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sejo
26th Jul 2019, 12:03
https://www.nats.aero/news/incident-at-swanwick-control-centre-statement-at-1220/

Eurocontrol says issues with displays in TC?

EGLL (London Heathrow)
High delays for arrivals due to ATC Equipment (issue with RADAR displays) until 2400 UTC.

EGKK (London Gatwick)
High delays for arrivals due to ATC Equipment (issue with RADAR displays) until 2400 UTC.

autothrottle
26th Jul 2019, 12:34
Glad Iím on days off!

golfbananajam
26th Jul 2019, 13:04
So the Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Plan is working well then

mike current
26th Jul 2019, 13:09
Interesting how only last week people were describing ANS at Gatwick as "dodgy" because of an EFPS fault...

sejo
26th Jul 2019, 13:15
Latest on Eurocontrol NOP

Please find here the latest update from NATS at 1230 UTC.

The Technical Issue impacting London Terminal Control remains ongoing and engineering are evaluating the options. The operation is stable with some restrictions in force. These are subject to change.

There are still regulations and flow measures caused by weather across the eastern UK including the London TMA.

Customers are advised to monitor the OCIG: www.customer.nats.co.uk/ocig

NMOC Brussels

giggitygiggity
26th Jul 2019, 13:37
Interesting how only last week people were describing ANS at Gatwick as "dodgy" because of an EFPS fault...

Itís NATS this time. Yesterday we ended up cancelling the flight after over 5hrs with pax onboard. First two sectors cancelled today. How is the UK perpetually so vulnerable to this?

Yesterday there was a total stop on departures in any direction from LGW, I appreciate that itís busy airspace, but when a CB rolls in over the Hudson, all NYC airports donít shut down. Same in Paris.

Today a radar failure has resulted in (at my count) 33 cancelled flights from LGW for my airline ALONE. What is the cost of that financially? Happens a number of times a year; surely thatís worth installing a little more redundancy? Of course I realise that it is not that simple, but I think we just get into the mindset that the London airspace is simply just too busy for there ever to be any solution!

We are just frankly an embarrassment here in the UK.

Hotel Tango
26th Jul 2019, 14:03
We are just frankly an embarrassment here in the UK.

On many different fronts in fact! But I appreciate that this is an aviation forum so let's stick to that aspect. I understand that some of the storms over the London area have been particularly heavy recently. And contrary to what you said, I also believe that the New York area came to a grinding halt recently! So, it's not just the UK.

sejo
26th Jul 2019, 14:05
Please find below the latest update from NATS at 1330UTC.

The Technical Issue impacting Terminal Control has been identified and an additional five controller workstations have been brought back into service. The plan is to have full fix implemented overnight, which itself should have no customer impact.

Weather is impacting the operation and is the cause of the majority of regulations and short term measures. There is medium risk of CBs across the eastern part of the UK and LTMA during the afternoon with further risk into the night.

Customers are advised to monitor the OCIG: www.customer.nats.co.uk/ocig

No further teleconferences are planned, but we will continue to monitor the situation and will send updates via text and e-mail when required.

NMOC Brussels on behalf of UK FMP

autothrottle
26th Jul 2019, 14:11
Terminal delays in the NY Area in summer months are significant(due TS activity) and lead to thousands and thousands of minutes delay. ATFM measures are applied and can be robust.

1985
26th Jul 2019, 14:13
Today a radar failure has resulted in (at my count) 33 cancelled flights from LGW for my airline ALONE. What is the cost of that financially? Happens a number of times a year; surely thatís worth installing a little more redundancy? Of course I realise that it is not that simple, but I think we just get into the mindset that the London airspace is simply just too busy for there ever to be any solution!

We are just frankly an embarrassment here in the UK.

I don't normally defend NATS but to say it happens a number of times a year is quite frankly rubbish and wrong. I understand the frustration but calm down. If the radar or radar feeds (more likely) have failed then what is meant to happen? See and be seen in the LTMA? Quite frankly if only 33 out of hundreds (I'm presuming) have been cancelled then they are coping quite well. No one has a redundancy system that runs at 100%. They are doing what they can as well as they can.

HEATHROW DIRECTOR
26th Jul 2019, 14:24
My wife and I sat on a DC9 in a remote area of O'Hare for 1.5 hours - a "ground stop" had been put on due to storms in the area so the UK isn't the only place to suffer!

Brian 48nav
26th Jul 2019, 14:34
gig.gitygig.gity

Have you ever visited one of the ATC facilities in London or Swanwick centre? Just asking!

