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Flight Progress Strips

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Flight Progress Strips

Old 15th Jan 2014, 15:50
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Post Flight Progress Strips

How do UK Flight Progress Strips differ in terms of say US flight progress strips?
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Old 15th Jan 2014, 17:33
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Whilst at first the doing away of strips was a concern, it was the single best tech advancement of my ATC life. Systems have progressed dramatically the last 15-20 years and the redundancy is certainly there to do away with them.

As to your question, dunno.
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Old 15th Jan 2014, 17:43
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Try comparing CAP493 appendix D
http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP%204...ndment%201.pdf

With http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publi...c/atc0203.html
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Old 15th Jan 2014, 18:20
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Thanks, that helped me quite a bit, I do agree that they can be done away with but can't they be useful in lets say a power failure at atc? Saying that theres always backup.
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Old 15th Jan 2014, 20:51
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Flight Progress Strips

Plazbot

Very interested to reads your comments. My career ended just as the prospect of EFPS raised its head. My sentiments were very much along the lines of unnecessary technology replacing a flexible, efficient & user friendly system with one which had limitations on its flexibility & which was far from user friendly & flexible. I say this in the light of being at Jersey Airport, which is hardly one of the "challenging ATC stations" nowadays & which handles a lot of GAT & light aviation (much of it presenting itself without much prior notice).
Since I retired EFPS has come in &, certainly in the beginning, caused a lot of problems (restrictions on GAT had to be introduced). That may well have been because the ATCOS' recommendation & requirements were ignored by an Operations Director who knew little (or nothing) about ATC; & the fact that she did not allow her ignorance to deter her from ordering the equipment which she had chosen.
My understanding of its operational use nowadays is that it is still restrictive & problematic at times & that it would simply be unable to cope with the type & amount of traffic that we used to handle (lots of light a/c calling out of the blue, no FPLS etc).
It is interesting to hear the opposite point of view - although you may work at a much busier IFR station.
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Old 15th Jan 2014, 22:00
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In Ireland we still use them in the Tower.

They are gone from ACC except for VFR traffic.

can't they be useful in lets say a power failure at atc?
In the ACC we still have this function on a standalone PC.
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Old 15th Jan 2014, 22:17
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Electronic strips have replaced paper in area control at swanwick leaving terminal control still in paper. Technical, complex issues with terminal have delayed their inevitable transition to an electronic format......but ask an area controller would they go back? I've not come across one. It's not just the fact the data is now electronic but it is linked with many functionalities, data displays and a huge step forward....it's evolving in the uk at a very quick pace.
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Old 15th Jan 2014, 22:58
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The electronic flight strips do have a great advantage, I was just interested to see if they being used somewhat. Also the linking with many functionalities has provided a great advantage somewhat. The Electronic interconnectivity has provided a vital and irreversible role I presume?


The standalone computer, is in use where there is a power cut makes total sense.


Gone are the days of paper flight strips?
Does anyone know of any worldwide ATC where they use paper flight strips?


Also in the past Flight Strips were handed over, now its in the form of communication through electronic systems. I feel the management is far easier and surpasses paper strips. Does everyone agree?
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Old 15th Jan 2014, 23:00
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So are you in favour of Paper Flight Progress Strips? or EFPS?


What problems do you think it can create or overcome?


Would like to hear your take on this.
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Old 16th Jan 2014, 00:12
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About the only thing that was lost when we moved from paper strips in stripholders to electronic strips on a screen was the extra sa some people got from the tactile/physical process of moving them around. That and the speed of data entry for non-computer types. The extra immediately available information that is available via the electronic strip and the reduction of labour required to prepare paper strips more than makes up for it imho
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Old 16th Jan 2014, 02:26
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Not to forget that the stripholders were very useful at this time of year as car windcreen scrapers!
 
Old 16th Jan 2014, 09:43
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We've been using EFS in a not-too busy (usually) tower with a mix of traffic.

It does some things quite well. It requires good user knowledge to use easily, and even then it's sometimes not that easy.

The biggest limitation I have with it is that when one item is opened, such as a field for entering text within the strip, (POB, clearance, altitude, etc) the board is disabled until that item is actioned or closed.

This limits the ability to multi-task. Such multi tasking can be something as simple as cocking a strip for future attention while writing on another, or issuing a clearance.

It steals the attention focus; tends to force the user into a sort of serial-thinking over time, and limits flexibility. It definitely has increased the amount of "heads-down" time, which is not particularly desirable in a tower.

There are a few other things, too, such as parallax error if you made the mistake of moving since it was last calibrated, the cumbersome-ness of the writing tool, and occasional freezing or slow-downs.

