish or Ms Smart on here will cut any ice
I agree with you Suzeman. I'm under no illusions about that. But if we give up even trying, we're no better than the rest of the "not our problem" contingent.
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Old 2nd Jan 2022, 19:08
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Originally Posted by OzzyOzBorn View Post
T
I agree with you Suzeman. I'm under no illusions about that. But if we give up even trying, we're no better than the rest of the "not our problem" contingent.
So have you tried to put your arguments direct to one of the MAG/MAN Management team then?
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