Del Prado
26th Jul 2019, 15:06
It’s not the thunderstorms that cause the delays, it’s the pilots who insist on avoiding them. ��

His dudeness
26th Jul 2019, 15:17
no one has a redundancy system that runs at 100%

Our airplane has several 100% redundancies.

It’s not the thunderstorms that cause the delays, it’s the pilots who insist on avoiding them.

Good point. Being a known lover of sarcasm, Iīd say its rather the controllers trying to avoid the ensuing paperwork...

Gove N.T.
26th Jul 2019, 15:38
On many different fronts in fact! But I appreciate that this is an aviation forum so let's stick to that aspect. I understand that some of the storms over the London area have been particularly heavy recently. And contrary to what you said, I also believe that the New York area came to a grinding halt recently! So, it's not just the UK.
Iím sure that there are ATC delays across Europe either through equipment failure or the regular French/Spanish/Italian ATC strike so it is ďembarrassingĒ that equipment fails from time to time? As you say, wx contributed...
yesteray a woman affected by rail problems on the hottest July day asked why they could run things on the continent without problems, ignorant of the fact that many European suburban trains were similarly affected. These things happen. Whinging ďPomsĒ springs to mind. Give me a break

mike current
26th Jul 2019, 16:13
gig.gitygig.gity

Have you ever visited one of the ATC facilities in London or Swanwick centre? Just asking!

To witness the staff shortages and sector closures? :)

FlyingStone
26th Jul 2019, 16:37
Our airplane has several 100% redundancies.

The aircraft I fly also has several redundant systems. Many failures will, while not causing a safety issue, cause a significant drop in efficiency of operating the aircraft.

I'm guessing it's the same for the ATC. It does not mean the airspace will go to zero rate for a single failure, but it will likely cause a reduction of capacity.

giggitygiggity
26th Jul 2019, 20:54
gig.gitygig.gity

Have you ever visited one of the ATC facilities in London or Swanwick centre? Just asking!

Yes, both, incredibly interesting and useful.

3 weeks ago we had a failure of EFPS (again) and that ground LGW to a halt for a number of hours. I stand corrected about thunderstorms in NYC but madrid of all places managed quite well with one parked over the field for most of the day last week.

I wasn't having a go at NATS, just pointing out that it was a NATS issue this time. I was however having a go at the lack of infrastructure investment in the UK, whether that's airports, alternative radar feeds or ATM backup systems (eg the EFPS issue last month, surely it should be a well rehearsed scenario for ANS?). Though I do appreciate that LGW tower is no longer NATS, but I assume EFPS is a NATS inherited system.

I don't disagree that the controllers themselves do a fantastic job with their resources and I don't envy them on days like this, but surely with what is at stake, secondary and probably tertiary radar feeds on independent systems is a worthwhile investment. I'm not sure what they do have in the way of redundancy but I hope its a fair amount, although obviously it has let them down from a technical standpoint today. If passengers have to pay 20p a ticket more for the capital infrastructure costs then so be it. A few years ago, NATS themselves were saying they've been impossibly squeezed financially and lack the resources to deal with our demand and schedules.

I don't normally defend NATS but to say it happens a number of times a year is quite frankly rubbish and wrong.

Apologies, I didn't mean that a radar fails a number of times a year, but that we have some sort of ATM issue frequently. The final number was 82 cancelled services. Total number of passengers would be between 10 and 15 thousand, from one airline.

1985
26th Jul 2019, 22:36
The issue seems to have been with the radar or radars serving both EGLL and EGKK. I'm not a TC bod but would presume in that case they would have to use another radar head or combination of, to provide a service but due to it being the "back up" that they had to reduce capacity due to a reduction in coverage from the normal feeds. Its a failure that's probably felt more in the LTMA than else where.

Capital investment in infrastructure takes time especially when your customers want you reduce your costs year on year at the same time they want reduced delays, increased redundancy in the system and to increase capacity for the never ending growth in traffic numbers. Especially when NATS has to spend on both new kit and controllers at the same time. (I know which they'd rather spend their money on, and it ain't bums in seats). Problem is kit takes years to develop and adapt to the airspace and controllers take years to train. The CAA need, for once, to say that NATS doesn't need to cut route charges (keep them the same) but instead of paying dividends and making a profit spend it on what it needs to be spent on.

