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Gatwick Flow Rate?

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Gatwick Flow Rate?

Old 28th Sep 2023, 11:29
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Originally Posted by SWBKCB
But if the 127 had completed their training they would have increased the pool of available controllers at a time of national (international?) shortage and allow people to move around the system. Yes, maybe the current shortage couldn't be predicted, but binning people so near to the end of training looks short sighted.
They were near the end of their college phase. They were still a long way from being "available" controllers. The next stage of training has traditionally been the bottleneck and it is not unusual for college graduates to be held in limbo for some time before they can proceed to that phase. The constraints of the pandemic were only going to make that bottleneck worse.
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Old 28th Sep 2023, 12:57
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I did the 3 year ATCO Cadet course back in the '70s.
Why does everything nowadays sound so complicated compared to that?
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Old 28th Sep 2023, 17:56
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Originally Posted by eglnyt
They were near the end of their college phase. They were still a long way from being "available" controllers. The next stage of training has traditionally been the bottleneck and it is not unusual for college graduates to be held in limbo for some time before they can proceed to that phase. The constraints of the pandemic were only going to make that bottleneck worse.
Hardly any were even at the end of the college. Maybe 20? had finished the course or coming up to summatives. The rest were on basic or foundation courses so the normal attrition rate would have happened on those courses.

In hindsight it was a massive mistake to get rid of them and not retain them so that when the tap needed turning on again they were waiting to go. That may have helped at other units especially AC and TC.

As has been said NO trainees from the college can be posted to Gatwick as the contract is legally with another company not NATS. Any trainee from the college has to volunteer to quit NATS and be employed by NATS Solutions on a worse contract and no backup options if they fail to validate. I'm presuming that Gatwick knew this when NATS stepped in and if they didn't either NATS didn't tell them or they didn't read the contract. Or that NATS Solutions didn't know they couldn't get trainees from NATS.

But as we are fully staffed and we don't turn up to work anyway (according to MOL) more trainees probably aren't the answer....
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Old 28th Sep 2023, 18:11
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C’mon guys this is nothing short of dissembling….

The ‘ex-NATS’ validators as GTW ensured the trainees failed:

a. The data point is 21/23

b. The incentive was the £1,000 per diem ‘overtime’ they earned when there were insufficient staff

NERL and NATS Solutions are contracting entities, do you honestly, really, hope anyone will believe you that no staff were able to move between contracts? (Mirror again, please).

Last edited by Neo380; 28th Sep 2023 at 19:24.
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Old 28th Sep 2023, 19:13
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Originally Posted by Neo380

NERL and NATS Solutions are contracting entities, do you honestly, really, hope anyone will believe you that no staff were able to move between contracts. (Mirror again, please).
From what I understand (and I may be wrong) NERL trained controllers primarily for Area Radar not aerodromes; NSL trained controllers would have been suitable to fulfil NATS Solutions contracts.
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Old 28th Sep 2023, 19:17
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Originally Posted by Neo380
C’mon guys this is nothing short of dissembling….

The ‘ex-NATS’ validators as GTW ensured the trainees failed:

a. The data point is 21/23

b. The incentive was the £1,000 per diem ‘overtime’ they earned when there were insufficient staff

NERL and NATS Solutions are contracting entities, do you honestly, really, hope anyone will believe you that no staff were able to move between contracts. (Mirror again, please).
I have no idea whether the OJTIs at EGKK failed people on purpose. Even with £1K overtime I have no idea why they'd want to.

NERL is not, has never been and never will be a contracting entity for airports. NERL is for the regulated en route side of NATS.

NSL is the existing part of NATS that bids for airports (it does EGLL for example) and lost EGKK originally.

NATS Solutions is a third entity that bids for airports but in some way that I'm not sure of can be cheaper than NSL because it has less overheads to pass onto the contracts. It provides services to mainly ex mil airfields. And now EGKK
​​​​​​
NSL and NERL are part of NATS. Trainees at the college are employed by NATS.

