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APP
30th Apr 2006, 16:06
The South China Morning Post in Hong Kong contained an article which said that a CPA captain told his passengers to blame ATC for asking him to brake abruptly to avoid a collision and resulted in injuries to cabin attendants when in fact it was because he was not happy with the taxi speed and brake harshly to show his FO. The report indicated that the pilot was interviewed by the company afterwards. Six months ago an EVA air captain told the passengers that a missed approach was due to an aircraft on the runway at HKG when in fact it was a unstablized approach. The lie was revealed because one of the passengers complained about ATC to the Airport Authority, have you blame ATC to cover your own errors?

Pilot Pete
30th Apr 2006, 16:16
Just goes to show that it never pays to lie. Perhaps don't tell the full truth, especially when trying to explain technical things to laymen, but don't blatantly lie, it can bite you back.

PP

Keygrip
30th Apr 2006, 16:32
I've done it the other way - thanked them for advising that the gear was not down.

ExSimGuy
30th Apr 2006, 16:53
always nice to have someone pass a gentle comment about minor things like that:E

GBALU53
30th Apr 2006, 17:18
Why dont people tell the correct information passenges will find out the correct information by passing word of mouth.

Parents ask there kids not to tell lies so be honest is the best policy and not be immbaresed:ok:

spekesoftly
30th Apr 2006, 17:35
Doubly embarassing when the 'porky' intended for the Pax goes out over the ether, due to 'finger trouble'! Heard one recently.

ATCO1962
30th Apr 2006, 17:36
Yep, honesty is the best policy. Some of our boys have found out, to their cost, that there's no use telling little fibs on the RT when you've got a tight separation going on. Noone told them about those pesky air reports that somehow made it back to the boss's desk.:oh:

But if you guys at the pointy end have to find a scapegoat, go on, my shoulders are big enough to take it!:cool:

JW411
30th Apr 2006, 17:40
And just how many of you out there are guilty of blaming an "ATC Slot" as your reason for still being attached to the gateway when nothing was further from the truth?

Captain Airclues
30th Apr 2006, 18:04
A few years ago, a friend, who is an ATCO, was sitting on a 747 at Gatwick when the captain announced that there would be a delay due to an 'ATC Slot'. When the captain cleared the use of mobile phones, and realising that his watch were on duty, the ATCO phoned LTCC to jokingly complain about them delaying his holiday. The watch manager was rather upset, as there were no ATC delays, and so phoned the airline to complain. The airline ops then suggested that the captain should admit that the plane was broken.

Airclues

Gonzo
30th Apr 2006, 18:11
Similar thing has happened to me when I've been pax a few times. You never know who might be down the back!:E

Avman
30th Apr 2006, 20:37
Back in the 80s, when (in the early days of Flow Control) there were some pretty horrendous ATC delays, it was quite common for airlines to blame any delay on ATC no matter what the real reason was. Pax expected ATC delays and didn't question it when so given. I did, and caused a few red faces on occasions too.

broadreach
3rd May 2006, 02:30
Just imagine if ATC could get their own back through access to the airport's loudspeaker system! :p

Snoopy
3rd May 2006, 06:28
I'm just trying to imagine what the truth would sound like:

"Ladies and Gentlemen, apologies from the Flight Deck for the rather abrupt stop. My FO and I are having a bit of a disagreement over speed limits here. Give us a moment to sort it out and we'll be on our way shortly!" <Sound of Capt. hitting FO with newspaper "now just do what I say, won't you!? FO: Look, I've got a wife at home, just leave me alone!">

or

"We are having a bit of trouble controlling the old girl this morning. Give is a moment while we figure out how to work this one this morning. We should be airborne in just a moment"

Actually from a passenger point of view, I prefer the ATC fib. Ignorance is bliss!

:D

Mr A Tis
3rd May 2006, 08:54
Yes, the old chestnut of an ATC slot being the cause of a delay.
Last year Spotty M kept me at the gate with little information, other than "ATC" delay, for 2 hours. In fact, the First Officer had gone home sick.
Yes, ATC people are very often on your SLF list & can easily rumble your fibs, which won't do you any favours in the long run ;)

Few Cloudy
3rd May 2006, 09:02
Although I did actually have a very quick "stop before" given
to me on a taxyway at a certain Swiss airport. We just managed it
as I told the controller; "Es isch gerade so gange..." and he
had the grace to apologise.

