Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Ground & Other Ops Forums > ATC Issues
Reload this Page >

Airport/Airspace changes in SE UK

ATC Issues A place where pilots may enter the 'lions den' that is Air Traffic Control in complete safety and find out the answers to all those obscure topics which you always wanted to know the answer to but were afraid to ask.

Airport/Airspace changes in SE UK

Old 13th Aug 2019, 09:51
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: France
Posts: 33
Airport/Airspace changes in SE UK

Colleagues,
Anyone following airport developments will probably be aware that the former Kent International Airport has recently been sold to a firm committed to re-opening the place. Also, that a Development Consent Order process has been completed and is awaiting a decision from the SoS. The purpose of this post is NOT to challenge the wisdom of this situation or enter into viability arguments. My aim is to stimulate discussion on future ATC services and airspace classification once this closed airport transitions to an open one in, maybe, 2 years time or so. There seems to me to be quite a tricky problem to be solved of multiple over-lapping circles; service provision, staff numbers, technology, future airspace policy, CAA/EASA oversight and regulation, business implementation and risks to that business by getting it wrong, control zones/areas, safety, class of airspace, proximity of other CAS, digital towers, oft-quoted national ATCO shortage etc. Etc. Lots of developments happening in the wider AT world which could work for or against.Traffic assumptions:That the bulk of the paying traffic will be transport category airliners.
That airliners will be training – visual circuits, practice approaches and so on.
Flying club.
Helicopter school.
Flight training of light a/c on instrument approaches.
Transit trafficWhat thoughts do the assembled company have on how this might pan out? As I said, I'm looking to stimulate a theoretical debate!Any reference to official documentation for supporting arguments would be appreciated.Ta,
LISSART
Lissart is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2019, 10:26
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: South Coast and Suffolk
Posts: 148
IF they reopen, the chances are theyíll only get a 2.5NM ATZ, like they had when they closed. Lydd and Headcorn not far away have the same although theirs are 2NM as their Runways are shorter. Of course, there could be a Business Case imminent with an Airspace Change Proposal involving a request for Controlled Airspace but these are usually only granted because of high passenger numbers; Flying Schools, Helicopters and Airliners doing visual approaches wonít attract the passenger numbers warranting controlled airspace.

Nobody wants to see any airfield closed so best of luck to whoever it is that wants to reopen it.

Originally Posted by Lissart View Post
Colleagues,
Anyone following airport developments will probably be aware that the former Kent International Airport has recently been sold to a firm committed to re-opening the place. Also, that a Development Consent Order process has been completed and is awaiting a decision from the SoS. The purpose of this post is NOT to challenge the wisdom of this situation or enter into viability arguments. My aim is to stimulate discussion on future ATC services and airspace classification once this closed airport transitions to an open one in, maybe, 2 years time or so. There seems to me to be quite a tricky problem to be solved of multiple over-lapping circles; service provision, staff numbers, technology, future airspace policy, CAA/EASA oversight and regulation, business implementation and risks to that business by getting it wrong, control zones/areas, safety, class of airspace, proximity of other CAS, digital towers, oft-quoted national ATCO shortage etc. Etc. Lots of developments happening in the wider AT world which could work for or against.Traffic assumptions:That the bulk of the paying traffic will be transport category airliners.
That airliners will be training Ė visual circuits, practice approaches and so on.
Flying club.
Helicopter school.
Flight training of light a/c on instrument approaches.
Transit trafficWhat thoughts do the assembled company have on how this might pan out? As I said, I'm looking to stimulate a theoretical debate!Any reference to official documentation for supporting arguments would be appreciated.Ta,
LISSART
Andy Mayes is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2019, 10:32
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: River Thames & Surrey
Age: 70
Posts: 8,081
They operated for many years after becoming a civil airport without controlled airspace handling both passenger carrying flights and freight without even a suggestion they might ask for controlled airspace so why would they need it now?
It's my understanding that the intention is to concentrate on freight flights when (not if) it re-opens and as controlled airspace requires a minimum throughput of passengers per year, determined by the D of T (who won't tell anyone what this minimum is), the airport wouldn't qualify anyway.
Before closing, they had their own approach radar service (APS) which also provided LARS; this would be sufficient in the future although Farnborough, who operate LARS just to the west of Manston, could easily cover the APS requirement using remote radars.
chevvron is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2019, 14:53
  #4 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: France
Posts: 33
Thanks chaps.

Yes clearly the 2.5NM ATZ as before would get approved. Considering the remarks about other airspace classes getting approval - or more likely not - we are left with an ATZ in class G. I'm not sure that a "business case" presumably based on speculated projected traffic is a good enough game changer for the CAA. On the other hand, a DCO requires that the project is Nationally Important Infrastructure so that designation could swing the case.

