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French ATC

Old 21st Oct 2013, 16:12
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I am an ATCO, & not a pilot. You have the advantage of me there ! However,based on my experience, I would have thought that ATC everywhere would have only made things much more difficult for itself if it tried to rearrange traffic out of an existing or natural sequence & into a more artificial one. I DO KNOW that this would have been the result if I had tried to do such a thing, I would have been making a rod for my own back. I canīt believe that this would be any different in Europe; unless it was a very quiet unit.
However, as I said, you have the advantage of me there !
If so, I bow to your experience.
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Old 21st Oct 2013, 20:57
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Itīs exactly the same here.

Iīm a spanish ATCO, and we have always been blamed for giving priority to national (i dont think that even exists anymore) carriers. It doesnīt matter how many times we deny it, we are still today being blamed for doing so. guys, it really sounds ridiculous. Really.

Iīve been working at an Area unit for 11 years, and i have NEVER given priority to any traffic because of his nationality (again, guys, that is a very old-fashioned concept). Further more, as a supervisor and instructor, i have NEVER seen any of my colleagues give priority to anyone because of his nationality, colour of skin, sexual orientation or... pretty voice.

But actually this topic brings some excitement and enthusiasm to this forum, so go on.

Best regards.
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Old 22nd Oct 2013, 18:52
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Originally Posted by Sonnendec View Post
or... pretty voice
That is a completely different story
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Old 23rd Oct 2013, 01:18
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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The problem is 95% (or more) of pilots flying around have absolutely no idea what goes on in a control tower or radar room or even how the airspace they have operated in for years is organised! I regularly have to explain m'colleague that we can't get his/her shortcut/climb/descent because of a rather obvious (if you can be bothered to learn about it) opposite traffic stream

Although being forgotten on a heading or approaching a boundary is annoying, but then how many crews don't answer/react first time?
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Old 24th Oct 2013, 12:23
  #25 (permalink)  
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"The assumption by some aircrew that certain airlines or traffic gets undue priority from some ATC operators always amuses me, as it betrays their complete misunderstanding of what is involved in organising a heavy & complex traffic loading"

kcockayne as you say you are not a pilot and clearly have f'all idea of what goes on over the rest of Europe. Hence your amusement is clearly due to your own naivety and 'misunderstanding'.
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Old 24th Oct 2013, 13:55
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MJR,

Thankyou for your measured, considered , objective & thoroughly impolite reply !

Nevertheless, it does not address my assertion of the unnecessary distraction , complication & unwanted extra workload that this subject almost always causes; &, I still think that ATC would not do this lightly - if at all.

If you have anything extra to add, I would ask you to take a more gentlemanly line.
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Old 24th Oct 2013, 14:00
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I'm an ATCO, not a pilot, I don't fly regularly over Europe in the cockpit except on the occasional familiarisation flight. I hear stories about preferential treatment all over the world and I can not say whether they are true or not.

I have worked with Spanish and French ATC in the past and all the people I have met working in those ATM environments have been consummate professionals. However, I have heard stories about events in those countries, within training regimes for example, which are beyond anything my or (I believe) any of my colleagues in the UK's professionalism would allow. Therefore I have mixed feelings on how crews may or may not be treated down route. I do know that their worlds are very different from ours, especially politically.

Despite that my overarching opinion on this stems from my own experience. I work at a busy, complex international airport with a mix of nationalities flying. I am not biased. I make my decisions on the basis of what is best for the overall traffic flow at all times. Despite this I have been accused, on the RTF, of being biased to our local carrier, more than once, at different airports I have worked at. The first time the accusation came from the airline that, the second time I was accused of helping.

With a local carrier making up around 50% of the traffic on the ground for departure there is, in very simplistic terms, a 50% chance that one of those aircraft is on the route I need to best serve the capacity of the runway. If you are 1 of 10 at the hold there is only a 10% chance it's you on that route. It will, more often than not, look like I am choosing the base airline ahead of you.

