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Barcelona Runway TO/Ground Close call

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Barcelona Runway TO/Ground Close call

Old 3rd Feb 2007, 11:08
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Calypso - it may well be a ICAO approved language - but the practice (IMHO) which has caused fatal accidents in the past, is simply downright dangerous. If a controller can speak English to keep all operators in the loop (from a SA point of view) and chooses not to, then does that not show lack of discipline?

Board of Inquiry--- 'So Mr ATCO, do you think there might have been a better way to clear the A380 for take off, so that the Cessna ppl Pilot just might have understood that there might be a conflict ahead?'

ATCO---'non'
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Old 3rd Feb 2007, 11:09
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Wrong calypso.

It is precisely very poor discipline not to speak English at internatonal airports like BCN or MAD. I don't mind them speaking Spanish at a local Extremadura airfield, but please.....

And it can be done. The Italians did it succesfully at FCO and MXP. Alitalia and Airone crews speak English to the controllers there....
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Old 3rd Feb 2007, 12:49
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English is the international language of air transport and should be used at all major international airports full stop. Before anyone starts english is not my first language but its the one I use when I'm working.

As others have mentioned though the language issue is only a small part of the problem lack of dicipline and poor attitude is a much bigger issue, combined with not recruiting the correct people in the first place. It would also help if the controllers would be a little more discret when giving preferance to Iberia,Spanair and other Spanish carriers. Hands up all those that have been given a delaying vector around an Iberia flight!

Some SLF's have mentioned that pilots should flag this up i have personally filed at least 50 ASR's(air saftey reports) about poor atc in Spain,Italy and Greece all unfortunaley will be ignored until ther's a big disaster. ( Milan Linate for instance) I'm very pleased that easyjet took such a strong stand at Bristol and hope they may see this as a good opportunity to continue their good work in spain and Italy. However this may play straight into the hands of carriers based in these airports.

SLF's could also helps by not booking tickets to these destinantions until the situation improves!
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Old 3rd Feb 2007, 13:58
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despite having an awkward viewing angle from taxiway "D" across R20, and being on Ground Frequency, we had enough time to stop before Click could have potentially hit us.
Is it normal to cross an active runway whilst being on ground freq? At LHR if you cross 27L/09R you have to switch over to tower then back to ground when instructed/clear of rwy....

Last edited by blackwidow; 3rd Feb 2007 at 18:20.
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Old 3rd Feb 2007, 13:59
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I was looking forward to flying my first trip to BCN on Monday. Now I'm not so sure.
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Old 4th Feb 2007, 11:04
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Thumbs up Language was not the issue in this case......

As the threads wind and develope from the initial thread, it must be noted that in our case, language was not the issue. Our taxi instructions were in English and it is our company SOP is to have all ops in English. Should ATC in Barcelona or Madrid speak Spanish, then, as a responsible Capt., I insist (and so do our able F/O's) that all communications be in English. This usually resolves the matter but sometimes it doesn't necessarily. (This issue is extraneous and exculpatory to the main issue.)

Regarding the issue as to what frequencies are used and when, let me clear this issue up once and for all. Each airport and each national jurisdiction has its own SOP's regarding the use of frequencies. This comes into the realm of Public International Law and each jurisdiction ratifies and puts into place its own safety and controls according to, and under the hospices of, the local authority. When JAA/JAR came about each country within the EU took home agreed pieces of the legislation. Built into the legislation is the ability to "customise" what is locally required by each signatory member. This has its ups and downs and is part of the reason why a honing of the system towards a new "harmonisiation" will occur soon under the JAA replacement. I hope this clears up the issue on what frequencies are used when and maybe some of the confusion regarding regional differences.

Thanks to all of you guys out there who take the time to care about this and other issues. It is you guys who drive the wheels of progress in aviation. My only thought is that it is great to exercise ones right to free speach but what is going to be done to effect change. In our case, I have written a report. The impact of this report and the pending investigation as well as the events that flow from this are yet to be seen. Lets hope some good flows. Stay vigilant and professional everybody and keep making the intellectual noise!

Flytelaw
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Old 4th Feb 2007, 21:34
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If you have issues with the use of local languages for local pilots, then you need to go and knock on ICAO's door.

Good luck.
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Old 4th Feb 2007, 21:36
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Another ps:

