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Approach and Radar Service in Airspace Class E - Friedrichshafen

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Approach and Radar Service in Airspace Class E - Friedrichshafen

Old 4th Aug 2007, 21:00
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Exclamation Approach and Radar Service in Airspace Class E - Friedrichshafen

Friedrichshafen (EDNY) and also St. Gallen Airport (LSZR) are very close to each other at the opposite shores at Lake Constance, southern Germany and north eastern Switzerland.
Both Airports are growing, especially the IFR traffic. Unfortunately the approach airspace around the two CTR's is classified to E.
Means a holy bunch of unknown VFR movements, especially on weekends. Numerous encounters of IFR-VFR almost every day... and obviously the hell for an APP ATCO to vector acft for approach thru all this VFR hell... if in any way it is somehow possible... just pure luck nothing serious did happen til today!
And the German authority is not willing to change the airspace classification...!!!

Do we really need another accident in order they finally change this airspace classification?

Are the customers/airliners aware of this? Ryanair, Austrian, Lufthansa, Intersky, Hamburgjet, Execujet...?

Last edited by CrocDundee; 5th Aug 2007 at 07:48.
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Old 6th Aug 2007, 17:30
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What separation do you try to apply between your IFR traffic and unknown VFRs in Class E? In the UK there's no requirement for separation, only provision of traffic information. Then again there's very little Class E left in the UK and a substantial chunk of it was re-classified as Class D a couple of years ago as a result of an airprox between a 737 and a microlight.

In an ideal world airlines operating passenger flights into airports in Class E airspace ought to be required to carry out a risk assessment. Very few airline pilots know the implications of the difference between Class E and other categories of controlled airspace.

NS
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Old 6th Aug 2007, 19:45
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What separation do you try to apply between your IFR traffic and unknown VFRs in Class E?
There's as well no requirement for applying any separation. IFR arrivals and departures are either being vectored just around the visible VFRs on screen (sometimes that's just a nice try...), or simply to let them fly own nav on SID or STAR (procedural arrival). Of course, trf info will be provided as long as possible. And last but not least: The app atco needs a hard shell! ...and the flight crews good luck!
As I said before, there were numerous reported airproxes, some of them hottest category, and the authority still doin nothing against it.

As I see in NS' comment, UK's authority did learn. Others still trying hard...
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Old 8th Aug 2007, 18:21
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Something that I did notice was that the Swiss controllers providing the approach services to these airports did not have a valid licence for that service issued by the German authorities. Not sure if that has changed in the last 4 years. What I do know is that the Germans worked damned hard to make sure that the invalid licence "fact" was never included in the mid-air collision report.

I was of the opinion that the Swiss authorities assumed that the German authorities had all the regulatory responsibility for flight activities in that area, and vice versa. No interest in regulation equals no changes. Remember, if you were to reclassify the airspace, then that would mean more controllers, more charges to the airlines (and that assumes that you could get the approach controllers for that extra service anyway).
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Old 14th Sep 2007, 14:43
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Are the customers/airliners aware of this? Ryanair, Austrian, Lufthansa, Intersky, Hamburgjet, Execujet...?
- They're not! But the DFS, the german ANSP, is! We've a lot of documents with exactly these kind of problems there but the DFS don't care about it - they're just waiting...
The only thing to solve the problem contingently would be to lift the CTR EDNY up to 4500/5000' MSL and putting class D over it. But then you'll get the "problem" that all these VFR's gonna call EDNY TWR for crossing the CTR etc. cause we're not talking german, only english - imagine the frequency overload there....
You can't imagine a sunny sunday there in the good old disintegrating tower at Friedrichshafen with about 20 VFR on freq. some of them "only" crossing along the shoreline through the approach/departure sector (often without radio contact and working XPNDR) some of them to land/depart. Almost 90% of them not able to fly an aircraft and additional you've rapidly increasing IFR movs. Doing the approach sector for them, I won't sit over there in the mentioned scenario which seems to appear too often now...
Do we really need another accident in order they finally change this airspace classification?
- to wake the DFS/german authority up, yes
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Old 14th Sep 2007, 19:38
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Quote:
Are the customers/airliners aware of this? Ryanair, Austrian, Lufthansa, Intersky, Hamburgjet, Execujet...?
- They're not! But the DFS, the german ANSP, is! We've a lot of documents with exactly these kind of problems there but the DFS don't care about it - they're just waiting...
The only thing to solve the problem contingently would be to lift the CTR EDNY up to 4500/5000' MSL and putting class D over it. But then you'll get the "problem" that all these VFR's gonna call EDNY TWR for crossing the CTR etc. cause we're not talking german, only english - imagine the frequency overload there....
You can't imagine a sunny sunday there in the good old disintegrating tower at Friedrichshafen with about 20 VFR on freq. some of them "only" crossing along the shoreline through the approach/departure sector (often without radio contact and working XPNDR) some of them to land/depart. Almost 90% of them not able to fly an aircraft and additional you've rapidly increasing IFR movs. Doing the approach sector for them, I won't sit over there in the mentioned scenario which seems to appear too often now...
Quote:
Do we really need another accident in order they finally change this airspace classification?
- to wake the DFS/german authority up, yes
thanks ARFA, you hit the nail on the head!
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Old 15th Sep 2007, 08:04
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In the UK, there are many airfields with scheduled airline traffic in Class G airspace; why not come over and observe how we do it?
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Old 21st Sep 2007, 19:07
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I am SURE I am going to get hammered for this, but am I alone in NOT knowing what on earth the difference is between B,C, D, E, F and G class airspaces are without making reference to the regs? And further, do you think I or any others really have any kind of grasp of the airspace classifications everywhere in the World - or whether the airfield (in the US) has a contol tower, a hut or just some bloke sitting by his car?