NATS Solutions are legally not part of NATS. Hence trainees employed by NATS can't be sent to work at EGKK. They have to volunteer to be sent there on worse T&C's. The Union rightly made sure that they have to volunteer, quit and be re-employed to get to EGKK. Just posting someone from one employment contract to another (that is worse) is not a slope we or anyone want to start down.

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Old 28th Sep 2023, 19:27
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I have no idea whether the OJTIs at EGKK failed people on purpose. Even with £1K overtime I have no idea why they'd want to.’

I’m going to call that comment completely disingenuous, and that’s just because this is a professional discussion forum.
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Old 28th Sep 2023, 20:55
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Originally Posted by Neo380
I have no idea whether the OJTIs at EGKK failed people on purpose. Even with £1K overtime I have no idea why they'd want to.’

I’m going to call that comment completely disingenuous, and that’s just because this is a professional discussion forum.
You can call it whatever you want. I know what you are implying and that in my opinion is just flat out rubbish. It's as bad as MOL implying that we don't turn up for work because we were pissed the night before.

My unit is understaffed and we are trying to train our way out of it. Overtime at a not too dissimilar rate is available and I can categorically say that no trainee is being failed so the OJTIs can get more overtime. No ATCO wants to work harder and do more shifts at work if they don't have to. What we want is for the trainees to validate so that we can do our job and go home and not think about it. If EGKK has had trouble validating trainees I'll trust my colleagues to have done their best to get them to the standard required and unfortunately fail them if they don't. We are professionals and to say otherwise is pretty crappy.
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Old 28th Sep 2023, 21:56
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I think it’s safe to say neo is just a troll who has been upset by NATS. Actually wondering if it’s MOL himself?

Anyone who actually knows what they are talking about knows that staff shortage doesn’t need to be engineered at the company for overtime to happen right now and they also know that £1000 is not the number at Gatwick.
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Old 28th Sep 2023, 21:59
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Originally Posted by 1985
You can call it whatever you want. I know what you are implying and that in my opinion is just flat out rubbish. It's as bad as MOL implying that we don't turn up for work because we were pissed the night before.

My unit is understaffed and we are trying to train our way out of it. Overtime at a not too dissimilar rate is available and I can categorically say that no trainee is being failed so the OJTIs can get more overtime. No ATCO wants to work harder and do more shifts at work if they don't have to. What we want is for the trainees to validate so that we can do our job and go home and not think about it. If EGKK has had trouble validating trainees I'll trust my colleagues to have done their best to get them to the standard required and unfortunately fail them if they don't. We are professionals and to say otherwise is pretty crappy.
Well, that's the opinion of the trainees - having taken them over when they were 'failed', just so that they could validate somewhere. Plus the money is the explanation, and letting ANS's contract 'fail' so that it could revert to NATS.

You fail to mention that many of these staff were on loan from NATS to ANS. So, if it walks like a duck, looks like a duck and quacks, it's a duck.

Plus failing 21 out of 23 was way too unsubtle, (or demonstrates that the OJTIs couldn't do their jobs).

'I think he doth protest too much' (Shakespeare). The fact is the story's rumbled; but like ever NATS commentator on here, you have an excuse for everything, even when the truth is staring you in the face.
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Old 28th Sep 2023, 22:54
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NATS Solutions, NATS NERL, and NATS NSL are different companies. That alone blows most of the negatives here out of place. Including the "127" that could never be posted to Gatwick.......
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Old 29th Sep 2023, 06:08
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I know of two British ATCOs with a lot of relative experience (20 years experience each) now working abroad at very busy units that applied for Gatwick last year are were turned down. Having worked with both for many years I know they are very able ATCOs and ones you would want on your team, I thought it was very strange that both were turned down at the same step, knowing how far up the creek Gatwick now is I find turning these two down even more strange.
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Old 29th Sep 2023, 06:21
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Originally Posted by Rwy1234
I know of two British ATCOs with a lot of relative experience (20 years experience each) now working abroad at very busy units that applied for Gatwick last year are were turned down. Having worked with both for many years I know they are very able ATCOs and ones you would want on your team, I thought it was very strange that both were turned down at the same step, knowing how far up the creek Gatwick now is I find turning these two down even more strange.
A colleague spent 3 hours on the tarmac at Gatwick at 11pm on Monday (returning from Airspace Integration World, Madrid), which was enough to put me off from attending. So well done!

