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European Adherance Day?

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European Adherance Day?

Old 1st Oct 2010, 14:41
  #1 (permalink)  
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European Adherance Day?

Hello ATCers,

Coming back across Europe today we, as well as many other aircraft, were not being allowed to step climb or being asked to climb whilst still being too heavy. The reason given was 'European Adhearance Day'.

I've seen the memo from Eurocontrol about directs and the need to be strict on CTOTs, but this only seemed to be affecting level changes, we were still getting directs.

It seemed to be increasing the amount of RT and doesn't seem very practical - if we load extra fuel we'll obviously be heavier than Ops will have planned for and unable to climb at exactly the point on the flight plan. Winds/temperature could be different to forecast, turbulance and weather to be avoided etc.

Has this just been a few days trial or is this going to become the norm? Can someone explain the expected benefits?

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Old 1st Oct 2010, 14:59
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Join Date: Aug 2000
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30th Sept - 1st Oct. It will all be over by tonight....

The official adherence day website

Might be worth leaving some constructive feedback......

Last edited by Thunderbug; 1st Oct 2010 at 17:09.
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Old 1st Oct 2010, 15:25
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From my point of view, there was less requests for level changes. Thus less RT.
On the other hand, much more paper work.
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Old 1st Oct 2010, 20:36
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Eurocontrol has been looking into the reason for sector overloads and one factor was that flights were being assigned cruising levels other than the ones in the flight plan. This resulted in flights entering sectors that they were not planned in and thus creating an overload. To test their theory we just had two days of 'level adherance'. ATCOs were requested not to change the filed cruising altitude from the flightplan.
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Old 1st Oct 2010, 21:45
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A big poster in our place said 'Flight Plan Adherence Days, 29/30 September, providing more predictability in ATM."

Underneath read, " Delayed due to Spanish ATC strike"

I'm sure I'm not the only ATCO who saw the irony in that poster!
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Old 1st Oct 2010, 23:26
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this RFL adherance day is a show of how Eurocontrol is looking at the burocratic problem created by burocratic way of thinking. Instead of creating a system, where sector overload would be solved by means of NOT imposing too much of a hassle for aircrews and enabling them to fly as freely as possible, it adds just another barrier.

we are in 21st century for god's sake!

for me, ATCO, this kind of thinking (you get only what you fill in) is total rubbish and stands against why we are there in the first place.
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Old 2nd Oct 2010, 07:30
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kontrolor, I'm just curious - how do you manage not to overload sectors, which are already at their maximum rate and cannot be further divided vertically and horizontally, without imposing flow restrictions?
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Old 2nd Oct 2010, 07:47
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Puzzling. I understood that the days were 30 sep and 1 oct due to the Spanish strikes. Flew both days and got levels that weren't as filed both days, no questions asked...
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Old 2nd Oct 2010, 08:12
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Were they domestic flights?
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Old 2nd Oct 2010, 09:18
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Some slightly woolly paperwork at our unit. Could request a higher level if the flight was purely domestic and you checked down-route. Also paperwork said only to refuse requests for higher, nothing about lower, which could just as easily cause overload in a different sector. Perhaps everyone could file FL510 then request lower when airborne?
Anyway, was completely irrelevant for me as I do TMA and everyone wants higher than the outbound standing agreement level.
Always good to have more rules though!
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Old 2nd Oct 2010, 09:55
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Was a waste of time as far as most of the Uk are concerned, we do this anyway and don't need an adherence day to pull us in line. There are always exceptions but when are there ever not exceptions? We just weigh up the odds and use experience and other available data to choose when to climb and when not to. Was interesting to see that Brest complied with it - almost.......
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Old 2nd Oct 2010, 10:40
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very funny story!!!

I laugh like a monkey when I see these kind of complaints coming from pilots and/or airlines.

The reason why we've reached this point is that LOADS of aircraft operators file super weird levels (seen with my own eyes at least 20 times a day) and then they COMPLAIN if we tell them that they HAVE to fly that way...

some centers are super flexible (as Maastricht,where I work) and they always try and to their best to keep a smooth profile,but some other centers (read RHEIN radar) would NOT accept anything different from what has been filed (zei say not approved!!!!)

We can argue that this flow management might not be working at 100% and it could be improved,but if operators try to avoid restrictions by filing completely f#@ked up levels and routes there's not much to be surprised if you (pilots) get restricted!

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Old 2nd Oct 2010, 10:56
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Just to underline what Andrepilota says, the first compliance day was a very busy day traffic wise. There were well over 30,000 movements, normally we would be quite busy with that level of traffic. From a flow management perspective it was a very quiet day despite having some weather issues. There were less than the usual number of regulation requests from the FMPs, less changes to the pretactical plan and therefore less interventions from us.