Everyone happy and no hard feelings. We all make mistakes.

FC

ThinkRate
3rd May 2006, 10:32
Here's the Athens (LGAV) incident thread when the AF A320 captain had to apologise in the end for blaming ATC on the PA for his go-around. Was unlucky enough to have the leader of the opposition and bunch of accompanying journos on board :p. Caused a lot of aggravation (to say the least :}) to local ATCers who spent the night talking and answering a lot of questions until the truth finally emerged.

Goaround in ATH becomes news story (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?t=111563)

TR
-------------------------------------
ThinkRate! ThinkRate! Don't Think!

NudgingSteel
3rd May 2006, 20:29
Was privileged to be in the tower some years back as a certain lo-co 737 went around after reporting too high and fast on a visual approach (no traffic anywhere near), then as they turned crosswind, the wrong button was pressed and the 'PA' came over the AIR frequency, advising us that "ATC had put us in too tight behing a previous arrival....absolutely no problem....don't panic....sorry for delay....landing in about 4 minutes" etc etc. Still makes me smile to think of the embarassment that must have ensued when the error was subtly pointed out....;)
I know honesty is the best policy but let's be honest, passengers will generally be calmer to hear that they're delayed due to ATC delays, than the aircraft we're all about to travel in six miles up at 500mph is a bit broken.....

Gonzo
3rd May 2006, 22:36
Hell, we all know it happens, and it's easier......just don't get caught! :p

Lon More
3rd May 2006, 22:37
The score was evened up a bit many years ago at Luton. There was a broken BR31 on the apron - no engines. PA made, "Bing bong, White Hat Airlines regret to announce a delay in the departure of flight number..... due to a technical problem. Could any passenger lend us a large rubber band?":}

Needless to say the phone number to get on the PA system was quickly changed

atcbah
4th May 2006, 22:22
We this happenes here alot every one blams atc in bahrain .

Beagle-eye
6th May 2006, 18:47
Honesty really is the best policy. I was on KLM flight from Amsterdam to Edinburgh yesterday afternoon. The captain announced that there would be a short delay due to a the technical paperwork. 5 minutes later he came out of the cockpit and, over the PA system, explained that a scheduled inspection of he landing gear had been missed and the aircraft could not be flown. He admitted the problem, explained the consequences and advised us of the solution - transfer to another aircraft. Although we were very late departing nobody complained - the captain did the right thing by fessing up and keeping us informed. :ok:

M609
12th May 2006, 23:47
Found this in another topic
http://www.egats.org/modules/coppermine/albums/userpics/Cartoons/Other/normal_c_91_1_atcdelay.png

fmgc
14th May 2006, 09:51
Honesty is not always the best policy. Let's suppose that one completely ballses up an approach is unstable and has to go around, through no fault of anybodies but one's own.

What are you going to tell the pax, I would suggest that admittig that you have cocked up is not going to be the best policy, but if your were going to be honest how would you "honesty brokers" word it?

Rainboe
14th May 2006, 10:00
'Regret we were unable to continue/complete that approach, we are just going around and under ATC control we will be carrying out another approach in about 10 minutes'

Perfectly neutral, no blame, and the big secret is whenever you give bad news on the PA, try and end it with something positive. Lying doesn't achieve much, and shifting the blame onto an innocent party is unnecessary when with a bit of thought, you can word it so nobody takes the blame (except ATC!). You always blame ATC for extensive holding into LHR (because it is their fault), or ridiculous departure time slots- that is important because some people can get very het up about it and it is essential to stop the crew taking the blame. There is not too much sense in the cabin- I've had people on a Nairobi London at dawn approaching Italy, when handed 2 day old papers (from ex London), have actually asked 'no! this morning's paper please!'. They're not thinking straight- with a bit of thought it's amazing what you can get away with without actually lying.

Pilot Pete
14th May 2006, 10:09
What are you going to tell the pax, I would suggest that admittig that you have cocked up is not going to be the best policy, but if your were going to be honest how would you "honesty brokers" word it? "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain. We have just climbed back up away from the runway at xxx as I was not happy with our approach to the airfield. I understand this may be alarming for some of you due to the unusual nature of the manoeuvre and the quite loud noise from the engines. Please rest assured that this is a perfectly normal manoeuvre for us as pilots and we will be coming back round under Air Traffic Control for a second approach in the next few minutes. I would like to apologise for the slight delay this has caused to our arrival today, and thank you for your patience."