We are relying on public ignorance to get away with ‘staffing shortages’ as an excuse for bad planning - your comment only supports this. RyanAir also knows it’s the case, but with dissembling on this scale they could never bring a successful case (for breach of contract?) or win with the CAA.

There is zero integrity in this situation though - if the Met Police, for instance, said they had organised themselves into ‘foot patrol, vehicle and office staff’, and consequently didn’t have the people to meet your critical need there would be outrage. Some of the commentators on this thread need to reflect on that.

And ‘the data’s the data’. It was 127 ATCO apprentices that were let go, some of them were two weeks from qualifying and had been more than two years ‘in the system’. And the validation FAILURE rate at Gatwick exceeded 90% (for a factual reason).

Last edited by Neo380; 29th Sep 2023 at 07:20.
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Old 29th Sep 2023, 07:52
  #114 (permalink)  
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Amazing remarks. I like the police comparison by the way , so if an airline has a shortage of pilots , he could go into an aeroclub and put C152s pilots instead ?, and if you are short of staff in Gatwick you can take a guy from the UAE above 40 years old ( if they had 20 years experience they would be at least that old ) to pass OJT in a high density facility ? You know the time it takes to train and the failure rate of a conversion controller above 40 ?

NATS Solutions, NATS NERL, and NATS NSL are different companies
as a non Brit I fail to understand this NATS complexity. Sounds ;like a banking verbiage to avoid taxes and responsibility . Are these companies also registered in funny countries? .

For me , the UK put Gatwick ATC for auction some years ago , the DFS got it, but took over the controllers., Then the DFS stopped before the end of the contract (not a surprise if you know how the DFS works) so it came back to NATS, again with the same staff . So for me the current controller situation has nothing to do with this musical chair exercise , or does it ?
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Old 29th Sep 2023, 08:21
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Originally Posted by ATC Watcher
Amazing remarks. I like the police comparison by the way , so if an airline has a shortage of pilots , he could go into an aeroclub and put C152s pilots instead ?, and if you are short of staff in Gatwick you can take a guy from the UAE above 40 years old ( if they had 20 years experience they would be at least that old ) to pass OJT in a high density facility ? You know the time it takes to train and the failure rate of a conversion controller above 40 ?


as a non Brit I fail to understand this NATS complexity. Sounds ;like a banking verbiage to avoid taxes and responsibility . Are these companies also registered in funny countries? .

For me , the UK put Gatwick ATC for auction some years ago , the DFS got it, but took over the controllers., Then the DFS stopped before the end of the contract (not a surprise if you know how the DFS works) so it came back to NATS, again with the same staff . So for me the current controller situation has nothing to do with this musical chair exercise , or does it ?
Nope - same people, same school, same knowledge. They just need to validate on a new airport. This is all about poor planning, not excuses.
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Old 29th Sep 2023, 09:02
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Originally Posted by ATC Watcher
Amazing remarks. I like the police comparison by the way , so if an airline has a shortage of pilots , he could go into an aeroclub and put C152s pilots instead ?, and if you are short of staff in Gatwick you can take a guy from the UAE above 40 years old ( if they had 20 years experience they would be at least that old ) to pass OJT in a high density facility ? You know the time it takes to train and the failure rate of a conversion controller above 40 ?


as a non Brit I fail to understand this NATS complexity. Sounds ;like a banking verbiage to avoid taxes and responsibility . Are these companies also registered in funny countries? .