I feel for the people whose flights got cancelled/delayed, its ****. Hopefully I won't be in that situation next week.

zonoma
29th Jul 2019, 21:57
giggitygiggity, where to start!! It wasn't a radar failure, it was "issues with the displays" which is something entirely different. Take the FMS, if the feed fails then they will both go, as in they are not fed by completely independant data, so they don't have completely separate feeds to databases and everything else it can do. Failures of the FMS are very rare, as are radar display failures, especially multiple radar display issues. It has already been said that NY heavily restricts traffic during bad weather, I can assure you that Paris do too, as do many other major European airports. As the London TMA is so compact there is little space to weather avoid, and as has been seen recently, significant avoidance has to force significant flow rates so that the controllers are still able to "control" the now very unpredictable dots on the screen. The cost of 33 cancelled flights a day several days a year is still vastly better than compensating families of loved ones that don't come home one day. NATS cannot just "put 20p on each ticket", their route charges are fixed and so they are tied and hence they say they have been "impossibly squeezed financially", especially with the further sanctions of complying with equipment upgrades, reducing CO2 emissions etc.

You say "we are just frankly an embarrassment here in the UK". I call it professional and exemplary, world leaders in safety. There is a very good reason for that.

neilki
29th Jul 2019, 22:08
Itís NATS this time. Yesterday we ended up cancelling the flight after over 5hrs with pax onboard. First two sectors cancelled today. How is the UK perpetually so vulnerable to this?

Yesterday there was a total stop on departures in any direction from LGW, I appreciate that itís busy airspace, but when a CB rolls in over the Hudson, all NYC airports donít shut down. Same in Paris.

Today a radar failure has resulted in (at my count) 33 cancelled flights from LGW for my airline ALONE. What is the cost of that financially? Happens a number of times a year; surely thatís worth installing a little more redundancy? Of course I realise that it is not that simple, but I think we just get into the mindset that the London airspace is simply just too busy for there ever to be any solution!

We are just frankly an embarrassment here in the UK.

I can assure you @giggitygiggity that when a storm rolls into NYC airspace chaos ensues. We get pretty decent 20 mile wide 100m long lines roll in over 8 months of the summer :-) and I for one am very happy when I'm either sat at my local in lower Manhattan or out on a trip somewhere. The North East US can be a nightmare in the summer. We had speed restrictions last week heading to Boston... on departure from RSW!!!

Brian 48nav
30th Jul 2019, 15:34
One of the biggest pains when there is bad wx about is, when as an LHR controller, your next planned departure... say a DVR off 27R tells you as he lines up that he'll need to look at his 'Cloud & clonk' before rolling. Quite understandable of course - so would I. If he says he needs to go straight ahead for 5 or 6 miles before turning left that's your next 5 minutes or so of deps' screwed plus you've got 3 or 4 different radar controllers to co-ordinate with. All part of life's rich pattern!
At least you're all on the ground not being hammered by the storms!
Please excuse a retired old fart coming in with his 5 pennies worth.'' Nurse, Where's my tablets!''

Mr Mac
30th Jul 2019, 16:13
giggitygiggity
I once spent 1.5hrs at JFK just taxiing due sever storm activity on a BA flight to LHR. So no JFK does no better, although 1.5hrs is my record for this sort of thing in the states. Another long hold was at DXB last December when held for storms over the Oman border for over an 1.15hour in race track pattern with 50 + other AC, so I do not think anyone can really cope when Nature strikes her matches !
Regards
Mr Mac

oceancrosser
30th Jul 2019, 19:02
I can assure you @giggitygiggity that when a storm rolls into NYC airspace chaos ensues. We get pretty decent 20 mile wide 100m long lines roll in over 8 months of the summer :-) and I for one am very happy when I'm either sat at my local in lower Manhattan or out on a trip somewhere. The North East US can be a nightmare in the summer. We had speed restrictions last week heading to Boston... on departure from RSW!!!

Exactly why my roster bids avoid the US Northeast during the summer months.

terrain safe
31st Jul 2019, 17:28
One of the biggest pains when there is bad wx about is, when as an LHR controller, your next planned departure... say a DVR off 27R tells you as he lines up that he'll need to look at his 'Cloud & clonk' before rolling. Quite understandable of course - so would I. If he says he needs to go straight ahead for 5 or 6 miles before turning left that's your next 5 minutes or so of deps' screwed plus you've got 3 or 4 different radar controllers to co-ordinate with. All part of life's rich pattern!
At least you're all on the ground not being hammered by the storms!
Please excuse a retired old fart coming in with his 5 pennies worth.'' Nurse, Where's my tablets!''

You should try it on a single runway with the inbound at 3 miles and the departure suddenly pipes up with his weather avoidance request. Which, when asked prior to lining up, was "we can follow a standard departure".
And the request is never going to get approved.
And there's not enough time to get him off the runway.
And the arrival has said in the event of a go-around it will be non standard.
And the next 3 departures are all on slots.
And an MDI.
And the slowest is first.
No wonder I'm shattered most days during the summer. Way too old for this game.