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Melbourne Air Traffic Control

Old 11th Dec 2016, 08:02
  #41 (permalink)  
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and damages company profitability
Who's profitability? Not Airservices!
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 09:49
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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My opening line about it being industrial or if the old controllers had left was thoughtless. For that I apologise, no offence was intended.
Oh FFS You can't make a comment without backing down to a monumental whinge from someone who should be there to deliver a service?
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 10:22
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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framer, who decides the runway? - the tower and flow between them. How? - not in any particular order - noise abatement, wind, "mode" (as in more departures or more arrivals).

I say this in all seriousness - if you're unhappy with the assigned runway then utter the words "require" and you shall receive without question. We aren't on the flight deck with you so don't know how rested or otherwise you are, what other factors there are and what you feel comfortable with handling at the time. For all we know you're on your first leg so have only been in the air for 2 or 3 hours and feel fresh as a daisy.

SP, external factors such as wind - the stronger the headwind the slower your ground speed is down final and the more time we need to keep distance standards, whether we're on instrument or visual approaches, single or two runway ops, as has already been highlighted the availability of high speed taxiways, whether we're in departures or arrival mode.

Answering your other questions:

a) we work with the rules we're given. I was under the impression that similar speed restrictions apply at many places overseas.

b) we've been told you guys will ask if you want it and not to offer. That said if I see a big gap I'll shorten you up and ask the flow about cancelling speed (I work en-route and arrivals).
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 10:53
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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I say this in all seriousness - if you're unhappy with the assigned runway then utter the words "require" and you shall receive without question.
I am often unhappy with the runway offered but I can only "request". if I "require" a certain runway then the next question you are going to ask is "Is it due to an operational requirement?". If my happiness is the only criteria then I have wasted your time and mine.
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 11:27
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Lookleft View Post
I am often unhappy with the runway offered but I can only "request". if I "require" a certain runway then the next question you are going to ask is "Is it due to an operational requirement?". If my happiness is the only criteria then I have wasted your time and mine.
Exactly. Can I land with a quartering tailwind on a 2.3km runway in accordance with the aircraft performance and company SOP's - yes. Would I PREFER to land into wind if the runway was readily available - absolutely..
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 11:44
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Sigh. Lookleft, is it really that hard to understand? If you don't feel up to handling the prevailing conditions for the runway assigned because it's been a long and tiring day then require the less challenging runway option. I'm certainly not going to bag you out for it.

EPIRB, it all comes down to too many aircraft trying to arrive in a given time period. Line controllers can do absolutely nothing about that. I don't know if it's Metron being too optimistic, airlines preferring aircraft in the air so that their departure is logged as "on time" or what. From personal observation the peaks in traffic we were getting previously have been smeared out - the worst delays aren't as long and the peak isn't as intense.
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 12:53
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Australian pilots don't want to stand out and say "require" and change the flow at a major airport. Everything we do and say is watched and analysed if something goes wrong. This is the culture.

The problem is, we really don't have a voice in the matter. You need to be flying the line everyday to understand it. Even a line pilot thats been away on annual leave takes a while to catch up with the latest such are the number of changes and such is the nature of the job. A management pilot might fly a few times in a month and think "hey this ain't so bad". When you are doing it over and over and over again day in day out 12 hours a day you start to question if the tail is waging the dog (RW27 at night 25 knots of cross and 5 of tail).

I guess its taken for granted but the reality is that most pilots find the above scenario quite challenging and pretty uncomfortable. At high weights theres very little margin.

Have a look how many replies in such a short space of time.
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 13:22
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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I'm not even going to start with who's at fault or why getting in and out of Tulla is a such a clusterf##k....
All I know is, that operating out of there for over 12 years it is an absolute joke.
60-90 min GDP times not uncommon, minimum speed once radar identified, given more than advertised holding, very rarely do the STAR spd restrictions and my favright is Melb owns......Track stretching and Delaying action......
Hi speed exit off 16 been out for over 7 months, Fri and Sat no works going on, a hint of tail wind BANG single Rwy, and if I had a buck every time I received a not available reply to a request......
SYD BRS ADL ten times better than MEL

How many airports have the Chinese built since work started on taxiway Golf ?
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 13:58
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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WIND 150/10 - The wind quoted on the ATIS is an average, if it was 150/10 and Rwy 16 only, quite often the wind may be flicking between 120 and 180 and 5 to 15 kts, worst case scenario, 120/15 and around 12 kts tailwind on Rwy 27, best case scenario 180/5 and no tailwind.

