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missy
29th Apr 2019, 12:28
Very interesting article by Dr Luis Barbero, The Guild of Air Traffic Control Officers.
https://airtrafficmanagement.keypublishing.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2019/04/Controllers-Views-on-the-European-ATM-System-of-the-Future-GATCO.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0kicv4-4TC74LFxu0Tojyw8nK5XTGi0JLmoAl_fFPczXGYMTJCOwE6Qyk
ATC systems have lagged well behind advances in avionics, advances in simulations and common approaches to the same (or similar) problems.

Aso
29th Apr 2019, 16:56
What a joke! The BIGGEST issue is the little state monopolies (ANSP's) and the unions that do EVERYTHING to stop a proper single sky being introduced...

Solution:
-One network manager who has proper control over the sky: EUROCONTROL
-The same overflight rates all over Europe
-No more local inefficient ANSP's (DFS in Karlsuhe should be the first one that should be fired!)
-One system all over Europe
-Good salaries but only strikes over really important things
-High quality training all over Europe to ONE standard
-Training more controllers

In short: a real single sky like in the US......

Ian W
29th Apr 2019, 18:09
What a joke! The BIGGEST issue is the little state monopolies (ANSP's) and the unions that do EVERYTHING to stop a proper single sky being introduced...

Solution:
-One network manager who has proper control over the sky: EUROCONTROL
-The same overflight rates all over Europe
-No more local inefficient ANSP's (DFS in Karlsuhe should be the first one that should be fired!)
-One system all over Europe
-Good salaries but only strikes over really important things
-High quality training all over Europe to ONE standard
-Training more controllers

In short: a real single sky like in the US......

This will probably get moved - but I really feel I should answer your 'parochial' viewpoint. :) Europe is a small area although the ECAC states region is larger. However, under a real Single European Sky it would be difficult to justify 67 Air Traffic Control Centers - many of them totally different in operations and even display symbology. Whereas the US NAS has 20, 22 if you include Alaska and Hawaii.

However, that is really small thinking. Extended range flights now cover half the globe; Boston - Narita, Dubai - Auckland; Newark - Singapore, etc etc. This means that the aircraft trajectory exists in multiple ANSPs. In future advanced ATM with global free routing there will need to be global governance of the trajectory information already held in a globally agreed format (Flight Information Exchange Method). So think bigger within 25 years there could be a Single World Sky and a lot less ATCCs with global free routing. It is all possible now.

However, UK cannot even move to one ATCC the one at Prestwick has to stay for Scotland and not be conjoined (as originally planned) with the one a Swanwick on the South coast of England. You will find dragging Karlsruhe out of DFS quite difficult too. It is not the technical issues it is the political. Which is why the FAA found reducing to 6 centers (which was on the cards) too politically difficult :ugh:

testpanel
29th Apr 2019, 18:32
I am with Aso,

Its not fun anymore flying across europe.
AirTrafficControllers trying/demanding flying MY airplane, by issuing unrealistic demands, speed/altitude/descend rate wise:=

I understand their job, don't get me wrong.

But they are safe on the ground, while we are flying up there and are restricted either company or manufacturer wise.

If i want/need to flight plan route, why does (a German) ATC ask me for a clarification?

I am all for 1 big European sky, but with 12 years left in my career i doubt i will ever see that (esp. the french)

Headset19
29th Apr 2019, 21:15
However, UK cannot even move to one ATCC the one at Prestwick has to stay for Scotland and not be conjoined (as originally planned) with the one a Swanwick on the South coast of England.

Scottish was never planned to move to Swanwick. NATS which has rationalised its centres also has a two centre policy, resilience demands it.

sunnySA
29th Apr 2019, 23:24
What a joke! The BIGGEST issue is the little state monopolies (ANSP's) and the unions that do EVERYTHING to stop a proper single sky being introduced...

Solution:
-One network manager who has proper control over the sky: EUROCONTROL
-The same overflight rates all over Europe
-No more local inefficient ANSP's (DFS in Karlsuhe should be the first one that should be fired!)
-One system all over Europe
-Good salaries but only strikes over really important things
-High quality training all over Europe to ONE standard
-Training more controllers

In short: a real single sky like in the US......

I actually think you are agreeing with the article, specifically:
better training, more ATCs, investment in infrastructure, standardisation of equipment and procedures.

