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COBT non-compliance

Old 29th Mar 2014, 09:54
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COBT non-compliance

I understand a number of flights went "non-compliant" this week due to the poor weather causing long COBT delays on the east coast. Some were told by their airline to go non-compliant, other pilots simply took it upon themselves. Gave me the shites a bit when we stuck to our time, held for 25 minutes after losing 10 mins in the cruise while the buggers who left the same airport early were already home enjoying beers.


What are the ramifications for not complying with a COBT? Apart from a stern warning from Centre "you are not compliant, expect delaying action".
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Old 29th Mar 2014, 10:20
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I understand these are reviewed at the end of each 'season' and depends on the amount of times it done, any why, the Company can lose their slot for next 'season'
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Old 29th Mar 2014, 11:59
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Originally Posted by re.tread View Post
As always, the real solution is runways.
For all the things I've seen on here over the years about CATIII ILS, incompetent ATCs, ridiculous route structures/airspace design/procedures, and how much better the 'Americans do it', this is the most accurate thing I've read..
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Old 29th Mar 2014, 13:44
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An additional solution would be properly designed and built regional airports.
As an example, YMLS would have to be the most short-sighted disaster in recent times.
Space for two aircraft on the ramp and a taxiway design that guarantees gridlock if a third aircraft must land with the ramp occupied! WTF built this mess? How hard would it be to expand the ramp to accommodate, say, two more aircraft and move the taxiway to the other end of the ramp? It would take a good contractor about two weeks and maybe 400 grand to do that. A few hours' gas production at most? A month's worth of aircraft holding costs?
At other regional airports the security arrangements are pathetic. One scanner for a jam-packed terminal almost guarantees delays.
If operators united to pass on holding and delay costs to their big clients, maybe this would force change. But getting competitors to unite on anything seems unlikely, so the race to more bankruptcies will continue.

Last edited by Mach E Avelli; 30th Mar 2014 at 01:18.
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Old 29th Mar 2014, 15:47
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There was some 'justice' recently where we waited out close to an hour's ground delay while the aircraft next to us went non-compliant and left immediately. We landed within a couple of minutes of each other at the destination!
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Old 29th Mar 2014, 23:30
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Pilots, for the love of god, please do not confuse the role of us controllers with the boffins in Canberra that run the various ground delay programs.

We at the coalface cannot see COBT, slot times, or anything other that the 'state of play' arrivals.

I feel ridiculous when I give you min speed on behalf of the next sector, you tell me you've already absorbed your delay on the ground, and I tell you I can't help.

I can't. We are stuck in this 'progress' as well.
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Old 30th Mar 2014, 01:11
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Glekichi, if that happened at Miles, maybe the 'non compliant' aircraft left early because there were other aircraft inbound? If no-one on the ground there is co-ordinating arrivals and departures, what should one do? Sit there, knowing it forces the airborne guys to hold, or take a punt and get out of there?

Every time we have been running late and called flow control they just tell us to get airborne asap and suck it up. Inbound to BNE, holding for 20 minutes or so seems to be the usual - whether or not the COBT has been achieved.
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Old 30th Mar 2014, 02:56
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Thanks for the replies. So it seems there is no real 'punishment' for those who choose to become non-compliant, however, everyone else suffers overall as a result.


Compare to where things were 1-2 years ago, airborne delays are hugely reduced.

I agree, but the problem is when we really need the flow to be effective, such as poor weather days, everyone is just choosing to do what's best for themselves and destroying the 'system'. We may already have 60 mins holding fuel for a TS tempo into BNE, and another 40 mins for the TFC advisory. What do we do now, add more and more fuel on bad weather days because many won't adhere to their COBT causing a now excessive TFC delay? How long's a piece of string? Do I add 15 mins, 30 mins? Or just hope it all works out for the best and declare a fuel mayday if necessary? Not everyone has the luxury of adding fuel for unknown delays.


Miles is being mentioned as an 'excuse' due to limited apron space, but I've seen it happen at a few places where there are still numerous bays remaining. In any case, the Miles example just shows the self-centred nature of Australian aviation where operators do what's best for them and don't consider changing their schedule, communicating with other operators etc. to avoid cluster [email protected]
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Old 30th Mar 2014, 03:33
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Miles example just shows the self-centred nature of Australian aviation where operators do what's best for them and don't consider changing their schedule, communicating with other operators etc. to avoid cluster [email protected]
Sorry pal but you are way off the mark there.

There is customer for Miles that was shopping his problem around to all the brokers last year that wanted to move 700+ people in one hit to/from Miles... "to fit in with ground transport".

Surprise surprise, all the Brisbane based brokers said yep sure we could do that.

