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HKG ATC out of control

Fragrant Harbour A forum for the large number of pilots (expats and locals) based with the various airlines in Hong Kong. Air Traffic Controllers are also warmly welcomed into the forum.

HKG ATC out of control

Old 22nd May 2012, 04:40
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Australia
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HKG ATC out of control

I need to vent....I think HKG used to be good, infact used to be excellent....NOW that lots of the westerners leaving, you can honestly see the difference!!..You are slowly becoming the worst ATC in the world..

Stupid zig zagging vectors and slow downs and delays because of a single cumulus cloud somewhere in the HKG airspace.
40mins the other day sitting at holding point in line behind many others for 07R departure......finally taxi clearance to cross the runway over to Kilo for change of runway 25L...Then here is the best part...

"cleared for takeoff, caution 7 knots of tailwind!"
So who's Fuckingbright idea was this???

There is this brilliant iphone app called "flight control", perhaps it could be used as HKG ATC training tool..
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Old 22nd May 2012, 04:53
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I can honestly write that I am so much more at ease when I hear that gweillo voice on the radio, especially around bad weather. The control is simply superior. I have experienced excellent control from Asians as well, but the consistency is not there.

I suppose the racist accusations are coming so I will take cover, but that honestly has nothing to do with it. Good control is good control regardless of nationality.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 05:44
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OK. How about on approach, if certain airlines that shall remain nameless (Korean, China Airlines) decide to slow down at their own discretion, rather than getting everybody behind them to slow down, get them to resume 300 knots on descent! That would fix many problems for a start.

Secondly, how about using some sense when leaving aircraft high, slowing them down and then expecting them to cross waypoints at unachievable attitudes.

And that Betty Buzzsaw lady on approach gives me a headache at the best of times, even before she snaps and snarls at everybody!
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Old 22nd May 2012, 05:45
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Join Date: Mar 2000
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I love it when I get zigzagged left and right 90 degrees at 280 kts assigned, then when I ask if he wants me to slow down, I get a 'no, maintain 280'.
Going nowhere fast.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 07:03
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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Cxorsist
I suppose the racist accusations are coming so I will take cover, but that honestly has nothing to do with it. Good control is good control regardless of nationality.
If you standby the comment you've made towards the end then you should never stated "guilo is better " in the beginning of your comments.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 07:12
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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ATC management and HKG government policy is going to cause an accident sooner or later. Mix that with out zero hour aviators and I think it will be sooner than later!
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Old 22nd May 2012, 07:35
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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Agreed. In my third decade flying in and out of Hong Kong and with any weather about it is really getting a worry.

Another thing that I have noticed recently has been the poor quality of the weather forecasts.

The entrails of what animal have the Observatory being using lately?

Last edited by Captain Dart; 22nd May 2012 at 07:38.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 08:01
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Etops777,

I'm afraid your PC exceeds my comprehension.

The gweillos in HKG are better controllers. That clear enough for you?
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Old 22nd May 2012, 08:39
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Oh and GOD help us with a third runway!!!!!...
The delays will be hours on every flight if this bullshi? keeps up


Another note......Did anybody realise the words
"Situational Awareness" don't translate to cantonese!..I guess thats why they have none eh
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Old 22nd May 2012, 09:00
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Join Date: Jan 2004
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The being kept high and fast seems more like an ATC SOP nowadays than an exception.....Maybe we should start equiping our aircraft with Parachutes like some of those single engine aircraft have...solves the problem
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Old 22nd May 2012, 09:24
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All these comments seem fair and on target, but when I need perspective, I just fly to Beijing a few times.

That only makes me appreciate HK all the more.

Cheers boys!

FR
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Old 22nd May 2012, 09:57
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...that may be, but HKG is rapidly descending to Beijing's level.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 10:05
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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We need help!

The ATC Gweillos have have been neutralised and marginalised, and are staying below the radar for fear of.......................
We're losing 5+ next year, 'time expired'!
So don't expect too much feedback or support. Last years press releases screwed us!

We have a poorly designed terminal for movement of traffic to/from, and we have mountainous terrain all around us, thanks to Norman Foster and the legacy of the ex colonial govt. hell bent on locating the airport in the "Territory" next to Lantau/Sunset Peak.


We have seen the 'flood gates' open as to the number of aircraft / airlines flying into CLK, only to be made more complex with the overflights to/from Pearl River Delta. Throw in the recent weather, and the system near collapsed on several recent bad wx days. 40+ - 60 mins delays entering the FIR and diversions and fuel emergencies. That's part of the recipe for high threat and error! TCAS RA are not an acceptable form of ATC separation for the prevention of collision.

+ The level of airmanship and RTF discipline and 'intelligibility' is at an all time LOW! Up to x3 tx to est. contact and / or pass the instruction = unacceptable.
Misconstrued readbacks, wrong levels, "confirm, confirm, confirm" by every mainland Chinese airline, and more! e.g. We don't need squawk and level on each frequency change within HK airspace as has now crept in.
Ensure one crew has a headset on whilst in the HKFIR and/or turn up the 'speaker volume'. Otherwise bring back the flight engineer as there's no excuse for lack of priority for ATC tx regardless of your x2 man crew. A safety issue!