There are some things where it has decreased workload, which I appreciate. I've tried to teach myself to be able to action user input fields rapidly and accurately, with some success. It still results in head-down time - more so than using the pen and paper/moving strips manually, which can usually be done "blind''.

I do not appreciate that the considerable investment of the company in purchasing the system was seemingly partly motivated by the making of the flight data assistants redundant. I neither know nor care if that has paid off. I don't see it as a particularly desirable system for use in a tower where a similar (integrated) system is not also provided for the control centre.

Development of same appears to be a fairly low priority.

If you have a shortage of space in your workplace, expect storage cupboards/drawers etc to be sacrificed to place the computers required to run it - one per workstation - and the workstations themselves take up a little more room than a strip board - they're fairly bulky. They're not great in high-glare situations, and reflect the overhead lights quite well, meaning that at night time they're hard to read from certain angles, or the overheads are off, which means that it's hard to see the remainder of (unlit) objects on the workspace - charts, phone lists, quick-reference lists etc.

I probably wouldn't go back to paper, but it wouldn't bother me to do so. I would very much like to have seen a decent integration into the workspace with a lot more human factors than went into our installation.

The introduction of the system also coincided with a gradually decreasing workload (and a couple of other significant changes). Our place isn't as busy as it used to be, so it's a bit hard to get a direct comparison as to which is "better". I have a feeling that if we were as busy now as we were 15 years ago, we probably wouldn't be coping very well as a result of the change.
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Old 16th Jan 2014, 17:05
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I would suggest that anywhere where there is a decent amount of "free calling" traffic is unsuited to EFPS. I've used both and would always prefer paper, the only advantage I could see to EFPS was the reduction in RT loading created by the ability to deliver non verbal clearances.
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Old 17th Jan 2014, 08:59
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So are you in favour of Paper Flight Progress Strips? or EFPS?
Each has its own use.

In the UAC with free route all you have is an entry and exit point initially on the strip.
There are rarely any convenient reporting point so old fashioned paper strips are of limited use.

Also as data link functionality increases we will soon have the ability to uplink the ATC clearance at the click of a mouse.
This will also mark a box on the sector list to indicate it has been passed.

Our redundancy is the main system in various modes followed by a stand alone clear the sky system then someone will remember the back up strip printer .
I reckon about half of our ATCO's have live experience with a busy board and paper strips. If I remember correctly they are gone around 7 years so no one is current.

In an FIS scenario where most are calling for information a hand written strip is of far greater benefit.
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Old 17th Jan 2014, 09:27
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To answer FlByV's original question, I saw a TV programme once showing the 3 main towers in New York and they used paper FPS without strip holders; in my experience in the UK strip holders are always used! Oh and the Americans used a time stamp machine for landing/takeoff times instead of writing the times.
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Old 17th Jan 2014, 13:30
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All French units rely on paper strips for the moment but moving paperless is in the offing.

To what extent electronic flight strips have been implemented in Tower units in the UK so far?

As far as I know Scottish and London towers are equipped with a NAVCan system and Jersey tower is equipped with an INDRA system. How about the other bigger units like Manchester, East Midlands, Birmingham, Belfast, Bristol...?
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Old 17th Jan 2014, 14:20
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EFPS is okay at larger airfields where all your traffic is known in advance but for smaller airfields where aircraft are not known in advance, paper strips are still required.
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Old 17th Jan 2014, 15:06
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At my U.S. Tower/approach control, we used half strips for IFR flights, no strip holders. For VFR pop-ups, we used to use paper strips, then just scratch paper, neither very satisfactory to me. Eventually, we had pads made with outline of five strips printed on them. Small, neat, orderly; worked well.

And I believe the time stamp at the NY airports was an electronic system to forward departure times to the Tracon some miles away.
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Old 18th Jan 2014, 17:32
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Not to forget that the stripholders were very useful at this time of year as car windcreen scrapers!
.... and before that the joy of heating one of the old metal holders with a cigarette lighter before sliding it over the top; "Hot one for you D."

At MUAC we lost the full size strips in the late 70s early 80s. Mini strips in coloured holders, yellow eastbound, blue westbound and red for North or South - described by the boss's PA to a visitor as the dangerous flights, Went stripless in 1992. I'll have a look tomorrow to see if I can still find an example. I actually threw out a load of old manuals, training assesments and lectures a couple of weeks ago.
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Old 18th Jan 2014, 18:49
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You can't knock mice off the tin of milk with EFPS. And how would one play the Australian game of linking strip holders together and picking the "chain" up by your fingernails? One of my Sups tried it one night... he shouted "I've done 30" and then screamed in pain as all his fingernails came off!!
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