Unfortunately a Runway can't be nominated for use if there's a more suitable runway available if the tailwind component (including gusts) exceeds 5 kts (or any tailwind at all on a Runway that isn't dry). This is how a 150/10 wind could preclude the nomination of Rwy 27 on the ATIS.

The TTF METAR wind comes from a central anemometer, the tower uses the 4 anemometers near the runway thresholds to determine the wind quoted on the ATIS. Offering an off mode runway ad hoc to aircraft qualifies as runway nomination, so it can't be offered to aircraft under these conditions, but CAN be requested by aircraft.

Using Rwy 16A/27D is so much better for controllers as it is for pilots, and we use this mode as much as we possibly can, but are hamstrung by the rules for runway nomination. I believe the idea of a 10 kt max tailwind for a departure runway nomination is being considered and hopefully will be approved by CASA, allowing much more 16a/27d and less 16 only.

Rwy 09 USAGE - In terms of why Rwy 09 isn't used much in addition to Rwy 16 during easterly winds, there isn't a runway mode setup (with SIDS and STARS designed with inbuilt separation) to allow for this configuration.

As soon as 09 starts being used for arrivals or departures in combination with another runway, it sends workload through the roof and many arrivals and departures have to be ad hoc separated by controllers (this is how it used to be done before SIDS and STARS were around but made flight paths/speeds/profiles much less predictable and as far as I'm aware, airlines are not keen on this ).

It also has a negative flow on effect for safety and efficiency. A Rwy 09 Arrivals 16 Departures mode with built in separated SIDS and STARS has been looked at as a possible solution but I'm not sure where this is at presently.

Incessant ATIS Changes - A 2 kt wind change does not necessitate a new ATIS (5kts does), however, if another component of the ATIS required updating (temp,Qnh etc), and a 2 kt change to the wind more accurately reflects the average wind, then it may be updated as well.

Rapid Exit Golf Closure - Annoying us controllers as much as it is pilots, I don't really know why it is closed for so long but Melbourne Airport does seem to take an inordinately long time completing works.

Rwy34/09 LAHSO - This mode is no longer available to us. After a double go around at YMML during LAHSO, an investigation determined that departures from the Active LAHSO Runway 34 during LAHSO raised the risk of a double go around compared to departures from Rwy 27 (as an aircraft slow to roll on this runway would only cause the 27 arrival to go around compared to a slow rolling 34 departure causing both the 34 and 27 arrivals to go around. 34/09 LAHSO has all departures from Rwy 34, hence the mode was canned. This is also why only Rwy 34 requirements (not requests) are allowed during LAHSO.

I know these clarifications won't please everyone and may invite some more questions but we are trying our best with what we have to maximise efficiency. The infrastructure is lagging and holding us back. I have no experience of what is done overseas in terms of whether organisational culture is impacting on efficiency.
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 15:22
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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Berealgetreal, we can't nominate a runway with greater than 20kts of crosswind when another one has less.
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 15:48
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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The issue of Australian ATIS reporting deserves its own topic.
It too is just another sad joke in the system. I cant think of any other countries that do it this way (surprise!).

ATIS A issued at 1200 and then listened to again 30 minutes later is still ATIS A but issued at 1230 - why for Petes sake?

It adds to 'SA' to know that ATIS A was issued at 1200 and when listened to again at 1230 it is still ATIS A issued at 1200.

Oh, and Australian ATC are second best in the world.....
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 16:47
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Yes yes, second best. Haha. If you actually think that us true, you don't get out much.
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 21:30
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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we've been told you guys will ask if you want it and not to offer
That's funny. We were told not to ask - if it's available, it'll be offered! (Although I think most of us worked out a while ago that this isn't actually true).