The next step could be to decide if the service is to be radar or non-radar, either on site or not. Chevron's point about other units providing a radar service is interesting. Southend might be another possibility but we are entering into the realms of Service Level Agreements and all that. Would these other units have enough staff capacity in any case? Does any business feel comfortable having essential services provided by someone else, albeit with contracts etc in place? Is a place like Manston likely to be able to attract enough fully rated ATCO's given its recent history? Or, why not go the whole hog and get the tower done remotely as well under the same package while you are at it?

So, if a business decision to not invest in radar on site was taken, a Procedural Service could be provided, The usual arguments about APP in class G apply but where else could you find yourself doing procedural separations with a 747 against a KingAir trainer, 6000 or less of vertical airspace to play with and EGMC class D to the west etc.....? Maybe then, APP but with Class E + TMZ to give some protection - that might mitigate the need for radar IF you could persuade the CAA. (Don't EASA say class E can't be used for aerodromes?) All of that is put in place, then along come EASA again and ban all of our current control services outside of CAS because you can't have "control" in class G! (This is on the cards but I forget the reference.) We also have the various ADS-B trials going on at the moment. Maybe they could be looked at.

To summarise, it seems to me that there are a lot of variables that could be applied here on what is effectively a Green field. One option is just to carry on applying the rules we have as before: Class G, APP, Deconfliction service subject to whatever staff you can get. (Look how long it has taken Carlisle to get themselves going due to ATC constraints.) Alternatively, we could push the technology which may mitigate to a certain extent the ATCO shortage (or make it someone else's problem) while enhancing safety. Or think outside of the box as to what airspace is for/about and do something a bit different. If it could even be done.......
Lissart is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2019, 20:11
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: River Thames & Surrey
Age: 70
Posts: 8,081
'ATC constraints' at Carlisle are due to a drastic shortage of suitably rated and experienced ATCOs. Everybody wants controllers with ADV/ADI and APS ratings nowadays, very few units have APP only.
Some airports will tempt inexperienced controllers by saying 'get the MER, then we will take you on and sponsor you for an APS rating'.
Safeskys in particular have suffered from this at Wycombe.
chevvron is offline  
Old 13th Aug 2019, 22:27
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 10,471
Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
Safeskys in particular have suffered from this at Wycombe.
As well as suffering from an inability to spell ...

DaveReidUK is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2019, 03:52
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: South Coast and Suffolk
Posts: 148
Originally Posted by Lissart View Post
I'm not sure that a "business case" presumably based on speculated projected traffic is a good enough game changer for the CAA.
Actually, the Business Case (although not all of it) would form a large part of the ACP to the CAA especially for an ATSU that as yet doesnít exist. Doncaster Sheffield is a prime example of this, I remember reading it at great length.

Southendís CAS ACP was different as they already had a few new commercial flights, the passenger numbers was not quite yet there for CAS but the airlines wanted the protection of CAS before increasing their movements which they did very soon after the implementation.

As already said before, the magic number of passengers required before CAS will be given is not known and it seems to rely heavily on what the DfT are given by way of ACP which ultimately gets its facts and figures from some kind of Business Case/Model from the Sponsor.
Andy Mayes is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2019, 08:06
  #8 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: France
Posts: 33
Thanks again.
Chevvron rightly points out some of the problems with ATCO availability. It does not help now only having the one private ATC training college. I still maintain that one of the biggest single risks to the Manston project could well turn out to be a lack of ATCO's,e specially as Greenfield vaildations will be needed, ruling out in the first case, ab-initio's. All that money, all that effort and struggle and they can't operate as envisaged because of a lack of controllers! That would be a bitter pill to swallow. So, strategic thinking needs to include assessment of this risk and how to mitigate it. From my own experience, I'd say it is not just about attracting controllers but about retention. Give them professional salaries, working conditions and sound management and above all avoid trying to make a dodgy business successful by nibbling away at their T's & C's and squeezing every last bit of juice out of them. ATCO are essential staff and ATC is just part of the cost of doing business.
Andy Mayes points are interesting. One would hope that a genuine conversation could be had between the operator, ANSP's, airlines, etc to come up with a solution.
Anybody want to comment on the idea in principle of Class E + TMZ as a CAS solution, following the changes coming in 2020 from EU 373 part ATS?
Lissart is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2019, 10:23
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: South Coast and Suffolk
Posts: 148
Thereís some talent at the nearby Lydd in the form of SATCO Mr Maskens and his team of ATCOs. Perhaps some kind of assistance could be provided by them in the startup. Of course, SRATCOH would need to be taken into account. Once established as an airport and ATSU again, it would make it more attractive in recruiting new ATCOs. I would suggest, until it is operating again, unless staff are already living nearby, there would be some reluctance to move there given itís history.

I do hope it does come to fruition. Itís sad to see it just sitting there every time I fly the Gatwick STAR,
Andy Mayes is offline  
Old 14th Aug 2019, 10:47
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: not the W.P.
Age: 65
Posts: 49
ATCOs..........Offer the right money, and they will come.
middles is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.