Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific Airline and RPT Rumours & News in Australia, enZed and the Pacific

MEL Tower Go Slow?

Old 1st May 2018, 21:50
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Move your flow control out to 300 miles or more and you might find a little more accuracy.
How about moving it out to 2500 miles. I've been in Australian airspace for 5 hours. Just give me a guaranteed reservation time at my feeder fix. If I make it there at the agreed time then don't mess with me! Losing 5-10 minutes over 5 hours in the cruise is safer and beneficial for the pilot and controller (less tactical workload), company and passenger (saves money) as well as the planet (saves petroleum and emissions).

I know I know, the system isn't strategic enough to cope with that level of foresight. Well it needs to change.

But..I have to agree with much of the sentiment here. Without pointing the finger at individual ATCers, the system of controlling in Oz (particularly MEL) is among the shitey-est in the world.

(Ps. And as an aside...whats with the snarky denials of a roll-thru on 34L in SYD when there is NO ONE on final or at any holding point waiting for take off!)

PG
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Old 1st May 2018, 22:42
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Popgun View Post
How about moving it out to 2500 miles.
Well, 12 months ago Airservices Australia undertook industry consultation on the viability of designing and installing a Long Range Air Traffic Flow Management (LR-ATFM) System for Australian airspace.

LR-ATFM is expected to deliver a range of benefits to the aviation industry and the travelling public, including reduced aircraft fuel burn, increased air traffic predictability and reduced controller workload allowing for more efficient operations.

LR-ATFM
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Old 2nd May 2018, 00:45
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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I can’t believe the suggestion that Australian airport and airspace infrastructure and management arrangements are anything other than cutting-edge, award-winning, punching-above-our-weight, world’s-best-practice, ICAO-compliant exemplars of efficiency.

I’ve heard rumours that Australia’s airport and airspace infrastructure and management arrangements are considered a joke, internationally, and Australia is called the only third world aviation nation in which you can drink the tap water. But those rumours are - surely - completely unfounded.

(PS: The above is not intended to be a criticism of individual controllers. It’s the system that’s broken.)
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Old 4th May 2018, 03:56
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Air Services ATC services going slow? That's par for the course isn't it? Only place in the world I encounter holding. Or to be told to reduce to minimum speed >300NM from my destination, only to arrive and not see another aircraft in the terminal area, or while taxiing in.

Worst system in the world. Note I said system, not individuals.
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Old 4th May 2018, 08:15
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by missy View Post
Well, 12 months ago Airservices Australia undertook industry consultation on the viability of designing and installing a Long Range Air Traffic Flow Management (LR-ATFM) System for Australian airspace.

LR-ATFM is expected to deliver a range of benefits to the aviation industry and the travelling public, including reduced aircraft fuel burn, increased air traffic predictability and reduced controller workload allowing for more efficient operations.

LR-ATFM
Folks,
I always have a bit of a hollow laugh when I read things like this, as year as year after year, "way out" flow control is proven not to work, because there are just too many variables to destroy a "planned" touch down time. Ever wondered why places like EGLL establish final landing sequences close in, and get such high movement rates per runway??
A while ago, now, after being reduced to holding speed for about 30 minutes: "XXXX, maximum speed or faster for as long as possible"
Tootle pip!!
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Old 4th May 2018, 10:30
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Seems an old system, Sydney too. I remember inbound to Syd early mornings from Sin. Some way out, ATC often said expect 20 mins holding at Parkes, I think it was.
I told them we could loose 10 min if we slowed to min cruise now to reduce the holding (better fuel outcome)
The reply normally was, even if we slowed down now the 20 min Holding would only start on arrival at the Hold point i.e. first come first served. Never understood the reasoning!
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Old 5th May 2018, 03:18
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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The most efficient use of runway would be to have everyone go as fast as possible into low level holds close to the field where they are then vectored out in trail for a short downwind ie. EGLL.

In sacrificing runway efficiency by using feeder fix times you typically get to slow down in the cruise and or hold at higher levels. Im guessing that would result in less fuel burnt for the same time delay?

But conversely overall delays increase because of opportunities missed. Number 1 on a max makes up 1 minute more than bargained for and suddenly youve waisted 20 minutes of the networks time by slowing down the rest of that sequence by an unnecessary minute each. Its all a balancing act.

