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Gatwick Flow Rate?

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Gatwick Flow Rate?

Old 21st Sep 2023, 16:55
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The whole UK and European ATC network is crippled on a daily basis by restrictions and flow rates. A very high number of flights don't depart on time and the inbound night time rotations scheduled for midnight arrive back at UK airports at 3 in the morning.
Why the obsession with Gatwick?

Last edited by mike current; 21st Sep 2023 at 21:29.
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Old 22nd Sep 2023, 09:16
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Originally Posted by mike current
The whole UK and European ATC network is crippled on a daily basis by restrictions and flow rates. A very high number of flights don't depart on time and the inbound night time rotations scheduled for midnight arrive back at UK airports at 3 in the morning.
Why the obsession with Gatwick?
Youd have to read the first page and perhaps the media from the day to better understand. The delays, cancellations and airborne diversions that day were exceptional enough to make the news and questions be asked in House of Lords.

it wasn’t originally a general moan thread, there was a specific incident.
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Old 22nd Sep 2023, 09:35
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Originally Posted by Del Prado
Youd have to read the first page and perhaps the media from the day to better understand. The delays, cancellations and airborne diversions that day were exceptional enough to make the news and questions be asked in House of Lords.

it wasn’t originally a general moan thread, there was a specific incident.
Speaking of which.. ATC staffing causing significant delays at Gatwick as we speak
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Old 22nd Sep 2023, 11:52
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Originally Posted by mike current
Speaking of which.. ATC staffing causing significant delays at Gatwick as we speak
Cue travellers demanding to know why it hasn't been sorted as they've had over a week to do that.

This week they've played the Covid card which is likely to upset a certain contingent even more.
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 16:38
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More delays together with diversions due staff illness (?covid)
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 17:12
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Such a shame to read about Gatters problems both here and also in the national press.
It's crown as being the busiest single runway ops seems to have fallen.
I remember the 80/90's when it really was flourishing, having shaken the charter airport label off and it was busy with intercontinental flights, now it looks to have gone full circle. That's sad to see.
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 18:36
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Can military ATC not be drafted in to help out?
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 18:58
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Originally Posted by Alsacienne
Can military ATC not be drafted in to help out?
Nope. They’re not appropriately qualified, military vs civilian tower controlling is similar but very different, for example the tower/ground phraseology, it would take too long to train them, when time could be better spent training civilian licensed controllers. The military controllers would almost certainly need to do a civilian conversion course, and then the local training and validation to civilian Mats Pt1 & 2 standards for the aerodrome they would be controlling at.
I very much doubt there are ‘spare’ MoD controllers available, civilian conversion course availability, or locally rated civilian tower instructors available, even if the legal and technical challenges could be overcome in a timely manner.
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 19:12
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Thanks for a pertinent and clear reply.
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 20:17
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Originally Posted by Alsacienne
Can military ATC not be drafted in to help out?
“Even an experienced air traffic controller takes at least nine months to qualify at Gatwick, and very few are able to do so, as Gatwick is such a busy and complex air traffic environment.”
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 20:36
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I see from the news today that GAL are asking operators to cancel around 80 departures in the coming week. I’m curious as to how this will ameliorate the high rate of sickness. Can anyone in the know explain how things are being managed?
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 22:06
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Possibly by bandboxing; you might be able to combine (say) 'delivery' with another position for short periods thus permitting the mandatory rest periods.
As Gatwick is 'standalone' ie there is no approach control unit on site, you only have a limited number of controllers rostered for duty unlike years ago when there was an approach control unit situated downstairs in the tower and someone spare could always nip upstairs to give someone a break.
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Old 26th Sep 2023, 03:22
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Sounds as though couple of staff have the symptoms of a common cold, found an old Covid test kit in the back of the drawer left over from couple of years ago, tested and hey presto I'm positive! Perfect excuse not to come to work.
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Old 26th Sep 2023, 06:58
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Perfect excuse not to come to work.
except as an ATCO you do not need excuses, if you are not feeing fit to work , you simply don't and that's it
as to COVID infections on the rise, this is not only among controllers and in the UK unfortunately, look at the BA.5 variant numbers.
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Old 26th Sep 2023, 09:04
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COVID is a threat to us all.

Well, not really, but keep drinking the Kool-Aid four years on.

Funny how it doesn't affect fully-private organisations. Just inefficient, taxpayer-subsidised, dinosaur ones?
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Old 26th Sep 2023, 09:18
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Originally Posted by Mr Good Cat

Funny how it doesn't affect fully-private organisations. Just inefficient, taxpayer-subsidised, dinosaur ones?
Its a legal requirement for any UK ATCO to declare themselves unfit for work if they are unfit, regardless of the medical condition cold/covid etc etc. Anyone who plugs in and is unfit because they’re helping out, taking one for the team will potentially be going to jail or sued out of existence if they have an incident, where their health played an issue in the chain of events.

A controller, pilot, license holder etc who declares themselves unfit due a health issue is being professional, regardless of the disruption it may cause. The amateurs around the industry need to learn that lesson and understand it.
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Old 26th Sep 2023, 09:51
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Originally Posted by Mr Good Cat
Funny how it doesn't affect fully-private organisations. Just inefficient, taxpayer-subsidised, dinosaur ones?
NATS is part privatised, the government owns less than half. Rather than being tax payer subsidised, it regularly pays dividends to it’s shareholders, including the government.
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Old 26th Sep 2023, 10:05
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Originally Posted by Alsacienne
Can military ATC not be drafted in to help out?
Alsacienne, your avatar's name suggests that you may be French.
You may then be aware of the Nantes mid-air collision in 1973.
The replacement of civilian air controllers with military ones (plan Clément Marot) was definitely deemed to be one of the cause of the disaster.

The final report of the accident:
https://bea.aero/fileadmin/documents...c730305_19.pdf
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Old 26th Sep 2023, 12:14
  #79 (permalink)  

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Originally Posted by Del Prado
“Even an experienced air traffic controller takes at least nine months to qualify at Gatwick, and very few are able to do so, as Gatwick is such a busy and complex air traffic environment.”
Are there any recently retired LGW ATCOs….just a thought…
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Old 26th Sep 2023, 12:43
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Let's keep this on topic, please. There's a covid thread in JB for those that feel strongly about it.
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