If the authorities or controllers really think for one minute that the MAJORITY of us are familiar with the PRECISE definition of any of the aforementioned, and remember it by rote, they are on a different planet to the one I fly around. What makes a BIG difference to me, and I'm sure most of us, is when I am advised that I am leaving "controlled airspace" (either by descent or routing) I start paying very close attention to where I'm headed, and what's going on outside the window, and then slow down to an appropriate speed. I also make a point of knowing whether my destination has radar or not, and busy myself with more such practical issues.

Please feel free to put me straight though, and tell me why I have been so irresponsible to forget the stuff that wasn't even in the exams when I took them - I'm still willing to learn provided it's important, relavent and adds value to the safe conduct of any flight.
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Old 25th Sep 2007, 17:45
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No-one's doing any hammering but if you're a commercial pilot who's used to flying in controlled airspace clearly the key heads-up for you is when a controller says "leaving controlled airspace, radar advisory service" or worse. I'm sure that's a cue to you and your pal on the flight deck (if you have one) to start communicating about who's doing the lookout and who's got their head down in the cockpit.
But there are more insidious scenarios. The worst in my view is when you go from Class D to Class E. There isn't much Class E in the UK (Scottish and Belfast TMAs only) but a controller won't alert you when you make the transition because it's all still controlled airspace. You're still on a radar control service which makes you feel all warm and cosy but what you may not realise is that Jimmy in his microlight is out there flying prefectly legally VFR in the same chunk of airspace without speaking to anyone.
NS
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Old 25th Sep 2007, 18:14
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Thunder Bay and Saskatoon Terminals are both Class E airspace surrounding a Class D Zone. It's treated as a very bastardised version of Class D airspace by the controllers.
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Old 25th Sep 2007, 18:20
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...but what you may not realise is that Jimmy in his microlight is out there flying prefectly legally VFR in the same chunk of airspace without speaking to anyone

NS, just perfect. Problem is, there's not one, usually there's a bunch of Jimmy's around...

CrocD
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Old 26th Sep 2007, 01:52
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Thunder Bay and Saskatoon Terminals are both Class E airspace surrounding a Class D Zone. It's treated as a very bastardised version of Class D airspace by the controllers
Not for much longer. Word has come from the suits in Ottowa to stop bastardising it and treat it as Class E was intended to be. In other words no service to VFR's and just traffic info to IFRs on VFRs. The party's over.
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Old 7th Oct 2007, 16:00
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Sorry for being late to this discussion. Glasgow and Edinburgh have the same problem in the Scottish TMA with the Class E between them . It makes for some interesting moments on Glasgow Radar as several usually launch southwards from Cumbernauld without talking to approach. And then there's Mr Microlight Thankfully something's being done to change the classification to D.
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Old 8th Oct 2007, 00:50
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Fully spooled - good point - the category classification of the airspace is beyond rote retention for the majority of crew(ATCOs have my respect given they MUST know the inticate details). However, I have always had a problem with the fact that - in our country at least - much of the airspace reform has taken place primarily for cost cutting measures, and secondly, to appease the so called 'weekend warriors' who wish to fly 'anywhere' they please without the 'hassle of having to use radios and transponders'.

We fly heavy jet transport aircraft descending from 'A' to airports in 'E & G' with no radar coverage whatsoever, hoping against hope, that someone out there is listening to our broadcasts.

In this technological age, there is NO excuse for not having an operational transponder, and a radio - and knowing how to use it.

I am keenly awaiting the arrival of full nationwide ADS-b coverage in our region - however IMHO it must be a mandatory fitment to ALL aircraft(which to give our regulator credit, they are aiming toward)

Try explaining why 200 people die in a mid air due to jimmy microlight not having a $4000 piece of radio gear fitted to his aircraft - because his excuse is 'it's too expensive'

Aviation is an expensive game, always has been, always will. If you can't afford the toys, go find another hobby.....
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Old 8th Oct 2007, 07:31
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CJ: all due respect for the challenges your operation faces, but correct me if I'm wrong, is it not you that has the requirement for a change in the longstanding airspace/air traffic service requirements? And are you not a commercial outfit? Since you require something better than the existing arrangements, in our wonderful the-market-is-the-solution-to-everything world you ought to pay for it, and not fly in that airspace until it is provided if you consider it unsafe. In the UK the CAA to its credit has now imposed a "recommendation" that any UK operator proposing to start new public transport flights to/from an airport in uncontrolled airspace must prepare a safety case and have it approved by the CAA. No indications of what happens if the safety case concludes that there is an unacceptable risk which can't be mitigated though...
NS
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