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Spanish ATC

Old 2nd Jun 2010, 13:55
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Spanish ATC

What is happening with Spanish ATC, no direct routings, sid,star and enroute all procedural in vmc condition with no trafic around. Its waste of fuel and bad for inviroment.Could anyone shed some light, it used to be better.
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Old 2nd Jun 2010, 15:15
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Ok , Im going to study my SID's and STARS now
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Old 2nd Jun 2010, 15:49
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I have been flying to Spain for 25 years now and have always found Spanish ATC to be one of the most helpful around. Many times I have saved 15 minutes due to direct routings. I am appalled at the above post. It would appear that the Ryanair-isation of ATC has arrived. Safety will be compromised by the imposed conditions as described above. I wish my Spanish colleagues every success in fighting for their pay and conditions. In the meantime, I will note the extra fuel I burn on SID/Stars and voyage report it to my company with the reason. Not much, but my little bit to help the cause.
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Old 2nd Jun 2010, 17:45
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What Spanish Mike forget's to mention is that Spanish Controller's are allready some of the highest paid in Europe - I've heard salaries are in the range of 100,000 to 150,000 Euro's per year !! - more than British ATCO's earn !!

Just wish some of there controller's could speak proper English that's understandable and actually speak into the microphone on the headset rather than talking into a bucket...

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Old 2nd Jun 2010, 18:12
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I'm not Spanish or an atc contoller.
I was in Spain last night and we were given no short cuts and had to fly in clouds for half hour before being cleared to cruise level. (as per SID FL230). Also wasn't allowed to take off till The scheduled Off block time. I was curious to find out what the reason was and found this post. Hopefully the Spanish controllers dont go on strike!
It appears the blame on over capacity of sectors has been laid squarely on the shoulders of controllers giving direct routings and requested levels and the rule states they shouldn't do this. So for now more fuel burn and zig zagging will be the norm.
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Old 2nd Jun 2010, 18:32
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Too many aircraft in one sector? Perhaps the Spanish should look at the southern German sectors. They seem to be about.... oh..... 20NM across and appear to serve no purpose beyond giving employment to German Air Traffic Controllers. You check in, listen to the silence and then a couple of minutes later get handed over to the next sector for a repeat of the same.

Not knocking the German Controllers, just the irritating frequency of change between tiny bits of airspace. Big sigh of relief when you hear "call Maastricht on ...."
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Old 2nd Jun 2010, 18:47
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It's strange how every other country in Euro-Control Land manages to give direct routings and different FL's than those filed for on occasion...... and yet they are not suffering from over capacity

If what is posted above is true then perhaps they do have a grievance but for the life of me I cannot understand how they think a "work to rules" is going to solve anything. It is massively frustrating now having to following a SID which up until about 6 months ago was always short cut enormously. If you ask for a direct it always gets the same response "continue flight plan route, I'll call you if possible". 99.9% of the time no direct is given.

If you are that upset and your T&C's have been decimated - strike. Carrying on like this achieves nothing - costs your customers (the airlines) a load of money in fuel and it's not green

If you threatened to strike I would imagine that your seniors would perhaps sit up and listen.

Still there's two sides to every story. I heard that a senior MAD area controller could pull in close to 500,000 a year - that can't be true surely If it is true then perhaps da management have a point about reducing costs.......

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Old 2nd Jun 2010, 19:11
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and in Madrid, I have witnessed some of the worst ATC in Europe, from some of the most highly paid. Clearance to push back when another aircraft is behind us, holding position on taxiway to let ANY spanish aircraft ahead, ATC transmitting deconfliction instructions on the ground and in the air in Spanish so the UK registered aircraft can only guess at what is happening.

Of course there are the Iberia and Air Nostrum that charge around and disregard anyone else, but thats for the ground miss report!!

When flying, turns away of 90 degrees to allow spanish aircraft over/undertake. So frustrating but sadly you grow to accept that this is the Spanish way.

Is it true Spanish ATC people dont get checked/tested once they have qualified?
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Old 2nd Jun 2010, 19:29
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These guys are going through a tough time and that's their reason, it's all summed up on the "ATC Forum" by p_perez. Hasta luego.
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Old 2nd Jun 2010, 23:14
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Jesus I have to agree with alot the posts here. Thought it was because of my callsign! Full sids and stars into Madrid with lights traffic. Was also denied a higher cruise level because we were filed at a lower level!! Totally unprofessional.
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Old 3rd Jun 2010, 21:22
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Departed full SID out of LEMG last week and on requesting a shortcut we were told that "I would like to approve but regulations prevent me from doing so"

No danger / military / restricted areas and TCAS was clear so maybe a directive from ANSP?
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Old 4th Jun 2010, 08:01
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Originally Posted by mateyboy
Also wasn't allowed to take off till The scheduled Off block time.
That's not new. It has always been like that in Spain. It's in the Spanish AIP: no take-off before filed EOBT.