In an busy approach environment such as Heathrow, which I don't work and haven't in the past, I understand directly from colleagues that it would be often be career suicide to attempt favouritism, as an overload would quite often result.

kcockayne as you say you are not a pilot and clearly have f'all idea of what goes on over the rest of Europe. Hence your amusement is clearly due to your own naivety and 'misunderstanding'.
kcockayne is a professional ATCO with an opinion on this matter and I find it extremely distasteful that as a pilot you are happy to come into this forum and speak like this. His opinion matters, as does mine, as does yours. Perhaps you should express yours in a more professional manner in the future, or we'll simply assume that your opinion of European ATCOs is a manifestation of you judging us by your own standards.
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Old 25th Oct 2013, 13:01
  #28 (permalink)  
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kcockayne may or may not have formally been an ATCO, however his statement undermines the intelligence of pilots in a area he is not qualified to comment i.e. he has not flown an aircraft over Europe. It is therefore contemptible to make such comments without expecting a reciprocal comment.

Preference given by ATC is an annoyance rather than a safety issue most of the time my real issue is with the competences and disciplines of both French and Belgium ATC's.

Only today at Toulouse GND cleared 2 commercial aircraft to taxi to hold for 14L in some very loose and poor phraseology which was in direct conflict with a Seneca taxing in the opposite direction. Fortunately it was daylight. Had it been at night it could have been a different story. This kind of experience is not unusual and is definitely on the increase due to very poor standards of ATC.
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Old 25th Oct 2013, 13:27
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It was only a couple of weeks ago that I was flying into Ibiza in a 737. With about 80 odd track miles to go we were requested to slow to minimum clean speed and then further, so we were extending flaps with about 40 miles to go.

Shortly after that and from behind my left shoulder appeared a turbo prop. Ah ha says I to my faithful FO, bet you that's a Spanish aircraft going to Ibiza. So continued the ridiculously slow and inefficient arrival as we were very slowly overhauled, we even had to be extended on to a 20 mile final because, bless it, the turbo prop simply wasn't fast enough and lo and behold after we landed what did we spot?

Yes, a Spanish turbo prop taxying in.

All you people who can excuse the downright unprofessional behaviour of Spanish ATC because it's too difficult to organise the heavy flow of traffic blah blah need to take your heads out of your bottoms and realise that not everywhere is as busy as you think, for instance two aircraft arriving at a Spanish island is easy to reorganise init.

Even though we were well ahead and much faster were we surprised that they got priority? No. Just. Resigned to the fact that we wasted about 20 minutes and 400kgs of fuel just so a national airliner could land first.

Are you surprised?

Last edited by Lord Spandex Masher; 25th Oct 2013 at 13:28.
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Old 25th Oct 2013, 14:31
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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I don't understand pilots... ever since you were three years old all you wanted to do was flying an aeroplane. And now that you are, all you want is to get back on ground? We are just helping you fulfill your dream of flying more by not always making you number one for landing
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Old 25th Oct 2013, 14:45
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MJR, honestly file an ASR instead of posting on a forum! It will be less useless and by doing so you will have a clear answer regarding the situation. If you feel uncomfortable about your safety, displaying it on this forum, even if it enables you to show your bitterness doesn't change a thing. Pointing on safety issues (or what you consider as a safety issue) with the adequate persons is the only solution to your problem. Or even asking for clarification on frequency...
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Old 25th Oct 2013, 15:38
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I guess iīll have to stand for the profesionalism and honour of both french and spanish ATCOs (unless Ibiza has become french during last summer).

Lord Spandex, letīs see if i got the picture right:

The guy sitting at the scope already knew he was going to ruin your day when you had still 80 track miles to go. Thatīs quite a while, he had to be really pissed off at you. At least, enough to take the extra workload of vectoring you away and make you slow down so the Air Nostrum (i guess) could overtake your hardly won space in the sequence. Maybe his mother in law was in that plane? That would be the only reason i can imagine for taking such ridiculous actions just to put you behind the slow-moving guy.

Can you think of any other reason? iīm really eager to find out.