So there is your answer, the brokers promise the customer the impossible and everyone wonders why the customers are not happy, and moan well this is not the time I wanted......

There is one instance at the moment where a broker wants to shift his flights from one operator to another (only to increase their margin) yet the other operator of choice cant get the slots to satisfy the customer.....

So yep you guessed it there are now multiple slots requested to a destination with one of possibly three flights actually operating.

Communicating with operators is a good one, you mean the operators that undercut each other and try and pinch customers under contract, that try and swap slots with an aircraft already in flight..... so their own flight can be not so COBT un-compliant.

Realistically the guys at the coal face, flightcrew & engineers are generally helpful and courteous. Its some in the back offices that leave a bad taste in everyones mouth.

As per BNE holding, the answer is real estate, the requirement for a runway was identified in 2001, then again in 2007, delayed in 2008, and now not due until 2020, but we got a great car park!

Roma, Mile and to a lesser extent Emerald all have an acute shortage of hard stand, and two of them dont have a PAPI because the "consultant" told the council they did not need one..... The consultant just happens to be a larger turboprop operator.

I feel your frustration, but is all boils down to people who cant see past their coming performance bonus, or their next chance for re-election.

Runways and apron space will fix the problem, waving and magic wand to have some form of "cooperation" among competitors is like expecting Joyce to turn QF around.
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Old 30th Mar 2014, 03:49
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Sometimes going non compliant is a better option.

Just one of many things a PIC has to weigh up in the course of a duty.

Doubt too many out there just blatantly disregard it.
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Old 30th Mar 2014, 13:38
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Other than in the case of Perth, where it is clearly defined, how does the PIC know how much fuel to carry if departing non-compliant?

Assuming the answer is "you don't," is it possible to justify departing without alternate fuel if operating non-compliant?
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Old 30th Mar 2014, 22:55
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Doubt too many out there just blatantly disregard it.
Sometimes going non compliant is a better option.
How is this not blatantly disregarding it? The system (like it or loathe it) has been applied to reduce in air holding. As soon as anyone voluntarily goes non-compliant then they've blatantly disregarded the system. No room on the tarmac - tough.

Assuming the answer is "you don't," is it possible to justify departing without alternate fuel if operating non-compliant?
It'll be very interesting the first time someone calls a PAN PAN due fuel when they weren't compliant. Interesting dilemma for ATC - if you had a non-compliant a/c telling you they were about to divert, would you find them a slot?

Gletchki - you talked about 'justice' recently. Assuming the other guy landed first, did you get any enroute slowing? If so, then the system doesn't work as it should.

UTR
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Old 30th Mar 2014, 23:33
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I don't remember being slowed and if we were it was minimal. The non compliant guy must have been given close to an hours holding. There was not a problem with bays at the time.

Someone airborne waiting for a bay is one of the times I'd consider going non compliant - but a courtesy call to Brissy flow may show that leaving early will end up causing more holding for yourself than you'll save the other aircraft.
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Old 31st Mar 2014, 02:04
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Even if flow control tells you to expect considerable holding, if an aircraft can't land because you are occupying the tarmac, another problem arises.
Using Miles as the particular example, most pilots I would expect plan to arrive overhead with some reasonable amount of holding fuel and enough to go on to Roma or back to Chinchilla. Of course, at the fuel planning stage we have no idea how many aircraft are queued up ahead of us, or what their COBTs are, so what we add for contingency fuel is a guess at best. And all constrained by landing weight, given that it is such a short flight from BNE.

So, when that reasonable amount of holding fuel has been used, unless the aircraft on the ramp is about to launch and this is verified by both crews talking to each other, old mate still in the air either diverts, or accepts the risk of becoming a glider. And then there is still the risk that the one on the ground goes u/s after starting. This already happened. When aircraft are forced to divert, it creates a right clusterfckuk for the workers scheduled in and out on that shift.

Commercial pressure is now in the mix. Not good. Someone, please just fix the f....ing parking and taxiways! Or the airport operator could engage someone who understands the problems to control slots into Miles.

Meantime, of course we are still expected to call flow control before starting engines as per NOTAM etc, but often it seems that a deliberate decision to go 'non compliant' is actually for the common good in the grand scheme of things.
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Old 31st Mar 2014, 02:18
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Someone, please just fix the f....ing parking and taxiways!
Agree 100% - but while there is some crossover, this thread is about COBTs, not just a few particular aerodromes with design issues.

The times Ive seen people go noncompliant its not been for the good of others, bays, etc. - its been in an attempt to jump the queue and get home earlier.
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Old 1st Apr 2014, 00:54
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PAN PAN due fuel
For the umpteenth time, No! Low fuel states are either "Minimum Fuel" or "Mayday Fuel".

Now carry on with normal programming...
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