In terms of requiring a more favourable runway, I can't remember ever being asked for justification. There might be an additional sequencing delay, but no discussion or argument. While ML leaves a fair bit to be desired, I reckon ATC there do a good job with what they're given.
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 21:50
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Let's not attack the controller's, as others have said they do well with what they have. The combination of xwind and downwind on 27 at night does annoy the hell out of me but this is clearly a regulation issue that needs to be sorted rather than having a go at ATC. I'd suggest we submit asir's en masse if we want change in that department. You're right at the end of a 5 hr sector at 9pm that's the last thing you want...
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 22:09
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks for the informed response, Duke Ben. It's much more helpful than people who can't put their pride away for a second.

Rwy 09 USAGE - In terms of why Rwy 09 isn't used much in addition to Rwy 16 during easterly winds, there isn't a runway mode setup (with SIDS and STARS designed with inbuilt separation) to allow for this configuration.
So, the scenario you posted with 150/10 prohibiting the nomination of 27 - the only reason they don't go to RWY 09 and 16 is because there's no procedures for this?

That's not the controller's fault, but what an absolute disgrace. An operational runway, sitting there that could be used - but no-one knows how? This is one of the reasons why a two runway airport has the delays and performance of a one runway airport.

A Rwy 09 Arrivals 16 Departures mode with built in separated SIDS and STARS has been looked at as a possible solution but I'm not sure where this is at presently.
So, in the mean time, millions of dollars in holding and delays and GDP is being pissed away by the airlines. ASA should make it an absolute priority to actually run Melbourne as a two runway airport. Currently, the airlines are getting screwed because no-one has sat down and thought about how to do it.

The infrastructure is lagging and holding us back.
Partly, yes. The inability of ASA management to come up with solutions is also a big factor.

we've been told you guys will ask if you want it and not to offer.
Well that's typical. We've been told not to ask - promulgated by a notice even. Sounds like ASA management are taking all of us for a ride.

Plus, after GDP, min spd cruise and descent, with a hold at the end, why would we think it's available?
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 22:10
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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On the topic of COBTs: quite often airline reps are consulted when arrival rates (hence COBTs) need to be changed. It is not uncommon for the consensus amongst airlines to carry extra fuel and take the holding, as opposed to copping ground delay on their COBT. That way the airlines maintain OTP with respect to departure, and can blame ATC enroute when they are given holding.

Personally I would suggest (if time permits), ring your company and ask questions.
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 22:34
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Pete, ask genuine questions in a polite manner and you'll find you get informative answers.

Everybody can put their pride to one side if they aren't asked to choose between being bad at their job or engaging in illegal industrial action.
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 22:41
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Can you PLEASE offer cancel speed restriction on departure if you need to hold us at 5000'!!!!
It continually p!sses me off to ask and results in 3 unnecessary radio calls.........
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 23:27
  #59 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
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Hi FL400. Fair enough on the industrial action comments, they don't reflect the majority.

If I cop any delays or holding or COBT, I'm always polite. No matter how pissed I get, I'm always polite and professional and even force myself to sound happy on the radio. I never, ever ask for delay reasons on air like many pilots do - because it won't change the delay - and it's not the controller's fault. And my FOs get told not to hassle you, either.

But on the ground and in the realms of PPRuNe, being short is the only way to elicit a response. Had we been all best friends, I doubt DukeBen would have come along and explained that RWY 09 is a big white elephant that sits there and won't get used just because ASA management can't be bothered.

We are allowed to be annoyed that the country's second biggest airport comes to a grinding halt when it's CAVOK with a light easterly.

Here I am with solar power on my house because of climate change, and yet from the west I plow over Melbourne CBD at 12,000 to join downwind with still another 40 track miles to fly and more fuel to piss down the drain.

I'm sorry if we weren't polite enough, but what's it going to take? At least now we know the often touted "ambulance traffic into YMEN" is an excuse for not using 09 and at least the controllers and pilots both know they've been told not to offer/not to ask for shortening.

We want to work WITH you.
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 23:50
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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Sounds like we're in furious agreement.
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