Best regards.
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Old 25th Oct 2013, 16:05
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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MJR if you have any safety concerns whatsoever then it is your absolute duty to report them in detail to the appropriate authorities.
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Old 25th Oct 2013, 16:41
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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MJR,
As my very first sentence plainly said in my first post (which is why I used the term), "I am an ATCO & not a pilot. You have the advantage of me there".
But, You have completely ignored & failed to accept the whole point of my post which is; that for an ATCO, at a BUSY unit (in Europe or elsewhere); & I am specifically referring to BUSY units, to attempt to reorganise a traffic pattern in order to give an undue priority to a particular aircraft, is hugely counterproductive, in that it would normally result in a much more complicated & work intensive situation - the last thing that a BUSY ATCO needs !
In my experience, no ATCO at a busy unit would do such a thing; because it is in no one's interests, least of all the ATCO's. I stand by that - knowing it to be true.
I also stand by my perception that many such incidences, as reported by pilots, are the result of misunderstanding, or lack of understanding, of the overall traffic situation (NOT just the one you can see out of the window). I have experienced this misunderstanding many times (& I am sure that other ATCOS have, too).
I stand by my belief in the integrity & professionalism of my French colleagues at Brest ATCC (many of whom I know personally & have worked alongside over the years). I have always found them to be consummate professionals !
As a consequence, I do not, in any way, consider such comments as I have made to be "contemptible". Certainly not as contemptible as your original reply to my first post ! It was intended to be "Informative". If it was not as explanatory or understandable as I intended, then I apologise for that. But, it was an honest comment from someone who knows the ATC picture.
In my opinion, your readiness to resort to such nasty & aggressive reaction to perfectly reasonable statements severely undermines the quality of your argument.
To Lord Spandex Masher.
"All you people who can excuse the downright unprofessional behaviour of Spanish ATC because it's too difficult to organise the heavy traffic flow need to take your heads out of your bottoms & realise that not everywhere is as busy as you think";
1. I never excused Spanish ATC specifically & 2. I did specifically address my remarks to "Busy Stations".
To end, I can accept that there is scope to re-arrange traffic patterns at quiet stations; & I accept that this may well occur, as your example would SEEM to prove. & I accept that pilots' complaints of such are , sometimes, valid.
But, that does not prove that on any particular occasion (of which you complain) that it actually DID happen. That can only be proved by a proper investigation, & NOT by individual anecdotes !
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Old 25th Oct 2013, 17:11
  #35 (permalink)  
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kcockayne as I said you haven't got a clue what you are talking about. Brest and Reims ATC's are poor, Bordeaux is shocking. You may be surprised to hear some of my colleagues are ex ATCO's themselves and are in total agreement with what I conveyed in this thread.

Nock, this forum is called ATC issues is it not? Hence I thought it might give some ATCOs an opportunity to comment. Clearly kcockayne has his/her point of view and it is entirely misplaced. If kcockayne and his Brest ATC mates thinks all ATC is tickety boo in France it is probably why such a problem exists in the first place. But you are right. I should, and will file a report and that is probably better time spent than subscribing to this forum.

au revoir mon amies!
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Old 25th Oct 2013, 17:54
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Originally Posted by Sonnendec View Post
Lord Spandex, letīs see if i got the picture right:

The guy sitting at the scope already knew he was going to ruin your day when you had still 80 track miles to go. Thatīs quite a while, he had to be really pissed off at you. At least, enough to take the extra workload of vectoring you away and make you slow down so the Air Nostrum (i guess) could overtake your hardly won space in the sequence. Maybe his mother in law was in that plane? That would be the only reason i can imagine for taking such ridiculous actions just to put you behind the slow-moving guy.

Can you think of any other reason? iīm really eager to find out.

Best regards.
I have no idea when he decided to do what he did. How much extra workload is it to make us slow down?!

Any other reason other than it was a Spanish aircraft you mean? No, I can't think of a single one either.

Tell you what why don't you explain why you as an ATCO would want to put a slow turbo prop from at least twenty miles behind a 737 to about ten miles in front in the space of twenty minutes...
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Old 25th Oct 2013, 18:20
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Easy: i wouldnīt.
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Old 25th Oct 2013, 18:46
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But you still deny that others will?
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Old 25th Oct 2013, 18:58
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@LSM,
one stupid question,
did you write safety report,immediattely after landing?

If you didn't ,than it is quite complicated to prove that someone vectored your aircraft on non acceptable way.
You may cry or write on PPRuNe forum hundred of pages, but only safety report may work. If only.

Last edited by SINGAPURCANAC; 25th Oct 2013 at 18:58.
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Old 25th Oct 2013, 19:03
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What's dangerous about being vectored? What's dangerous about a national carrier jumping the queue?

Nothing as far as I'm concerned. That's how they've been able to get away with it for so long.
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