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Tower evac at EGLL

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Tower evac at EGLL

Old 10th Aug 2008, 18:02
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Tower evac at EGLL

Regulation Id: Eglla10a
.
Valid Wie Until 2300 Utc
.
Due To A Fire Alarm Indication Heathrow Twr Atc
Has Been Evacuated To The Emergency Tower Facility.
Traffic Will Be Handled At A Reduced Rate (10/60)
.
Ao's Are Requested Not To Contact The Fmd
Helpdesk For Any Improvements For Flights Which
Are Affected By The Above Mentioned Regulation
Fmd Will Keep You Up To Date About This Situation
.
Fmd Ops Division Brussels
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Old 10th Aug 2008, 18:38
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Regulation Id: Eglla10a
.
Valid Wie Until 2300 Utc
.
Atc Are Now Returning To The Control Tower Building
.
As Soon As Acceptance Rates Are Increased We Will Allocate New
Slots
.
Fmd Ops Division Brussels



Regulation Id: Eglla10a
.
Valid Wie Until 2300 Utc
.
The Acceptance Rate For Egll Arrivals Has Now Been Increased.
They Are Still Well Below Full Capacity But New Slots Will Be
Allocated As And When The Rate Is Increased.
.
Fmd Ops Division Brussels
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Old 10th Aug 2008, 19:19
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Well that was a fun radar session. It has definitely blown out any cobwebs!!

Despite the initial carnage in the TMA, everything was handled professionally and it all seems to be back to normal now. Well done everyone
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Old 10th Aug 2008, 20:17
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hi there i was watching heathrow approach on my sbs-1 and noticed a few aircraft carry out go around procedures.

I must say air traffic controllers performed great with all the aircraft in the holds and handling all the requests for diversions to gatwick.stansted,luton

cheers


ps hello iam a newbie to forum
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Old 10th Aug 2008, 20:23
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Welcome to the chaos!
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Old 10th Aug 2008, 21:05
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chaos indeed... and thats during good times
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Old 10th Aug 2008, 22:37
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although i did enjoy making up 'new' holds today as gatwick filled up in a matter of minutes. not what i expected on a sunday..... bloody busy, hard work and all pulled together and got it sorted.
looking forward to the end of this cycle... oh yes.
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Old 12th Aug 2008, 11:57
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I was flying at Jet2 737 northwards over France at the time, inbound (thankfully!) to the north of England.

What really intrigued me was the terminology used by French ATC. To every LHR-bound flight they said "There may be a problem at Heathrow, in which case you will be diverted to Gatwick". No reason was forthcoming, even after questioning. We imagined the worst - scattered wreckage or a big black hole in the ground, not very enouraging.

Is there some kind of diversion master plan should Heathrow become closed? My expectation as a pilot is that each aircraft would make an individual choice about where to divert but could it be, in a case of mass migration like this, that aircraft would simply be told to proceed to Gatwick in orderly procession? With pilots hardly able to resist should they wish to go somewhere else?

I would add that I would be delighted to be shepherded onto the ground somewhere civilised, particularly if short of fuel. But it would change the emphasis on diversion decision-making.

Your comments would be most welcome.
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Old 12th Aug 2008, 13:28
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I was watching (and listening) from a Mil position somewhere in the South....much respect to you all!!
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Old 13th Aug 2008, 09:36
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Masterplan

Bob,
"Is there some kind of diversion master plan should Heathrow become closed?"

In theory we never close. Even with the fire alarm in the new tower, ops were only suspended a short while whilst evac procedures were completed and emergency tower up and running. If we have an incident it will invariably only involve one runway (BAW38). We would then run the available runway as single runway like any other UK airfield. Heavy flow rates would apply and short haul traffic bear the brunt of delays (long haul inbound would already be airborne and on its way). Problem here is that any flow rates applied will take a minimum of one hour to have any effect on traffic arriving at the stacks, anticipate an hour plus of a very busy TMA.

With regard to diversions we would attempt to give accurate EAT's asap (whilst the situation is fluid, EAT's can be a little flexible). It would be up to the aircraft concerned to inform ATC as to their ability to meet EAT's or the need for diversion. In a major dispersal of traffic the supervisors would be talking to other airfields, Gatwick etc to understand how many diversions they can accept (i.e. only so many wide body stands are available etc). Although in extreme scenarios, taxiways would be used to park aircraft and long delays on the ground waiting for ground handling.

Brief overview, hope it helps some

2.5
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Old 13th Aug 2008, 16:02
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how come none of this has been mentioned at NATS. Nothing on NATSNET about 'how marvellous our ATC are at handling emergencies'. I was down south on monday and there was no mention by word of mouth or official messaging. Dont tell me our marvellous corporate communications division were too busy pomoting some other event
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Old 13th Aug 2008, 16:33
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Nothing on NATSnET about 'how marvellous our ATC are at handling emergencies'.
I think you'll find that's what controllers are paid to do - as part of their 'day job'...
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Old 13th Aug 2008, 19:54
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Dont tell me our marvellous corporate communications division were too busy pomoting some other event.
Word on the street is that they're still waiting to confirm exactly what happened before publishing a story - that was this morning. A fire alarm was definitely the reason for initiating the evacuation but was there a fire...? Rumours abound here.

As an aside, Gatwick broke their daily movement record again as a result of the diversions - 894! Bring on 900...
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Old 13th Aug 2008, 20:33
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2.5 Miles

Thanks for that - it would seem that nothing has changed, it was just the French way of telling it that surprised me.

Bob
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Old 13th Aug 2008, 22:09
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Quote:
Nothing on NATSnET about 'how marvellous our ATC are at handling emergencies'.
I think you'll find that's what controllers are paid to do - as part of their 'day job'...
But they are very quick to praise people if they deliver a project on time. Surely thats part of their day job....
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Old 14th Aug 2008, 07:35
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Hey hangten,
this is a Rumour network - so do share.
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Old 14th Aug 2008, 09:01
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Burnt toast? Obviously without butter or marmalade though as surely they're liquids?
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Old 15th Aug 2008, 13:14
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Hethrow diverts on Sunday

Wondered if anybody knows of reason behind diverts for approx 3 hours at Heathrow on Sunday. Friend was travelling from Hamburg and informed all planes diverted away from LHR. He circled for an hour apparently and landed at Gatwick
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Old 15th Aug 2008, 13:35
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Fire alarms went off in the tower at LHR!
16 A/C came into LGW in all.
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Old 15th Aug 2008, 13:47
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BR ended up in STN
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