Agreed, ATC handling has gone backwards with more aircraft in the FIR to process due to lack of sufficient 'sectors' therefore increased RTF workload proportionately per controller and no support (from our esteemed DGCA) for more staff NOW, regardless of the PR spin! 2+ yrs before the new centre and the system at present is at the limit and exceeded with weather.
No difference between day and night tfc but reduced manning from midnight.

Descent profiles: ATC will always battle different airlines/aircraft types/pilot variations and therefore we need standardisation of crossing levels and speeds, but then you (ATC) get criticised for changing the profile and unnecessary fuel burn, etc etc, 'damned if you do and damned if you don't. Expect more holding!

AMAN - Arrival Manager computer is being used correctly and but varies with each 'different' flow controller. To follow it religiously as management mandate, we can end up with the 'ridiculous' radar vectors for the compliance of AMAN entry time and the pilots quite rightly should be 'pissed'. Min speeds to meet the time, then speed up, then slow down, screw up the profile for you and following aircraft, it just looks bad from our side too.
It should be 'Minimal vectoring' for 2 - 3 minute delay otherwise we should be using the orbit or hold to soak up the time and fine tune / or even change the sequence wrt other arrivals from the other 2 of 3 entry gates within 40 NM from 'touch'.
Simple but some 2D controllers just don't get it!! Expect more holding!

The only change likely is if the pilots get together and demand change, so do what ya got to do.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 12:32
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Cxorcist

I don't believed so. There are good and bad ones in each and every group. For you to claim that an expats are the better controllers than the Asians then you are just too narrow minded. Enough said...like Hollywood once made a movie called "The white man can't jump"..and if the movie imply on your logic it stands for " The Asians can't control the traffics"..
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Old 22nd May 2012, 13:01
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If you want to see hkg weather look at macau! Much more accurate than hong kong.

Maybe they are also gettingbrid of the experienced guys at theobservatory!
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Old 22nd May 2012, 13:03
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Bigots??

kinteafrokunta Quote " Oh, when are the Chinese coming in and get rid of these bigoted gweilos. Insufferable pieces of work shitting in their own rice bowls!"

Noting that you are in South Africa, one would have thought that you would have had some empathy with those complaining of declining standards.

Or are you just as much of a bigot as those whom you accuse?

This thread is about Safety, not bigotry. There is no room for appeasement where Safety is concerned, not even to keep you happy!

Last edited by FERetd; 22nd May 2012 at 13:05.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 15:27
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It's not a racist issue. It's an experience and finacial issue. The ex-pats have not had their ex-pat allownces included in their contract renewals, so they've been saying "bugger this - I'm off". Their replacements have been new ATC controllers on local contracts which of course mean local Chinese controllers.

The big problem is, these newly trained controllers don't have regional airports to cut their teeth and gain experience. They're thrust striaght into the deep end - as if a new ATC cadet in the UK has been put stright into the approach controller's position at London Centre instsead of working his/her way up from Norwich tower. It's not the controller's fault. Blame the system that put them there, and the managers whose main aim is to save money.

At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. In this case, safety is being compromised to fulfil a budget.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 15:43
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Etops,

Your two posts have a rather poor standard of English, not entirely unlike Chinese ATC. Your comments demonstrate a level of thickness and surface level understanding only which I again compare to ... Chinese ATC. They are mostly unable to grasp the three dimensional picture as gweillos controllers are.

Bring in Heathrow, Kennedy, or O'Hare controllers and HKG could double its efficiency and capacity in a week. Even with the crappy approach / departure corridors and high terrain all around, they would find a way to get it done. These two runways are nowhere near full utilization. Of course, they might need an ATC penalty box for all the similarly pathetic Asian pilots driving many of these aircraft.

It's not racism, it's reality. The mainland can kick out all the expats, but all that will be accomplished is the further marginalization of an already struggling air traffic system.

Just ask Kunta in South Africa... Can you say, "Failed State?" That's what happens when you kick out all the educated and productive members of society.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 21:25
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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The policy of localization is racist, but the locals want locals doing all the jobs. China First policy.

Problem is it takes time for someone (anyone) to go from qualified to proficient. The locals have not spent enough time on the job to be as good as the experienced round eyes. This is compounded by the rapid promotion of the locals into the better paid, lower risk and more respected management positions.

CFP Fuel isn't enough for HKG arrival even on a good wx day. The volume of traffic and the inexperience of the HKG local controllers means delays. Add bad wx and it all turns to shit. We don't pay for fuel (and we sure don't get a decent profit share) so why not put on the fuel to make delays a non-issue?
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Old 22nd May 2012, 22:17
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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CFP Fuel isn't enough for HKG arrival even on a good wx day. The volume of traffic and the inexperience of the HKG local controllers means delays. Add bad wx and it all turns to shit. We don't pay for fuel (and we sure don't get a decent profit share)
so, why not take CFP, and divert when you reach your diversion fuel? Once you get to that level, the decision's made for you.

Complaints from pilots & controllers, even through official channels like the AOA & HKATCA, will not yield results. The reality is that commercial pressure (ie from CX & KA) is the only thing that will achieve any improvement. When CX/KA start getting 10 - 20 diversions a day, especially when there's little to no weather about, then things will change.
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