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Zone/CFIS Operations

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.

Zone/CFIS Operations

Old 22nd Mar 2021, 05:12
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Mar 2021
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Zone/CFIS Operations

Is it me or does anyone have problems with the way these operations are managed.
I hate to be particular but thereís just so much thatís wrong with the way HKATC operate and manage these functions! I suppose Iíve got to start somewhere... What about any guys here flying or controlling within the HK CTR? Or any of the expats controlling ZNC?

1.When operating VFR in the CTR for example a fix wing aircraft or helicopter. What type of service is being provided?

2. When joining instructions are issued, often I hear them passed with no direct instructions and given by Zone Control. Iím willing to bet, without coordination with the Tower ATCO. This is unusual...
Positive clearances should be issued. In my opinion and from experience, a clearance limit (VRP) within range of the airport is given ( maybe to add ď expect) and passed to Tower ATCO. Then Tower positively issue join instructions.

3. CFIS, C stands for Centre as in ATCC(Enr/App) but itís now situated in the VCR (Tower). Another bizarre move which serves no better purpose. How did this pass through any adequate SMS process?

Also with CFIS Iíve heard controllers issue levels to climb, restricting levels for separation and radar derived information. How does this happen unless thereís a deemed separations in use by a Procedural Approach rated ATCO in a position thatís designated internally and externally as such or a Service provided again prefixed by service associated with Radar of some sort.
All to often, climb is requested and the ATCO will say ďremain outside controlled airspace, remain VFR as requiredĒ or similar, the response will be ďhmm so am I clear or say againĒ. Maybe by virtue of the pilots lack of response by not reading back the words FIS as the service notified as issued by ATC, maybe the pilot doesnít know what a FIS is! It would be interesting to know what they think theyíre getting and on a serious note, safety wise.. it needs sorting! Probably waiting for an incident to take action first.

I could go on.. but this first...

any joiners...?

Last edited by AviationBloke; 25th Mar 2021 at 03:26.
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Old 23rd Mar 2021, 15:27
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Mate, it's been more than a year. No idea what you're talking about...
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Old 23rd Mar 2021, 16:47
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It has.. and itís still not been fixed!... thatís even worse.
donít know why time should make a difference. 😂👍🏼
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Old 23rd Mar 2021, 18:56
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What ever you’re drinking, I’ll have a pint of that.
Unless you can say all of your first post in Pilot language.
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Old 23rd Mar 2021, 18:57
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I have no idea what you're on about AviationBloke.

I've been a 747 pilot in HKG for 20 years, and your post is complete gibberish to me.

Complete nonsense.
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 03:04
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Angel 8

it is in phrased in a way any ATC/pilot would understand. I’m sorry you don’t get it.
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 03:06
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Flying Clog

Ive been both Pilot and ATC in many countries since the 90’s. The experience has no bearing. It’s worded fine. But I guess these thread wouldn’t apply to your day to day work here in ATC. I’m looking for any ATC, AA, heli or GFS thoughts more
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 05:44
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I’ve read your posts 6 or 8 times and I’ve been a pilot in HK for 15 years and flying for over 20 and I too have no idea what you’re talking about.

Last edited by Bangaluru; 24th Mar 2021 at 06:32.
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 07:07
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Rie
 
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Downgraded to VFR a number of times in HK airspace as it made life easier doing some government work in props in the 00's. From what I remember I would liken it to running around Europe Special VFR. Still given info on traffic in area. They were never really happy with visual sighting of other aircraft to keep separation. The return to the airport was IFR though.

Things have probably changed and I have lost most of the memory on the specific details. Given that there is next to no GA operations anymore I don't think you'll find many that will know.
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 07:43
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There are controlled zones and non-controlled zones. Controlled Zones (habour, south lantau etc..) you need clearance, TX and certain equipment criteria prior to entry, But they won't hand you off to TWR for clearance if it is VFR. Most controllers are only used to IFR ops and will tend to give you clearance in a non controlled zone which is just rubbish/ dangerous.