There does need to be a shift in the thinking, investment and some give and take. The airlines and the pilot group can only benefit from significant changes within the ATC system.

Aso
30th Apr 2019, 11:39
I actually think you are agreeing with the article, specifically:
better training, more ATCs, investment in infrastructure, standardisation of equipment and procedures.

There does need to be a shift in the thinking, investment and some give and take. The airlines and the pilot group can only benefit from significant changes within the ATC system.

Nope I disagree with the article as it is NOT a lack of money... It is a total abuse of these funds by local ANSP's that all should be fired and merged in three or four large centers. It is LOCAL politicians and unions that are stopping this. There should be one real EUROPEAN ANSP instead.. And that is the last thing the union of ATC employees and writer of the article wants :*

BluSdUp
30th Apr 2019, 12:08
have no use for ATC. period.
Ahh, correction , It keeps me entertained and awake.

Bergerie1
30th Apr 2019, 12:28
Aso is correct.

I was involved, in EATCHIP, APATSI. the ECAC Institutional Strategy for ATM in Europe, the ATM2000+ Strategy, the EC's Single Sky and on the SESAR Concept of Operations. In every case it was absolutely clear that the impediments were national politics, ANSP hierachies and ATCO unions. The technical problems are all surmountable but the politics are not.

groundbum
30th Apr 2019, 13:17
perhaps single skies in Europe should start at FL100 and be controlled by 1 mega center with a standby center in case? That would eliminate 90% of the handovers...

G

Aso
30th Apr 2019, 15:31
perhaps single skies in Europe should start at FL100 and be controlled by 1 mega center with a standby center in case? That would eliminate 90% of the handovers...
G

Yep, technical possible and only stopped by the ATC unions and local politicians... And worse: politician want to tax aviation "because of the environment" while at the same time there is a 10 to 15% reduction in CO2 emissions AND passenger delays possible by implementing the plans that are readily available.... :mad:

SINGAPURCANAC
30th Apr 2019, 16:53
i would like to propose one efficient solution.
Unit rate -The same for all.( in ECAC area)
If ANSPs generates delays ( such as Karlsuhe, Marselile, Warsaw etc...) it should be reduced unit rate as appropriate.
More delays, less payment.

ATC Watcher
30th Apr 2019, 17:29
i would like to propose one efficient solution.
Unit rate -The same for all.( in ECAC area)
If ANSPs generates delays ( such as Karlsuhe, Marselile, Warsaw etc...) it should be reduced unit rate as appropriate.
More delays, less payment.
Fantastic idea ! so you reduce the payments, which will mean stop in recruiting new staff, or paying them so they leave less staff , stop investments and 5 years later you can close the center , but who will take over ?
Solution is cooperation , helping each other not pointing fingers. .
However the notion of a single unit rate is not new and would resolve many issues, mainly in finally allowing to reorganizing the airspace and routes , so getting a much more efficient system. But huge reluctance from States, i.e. the people you elect ..Nationalism is on the rise everywhere..
Same for SES and FABs, as said earlier, sovereignty is the main issue , a big one always was and still is preventing things to move in the right direction . . Comparing the US with Europe is futile as it is forgetting that there are 40 air forces in EUR , (plus the USAF! ), and some still officially at war with one another. Other things like Brexit, Gibraltar, or Kosovo to name only 3 , are not helping either.
Eurocontrol was the idealistic solution in the 70s, Unique upper airspace under one agency for the whole of Europe . 3 centers were built, but only Maastricht survived.. the 2 others ( Shannon and Karlsruhe) were nationalized by their respective States in 1974. End of the European ATC dream .
Been there since the early 70s and also seen and even was involved in all the projects mentioned earlier..Big hopes, followed by deceptions. Takes time , bloody long time to get things moving in Europe , but we have 2 millennia of history and wars behind us too...No that simple, If it was , would have been solved long ago..

Finally to come back to the article that initiated this thread : . It is a very good one , and I really concur with Luis statements and conclusions. You may not like it , but not everybody is expected to like to hear the truth . Ask Trump :E
..

Ian W
30th Apr 2019, 17:32
Scottish was never planned to move to Swanwick. NATS which has rationalised its centres also has a two centre policy, resilience demands it.