For me , the UK put Gatwick ATC for auction some years ago , the DFS got it, but took over the controllers., Then the DFS stopped before the end of the contract (not a surprise if you know how the DFS works) so it came back to NATS, again with the same staff . So for me the current controller situation has nothing to do with this musical chair exercise , or does it ?
For the benefit of our foreign readers, and some UK ones too.

In the UK ATC at Airports is the "responsibility" of the Airport. Some Airports choose to provide their own ATC others contract that out to a "specialist" ATC provider. The number varies from time to time but there are about 50 Air Navigation Service Providers recognised by the CAA. The Airport is free to choose on whatever terms it feels are appropriate and the Service Level Agreement will depend upon what they are willing to pay for. It is ultimately the Airports problem if the supplier fails to deliver but it isn't without risk for the ANSP either. The public will expect an expensive ATC service even if the airport doesn't pay for one. And in the Gatwick case although some here have convinced themselves it is all the fault of NATS and others have decided it isn't in any way the fault of NATS, the public are totally convinced it's the fault of NATS. Although NATS regularly gets blamed for issues at airports it has never provide the ATC service for.

En-Route ATC is the "responsibility" of the UK Government. It issues a licence to an ATC Provider to provide that service. The licence lasts for about 15 years and the terms of that licence are re-negotiated every 5 years. Currently that licence is held by NATS through its NERL subsidary.

Because En_Route ATC is quite a large business compared to Airport ATC there was concern that the holder of that licence could use the income from that to subsidise its Airport Business and compete unfairly. To prevent that NATS is required to run the part of its business that controls en-route airspace (NERL) as a different financial entity to the part of its business that competes against others for Airport's business (NSL). There was also the problem that NERL's profits are regulated and ultimately any excess profit is returned to the customer. That's fine for a regulated monopoly but where NATS operates commercially and competes against others it would have no incentive to compete if any profit was taken away.

NATS staff are in the main actually employed by a parent company and then "charged" out to one of the two subsidaries depending on their role. The total costs of any staff used in NSL have to be paid for by the NSL subsidary.

If you win a contract at an Airport previously held by another company you are almost certainly going to inherit most of the staff. They will be on different terms and conditions to NSL staff. Not necessarily worse but different. Merging two different sets of terms and conditions is difficult but you'd have to do that to bring those staff into NSL. To avoid that problem NATS chooses to bid for that business through NATS Solutions rather than NSL. NATS Solutions doesn't have the collective bargaining terms and conditions that NSL has so it can bring staff across much easier and indeed transfer them away again if it later loses the contract. That arrangement is not unique to NATS. DFS bid for Gatwick and Edinburgh through their subsidary ANS which was set up for pretty much the same reasons.

All these companies are UK registered at the same address although nowadays the "brass plate" is some letraset on a window.

It wasn't the UK that put Gatwick up for auction. Gatwick is a private company owned by shareholders. None of those shareholders are actually British so it was actually a foreign owned entity that selected a subsidary of a company wholly owned by the German Government to provide their ATC service.

We don't know, because it isn't in the public domain, exactly when the problems started at Gatwick. Without knowing that we don't know whether it is NATS or ANS or Both who are responsible.
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Old 29th Sep 2023, 09:05
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Originally Posted by Neo380
Nope - same people, same school, same knowledge. They just need to validate on a new airport. This is all about poor planning, not excuses.
"Just" is doing a lot of heavy lifting there.
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Old 29th Sep 2023, 09:29
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Thank you for your explanations eglnyt ; I learned something here.
when you say :
It wasn't the UK that put Gatwick up for auction. Gatwick is a private company owned by shareholders. None of those shareholders are actually British so it was actually a foreign owned entity that selected a subsidiary of a company wholly owned by the German Government to provide their ATC service
I suppose MOL knows this too ,in fact he does exactly the same with his companies , some located in Malta and elsewhere. It you want a free liberal market, you get what you asked for, so why is he barking at NATS and asking his compatriot friend to resign ?
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Old 29th Sep 2023, 09:46
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Originally Posted by ATC Watcher
Thank you for your explanations eglnyt ; I learned something here.
when you say :

I suppose MOL knows this too ,in fact he does exactly the same with his companies , some located in Malta and elsewhere. It you want a free liberal market, you get what you asked for, so why is he barking at NATS and asking his compatriot friend to resign ?
He may be loud but he is neither mad or stupid. He's well briefed and he knows exactly how it all works. It just suits his narrative to portray others as the problem.