Enjoy the empty skies and keep your eyes out for the PLA and GFS choppers because they most probably won't be having a tally on you until it hits!
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 10:02
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Rie

Thatís exactly the problem. They are misinterpreting the rules by ICAO whether it be 4444 or annex 11 or rules of the air.
and to make matters worse, theyíve not only done nothing to rectify it, they made even more a mess of what should happen elsewhere. It should be fairly simple. Trying to offer advice isnít wanted as itís seen as interference.
With reference to your experience, itís not changed by way of ATC not being happy with visual separation, especially between VFR.
They accept VFR joins but make it more complicated than it needs to be.
Did the Brits not have much influence on the initial/continuing ANSP or was it the work of an individual that wasnít clued up or even maybe it wasnít so bad to start with and someone decided to change it all for the worse?
😂

Last edited by AviationBloke; 25th Mar 2021 at 14:56.
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 20:40
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I wouldnít look to the brits for simplicity..
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Old 25th Mar 2021, 01:25
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Well. This is vitally important to the future careers of pilots at CX....
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Old 25th Mar 2021, 02:05
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Oasis

no but at least the rules make sound sense and are applied as they should be. The documents are easily understood... itís only when ICAO gets hold of anything... itís turned in legal talk nightmare.

mngmt mole

This thread has nothing tho do with CX careers. Think you must have come to the wrong place, in doing so... you missed all the news... on no! 😂 🙄
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Old 25th Mar 2021, 02:15
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Rie
 
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AviationBloke, find some of the expats on the NATS contract. They should be able to give you the answers. There are a few of them out there bored at the moment after being let go. They might be willing to help out with proper up to date information.
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Old 25th Mar 2021, 03:20
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mngmt mole

It may surprise you to learn that this forum is not the exclusive preserve of CX pilots. Thankfully.
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Old 25th Mar 2021, 03:37
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Thanks Rie, I’ve sat on both sides of the Flying and ATC fence both here and abroad. I’m fully aware of how the NATS guys feel about it and of course I’ve combed to documents here to see if it’s just operational drift.. but that’s only part of it, the docs are equally poorly written.

it’s a constructive rant that was hoping to attract some local ATC/ANSP staff plus the pilots who fly in these areas. Apart from yourself, I’ve only had Airline Pilots jump in to announce it’s all “nonsense” when it doesn’t even apply to them. It would have been more helpful if they understood maybe through prior experience before this job in order to make comment. It’s shameful that they’ve got no idea on the wider picture on technical airport/operating ideas or language.
‘I wouldnt jump on to a thread of a mahjong thread and comment as it doesn’t affect me and I have no constructive or helpful advice or responses.’

I did edit a few abbreviations in my original text to hopefully translate to the ones unaware yet still interested in this conversation.
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Old 25th Mar 2021, 11:52
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I appreciate the confusion of the OP with the VFR in Hong Kong. I used to fly GA in Hong Kong, helicopters out of HKAC after Kai Tak closed.

The details are hazy now but I do remember how we would sometimes be issued a "clearance" when in the Zone out of the closed Kai Tak, but at the time (say 2005) it was not controlled airspace. We went along with it as GA pilots, as it seemed like a good idea at the time and at least it kept ATC happy that they knew where we were and what our plans were.

After 18.30L on a summers evening it was possible to be band-boxed with HK Tower when stooging around the Sokoe Islands in an R22. We both really wondered what we were doing on the same frequency. There was no requirement, but we did it to keep the peace with ATC.

It worked, it wasn't ICAO standard but then neither is much of the VFR world outside of CTRs.
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Old 25th Mar 2021, 12:43
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great to hear what used to go and it also doesnít surprise me. 😂 as long as you guys didnít mind I guess...

but really it should be managed, in the UK weíd use ATSOCAS ( Air Traffic Services Outside CAS). Itís now called. Basic service but itís pretty much a FIS. And thereís other services too in particular radar services.. what used to be Radar Information Service and Radar Advisory. Much of the UK away from major airports is Class G.. so the nearest unit normally offers a service. It works well.

the band boxing of Freqs ( tower and Zone) is too allow for better staff utilisation during the quieter parts of the day ( zone/FIS) wise ( night).

whilst it worked... thereís no reason for it not be ICAO standard or as the UK do... better.

Last edited by AviationBloke; 25th Mar 2021 at 15:00.
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Old 25th Mar 2021, 12:44
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Smogville

and again this is because they’re (ATC) are doing It wrong 👍
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