It was intended to move the Scottish Centre from Prestwick to Swanwick, I was in some of the original discussions at LATCC and the then CAA House. Nobody believed that what was then called NERC (New En-Route Centre) would actually be built as we were still expanding the LATCC building with the new Military control room. Whilst I agree that redundancy could have been an issue, the idea was that there would be no single point of failure and NERC would be two buildings plugged together - Southern control room could back up the Scottish control room and vice versa. The real problem was political.

zed3
30th Apr 2019, 20:10
If One looks back to the late sixties and early seventies, the Eurocontrol plan and agreement was for European international ATC centres at Maastricht, Shannon and Karlsruhre, operated by Eurocontrol. The Karlsruhre centre was built but rapidly a victim of, I believe, nationalism. The Shannon centre was an earlier victim. The Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre, somehow survived and thrived, as an example of development with international ATC cooperation. It still is. Having worked there from the opening in1972 until five years ago, and before that at the Brussels UAC from 1970 - 72, I consider it a great success. I believe we were the first for direct routings, having been 'on the phones' in Brussels coordinating with 'France', with traffic from the Dutch border sent well into France (CTL, NTS, among others), those were the days. Anyway, Eurocontrol was an innovative idea which was constrained by politics. At least, the Maastricht Centre survives... with the echoes of 'Chuggalug' and from what I have experienced, a great reputation, having spoken with many flight crews over the years.
Just my sixpenth worth. Very happy days.

zed.

Aso
1st May 2019, 11:37
Eurocontrol was an innovative idea which was constrained by politics. Fully agree and these same politicians need to stop protecting their local ANSP's while at the same time talk about CO2 emissions or forcing airlines to financial pay compensation for delays that they themselves are causing! But hey in these Brexit nationalistic thinking days that is hard I guess.. :(

Headset19
1st May 2019, 21:40
It was intended to move the Scottish Centre from Prestwick to Swanwick, I was in some of the original discussions at LATCC and the then CAA House. Nobody believed that what was then called NERC (New En-Route Centre) would actually be built as we were still expanding the LATCC building with the new Military control room. Whilst I agree that redundancy could have been an issue, the idea was that there would be no single point of failure and NERC would be two buildings plugged together - Southern control room could back up the Scottish control room and vice versa. The real problem was political.

Oh sure there's always somebody brings it up now and then, doing so doesn't mean there is any actual intention beyond the table down south they're discussing it around.
There was no chance of it happening then, and no chance of happening now. Your resilience wouldn't cut the mustard either, the current two centre strategy does.



​​​​​​

Aso
2nd May 2019, 08:01
Fantastic idea ! so you reduce the payments, which will mean stop in recruiting new staff, or paying them so they leave less staff , stop investments and 5 years later you can close the center , but who will take over ? Ehh well the current system of giving you money WITHOUT any service level guarantee doesn't seem to work well either as DFS was stopping/slowing recruitment to maximize profit while at the same time they are doing all kind of non core stuff like running towers in other countries.....

So actually paying according to service levels does definitely get managements attention!

ATC Watcher
2nd May 2019, 21:08
Ehh well the current system of giving you money WITHOUT any service level guarantee doesn't seem to work well either as DFS was stopping/slowing recruitment to maximize profit while at the same time they are doing all kind of non core stuff like running towers in other countries.....
So actually paying according to service levels does definitely get managements attention!
Indeed , but what they do with less money ? Which business do you know where if you pay less you will get better service tomorrow? In a normal world, if you do like the product or the service, you avoid coming back or go to the next shop selling similar product(s) or providing similar service.
Problem with ATC is that there is no real alternative. One airspace one provider, You can change the name on the building or the Tower but it is almost always the same system and the same people confronted with the same issues..
Constantly asking for reduction in costs is race to the bottom , ATC or airline..
Everyone would like a better more modern ATC system and more staff to run the thing when demand is there. But in many places we keep the old stuff and plan for the average traffic, not the peaks, so you get more and more delays as the traffic raise year after year.
Summer 2019 will be a mess in Europe. Investing more and recruiting more controllers will help ( in a few years) but paying less those in difficulty will ensure that you will get a bad service for decades to come.
Finally ATC is not "generating" delays , but keeping the capacity it has at a given moment within safe margins. Not only traffic but weather /CBs or equipment failures also restrict capacity . Building more capacity/ redundancy for those cost a lot of money too. .

Aso
3rd May 2019, 08:15
Indeed , but what they do with less money ? Well any business with a ROI of over 20% and most of it guaranteed, whether they do a good job or not, is a business that a lot of people are interested to invest in!