Theres definitely room for improvement. Airspace changes to have the feeder fixes closer to the airfield and thus have more predictable time intervals would be a good start.

Runway selection is another issue dictated by the rules we have to work if. I dont think anyone enjoys delays, including ATC. Changes to runway nomination would only really come from pressure from the airlines on Airservices / CASA / the government (noise).
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Old 5th May 2018, 04:29
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Or we could just build some more runways and/or airports and have infrastructure that actually meets the current/future demand.
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Old 5th May 2018, 08:18
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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I always understood that ATC were there to facilitate air traffic and not to (over) control.

Was I wrong?
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Old 5th May 2018, 15:44
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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Interested by a few quotes on here referring to EGLL.

i think some of your comments aren't that reflective of what happens there (I'm not an expert on EGLL btw) - but even I've noted their use of XMAN amongst other tools.

Very different kettles of fish IMO. Different in so many ways that the solutions are also likely to differ.
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Old 5th May 2018, 21:24
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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I think people use EGLL as a yardstick because in the opinion of many, it is the best ATC out there. I know little from the ATC point of view but London does stand out. I flew with a previous company there on a regular basis for just over ten years and they certainly move the traffic with a minimum of fuss. It was not uncommon to get a landing clearance below 100ft with the aircraft ahead entering the high-speed exit. Tight, I must admit but it seemed to work and what's more it was all done with a sense of humour. Some of the funniest things I have heard on the radio were from London ATC. Even holding at Lamborne you seemed to move down the stack quickly. "Call Director Call-Sign only" the standard transfer. The whole operation designed to be slick. Our controllers are not to blame for our system but our system needs to change.
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Old 5th May 2018, 22:43
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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What about we all go balls to the wall, and then come in through initial and pitch - sort out separation on downwind???!!!!!!!!
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Old 5th May 2018, 23:15
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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I think people use EGLL as a yardstick because in the opinion of many, it is the best ATC out there. I know little from the ATC point of view but London does stand out. I flew with a previous company there on a regular basis for just over ten years and they certainly move the traffic with a minimum of fuss. It was not uncommon to get a landing clearance below 100ft with the aircraft ahead entering the high-speed exit. Tight, I must admit but it seemed to work and what's more it was all done with a sense of humour. Some of the funniest things I have heard on the radio were from London ATC. Even holding at Lamborne you seemed to move down the stack quickly. "Call Director Call-Sign only" the standard transfer. The whole operation designed to be slick. Our controllers are not to blame for our system but our system needs to change.
Absolutely spot-on, George. I couldn't agree more - always a pleasure to fly there....
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Old 6th May 2018, 01:23
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Trevor the lover View Post
What about we all go balls to the wall, and then come in through initial and pitch - sort out separation on downwind???!!!!!!!!
That's essentially what they do at EGLL - it's the civvy version of an I&P. You get cleared to a close in holding fix (Lambourne, Biggin, Ockham & Bovingdon) with out any speed control - first in best dressed. They are about 15-25 nm from EGLL and would be the equivalent of the initial point. Approach then pulls you of the hold and hands you over to Director nicely spaced for the arrival sequence. That's the equivalent of the pitch.

As LeadSled and wasbones have already pointed out - sequencing arrivals a long way out doesn't work (too many variables). Sequencing close in does - EGLL is proof of the pudding. I'll add my voice to others: It's our ATC system that is broken. My most recent example would be arriving into Brisbane and when 15 minutes from the fix told to lose 5 minutes. Despite what some controllers might think, that's impossible - up in the high FL300s we would stall before losing the required amount of speed. We said unable. So rather than giving us vectors, we were put in a hold. We did two laps of the pattern. On BNE APP we were the only aircraft on frequency. At 6 miles final, there was one aircraft getting airborne and one taxiing aircraft approaching the holding point. We held 15 minutes for that!

Last edited by Bleve; 6th May 2018 at 01:43.
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Old 6th May 2018, 02:17
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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From my point of view, Feeder Fix timings works well, combined with controlled taxi times/COBT. Plenty of aeroplanes inbound but it all works out pretty well, with not much holding. We generally do get more warning than 15 minutes though.
Quite frankly, where I operate, balls to the ball to the 36nm fix and then hold would be childish. Might need it at LHR, not here.

