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Urgent:all Pilots In/out Lhr/lgw

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Urgent:all Pilots In/out Lhr/lgw

Old 16th Apr 2007, 13:08
  #41 (permalink)  
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I've been using it for 20 years, LHR shorthaul so I think I am qualified to comment.

Just keep it. It works very well and reduces RT. Some crews don't have the patience for the operator to keep up at busy times; they should have the red bar left in front of them for another minute as a punishment!
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Old 16th Apr 2007, 13:14
  #42 (permalink)  
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Just out of curiosity is BA wanting it to stop purely because there was disruption last year due to a shortage of system operators? That seems a bit short sighted. Also was the shortage due to sickness or due to lack of trained staff, if the latter then maybe it would be better for BA to pressure BAA/HAL to get more poeple trained than stop the system.
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Old 16th Apr 2007, 13:18
  #43 (permalink)  
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Just to clarify, the Lighting Operators are NATS staff, so the final say in L/Op numbers is down to NATS, as long as the coverage was pursuant to the ATS contract with HAL.

Of course, the NATS contract with all the London BAA airfields is coming under great cost pressure from BAA's new owners who've made it very clear, so I hear, that the continual and incremental contract cost increase that the 'old BAA' was happy with is no longer good enough.
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Old 16th Apr 2007, 15:05
  #44 (permalink)  
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Great system - keep it!

At times it is already difficult to get into the ground frequency to ask for taxy clearance. Giving up the system will definately increase congestion on the frequencies, making it even harder to get once clearance.
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Old 16th Apr 2007, 15:18
  #45 (permalink)  
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I've been operating in and out of LHR & LGW since 1974 and the "greens" are superb. Without a doubt they are a major improvement in safety compared with airfields without them.

Someone please post the name of the idiot that wants them withdrawn.
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Old 16th Apr 2007, 15:34
  #46 (permalink)  
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If you added all the useful experience of BA management pilots together, and put it in one place, it would fill a small espresso cup and smell of s$%.

Show them the door and suggest they go forth and multiply.
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Old 16th Apr 2007, 15:56
  #47 (permalink)  
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I sure hope they don't change it. Heathrow is a disaster in many respects but ATC / Ground Control is not one of them. If it were not for the efficiency of the controllers that work London Airports / Airspace, I think things would grind to a halt.
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Old 16th Apr 2007, 16:01
  #48 (permalink)  
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One of the few things that works really well at LHR is "follow the greens". A brilliant system (in more than just words!) which allows those who are not very intimate with the place to find their way around. I'd like to see this system installed everywhere please. It also allows the PNT (Pilot Not Taxying) to spend more time monitoring rather than map reading.

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Old 16th Apr 2007, 16:15
  #49 (permalink)  
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I think that the point has well and truly been made - rethink please BA.. to put it politely..
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Old 16th Apr 2007, 16:28
  #50 (permalink)  
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keep it!

lhr best system in the world. probably the best atc in the world.

a simple comparison between taxying round lhr at night and cdg should answer this question. whilst i'm sure the french think it's perfect (along with speaking french on the ground/twr freq) the simple fact is that on my few visits to cdg the most difficult aspect of the trip was the taxying without being lost or suffering a epileptic event. the sheer number of lights on that airfield, imho, are a distraction.

We spend our lives as professional aviators trying to increase our SA as much as is possible, whilst freeing up as much capacity as we can in order to supervise ourselves, our crewmates and our enviroment. Is this yet another example of an airline, this time BA, relying our professionalism to enable the management to reduce the saftey margins to increase profit?