Make it one airspace, one standard and then auction of pieces to the BEST provider... Not necessarily the local one...

ATC Watcher
3rd May 2019, 08:44
Make it one airspace, one standard and then auction of pieces to the BEST provider... Not necessarily the local one...
That I agree with , that was exactly the SES and FAB original idea. The Sovereignty and military issues killed it , just like they killed Eurocontrol plans in the 1970s. This could change in the future , when say , Gibraltar will be part of Spanish airspace and Cyprus will be under one FIR again to take only 2 examples out of many
Well any business with a ROI of over 20% and most of it guaranteed, whether they do a good job or not, is a business that a lot of people are interested to invest in!

In the east of Europe, yes, but in western Europe ? Both DFS and Skyguide made losses last year.despite an exceptional raise in traffic/revenue. and those 2 were the 2 most aggressive proponents of the free market idea, In fact both are caught in a vicious circle of having been so cost efficient that they are now facing serious capacity shortfalls, that only a massive investment and recruitment can solve , and raising route charges is probably the only way out...

SINGAPURCANAC
3rd May 2019, 08:57
@Aso,
It is very hard to explain to opposite side. They are well numbered,strong and out of question as well. :}

How to explain differently,when we all know that unit rate ( and money that ANSPs generates ) are designed to cover ALL costs related to ATC bussines, at least in ECAC area?
If we need 100 atcos per year, than we have money for them. If we are short of 10 people, we have money to recruit, train and validate those 10. Among many other reasons, different unit rate is different because the price of ATCO ( or recruit,train and validate new one) is different from country to country. So there is no space to tell stories that we don't have money for new people or to employ enough qualified ATCOs.

But,
When you have ruling cast of ATM managers ( who can't loose their job for whatever reason) than you have a system that will blame everything except them.
And when I said, adjust unit rate according to performance rate, I just thought about that. Reduce management benefits if ANSP constantly are "behind traffic".
Every NM report starts with: "The biggest ATFM delay are Carlsruhe, Marseilles,Brest...)...every report. Does any manager from these units ever get be fired because of low performance? Of course, no. How the hell they could predict that they don't have enough people for incoming season ( or two,three in a row)....to ask more, or to organize job better, or to train better...

I don't know exact numbers, but I could bet (for a cocktail -somewhere in Spain) that every of these above mentioned ANSPs has 100% full all administrative and management positions but 70-80% of operational stuff (ATCOs) .

Reduce management benefits, if performance is "behind traffic". That was core of my idea.
The best benefits for best service. No other way around.

after 20+year in ATC and many year active in Union questions, I am pretty sure that "ATC stuffing issues" are just another way to say :"Raise our salaries..."

And yes, I am not idealist. I know that,
If Germany and France lead other way around -nothing will change. small ANSPs couldn't change high level political questions.

ATC Watcher
3rd May 2019, 11:15
@ SingapurCANAC ; you do not change with age ....:E.
there is no space to tell stories that we don't have money for new people or to employ enough qualified ATCOs.

You just forget the RPs, which are at the root cause of this , the EU mandated a fixed reduction of costs/Unit rate per year ( or Reference Periods , or RPs, for those here not aware of the EU jargon ) and that meant less posts as it was/is easier and far cheaper to downsize the workforce and rely on overtime than to recruit new staff. But fully agree with you regarding management posts filled at 100% and ops staff at 75 % . Number and costs of ATM support staff is a big problem in EUR.
Reduce management benefits, if performance is "behind traffic". That was core of my idea. another area where we can fully agree.But You know this will never materialise. in Aviation even if you run a business down to the ground by your incompetence you still remain employed and get your bonus .But OK, same for the banks ..:hmm:
I am pretty sure that "ATC stuffing issues" are just another way to say :"Raise our salaries..."
Not anymore, that as a bit used in the 80-90s , today where in the west salaries are all around 100 K/year money it is no longer the main issue, but mandatory overtime and working 10 days on 1 day off is.
And the sad part is that even if by a miracle we would lift all budget restrictions and raise the money today , it would take 5 years at least to go back to last years staff levels. Politicians driving those RPs expected new technology to reduce the number of controllers needed, the promised new technology is still not there and we have not enough staff to cater for the raise of traffic today . End of the story.