I have heard people putting a little 'funny' on the end about an extra 10 minutes free of charge, but would caution against that.

PP

Gonzo
14th May 2006, 10:14
Rainboe,

You always blame ATC for extensive holding into LHR (because it is their fault)

Please do enlighten us as to why extensive holding into LHR is always ATC's fault.....:ok:

We're always keen to provide an improved service, where are we going wrong?

fantom
14th May 2006, 10:23
Say what you like; if you had heard this morning's RT into LGW - I arrived from a long way away at about 8.00 local - you would never utter a word agin' them agin'.
I was busy (the last twenty minutes is always busy after ten hours sitting there, picking your nose). The controllers were working their brains off and I remarked to my colleague that I did not understand why anyone would do it.
ATC, that is.
Anyway, well done indeed Girls and Boys.

Rainboe
14th May 2006, 10:41
Gonzo, I'm afraid ATC carries the can when it puts you in the hold for 25 minutes or holds you on the ground at Basle for 50 minutes on a slot delay. That's life- at that stage those passengers need someone to blame! Who else?

As for slot delays, it's ATCs job and responsibility to stop aeroplanes bumping in to each other, period. I never thought ATC should have the responsibility to decide when aeroplanes can depart, ie impose artificial delays to departure. If an airline has been given a schedule, it should be allowed to fly to it as best it can, and ATC keeps it from bumping into others. I absolutely hated after a 4 day tour to do the last flight to Basle knowing that there would be a departure slot delay of about 50 minutes to come home. Even the airline knew, which is why it was tacked onto the back of the rest of the tour. Airlines fly the planes, ATC does its job. But to allow ATC to control the actual schedules themselves is a step too far.

Pilot Pete
14th May 2006, 10:54
Despite Rainboe's 'toxic' comments, I would much rather be given a delayed slot on the ground than end up in some sector down route where the ATC officer is getting overloaded due to the volume of traffic arriving at one time.

ATC don't control the schedules, they stop aeroplanes bumping in to each other and if that means preventing the error chain by holding your departure then so be it. Jeez, give them a break. It is presumably their management who decide on schedules for airlines, not the ATC officers......

PP

Gonzo
14th May 2006, 11:02
Gonzo, I'm afraid ATC carries the can when it puts you in the hold for 25 minutes or holds you on the ground at Basle for 50 minutes on a slot delay. That's life- at that stage those passengers need someone to blame! Who else?
Of course, the blame doesn't lie with the airlines who schedule sixty aircraft to fly into LHR (for example) in that hour, when we can only handle forty five, does it? Who's to 'blame' for delays? Whenever I'm asked why I'm delaying a/c, I always give the same reply.....'other aircraft.....No other aircraft, no delay.' That's reducing it to the absurd, I know, but it's true.

As for slot delays, it's ATCs job and responsibility to stop aeroplanes bumping in to each other, period. I never thought ATC should have the responsibility to decide when aeroplanes can depart, ie impose artificial delays to departure.
What would you suggest? Surely not that we just abolish slot times and thus giving my colleagues on Dover, Clacton or TC Midlands far too many aircraft for the space available?

But to allow ATC to control the actual schedules themselves is a step too far
That's the problem. We don't. We react to 'correct' the airlines' schedules. If we had more input into the scheduling stage, things would run a lot more smoothly.

Again, using a clear example, the first lot of Midland domestics from LHR outbound, all go from adjacent stands; 102, 104, 106, 108 and 110. They are all scheduled to depart within five-ten minutes. Accoring to the laws of physics, it is impossible for them all to depart on time, some will get delayed. Of course, that's our fault, isn't it.....

Edit for Pilot Pete...I think you're all overestimating ATC's input into schedules....that's airport authority and ACL territory, and even then I'm not sure how much input they have into where you guys fly and at which time. Number of slots, yes. What those slots are used for, I don't think so.