I'll say it again, for those complaining about having to slow down when high, have a look at your best holding altitudes. Get down, get slow and save fuel...
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Old 6th May 2018, 05:23
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Capn Bloggs View Post
... for those complaining about having to slow down when high, have a look at your best holding altitudes. Get down, get slow and save fuel...
Yeah ... but no. Not when you are losing time enroute (as opposed to losing time at a fixed location). We don't cruise to our destination at our best holding height and speed. Descending to our best holding altitude (enroute to the destination) will help you lose time, but it won't save you fuel.
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Old 6th May 2018, 05:39
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Bleve
scending to our best holding altitude (enroute to the destination) will help you lose time, but it won't save you fuel.
Given that the flight time to the Feeder Fix will be the same whether you go low/slow/straight or stay high and hold, you will save fuel because the holding FF will be less than high altitude cruise FF. At least that's what happens in my aeroplane, and it is significant.
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Old 6th May 2018, 06:19
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by le Pingouin View Post
How many times am I told by an international heavy that they can't possibly lose 5 minutes from 250 miles out when I know they'll lose 4 minutes on profile? Regularly. Or they're early and when asked their speed the response is "280" or "300"? Again, a regular occurrence.
I’m regularly one of those annoying “International heavies” that can’t possibly lose 5 mins inside 250 miles, if you want to make a broken system worse, then continuously doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is merely insanity.
From a piloting perspective I prefer the UK, USA, NZ..pretty much everywhere else in the developed world way of doing things compared to Australia..why does it need to be so difficult?
If we use MEL as an example, there are plenty of comparable airports in the UK and Europe with the same mix of fast and slow traffic that seem to do just fine and are infinitely more simple to operate into, Hamburg being one off the top of my head.
Last time into LHR we got told 10 minutes from TOD, plan on conversion 280kts 15 minutes of holding at Lambourne..easy peasy and with an expectation of an onward clearance for the approach.
As for speeds on the arrival, everyone I fly with fly the published speeds unless unable.which is communicated or requested, but please don’t bleat at me when you ask for min clean and for me that’s 235-240kts, which is 20-30kts faster than the minibuses or baby Boeing’s you are used too.

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Old 6th May 2018, 07:03
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Folks,
Time after time, over the years, at various consultative meetings in Can'tberra or wherever, reps. from Airservices have derided what happens at EGLL as the "bedpost" system of the feeder fixes, in favour of Airservices "preferred" "far out" sequencing.

It really does meet Albert Einstein's definition of insanity.

Indeed, in my experience, all the high traffic density airports (far more traffic than YSSY) use some form of close in metering to get remarkably consistent "over the fence" spacing.

In my view, conditioned by politically imposed inefficiency at YSSY, Airservices have never been forced to become efficient, and have had the "luxury", at the paying passenger's cost, of being able to indulge themselves, and to heck with the consequences.

And the results are there for all to see;

As the United bloke, years ago, on his last departure from YSSY said, on his last call, " ------ and congratulations of having the world's second best ATC".,
to which the controller replies:" ---- and who is the best",
to which the reply was (in a very Texas accent) "------ everybody else".

Sorry, guys ( I am told that "guys" is accepted as gender non-specific) , but like it of not, that is the general reputation of ATC in Australia, if you are an international operator in and out of Australia. No comfort for the good guys who undoubtedly do their best, but they are let down by many of their colleagues and the system.

As the then head of ATC once said to me: " But, XXXX, we have to allow for the lowest common denominator performance among controllers" .
My reply was: "My airline doesn't hire "lowest common denominator performance " pilots, why do you hire such controllers?? , or words to that effect.

Tootle pip!!
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Old 6th May 2018, 07:26
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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Yes you do hire LCD pilots - everyone of you has good days and bad days, ever airline has some pilots who are better than others. You certainly don't plan for everyone to be near perfect all the time. Why do you think aviation is so regulated? Why do we continually think about Reason's Swiss Cheese? I bet you felt pleased with that one-liner, got one over 'im!

Last edited by le Pingouin; 6th May 2018 at 09:21.
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