Ironically because of Brexit he was forced to create a British subsidary of his Irish Airline to operate his British domestic routes.
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Old 29th Sep 2023, 10:00
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Originally Posted by eglnyt
For the benefit of our foreign readers, and some UK ones too.

In the UK ATC at Airports is the "responsibility" of the Airport. Some Airports choose to provide their own ATC others contract that out to a "specialist" ATC provider. The number varies from time to time but there are about 50 Air Navigation Service Providers recognised by the CAA. The Airport is free to choose on whatever terms it feels are appropriate and the Service Level Agreement will depend upon what they are willing to pay for. It is ultimately the Airports problem if the supplier fails to deliver but it isn't without risk for the ANSP either. The public will expect an expensive ATC service even if the airport doesn't pay for one. And in the Gatwick case although some here have convinced themselves it is all the fault of NATS and others have decided it isn't in any way the fault of NATS, the public are totally convinced it's the fault of NATS. Although NATS regularly gets blamed for issues at airports it has never provide the ATC service for.

En-Route ATC is the "responsibility" of the UK Government. It issues a licence to an ATC Provider to provide that service. The licence lasts for about 15 years and the terms of that licence are re-negotiated every 5 years. Currently that licence is held by NATS through its NERL subsidary.

Because En_Route ATC is quite a large business compared to Airport ATC there was concern that the holder of that licence could use the income from that to subsidise its Airport Business and compete unfairly. To prevent that NATS is required to run the part of its business that controls en-route airspace (NERL) as a different financial entity to the part of its business that competes against others for Airport's business (NSL). There was also the problem that NERL's profits are regulated and ultimately any excess profit is returned to the customer. That's fine for a regulated monopoly but where NATS operates commercially and competes against others it would have no incentive to compete if any profit was taken away.

NATS staff are in the main actually employed by a parent company and then "charged" out to one of the two subsidaries depending on their role. The total costs of any staff used in NSL have to be paid for by the NSL subsidary.

If you win a contract at an Airport previously held by another company you are almost certainly going to inherit most of the staff. They will be on different terms and conditions to NSL staff. Not necessarily worse but different. Merging two different sets of terms and conditions is difficult but you'd have to do that to bring those staff into NSL. To avoid that problem NATS chooses to bid for that business through NATS Solutions rather than NSL. NATS Solutions doesn't have the collective bargaining terms and conditions that NSL has so it can bring staff across much easier and indeed transfer them away again if it later loses the contract. That arrangement is not unique to NATS. DFS bid for Gatwick and Edinburgh through their subsidary ANS which was set up for pretty much the same reasons.

All these companies are UK registered at the same address although nowadays the "brass plate" is some letraset on a window.

It wasn't the UK that put Gatwick up for auction. Gatwick is a private company owned by shareholders. None of those shareholders are actually British so it was actually a foreign owned entity that selected a subsidary of a company wholly owned by the German Government to provide their ATC service.

We don't know, because it isn't in the public domain, exactly when the problems started at Gatwick. Without knowing that we don't know whether it is NATS or ANS or Both who are responsible.
Yes, it’s a competitive environment, but we do know exactly when, how and why it went wrong. And even NERL has to justify it costs, so when at Reporting Period 3 it was asked to enact performance improvements, a very normal business practice, and replied that ‘it was not in the country’s or the business’s (sic) interests to do that’, we saw exactly the non-competitive, market-rigging stranglehold NATS has on the ‘market’ for what it is. (Apologies, but not really, if the truth hurts).
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