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Old 22nd Sep 2023, 11:09
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LVP - Low Viz Procedures
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Old 22nd Sep 2023, 11:36
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Originally Posted by SWBKCB
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Thank you.
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Old 22nd Sep 2023, 11:48
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LGW has a very weird micro-climate. Being on the river Mole, you often - especially at this time of year - get a load of fog that is not there even 1 mile from the airport. Many a time I left at at 06:00 in thick fog, yet Horley, less than a mile away was clear. And it lingers, sometimes for hours.

easyJet had scheduled 222 departures out of a total 434 today. Naturally, ATC and LVP affects them far more than the next highest airline, BA Euroflyer on 47. I hope I'm wrong, but I expect many more cancellations.
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Old 22nd Sep 2023, 12:54
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Originally Posted by Apron Artist
LGW has a very weird micro-climate. Being on the river Mole, you often - especially at this time of year - get a load of fog that is not there even 1 mile from the airport. Many a time I left at at 06:00 in thick fog, yet Horley, less than a mile away was clear. And it lingers, sometimes for hours.

easyJet had scheduled 222 departures out of a total 434 today. Naturally, ATC and LVP affects them far more than the next highest airline, BA Euroflyer on 47. I hope I'm wrong, but I expect many more cancellations.
Thanks for the informantion. I think that 47 includes the BA long haul flights too and the mainline Glasgow flight.
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Old 22nd Sep 2023, 14:42
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Originally Posted by vectisman
Thanks for the informantion. I think that 47 includes the BA long haul flights too and the mainline Glasgow flight.

My apologies, yes. The data I get doesn't split the two entities. Tampa cancelled mainline. Not the first.
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Old 22nd Sep 2023, 19:44
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Norse cuts flights to SFO again

Norse has futher trimmed their seasonal flights to San Francisco. All flights after Oct 7th ( including mine!) have now been cancelled. No alternative or compensation offered.
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Old 23rd Sep 2023, 12:08
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Originally Posted by YVRscot
Norse has futher trimmed their seasonal flights to San Francisco. All flights after Oct 7th ( including mine!) have now been cancelled. No alternative or compensation offered.
Norse Atlantic announced a couple of weeks ago that San Francisco was being axed from it's network. Although LGW-SFO was seasonal the route won't be returning for summer 2024.

You mentioned that all flights after October 07 2023 have been cancelled.

Norse Atlantic had originally stated that the last flight between LGW and SFO would be on the 28 October, at the end of the IATA northern summer 2023 season.

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Old 23rd Sep 2023, 12:18
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Originally Posted by YVRscot
Norse has futher trimmed their seasonal flights to San Francisco. All flights after Oct 7th ( including mine!) have now been cancelled. No alternative or compensation offered.
Although they are only required to compensate you if the cancellation is within two weeks of departure, they are required to re-route you on another airline if you wish. Sounds like they think that only applies within two weeks too, which isnít correct.
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 10:10
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Can I just say well done London Gatwick. We are here flying to Venice and both Easy Bag Drop and Security were a breeze. Both swift and polite all round...
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 16:49
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Originally Posted by Kiltrash
Can I just say well done London Gatwick. We are here flying to Venice and both Easy Bag Drop and Security were a breeze. Both swift and polite all round...
Canít be quite so congratulatory of the Gatwick ATC management yet again today. Flow rate restriction of 16 arrivals per hour. Absolutely shambolic.

Not a dig at your post Kiltrash - glad you had a good experience. Sadly for arriving passengers in LGW today then very big delays knocking into departures as the afternoon progressed.
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 17:25
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Originally Posted by Dct_Mopas
Canít be quite so congratulatory of the Gatwick ATC management yet again today. Flow rate restriction of 16 arrivals per hour. Absolutely shambolic.