Have you, Flytelaw, or anyone else interested, looked into a very near miss between an easyJet and a CSA 737 at LEBL a few years ago. All the lessons there, none of them learnt.
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Old 5th Feb 2007, 00:03
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Hello there:
I work as an ATC at Valencia ACC. I am also involved on our main union, called USCA, Union Sindical de Controladores Aereos.
Barcelona and Madrid are both going through very big changes during the last two years. Colleagues at both facilities have been passing a quite stressing jobs during all this time, and it is not over yet. In Madrid, they built two new rwys, and got one out of use. They are now managing to get used to work with four rwys at the same time. Barcelona has just a couple of months started with its third ryw. Sorry to say, but there are a lot more things going on at the control tower that just the radio you hear, pointing out that the radio is the most important one: Trucks and operators walking along the taxiways, new equipment being installed, external workers not used to standar phraseology or aeronautical procedures, new facilities, computers and so not working properly as they are on the firsts dayīs operation... No other major european airport has been having such a great number of changes on the past years. If you have time, I suggest you to visit those towers. I am quite sure that the controllers will be happy to show the way they work, and ask your questions. If you drop by in Valencia, I will do it for sure.
About the use of spanish and english, I agree with you. But many of us just canīt help feeling more confortable speaking on our mother tongue to pilots that also understand us better speaking on spanish. When english will be declared as the one and only aeronautical speaking language, this discussión will end, but that is a political question, Iīm afraid.
And If the problems are so big or so dangerous, you can always make a report. Safety is a serious matter just to be spoiled out on an internet forum. TCAS RAīs unfortunately happen everyday all over Europe. Spain is not a significant country on this, or any safety related point, as established on the Performance Review Report http://www.eurocontrol.int/prc/galle...cs/prr2005.pdf
I would like to say one last thing. Palma de Mallorca on summer time has bigger amount of traffic than Barcelona and very close to Madrid and I donīt hear too many complaints about the ATC work there. There is one reason for this: There has not been big changes on the lasts years. Controllers and pilots are used to procedures and operation goes fluent. Safety cannot wait, but try to apologise a little the ATCīs on Madrid and Barcelona and I am quite sure things will improve quickly.

About USCA, our Union, just mentioning facts: More than 95% out of the civil spanish controller are part of it. Our objetives are clear, but differences among us donīt show up to the public. This may lead on looking like Mafia, but there is not much we can do to help this out. Most of the people think we are overpaid and that we donīt work too much. It has become boring just to complain about it, so many times, we just give up on this. I just see aroung me people trying to do their jobs as good as they can... you can trust me.

Regards,
Á.

Last edited by Plumaveloz; 5th Feb 2007 at 00:13.
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Old 5th Feb 2007, 11:13
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Situational Awareness

HI Plumaveloz,
you said
"But many of us just canīt help feeling more confortable speaking on our
mother tongue to pilots that also understand us better speaking on spanish. "
Unfortunately, many of us non-Spanish pilots when operating over Spain, feel very uncomfortable when conversations to other aircraft in our vicinity are being carried out in your "mother tounge" as it degrades everyones situational awareness.
also
"When english will be declared as the one and only aeronautical speaking language, this discussión will end, but that is a political question, Iīm afraid."
No its a Air Safety Question I'm afraid.
Regards Silvertop
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Old 5th Feb 2007, 11:26
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Fltelaw:

Not a critism, just a question.
Everyone seems to be confirming that things are not as they should be, and that the manure nearly impacted the ventilation. There also seems to be agreement that not a lot is happening to improve matters. Was the incident such that an MOR could be justified? If so, then an official complaint has been put in witing and the local CAA would have to investigate. Perhaps that could be the start of something, rather than concerned pilots sounding off on here to deaf ears.

BCL: Going into GRO on a thunderstorm day and deviating off the STAR to avoid. Instead of via Kanik I was in the area of BGR. 30-40 nm away from landing. BCL radar just dumped us to GRO, non-radar. First question from GRO was "state position". Not very professional. The only saving grace was we were the only a/c on frequency. maybe that was why BCL felo it OK to off load us so soon. I wonder what their attitude will be in the busy charter thunderstorm summer season? Not good.
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Old 5th Feb 2007, 13:11
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Unfortunately, many of us non-Spanish pilots when operating over Spain, feel very uncomfortable when conversations to other aircraft in our vicinity are being carried out in your "mother tounge" as it degrades everyones situational awareness.
We are aware of this situation and there are times when we just use english for all communications, so everyone can understand everything. Besides that, let me point out that the first communications are usually began by pilots. If a pilot talks to me on spanish, he has an ICAO right to be answered on spanish. And I donīt want to begin and endless discussion, but If you flight often to Spain, I would suggest you can also learn a little spanish phraseology. I have audio files, both english and spanish, than can help. They are big ones, but I can share them via emule or so.
Regards,
Á.
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Old 5th Feb 2007, 13:25
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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I just see aroung me people trying to do their jobs as good as they can... you can trust me.
Plumaveloz, the operation/the system still seems to be deficient compared to other places. Either it gets fixed or it doesn't. Hope and/or good intentions is not enough.
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Old 5th Feb 2007, 16:35
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Devil devil's advocate

...still seems to be....
right, maybe it "seems" because some of you don't have a clue on what's going on? As you don't have the right awareness and all. I work in what is regarded as one of the best places to work (and that works). We still see things that could potentially go wrong all the time. Language in this cases is not an issue and I think here we should all try to adress other more potentially dangerous issues. For what I could read on the Plumaveloz's post there are plenty of them. It would be fair enough if spanish controllers would try to speak to you guys/gals in spanish: now that would be a safety issue. But that a controller wants to give a freq chg in spanish to a spanish crew...well, I guess it is indeed a killer -not with a big bang but seems that with some stomachache related endings.
Granted that you (I) just cannot sum up all situations but if a controller from there says that they use english when non-spanish are involved I take his word they do. And if they don't maybe it's because it has nothing to do with you?
Lets not forget that in the incident we all have in mind P1 overruled P2 and went on with T/O with an unclear instruction -which I hear all the time in english from many different countries. What I try to say here before you all start shooting -too late now I guess- is that common sense should prevail on both sides. After all english is not my mother tongue neither and speaking it won't stop me from f·&%ing it up.
Keep on with the bashing.
A.
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Old 5th Feb 2007, 17:05
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Post Report being filed.....

