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memories of px
29th May 2022, 14:55
Can anybody throw any light on the amount of "control" an air ground operator has? can he tell you where you can and cannot park?

29th May 2022, 15:32
Yes, the air ground operator can tell you where to park when it is an authorisation given by the aerodrome operator. This is not the same as 'controlling. The A/G operator may also pass a clearance issued by a 'parent' ATC unit when required. Once again this is not controlling it is simply relaying an authorisation.

29th May 2022, 15:35
Can anybody throw any light on the amount of "control" an air ground operator has? can he tell you where you can and cannot park?

Technically no control can be exercised by AGCS. If you are not aware of CAP 413 provides a brief overview and sample RTF phraseology. Parking information may be provided as "aerodrome information".

However, IMHO if the aerodrome is a UK National Licensed Aerodrome AGCS may relay instructions on behalf of "the person in charge of the aerodrome", pursuant to Rules of the Air Regulations Rule 13. This could cover where to park/where not to park.

memories of px
29th May 2022, 15:43
Thank you for the information.

1st Jun 2022, 00:04
Put simply, a AGCS operator has no controlling authority whatsoever, it is a radio service that may pass messages on behalf of the aerodrome operator.

1st Jun 2022, 14:04
But to answer the OP’s question yes, they can tell you where to park, because the parking area is designated by the airfield operator and the A/G operator is just passing that instruction on behalf of the airfield operator.

5th Jun 2022, 10:21
A further incident i have heard about is a pilot who landed on the downwind runway, where an air ground service is in operation ( limited view of the runway) and whilst taxiing off, an aircraft approaching
the other runway went around, the air ground operator says he willt submit an MOR, can a pilot land on whatever runway he wants, (the wind was across the runway,)or perhaps not?

5th Jun 2022, 12:25
Rules of the Air (UK)
(2) An aircraft must not fly, take off or land within the aerodrome traffic zone of an aerodrome unless the commander of the aircraft has complied with paragraphs (3), (4) or (5), as appropriate.
(3) and (4) do not apply
(5) If there is no flight information centre at the aerodrome the commander must obtain information from the air/ground communication service to enable the flight to be conducted safely within the aerodrome traffic zone.
Which runway the aircraft lands on is at the discretion of the pilot having complied with the rules above.

5th Jun 2022, 21:15
He did ask for joining information, and was told runway. 27, he wrote it on his kneeboard, his passengers heard 27 as well .
As he was arriving from the east, it doesn't make sense he would deliberately waste more time and go for the runway not in use.
winds were southerly, so had no reason to think he was in the wrong.
In hindsight he should have said he was downwind for runway X and finals for runway X, perhaps then the ground operator would have picked up.
Thanks for the information Whopity, if he does get a CAA letter, i'll give him this thread.

7th Jun 2022, 07:48
One assumes good aviation practise is to announce your intentions so that everyone else knows what you are doing. Others can then take an appropriate course of action. If A/G says take a particular runway there could be good reason, boggy ground, waterlog, rough surface, etc..

7th Jun 2022, 16:46
In hindsight he should have said he was downwind for runway X and finals for runway X He should have told the A/G operator what his intentions were, that would have told the oher pilot.

8th Jun 2022, 10:21
The 'phrase that pays' for me when someone is required to park in a specific place is
'parking is available next to the blue PA28'. This is not an instruction, but information.
Likewise 'do you require fuel'
If yes, then 'fuel is available at the container in your 11 o'clock.

Re 'runway in use' passed by an Air/Ground operator. As you say, the A/G operator needn't have sight of the runway or traffic, indeed I've witnessed the A/G operator passing information whilst serving breakfasts.

Nowadays, many aerodromes are unlicensed and whilst they have a designated A/G frequency, quite often there isn't an operator available. In this case, pilots are increasingly getting reliant on making proper blind calls and being more strict about circuit procedures. As above, it is really important to state your intentions and which runway you are going for at every stage of the circuit. There is one busy aerodrome I visit where on first contact the operator will pass the runway in use and the QFE. You can subsequently call them until you are blue in the face and won't get any more from them, so I make calls as if the operator wasn't there, e.g. joining, downwind, base, final, vacating, parking with runway and intentions.

There was a discussion elsewhere recently about signals squares. There are only of use if there is a person on the ground employed to ensure the signals are set up for current operations. It is better to do away with the signals square rather than have it show erroneous and possibly dangerous information.