Not a dig at your post Kiltrash - glad you had a good experience. Sadly for arriving passengers in LGW today then very big delays knocking into departures as the afternoon progressed.
Yup...again. 35 U2 departures cancelled so far...the clusterf.ery I predicted in March has been played out far too often this summer. Awful for the passengers.
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 17:38
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A daily cap of 800 flight movements a day is in place until 1st October:

https://www.mediacentre.gatwickairpo...ddd-40f32.html
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 20:31
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While waiting for our flight to show gate no we noticed U28011 dep time 09.15 was shown as please wait....this got my curiosity and the aircraft arr into LGW on time at 08.10 according to FR24.... it eventually took off 12.24 so I thought ' tech issue ' ...perhaps just a flow rate issue ....Did feel sorry for the SLF..🙁
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Old 26th Sep 2023, 02:49
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Originally Posted by Kiltrash
While waiting for our flight to show gate no we noticed U28011 dep time 09.15 was shown as please wait....this got my curiosity and the aircraft arr into LGW on time at 08.10 according to FR24.... it eventually took off 12.24 so I thought ' tech issue ' ...perhaps just a flow rate issue ....Did feel sorry for the SLF..🙁
Our friends were on that flight,it was an issue with their flight plan which tower told Captain about as they had waited to go at the hold ..they had togo back to stand to refuel etc …they did indeed get away after 12.00 ..it wasn’t connected with the other issue ..the aircraft’s third sector of its day was canx .

Last edited by Charley B; 26th Sep 2023 at 12:07.
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Old 26th Sep 2023, 09:05
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Is the limit on flights at Gatwick due to genuine illness amongst ATC staff, or is there any sort of deliberate sick-out ?
If it's genuine, are there any underlying factors (e.g. disgruntled staff), lousy planning of training junior staff or maybe overwork and burn-out of staff over the peak summer or is it a case of a lot of different uncontrollable factors like Covid all coming at once ?
Is this likely to be just for a few days, or is there a non-trivial chance of an announcement this will continue into early October, or be in effect during half term as well ?

Last edited by davidjohnson6; 26th Sep 2023 at 09:20.
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Old 26th Sep 2023, 09:23
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Good question, as someone on the receiving end Iíd like to know the answer too.
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Old 26th Sep 2023, 09:25
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Originally Posted by davidjohnson6
Is the limit on flights at Gatwick due to genuine illness amongst ATC staff, or is there any sort of deliberate sick-out ?
Well, according to this article in the Belfast Telegraph, the cap will run until Sunday and has been imposed as 30% of NATS tower staff are unavailable for a variety of medical reasons, including COVID.
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Old 26th Sep 2023, 09:58
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Originally Posted by Splat
Good question, as someone on the receiving end I’d like to know the answer too.
Excellent article from Michele Robson who was a controller for NATS for over 20 years

Gatwick launches flight curb due to ATC staffing



You may have seen a few stories in the press recently about the delays at Gatwick as a result of a lack of ATC staff. To put it in context, ATC towers at airports are managed by separate ATC companies who bid for the contract. This is unlike the two UK ATC centres that are run by NATS as a monopoly and subject to price regulations by the CAA. At airports, the airport owner decides how much they are willing to pay for ATC and accepts a bid based on price and performance.