To clarify, a report has been sent and received by Vueling from myself. A report will flow from our company management and out of that we can only hope that the Spanish DGAC will react.

If I deem it legally relevant, disclosable, and appropriate, I will post the results of the investigation. As a responsible lawyer and Captain, I will carefully review all disclosure for potential liability issues. Let's respect the system and await what flows.

Cheers,

Flytelaw
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Old 5th Feb 2007, 17:26
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Flying very often to BCN, I have no desire to learn spanish as pointed out by some spanish posters, as I believe English IS the Aviation language! Stressing always that spanish is a legal ICAO language does not help either.
Haven not seen any FCOM from Airbus in spanish, i.e.?

But, how come, that most of the SPANAIR pilots speak english when operating from BCN?
Looks to me, that they are professional enough to recognize the need of information to ALL pilots in the vicinity.
Nedless to say, IBERIA is not acting that way.
Having had a near miss due to a spanish only speaking controller and pilot, since this time I am very suspicous about "spanish conversations" in the air.
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Old 5th Feb 2007, 17:50
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Flytelaw,
all the best with the investigation and I'm sure we'd all love to hear from the results to learn what happened and how it can be avoided next time. Happy flying -and taxiing!!- in the meantime.

Kraut
it won't help. But that's what it is. Hate it or love it. You know, I grew up in Mallorca -Balneario 8 in El Arenal- and was told many times by germans, in german, that I should know german because I lived there? Of course you wouldn't but it wasn't pretty. Nowadays I understand it but I still refuse to speak it -I do speak Dutch though-. Maybe we should worry also about german being spoken on the waves in germany (I for one hear it everyday and it's not very ICAO compliant neither), french in france, italian in italy...or about some officers speaking/understanding better the english they use everyday (I use the broad meaning for officers as I would like to cover all personel in aviation from ground staff up to cockpit...don't get me started with some asian's english level) I insist there are way bigger evils out there to be catched. And I wouldn't even dare to defend the use of any other language than english AS LONG AS IT INVOLVES anybody who doesn't understand it and that someone is reasonably involved in a situation with the non english speakers -other than just being tuned to the same freq.


After all it seems to me that what this near incident goes on about is runway infringement -for whatever reason-. That seems to be number 1 on a lot of people's list as being the next potential disaster. I think we should all put more energy on how to stop that from happening. I insist it doesn't matter in which language you f·$% up as long as you do...
So can we now go back to what happened/what may be up in BCN? Other than that they speak whatever. That has been seen/discussed in other threads. Focus.


A.
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Old 5th Feb 2007, 19:58
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Smile Many thanks.....

I have a received a plethora of e-mails in the past few days and I am amazed by how positive the tone of them has been and I am also impressed how professional the relative tone of what goes on within at least this thread on PPrune. I will endeavour to to keep all of you fellows in the loop. Ciao!

Flytelaw
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Old 5th Feb 2007, 21:30
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On the 28 th of September 2006, AENA (spanish aerodrome operator) issued the following written recomendation: " Due to high traffic and characteristics of Madrd TMA the use of English is encouraged". Even though this recomendation was published by the spanish controler employer (AENA) most of the controlers donot comply with.
As Spanair crewmember Iīm tired of speaking english and being replied in spanish, I īve even listen to a controler that "the spanish is very beatiful".
It is not just a question of language but attitude. No aviation Knowledge. No recurrent courses for all their profesional lifetime. No bosses.
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Old 5th Feb 2007, 22:13
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Just like to raise a point that seems to have been missed with the 'talking english' thrust of the thread. I agree with the general feeling about BCN ATC, but am a little surprised by their change in SOPs over the last few months.
When 25L first opened, all landing traffic was routed north then east along the parallel taxiway just south of 25R, then under the 25R undershoot, thereby completely avoiding a crossing of the active T/O runway. It was, admittedly a pain, adding perhaps 2-3 minutes to the sector. I loftily explained to my exasperated P2 that this was probably mandated for safety reasons:I was surprised to go back this summer and find that a straight northbound taxi routing and a crossing of 25R at the mid-point now seemed standard. Was this following a winge from the Lo-cos over taxi delays or something else?
Crossing an active runway on a GMC frequency has always struck me as unnecassarily risky, and a routing away from the active runway altogether seems a useful move where enough real estate is available.

Last edited by Aerostar6; 5th Feb 2007 at 22:14. Reason: error
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