TATC
14th May 2006, 11:59
You always blame ATC for extensive holding into LHR (because it is their fault), or ridiculous departure time slots- that is important because some people can get very het up about it and it is essential to stop the crew taking the blame. There is not too much sense in the cabin- I've had people on a Nairobi London at dawn approaching Italy, when handed 2 day old papers (from ex London), have actually asked 'no! this morning's paper please!'. They're not thinking straight- with a bit of thought it's amazing what you can get away with without actually lying.
departure slots are not created by ATC. Slots are imposed by CFMU in brussels, by looking at the flight plans received and referencing with sector capacity etc.. A delay on the ground is not always due to a restriction at the destination airport, it could be an enroute restriction. On some occasions a bit of creative flight planning could bypass the restricted area, and in some cases a SIP (Slot improvment proposal) message will be sent to operators detailing a possible change to route which will improve the departure slot.
Slots are also caused by Weather at an airfield. Obviously in very poor weather the landing rates are reduced. In these circumstances it is not fair to blame ATC, it would be better to be honest and say "due to weather restriction on arrivals have been imposed to keep everyone safe"
In short it is not ATC that impose departure slot restrictions. it is merely a response to demand exceeding capacity. If you want to blame ATC and the flow management for delays, then you are crtiticsing them for mainting a level of service that provides a safe environment for the public to fly in.
ATC = SAFE, ORDERLY and EXPEDITIOUS in that order

HEATHROW DIRECTOR
14th May 2006, 12:09
<<I always give the same reply.....'other aircraft..>>

Good on yer Gonzo. I used the same reason for 30+ years, except I just used to say "planes"!

cwatters
14th May 2006, 12:15
I recall one flight where the captain informed us that we were "..waiting for two missing passengers, whose bags are already in the hold" and that "When they finally come on board we should try and make them feel welcome". Everyone cheered and wistled loudly as they walked through the cabin.

Roger Copy Charlie
14th May 2006, 12:54
ATC - 'cause they don't give you start
CFMU - 'cause they don't give the slot
Airlines - 'cause they all depart at 08:00 local

well, if we continue like this I can name a few:

Passengers - 'cause they all like to leave in the morning
Boeing & Airbus - 'cause they make too many planes
Tesco & Walmart - 'cause they're so cheap everybody has some spare cash to go on holidays
Bush & Blair - 'cause the economy is going too well
Capitalism, the Wright Brothers, Newton...

Except for some industry-insider wise-guy, nobody's gonna know what CFMU in Brussels is. It's part of the bigger ATC picture. Therefore, a slot delay is "due ATC". If this is a lie, then I'd recommend any delay "lies" to stop there.

HEATHROW DIRECTOR
14th May 2006, 13:30
As a controller I would not be miffed at all it a pilot blamed ATC for a genuine delay but, as has already been mentioned, ATC has been blamed for matters totally unrelated to the service. I sat behind a right comedian coming in to LHR from LAX early one morning. At about 5am, and about 100 miles out, he gaily told us that at that time there would be no other traffic so we would have a quick approach to Heathrow and we would be landing in about 20 minutes. I fell about! Needless to say, a few minutes later we started to hold at Bovingdon. The guy then said: "ATC have sprung a surprise on us and told us to hold; they've done that before". I mean to say, don't these people know about noise restrictions?

BDiONU
14th May 2006, 13:31
Except for some industry-insider wise-guy, nobody's gonna know what CFMU in Brussels is. It's part of the bigger ATC picture. Therefore, a slot delay is "due ATC". If this is a lie, then I'd recommend any delay "lies" to stop there.
Is CFMU ATC though? Without wishing to invoke some form of semantic flame war ATC do Air Traffic Control, CFMU are in the business of Traffic Management. Slots, flow etc. etc. are all forms of traffic management. ATC are the people who move you from A to B, safely and in an orderly and expeditious manner.
Perhaps both sides of the industry need to recognise that it is NOT ATC who cause delays, (they manage them) but Traffic Management.
Why do we have Traffic Management? For all the reasons mentioned above people like to fly, they generally want to depart early, there are too many aircraft wanting to use limited facilities all at the same time. Somehow this has to be managed and someone (or more than one) will 'lose out' on the time they want. Coming into an airport is similar but can be made much more complicated by weather or other problems (runway out of use for a period etc). These difficulties are not caused by ATC but it is ATC who have to manage them and get the 'blame'. So not only does the ATC'er have to work their socks off when the weather deteriorates but they also get blamed for it! Hhhhmmmm! :=