That's just my impression. Hopefully the boffins will produce and publish some meaningful analysis of the results in the near future.
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Old 2nd Oct 2010, 17:21
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Was interesting to see that Brest complied with it - almost.......
What did we "... almost " comply with ?

AFAIK, levels were adhered to.
"RFL adherence" has been part of our SOPs for more than 3 months now (pilots get a reminder each time they ask to diverge from RFL !). So that wasn't a big deal for us (except the paper work). The trick is that we adhere to the sectors, not to the actual RFL, in order to keep the thing a bit flexible.
French ATC did not discover Flow management yesterday evening. (I won't explain you history of Flow Management in Europe)

In the trial, one of the questions being : "How many ACFTs entered a wrong sector ?",
The answer will be close to nothing over the two days in Brest.

I remember one day (2 months ago ?), when I worked our "North" sectors (south of LND, BHD, LORKU, LELNA, above FL345) when I should have been protected by a scenario for London's departures (no delay involved, just FL330 max entry France).
I had to deal with a 150% overload for more than one hour and a half because London ACC disregarded the scenario.
Criticism is easy.

Happy to help the Flow Management guys when they try to protect us.
Hope they will find (good) answers to their questions.

The only thing I don't understand is why we didn't file the papers without telling the companies, two days before and/or after, in order to get a "raw sample" of the usual traffic. Just to have something to compare to.
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Old 2nd Oct 2010, 17:28
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BrATCO, can you tell us why both the Brest sectors we spoke to the other day asked us, and many other flights, several times what our requested flight level was?

In an attempt at better efficiency we requested a level higher than filed and were immediately told that this is Adherence Day you must fly at your filed level.

Not pointing fingers just genuinely curious why you'd bother asking.
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Old 2nd Oct 2010, 19:16
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Whilst I find it difficult to support something that you don't offer as good a service as is possible (within my view of the world, anyway), I think I understand the intent of the adherence days.

We've invested in all of the systems that Eurocontrol CFMU have put in place to try to get the maximum capacity out of the system without overloading any part of it.....but we still get overloads. The planning (and, thus, the departure slots) that CFMU does is based on FPL data - the idea is that if flights follow the trajectory defined by the FPL, the plan will work. What screws things up is that controllers allow aircraft to fly a different trajectory because it can be accommodated within their sector and aircraft operators file FPLs for trajectories which they have no wish/intention of following. The result is that, further down the route, the plan falls apart. 5miles comment 'We just weigh up the odds and use experience and other available data to choose when to climb and when not to.' illustrates the problem - the CFMU system is designed to manage the 'network' as a whole, whilst individual controllers typically only see a very small part of the network.

Hopefully, what has been achieved by the adherence days is the collection of useful data which indicate just how much influence adherence to FPL trajectories actually has on the overall capacity of the European network. Armed with this information, one hopes that future development of network management systems can be better focussed. The alternative, and more scary possibility is that the politicians see that FPL adherence gives some overall improvement (however small) and decide that this should be the norm.
Old 2nd Oct 2010, 19:30
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Spitoon, you think all the directs and shortcuts we got in Spain (more in two days than the last 8 months) helped the accuracy of that data?

Seems they're still playing games!
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Old 2nd Oct 2010, 19:45
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but some other centers (read RHEIN radar) would NOT accept anything different from what has been filed (zei say not approved!!!!)

I think this really depends on what part of the UIR you are talking about. The center part of the UIR has a massive number of splits all in very close proximity and with the current system is a coordination nightmare. In the east part (where i work) i think it is quite rare for anything to be flying anything but the most direct point at the pilots RFLavailable from the surrounding sectors.

This level adherence was nonsense. We got a heap of flights that were all at different levels then planed because of traffic in previous sectors. There is no way that an early decent 250miles from prague under an empty sector because of the RLF is optimal.

We used short cut anyway that put aircraft in totally different sectors so I don't think the results of these days are going to indicate anything much at all.
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Old 3rd Oct 2010, 00:26
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Not pointing fingers just genuinely curious why you'd bother asking
Possibly a list of airlines that are habitual offenders is being compiled. You wouldn't be Lyin'Air by any chance?
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Old 3rd Oct 2010, 05:37
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No! And I resent the accusation.

If you're going to ask me what level I'd like then I'll tell you. I know you know what my filed level is. In the past if we're asked what level we'd like it means that you are able to offer us something different to the filed level, you know - flexibility.

So why ask if you have no intention of giving it to me?
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