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Requesting Microwave

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Requesting Microwave

Old 29th Jun 2013, 20:35
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 14
Requesting Microwave

I am a Professional Photographer and been working on a civil aviation project these last three months and listen to arriving aircraft for L/HRW in the course of my work. I have noted AC arriving at holds such as Lambourne etc give their details and request Microwave. I know this is a system which is replacing ILS but why is it requested - is it set up for a particular I/c aircraft?
Thanks in anticipation
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Old 29th Jun 2013, 22:01
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Farnham, UK
Posts: 323
It is only the British Airways Shorthaul Airbus fleet that are equipped with MLS. About 70% of the fleet are now fitted out with MMR (Multi-mode Receiver) that enables the aircraft to track the Microwave system. The remaining aircraft are due to be be converted in due course.

All 4 runway ends are equipped with MLS at LHR, the theory being that in Low Vis Procedures, you can get tighter spacing between aircraft (or have a reduced gap behind a departure off the Takeoff runway). This is due to the much lower levels of signal interference with the MLS than ILS.

It is SOP that if you are operating a MLS equipped aircraft you should fly an MLS approach as opposed to an ILS.

ATC procedures require you to request the type of approach with Heathrow Director (he is the one looking after he holds) if you are not going to be doing a standard ILS. Crews are encouraged to practise RNAV approaches and these need to be requested too.

Hope that helps

Last edited by Thunderbug; 29th Jun 2013 at 22:04.
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Old 3rd Jul 2013, 22:32
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Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 14
Thanks a lot for your explanation - It now makes sense to me while I am awaiting my flights to photograph - as you mentioned it is short haul BA flights. Thanks again - top man
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