BD

Rainboe
14th May 2006, 13:39
I knew what I was going to say was a bit controversial, but I stand by it. It's too broad a stroke imposing 50 minute slot delays like Eurocontrol or whoever does. When you do manage to get an earlier departure, you find yourself whistling past Paris with the sky to yourself and a quick approach into LHR/LGW, which means you could have gone earlier and gotten away with it fine. I still think leave ATC to stop the bumping and let airlines keep to the schedules they have been given and licensed for, taking holding as necessary. I was convinced that if Eurocontrol could demonstrate how many slot delays they were 'obliged' to impose, it would influence their demand for more budget from the politicos. It's very difficult to predict a wave of arrivals, and holding everybody up doesn't achieve much- just puts off the problem to another time whilst making LHR the arrival delay capital of the world- the 'worlds most busy international arrival delay airport!'.

fmgc
14th May 2006, 13:40
I always tell the pax that atc have told us that our earliest take off time is....

Thereby nobody gets the blame and no lie has been told.

BUT does it matter if ATC do get the blame?

For commercial reasons it is in the airlines' interest not to shoulder the blame, but, apart from a bit if pride, what effect does it have on ATC?

I do agree that if you are sat on the ground with a tech problem or pax handling problem, to blame it on ATC is asking for trouble, you could well be digiing yourself a big hole for 10 minutes down the line when your areplane is unfixable and you ask the pax to disembark.

BDiONU
14th May 2006, 13:51
BUT does it matter if ATC do get the blame?

For commercial reasons it is in the airlines' interest not to shoulder the blame, but, apart from a bit if pride, what effect does it have on ATC?
Some countries ANSP's (Air Navigation Service Provider) are also a commercial enterprise. So YES it does matter when you blame ATC when it is not their fault. Too much delay attributed to the ANSP means they get hit by penalties.
Apart from that I would suggest most ATC'rs take a pride in their work and don't take kindly to being 'blamed' for something which they're actually trying to avoid!

BD

Gonzo
14th May 2006, 14:03
Rainboe,

You're sure the delay imposed was always due to an LHR arrival restriction?

Yes, ATFM as we know it is an imprecise art. We in the UK are trying to change it, but it's a gradual process.

99% of all the ATCOs I know take great pride in providing the highest possible service. However, that attitude actually makes things more difficult sometimes, when thinking of the 'big picture'. The present ATFM attempts to manage the capacity of the system, but that system can be thrown totally out if; a few aircraft depart in the -5 of the slot (which we attempt to do if you're ready in time), a few more depart in the +10 part of the slot (or +15 as we can at LHR - which we try to do rather than delaying you and asking for a new one), and add that to one or two great ATCOs busting their guts to give a few direct routeings, and 15 a/c turn up at a sector boundary when 5 have been planned for.

I still think leave ATC to stop the bumping and let airlines keep to the schedules they have been given and licensed for, taking holding as necessary.
Sounds great on paper. However: How would you protect en-route workload? I reckon more than half the slots applied to outbounds from LHR are due to en-route capacity, rather than destination airport capacity. How would you justify the environmental impact of all those a/c going round in the hold. If our four stacks are full, they (you) start to hold further out, cutting the capacity of each TMA (and futher out, en route) sector......

fmgc
14th May 2006, 15:33
Too much delay attributed to the ANSP means they get hit by penalties

Yes, but it i not the passengers who make the decision on the penalties is it? I will be the actual recorded delays attributable to the ANSP, so it still makes no odds.

As far as blaming CFMU rather than ATC for the slot is rather difficult. The avergare layperson will know what Air Traffic Control is but not Central Flow Management Unit, and the distinction to them will be very slight, so I wuld suggest that a PA explaining who CFMU are and that they are the ones who have issued the slot will become far to rambling and technical.

I am sure that ATC'ers are quite rightly proud of what they do, but occaisionally we all have to take one on the chin for the "cause". The ones who really have to take one on the chin are the cabin crew. No matter how well you explain the reason for the delay the pax always give then cabin crew s**t for it.

terrain safe
14th May 2006, 15:56
So if you get a slot due weather do you still blame ATC?
So if you get a slot due to the runway at destination being blocked do you still blame ATC?
So if you get a slot do you still blame ATC?
If you miss a slot can we blame you?:ugh: :ugh:

fmgc
14th May 2006, 16:15
As I said earlier on:

I always tell the pax that atc have told us that our earliest take off time is....