[img]data:image/svg+xml;base64,PHN2ZyB3aWR0aD0iMTIiIGhlaWdodD0iOCIgdmlld0Jve D0iMCAwIDEyIDgiIGZpbGw9Im5vbmUiIHhtbG5zPSJodHRwOi8vd3d3LnczL m9yZy8yMDAwL3N2ZyI+CjxwYXRoIGZpbGwtcnVsZT0iZXZlbm9kZCIgY2xpc C1ydWxlPSJldmVub2RkIiBkPSJNMTEuMjU5MiAwLjU4NjMwOUMxMC45NDk4I DAuNjc2MTIzIDEwLjM2OCAwLjg5ODU1NSAxMC4xNDE1IDEuMzQzNjJDOS45M jgxOSAxLjc2MjIxIDEwLjA2OSAyLjMzNzU0IDEwLjE5NzUgMi42N0MxMC41M DY3IDIuNTgwMjkgMTEuMDg5OSAyLjM1Nzg2IDExLjMxNjUgMS45MTIzOEMxM S41NDMyIDEuNDY3MzEgMTEuMzczMSAwLjg4MTIwOCAxMS4yNTkyIDAuNTg2M zA5VjAuNTg2MzA5Wk05LjkwMDYxIDMuMjU1OUw5LjgxMjMgMy4wODUyQzkuN zg4OTMgMy4wMzk3MyA5LjI0MjA5IDEuOTYyNzggOS42NzMwMyAxLjExNjg4Q zEwLjEwMzYgMC4yNzA3NzggMTEuMzEzNiAwLjA0MzkzMjEgMTEuMzY0OCAwL jAzNDY5NEwxMS41NTc2IDBMMTEuNjQ1OSAwLjE3MDY5OUMxMS42NjkzIDAuM jE2MTcxIDEyLjIxNiAxLjI5MzAyIDExLjc4NDkgMi4xMzkxMkMxMS4zNTQ4I DIuOTg0ODIgMTAuMTQ0NyAzLjIxMTg3IDEwLjA5MzMgMy4yMjExMUw5LjkwM DYxIDMuMjU1OVoiIGZpbGw9IiM5MTkxOTEiLz4KPHBhdGggZmlsbC1ydWxlP SJldmVub2RkIiBjbGlwLXJ1bGU9ImV2ZW5vZGQiIGQ9Ik0yLjY0NDc1IDIuN jQ3NzlDMi41NzkxNyAxLjI4MzQzIDEuNDQwMjIgMC4xOTQ4NzggMC4wMzI5N TkgMC4xNjE2MjFWNS4zODI1NkMwLjAzNDAxMTYgNS4zODI1NiAwLjAzNTA2N DIgNS4zODI0NiAwLjAzNjExNjkgNS4zODIzNkMwLjEwMTY5NiA2Ljc0NjcyI DEuMjQwNjQgNy44MzUzNyAyLjY0NzkxIDcuODY4NTJWMi42NDc2OUMyLjY0N jg1IDIuNjQ3NjkgMi42NDU4IDIuNjQ3NzkgMi42NDQ3NSAyLjY0Nzc5IiBma WxsPSIjOTE5MTkxIi8+CjxwYXRoIGZpbGwtcnVsZT0iZXZlbm9kZCIgY2xpc C1ydWxlPSJldmVub2RkIiBkPSJNNS43MTcyNiAyLjY0Nzc5QzUuNjUxNjggM S4yODM0MyA0LjUxMjczIDAuMTk0ODc4IDMuMTA1NDcgMC4xNjE2MjFWNS4zO DI1NkMzLjEwNjUyIDUuMzgyNTYgMy4xMDc1NyA1LjM4MjQ2IDMuMTA4NzMgN S4zODIzNkMzLjE3NDIxIDYuNzQ2NzIgNC4zMTMxNSA3LjgzNTM3IDUuNzIwN TIgNy44Njg1MlYyLjY0NzY5QzUuNzE5NDcgMi42NDc2OSA1LjcxODMxIDIuN jQ3NzkgNS43MTcyNiAyLjY0Nzc5IiBmaWxsPSIjOTE5MTkxIi8+CjxwYXRoI GZpbGwtcnVsZT0iZXZlbm9kZCIgY2xpcC1ydWxlPSJldmVub2RkIiBkPSJNO C43OTAwMSAyLjY0Nzc5QzguNzI0MzMgMS4yODM0MyA3LjU4NTQ5IDAuMTk0O Dc4IDYuMTc4MjIgMC4xNjE2MjFWNS4zODI1NkM2LjE3OTI4IDUuMzgyNTYgN i4xODAzMyA1LjM4MjQ2IDYuMTgxMzggNS4zODIzNkM2LjI0Njk2IDYuNzQ2N zIgNy4zODYwMSA3LjgzNTM3IDguNzkzMTcgNy44Njg1MlYyLjY0NzY5QzguN zkyMTIgMi42NDc2OSA4Ljc5MTA2IDIuNjQ3NzkgOC43OTAwMSAyLjY0Nzc5I iBmaWxsPSIjOTE5MTkxIi8+Cjwvc3ZnPgo=[/img]The major airports are usually still controlled by NATS because they have a huge amount of expertise and employ the majority of air traffic controllers in the UK. It came as a huge shock to everyone in 2014 when Gatwick decided to remove NATS staff from the tower and award the 10 year contract to a subsidiary of the German ATC company, DFS. Gatwick is a very complex and tightly honed operation with highly skilled controllers who operate one of the busiest single runway operations in the world. Now I’m guessing it did not go too well as four years before the end of the contract period, they handed the contract back to NATS late last year. As you may imagine, moving everything from one company to another, including the staff, is not a simple process, and NATS have only had the contract back for a short time.