Look at this discussion:

Why it is like that? I have no idea, but my best guess would be that "the guy" who wrote the spanish AIP was not at ICAO English level 4, when he was reading the original ICAO papers.

Are Spanish ATC really among the best paid in Europe while being (one of) the worst on the European continent? What a waste of money, I'd say!
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Old 4th Jun 2010, 10:27
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The impression I get from reading the thread in the ATC forum is that the controllers in Spain are only too willing to provide a flexible dynamic service but are being prevented by management and government, neither of whom know anything about ATC. The ATC staff working conditions are being eroded quite fast, requiring them to work longer hours and be on call on days off,(their roster isn't published until very late the previous month) plus they are unable to book leave in advance, leave is allocated by management!
Additionally on an earlier thread, there were details of a proposal to 'downgrade' about 12 Spanish airports to FIS rather than ATC, the FISOs being given only cursory training then expected to handle instrument approaches!!
We all know how busy Spanish airspace is especially in summer; we also all know the parlous state of the Spanish economy so IT WOULD APPEAR that safety (increased likelihood of fatigue) and expedition (no direct routings, no departure before EOBT)are being sacrificed for economic purposes.
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Old 5th Jun 2010, 23:26
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About EOBT

You may want to have a look at the Spanish AIP.

Spanish AIP (ENR 1.10-17)

"To acquire the appropriate data coherence and consistency
of traffic demand, which allow an optimum application
of airspace capacity and flow control measures,
even if the AOBT may be advanced in 15 minutes, take
off shall not be permitted before the EOBT. (The Taxi-time
can never be negative)."

Does it make any sense? I don't think so, but it is the law.
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Old 8th Jun 2010, 08:01
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Spanish ATC

I note that whilst Europes finest and most highly paid controllers continue with their domestic squabbles the vast majority of aircraft are now needlessly burning, collectively, thousands of tons of extra fuel whilst flying complete SIDS, STARS and flight plan routes. I note also with no particular surprise that the full routing mandate is not so rigorously applied to local airlines. In a world where we are trying to decrease our use of carbon fuels I wonder if there are any of our compadres who can throw any light on when this madness will stop.
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Old 8th Jun 2010, 08:22
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They are the worlds most skilled controllers - at diverting other aircraft off track so that Spanish aircraft can over/undertake!

If only they were fair and honourable in their activities; they would then be respected by all, rather than laughed at.
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Old 8th Jun 2010, 10:27
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Don`t know what spanish ATC is doing??

I`ll tell you:

They are doing what pilots should do in order to keep themselves respected.And not a joke as we are nowadays.

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Old 8th Jun 2010, 10:48
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This is crazy as we flew a route that normally takes us 2:10 almost 3 hours , speed restrictions, stars and and .........when is this going to end as well as we are now carrying an extra hrs fuel
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Old 8th Jun 2010, 14:23
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Palma awkward today as well. No -5/+10 on slots. We called for push & start at CTOT -10 and were told we had missed slot. When questioned about the window, ATC 'reminded' everyone that the -5/+10 is at their discretion and it was not possible today. Reminded me of years ago at Palma! A quick glance to the neighbouring 24R showed no aircraft waiting at the hold. I know our colleagues in Spain have a dispute right now, and best of luck in fighting for your T's & C's, but who are you fighting? Us or them??
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Old 8th Jun 2010, 18:30
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Beavis, same happened to us a few days ago, called 8 minutes prior to CTOT to be told we had missed our slot. We were on a stand that had us close to the runway in use so we were quite pissed off, a thomson had the same problem but were told they couldn't start until -15 of CTOT, they replied saying they could depart -5 of CTOT and told no, it was the controllers discretion and they wouldn't be applying it, anyway a new slot for us mean't we were delayed 40 minutes, needlessly.

Also the French can't let the spanish take all the talktime, they were given no directs, no climbs either. We asked to climb above our filed level and told no, our flight plan capped us. Asked the next 2 sectors to be told the same. Another aircraft questioned it once they were refused too and told "we apply rules from our administrators". I assume this is some directive from eurocontrol about capacity in peak summer or is this how its going to be from now on?

Airspace was quiet and no aircraft occupied the level we wanted, so all in all, a waste of fuel, time and money.
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