Thereby nobody gets the blame and no lie has been told.

If I know what the slot is for, which I often don't, then I will explain that the reason we have a take of delay is due to poor weather at...

If you miss a slot can we blame you?

erm..yes you can, oh but hang on a sec, what if it was because the agents were late loading the bags, I might get a little precious and upset if you blame me for it!!!

Come on guys, it's not rocket science, a few little white lies or half truths never did any harm, I am sure that most ATC chaps will appreciate that saying "Sorry, Ladies and Gentlemen, we hae an air traffic delay of.." or something along those lines is not a personal attack but a plausible and as close to the exact facts as is required to tell the pax.

As I said earlier I do not advocate laying the blame at the feet of ATC if it is say a tech problem or something else like that.

fmgc
14th May 2006, 16:20
Also, what do we mean by blaming ATC?

We know that a slot can be for a number of reasons, such as wx, flow management, blocked runways, apron capacity etc, so all we are saying is that the delay is being enforced by ATC. Nonody is saying that ATC are at fault for that.

Yes I know that ATC don't issue the slots it is the CFMU but as I said earlier on making that distinction to the Pax is just too difficult.

Rainboe
14th May 2006, 16:32
Weather -No, Runway blockage -No, ATC slot -Yes, miss a slot -No.

So often when a departure slot to London has been brought forward, you find that there are no delays on arrival and you could have gotten in even sooner. Very frustrating for all concerned to have an unnecessary delay and it loses the confidence of the pilots. It is the function of ATC to prevent collisions- by allowing ATC to impose flow constraints, it is like the Police, who's task is to keep traffic flowing freely on the roads, to set what time I may leave home in my car to drive to work in the rush hour so too many people don't arrive at the xxxxx junction/work car park at once. By interfering with the natural flow, it possibly masks where and when the real congestion is occuring so schedules are not licensed correctly. If your Basle flight is always going to get a slot delay like that, then the schedule must be changed according to how it actually performs when uninterfered with, otherwise you are skewing the results. That is where schedule manipulation should come in, not some faceless adminitrators in Brussels deciding 'we'll delay this one 50 minutes just in case'. I think too often their predictions for expected congestion at LHR in 2 1/2 hours time are way off.

Gonzo
14th May 2006, 17:08
Rainboe,

I'm still not sure how you would undertake the "the function of ATC to prevent collisions" en-route without any flow control to prevent major overloads.

Possible explanation for your Basle-LHR experiences; your slot from Basle might have been an en-route restriction, not an LHR arrival restriction; you might have launched on the -5, and everyone else on the +10 (+15). There are many reasons why it appears quiet when you turn up at LHR. We might have outperformed our declared capacity over the past half an hour, or many of the a/c with slots to bring them to LHR at the same time as you might have missed their own slots.

I think too often their predictions for expected congestion at LHR in 2 1/2 hours time are way off.
It's a feature of the system. The flexibility of the -5/+10 departure, speeds in the departure TMA, direct routeings etc all have large effects on traffic flow, and it cannot be predicted with any great accuracy. AFAIK that's the main reason for the 250kt trial in the london TMA; to ascertain if it improves flow management due to a more predictable flight profile.

Turn It Off
14th May 2006, 17:36
How about ATC just turn off flow, and whilst we are at it, turn off the radars.
After all, you got TCAS to sort it all out i suppose :mad: :mad:

Hand Solo
14th May 2006, 17:49
Thats not a bad idea! Do you think it would work?

Capt.KAOS
14th May 2006, 17:50
I was on a THAI 747 when it aborted the approach into HKG Kai Tak after the last 30 degree right turn was completed, must be 20-30 secs before landing. The captain announced it was because "another airplane was still on the landing strip"...

Del Prado
15th May 2006, 12:15
Weather -No, Runway blockage -No, ATC slot -Yes, miss a slot -No.


Rainboe,
How do you know the slot wasn't due to weather? If there's a strong headwind at heathrow the arrival rate plummets, same if there has been weather avoiding or fog previously. weather might have improved but you'll still get a slot as the backlog is cleared.

To reduce delays into heathrow would you advocate a ban on weather avoidance? 2 mile spacing in strong wind conditions? Perhaps LVPs with land after clearances?