NATS inherited the staff from the previous company, so they had no control over how many they would get. Controllers can choose to transfer to the new company or leave. Unfortunately, you can’t just transfer controllers from say Heathrow, as a) they still need extensive training to work at Gatwick and b) then it leaves Heathrow short. You also can’t train new controllers quickly as it takes around 18 months at a minimum, and only around 1% of those that apply make it through to be a live controller.

At airports, they are very susceptible to lack of staff due to sickness as they only have a small number of staff due to the number of positions in a tower plus contingency. No ATC provider can afford to have unlimited numbers of staff sitting around when they are competing on price. Once NATS have trained more controllers, then staff sickness will not cause such an issue. According to Gatwick airport, 30% of NATS tower staff are currently unavailable for a variety of medical reasons including covid.

So this leaves us in the situation today where Gatwick today implemented a temporary limit on daily flight movements to prevent delays and last-minute cancellations for passengers.

The decision was made alongside NATS, and means the airport will be limited to 800 flights a day. This means both departure and arrival flights. The restrictions start today and will remain in place until Sunday, 1 October.

[img]data:image/svg+xml;base64,PHN2ZyB3aWR0aD0iMTIiIGhlaWdodD0iOCIgdmlld0Jve D0iMCAwIDEyIDgiIGZpbGw9Im5vbmUiIHhtbG5zPSJodHRwOi8vd3d3LnczL m9yZy8yMDAwL3N2ZyI+CjxwYXRoIGZpbGwtcnVsZT0iZXZlbm9kZCIgY2xpc C1ydWxlPSJldmVub2RkIiBkPSJNMTEuMjU5MiAwLjU4NjMwOUMxMC45NDk4I DAuNjc2MTIzIDEwLjM2OCAwLjg5ODU1NSAxMC4xNDE1IDEuMzQzNjJDOS45M jgxOSAxLjc2MjIxIDEwLjA2OSAyLjMzNzU0IDEwLjE5NzUgMi42N0MxMC41M DY3IDIuNTgwMjkgMTEuMDg5OSAyLjM1Nzg2IDExLjMxNjUgMS45MTIzOEMxM S41NDMyIDEuNDY3MzEgMTEuMzczMSAwLjg4MTIwOCAxMS4yNTkyIDAuNTg2M zA5VjAuNTg2MzA5Wk05LjkwMDYxIDMuMjU1OUw5LjgxMjMgMy4wODUyQzkuN zg4OTMgMy4wMzk3MyA5LjI0MjA5IDEuOTYyNzggOS42NzMwMyAxLjExNjg4Q zEwLjEwMzYgMC4yNzA3NzggMTEuMzEzNiAwLjA0MzkzMjEgMTEuMzY0OCAwL jAzNDY5NEwxMS41NTc2IDBMMTEuNjQ1OSAwLjE3MDY5OUMxMS42NjkzIDAuM jE2MTcxIDEyLjIxNiAxLjI5MzAyIDExLjc4NDkgMi4xMzkxMkMxMS4zNTQ4I DIuOTg0ODIgMTAuMTQ0NyAzLjIxMTg3IDEwLjA5MzMgMy4yMjExMUw5LjkwM DYxIDMuMjU1OVoiIGZpbGw9IiM5MTkxOTEiLz4KPHBhdGggZmlsbC1ydWxlP SJldmVub2RkIiBjbGlwLXJ1bGU9ImV2ZW5vZGQiIGQ9Ik0yLjY0NDc1IDIuN jQ3NzlDMi41NzkxNyAxLjI4MzQzIDEuNDQwMjIgMC4xOTQ4NzggMC4wMzI5N TkgMC4xNjE2MjFWNS4zODI1NkMwLjAzNDAxMTYgNS4zODI1NiAwLjAzNTA2N DIgNS4zODI0NiAwLjAzNjExNjkgNS4zODIzNkMwLjEwMTY5NiA2Ljc0NjcyI DEuMjQwNjQgNy44MzUzNyAyLjY0NzkxIDcuODY4NTJWMi42NDc2OUMyLjY0N