We work for executives who hold our positions in contempt and treat saftey as a profit margin. I always assumed that my airline strived to be the safest airline in the world. It is with a heavy heart that i have realised that their only care is that we are safe enough, and then only just.
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Old 16th Apr 2007, 16:47
  #51 (permalink)  
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Overall it is a good system but it still has its failures. Many is the time we have been instructed to hold short of a taxiway - yet the green lights continue past it. The light operator having made the inevitable 'human error'. Maybe I have got the wrong end of the stick from this thread but is the idea in question to do away with verbal instruction and just follow lit pathways? If so I think the pitfalls are obvious.
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Old 16th Apr 2007, 16:55
  #52 (permalink)  
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The AGLCS system of green light guidance at LGW is a great system safe and must not be scrapped. Already mentioned, it helps you find your way around complicated taxiways at major airports and may well have prevented accidents, had the system been in use in Milan etc. The authorities must not accede to those BA idiots. I believe even Boeing got so fed up with them wanting changes made to their aircaft specifications they were told you will get a standard spec' Boeing.
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Old 16th Apr 2007, 16:58
  #53 (permalink)  
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I departed LHR this morning and was held in the 'juliets' before taxi waiting for a BA 767 to park - no guidance.

On my return this afternoon I held for 15 minutes waiting for stand guidance. I called speedbird only to be told that dispatch are short of staff.

15 minutes blocking taxiway B because Willie has got rid of superfluous staff.

Do me a favour BA management, put your own house in order before blaming anyone else for your delays.

...and keep the lighting system HAL. I, too, have used Manchester - it's a right mess.
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Old 16th Apr 2007, 17:10
  #54 (permalink)  
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Not just safety

Having been based at LHR for 30 years, during which I operated to over 200 airports worldwide, I am very much in favour of the 'follow the greens' system. I might be thought to be, and probably am, biased by long familiarity. However, many of the points made on safety grounds are entirely valid. What may be less obvious is that the system also enhances the movement rate. During the period of bad weather in December LHR achieved movement rates with Low Vis Procedures in force of 28 to 30 per hour. There were howls of anguish at the delays and cancellations caused, how much worse they would have been without the greens. Even in good weather the movement rate is enhanced by their use because of reduced RT and fewer routing mistakes. Sure, the operator can get it wrong, that applies to any system. That being the case, the removal of a monitor is another poor move.
The size of LHR *is* relevant. As anyone who has operated there knows, LHR is in a permanent state of flux, particularly so with the advent of T5 and the massive changes to the taxiway system that involves. When that is complete the redevelopment of the Central Area will bring changes for many years to come. The confined space in which LHR operates requires that WIP areas are moved far more frequently than would be necessary were there more space for alternative routes. Even a pilot familiar with LHR can become confused by WIP. I have the T-shirt!
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Old 16th Apr 2007, 17:16
  #55 (permalink)  
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Thumbs up

Excellent posts!
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Old 16th Apr 2007, 17:54
  #56 (permalink)  
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Autobrake Low - you have got the wrong end of the stick. Reread the thread, no-one is advocating removing R/T instructions. The fact that the greens provide a visual back-up to taxiway instructions is a boon. A system which uses both to compliment each other is self-evidently safer than either one or the other alone. The suggestion by a Big Airline is that LHR/LGW revert to R/T-only procedures, to eliminate the occasional mistake which costs vital seconds of taxi time .

I suggest LGW based pilots raise this at the LGW/ATC open pilot forum on the 26/4. Details from your company.
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Old 16th Apr 2007, 18:02
  #57 (permalink)  
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Don't let BA wreck an excellent system which everyone else should copy.
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Old 16th Apr 2007, 18:15
  #58 (permalink)  
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The best system in the world. After 15 years flying into LHR i cant say i found anything better any where else. Hope it stays.

Dont change it
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Old 16th Apr 2007, 18:21
  #59 (permalink)  
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Good system - don't change it. We know what the BA managers want - I bet the BA pilots have a different view.
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Old 16th Apr 2007, 18:27
  #60 (permalink)  
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LHR is a big enough mess without removing one of its strongest assets. It is interesting the amount of times I have been operating through other major airports in low vis and commented on how it could be improved by copying lgw/ lhr lighting system.

Please keep it and ignore big airways, they have far too many silly ideas that tend to get implemented.
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