A couple of years ago, working Heathrow approach in LVPs, we had the misfortune to see the fog come back in just as restrictions had been taken off and a massive wave of inbounds was appearing on the radar.

The TMA was creaking at the seams and several sectors were close to being overloaded as 48 per hour arrived at the inner stacks just as the landing rate went down to 28.
This unforecast fog dissapeared as suddenly as it had come and we started landing more and cleared the holding traffic.

The Traffic Manager did a fantastic job removing the flow rates quickly and we soon had another wave arriving, the first of which I was able to put straight in. and as it caught up the last in the sequence of the holding traffic (ensuring we hadn't wasted a single landing slot) the pilot had a good old moan about why he'd had to sit on the ground in brussels for half an hour when there was no delay!:ugh:

You can't possibly see the bigger picture from the flight deck but remember
1. safety always comes first for us
2. we can't control the weather
3. don't argue with the guy that decides when you land ;)

anotherthing
16th May 2006, 12:06
Rainboe

with all the due respect that a retired pilot such as yourself deserves - you are talking utter b:mad: :mad: locks.

Other pilots on this thread are saying they will still blame ATC with a little white lie - that I can live with. The utter ill informed drivel that you are spouting however, beggars belief.

The airline industry is run for passengers - it is a consumer industry. Those passengers want to get to the same destinations at the same time as each other, for the same reasons.

The airlines, because it is a competitive market, try to do what the customers want.

The infrastructure (Airspace, tarmac etc) cannot cope with this - it's not about ATC ability, it's about physical dimensions of airspace, landing rates etc. As an ATCO I work bloody hard at times in the London TMA - I take great umbrage in someone stating that delays are my or any other ATCOs fault.

The delays at heathrow for example are caused by a multitude of things. Do you even know how far in advance planning has to take place to try to prevent this??

At the start of the day, with the help of slots, the traffic may be reasonably spaced to prevent any significant delay.. however, during a 10 hour flight, who is to say what will happen to an aircraft?? How about the severe headwind or great tailwind it experiences - therefore causing it to arrive at the 'wrong' time. How about the direct routeings some helpful ATCO gave it - to cause the same effect (or is ATC to blame for trying to give expeditious routeings as well?)

When traffic starts backing up, flow is put on for arrivals, but it can take hours to take proper effect. If the traffic manager at does a bad job during the nightshift with flow restrictions for example, it can take until early afternoon to sort out the backlog, even if the oncoming traffic manager at 0700 tries to implement flow.

A/C are held on the ground because we cannot cope with more at that time - or would you rather we let everything take off and just hope it's safe??

Speaking purely from the london TMA point of view, as a TMA controller we can have Dover departures from Heathrow (busiest international passenger airport), Gatwick (busiest single runway airport), Stansted, London City, Luton all trying to get out through DVR at the same time - how are we supposed to do that safely without delays happening??

So Delays are the fauly of ATC?? well, i suppose if you take it in black and white they are - however, they are caused because more and more aircraft are trying to use the same piece of sky. They are caused for the sake of safety.

When passengers are happy to take flights at unsocial times and the airlines can reschedule departures/arrivals accordingly, we may see a reduction in delays. However that ain't going to happen as it is against customer wishes.

As an aside - The ATC infrastructure has little or no say on what happens - they only manage the airspace - they do not 'own' it. If airlines try to set up new routes or fly from new airports, the CAA etc will look at it, then give it the OK if they think it is appropriate - they do not usually consult with the ASNP before dong so - they just have to cope with the impact.

Feather Boa
16th May 2006, 12:33
We've gone off the thread a little here, but at least in Europe you are told the length of the delay and given a slot time. The standard response to a start clearance in China is "Standby". After further questioning the next response is "No time" which means length of delay is unknown.
After further questioning the standard response is "Military" or the blame is passed on to the next sector.
The longest delay I've had is 3hrs40mins, it's difficult explaining to Pax that we've no idea when we will be under way!

Fx

pushapproved
16th May 2006, 12:59
A couple of years ago a pilot did a PA to his passengers after a go-around at Gatwick saying that 'ATC had made a cock-up' - not the case at all, unfortunately for the pilot the PA had actually been transmitted to ATC instead of the cabin by mistake. He later apologised!


Also, any passengers flying with United Airlines usually have the facility to listen to all the RT communications from their seats, except during PAs!