jg1IDIuNjQ3NjkgMi42NDU4IDIuNjQ3NzkgMi42NDQ3NSAyLjY0Nzc5IiBma WxsPSIjOTE5MTkxIi8+CjxwYXRoIGZpbGwtcnVsZT0iZXZlbm9kZCIgY2xpc C1ydWxlPSJldmVub2RkIiBkPSJNNS43MTcyNiAyLjY0Nzc5QzUuNjUxNjggM S4yODM0MyA0LjUxMjczIDAuMTk0ODc4IDMuMTA1NDcgMC4xNjE2MjFWNS4zO DI1NkMzLjEwNjUyIDUuMzgyNTYgMy4xMDc1NyA1LjM4MjQ2IDMuMTA4NzMgN S4zODIzNkMzLjE3NDIxIDYuNzQ2NzIgNC4zMTMxNSA3LjgzNTM3IDUuNzIwN TIgNy44Njg1MlYyLjY0NzY5QzUuNzE5NDcgMi42NDc2OSA1LjcxODMxIDIuN jQ3NzkgNS43MTcyNiAyLjY0Nzc5IiBmaWxsPSIjOTE5MTkxIi8+CjxwYXRoI GZpbGwtcnVsZT0iZXZlbm9kZCIgY2xpcC1ydWxlPSJldmVub2RkIiBkPSJNO C43OTAwMSAyLjY0Nzc5QzguNzI0MzMgMS4yODM0MyA3LjU4NTQ5IDAuMTk0O Dc4IDYuMTc4MjIgMC4xNjE2MjFWNS4zODI1NkM2LjE3OTI4IDUuMzgyNTYgN i4xODAzMyA1LjM4MjQ2IDYuMTgxMzggNS4zODIzNkM2LjI0Njk2IDYuNzQ2N zIgNy4zODYwMSA3LjgzNTM3IDguNzkzMTcgNy44Njg1MlYyLjY0NzY5QzguN zkyMTIgMi42NDc2OSA4Ljc5MTA2IDIuNjQ3NzkgOC43OTAwMSAyLjY0Nzc5I iBmaWxsPSIjOTE5MTkxIi8+Cjwvc3ZnPgo=[/img]Stewart Wingate, CEO of London Gatwick, said: “This has been a difficult decision but the action we have taken today means our airlines can fly reliable flight programmes, which gives passengers more certainty that they will not face last minute cancellations.

“We are working closely with NATS to build resilience in the control tower, and this decision means we can prevent as much disruptions as possible.

“London Gatwick would like to apologise to any passengers who have been impacted by these restrictions.”
Before the limit was put in place the movements expected for this week were as follows:

Tuesday- 800 movements
Weds – 829 movements
Thursday – 840 movements
Friday –865 movements
Saturday – 800 movements
Sunday – 830 movements

As it has only just been announced, I have not heard of specific cancellations, but if you have a booking this week from Gatwick I would be keeping a close eye on it.
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Old 26th Sep 2023, 10:17
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I do wonder if all this goes back to that t@at MOL pushing fares down. Eventually everyoneís costs are squeezed so low either other ancillaries such as drop off charges are needed, or there is a reduction in service levels which is where we are at.

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Old 26th Sep 2023, 10:23
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Originally Posted by Splat
I do wonder if all this goes back to that t@at MOL pushing fares down. Eventually everyoneís costs are squeezed so low either other ancillaries such as drop off charges are needed, or there is a reduction in service levels which is where we are at.
Their ops at LGW is tiny
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