Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Rumours & News
Reload this Page >

Urgent:all Pilots In/out Lhr/lgw

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

Urgent:all Pilots In/out Lhr/lgw

Old 16th Apr 2007, 09:28
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: LONDON England
Age: 51
Posts: 269
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Urgent:all Pilots In/out Lhr/lgw

Firstly may I ask the moderator NOT to move this thread as opinions of PILOTS is what I am looking for on a safety matter that MAY affect ALL pilots who operate into/out of LHR and LGW.

At LHR and LGW there MAY be some significant changes to the way aircraft are handled at night or in low visibility operations. At present LHR/LGW use a system called AGLCS whenever the Areodrome Ground Lighting is switched on . Basically this system means that instead of all GREEN routes on the taxiways being lit (ie ALL TAXIWAYS, CUL-DE-SACS ETC) ALL the time and verbal "daylight " instructions being given , we can change the taxiway lighting so as to guide aircraft around each other , around obstructions , into the correct cul-de-sacs, towards the correct runway for departure or runway crossings. This job is done by the Lighting Operator, a specialist position who works directly with the GMC controller. It takes a long time to train them up as they learn all sorts of tricks to help keep traffic moving when traffic loadings are high. They are also a second pair of eyes and ears, watching and listening to ensure readbacks are correct and aircraft follow instructions or the routes they are given. Effectively they are a GMC specialist as that is ALL they do. Even during the day their job is to monitor GMC and be that second pair of eyes and ears, liase with the BAA/HAL to get leader vehicles etc etc.

Most airports in the world use the fixed green light system, with stop bars only being in place to guard runways.

It has come to light that BRITISH AIRWAYS want to change this system, one that a lot of pilots like as it is simple and keeps RT to a MINIMUM(it can be difficult to get a word in edgeways sometimes). Visiting pilots from other countries like it and describe it as "SUPER " OR "NEAT". BRITISH AIRWAYS asked for a meeting with the BAA/HAL to discuss a fixed system of greens. Their reasons are; to avoid having to CROSS stopbars, ALL other airports manage ok with the fixed system, and they were not happy in NOVEMBER when a Lighting Operator shortage delayed aircraft.
I want your opinions on the Switcheable REDS AND GREENS at LHR and LGW. Do you like them or do you not care? Remember LHR is 3 TIMES SMALLER than CDG but handles the same level of traffic upwards of 90 movements an hour ( not including towing movements which easily push movements handled over 100/hour). This is accomplished on such a SMALL airport( reletive to american or major european airports.) LHR IS SMALL in tterms of area but is complex with over two hundred parking stands.
Lastly two things to think about. First remember the citation that entered the wrong runway in MILAN and collided with an SAS aircraft. ALL the routes were green. VERBAL instructions were given and MISUNDERSTOOD. With switchable system this could have been prevented as NO GREENS would have been lit onthat particular route. Second remember the SIA that departed the WRONG runway in TAIWAN. Again ALL green routes lit. Misunderstood verbal instructions and took off hitting diggers on aclosed runway. NO GREEN route would have been lit leading to that runway if a SWICHEABLE system was in place.

Let me know what you think of LHR and LGW systems of switcheable GREENS and REDS.
autothrottle is offline  
Old 16th Apr 2007, 09:53
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Down South
Posts: 20
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Not operated in your neck of the woods, but have seen a similar system in use in Singapore and 'I like it!'. These sort of systems add to safety and that gets my vote. What is the issue with the stop bars?
Envoy604 is offline  
Old 16th Apr 2007, 09:56
  #3 (permalink)  

Grandpa Aerotart
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SWP
Posts: 4,618
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think it is SUPER.

Surely this system is current worlds best practice...with runway incursions on the rise why **** with it?

It always bemuses me that LHR works so well...when it looks like it was built (words like planned/designed just don't apply) by a retard.
Chimbu chuckles is offline  
Old 16th Apr 2007, 09:57
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: under the sea
Posts: 2,728
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think the system at LGW is good and I would be disappointed if it changed.MAN does not have it and I always find it very confusing taxi-ing around there on a wet night.
tubby linton is offline  
Old 16th Apr 2007, 09:58
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: London,England
Posts: 1,356
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I know that I am in the minority (as the topic has been aired before) but I dislike the system. Great for the 2 days a year when you can't see the taxiways because of fog but a pain at any other time. In the bin please.
Max Angle is offline  
Old 16th Apr 2007, 10:00
  #6 (permalink)  

Grandpa Aerotart
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SWP
Posts: 4,618
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
MA why is it a pain 'at other times'?
Chimbu chuckles is offline  
Old 16th Apr 2007, 10:00
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Belgium
Age: 45
Posts: 24
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
first time i flew in to london heathrow was at night, i really liked the moving lights .. we don't have many flights into heathrow, most of them are codeshared and operated by BAW, so it really reduces workload of finding your way around .. in three months time i have only been once to heathrow so for us who do not know the airport very well, it's a great system ..
LeFreak is offline  
Old 16th Apr 2007, 10:01
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: The West
Posts: 75
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Cool

I'm Lhr based (longhaul)and I would say it's the best system in the world and has saved many from coming a cropper.. it has to stay
islandhopper is offline  
Old 16th Apr 2007, 10:14
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: uk
Posts: 549
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The issue would appear to be that on one occasion a failure of the stop bar system caused delays. Sadly, the be all and end all of certain sections of the industry (or rather certain people within the industry) is the Holy Grail of On Time Departures. We get endless missives on the subject and there endless league tables. Outside of the industry (Flight Internationals accident reviews)I have yet to see a "league table" on safety. Apparently it forms a major decision making factor in the mind of the travelling public as to whether one operator has an average delay 0.1 minute less than another. The issue of how that better on time performance was achieved gets quietly ignored as does the fact that another 6 seconds of eternity makes the cube root of cock all difference should the wrong corner be cut!
I heard a great analogy to this the other day: "You need a hip replacement but the NHS can't do it until next year. However, we can get you done in Outerthirdworldwartorngrotspot by an unqualified carpenter tomorrow". No sane person would chose a surgery provider on that basis so why do they chose a flight provider on a similar basis?
So, back to stop bars. I've seen both the all green and the stop bar systems. From a purely personal viewpoint there is no great difference by day but at night or in LVP, at a busy, unfamiliar airport it cuts down on workload and increases situational awareness. Granted, perhaps not by a huge amount but why remove anything that adds even a little safety, especcially on such a half baked premise as "it fails occassionally and has caused a delay in the past"?
Yet another statistician with no background in Ops grasping at tagets who needs boning in on "If you think safety is expensive, try having an accident"?
yeoman is offline  
Old 16th Apr 2007, 10:17
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 2,312
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The system works very well at LGW and is a high value safety factor at that airport. It not only provides for ease of use, but in effect provides a secondary set of instructions where any discrepancies can be highlighted ( excuse the pun) and questioned. The system shows the intended initial routes off the runway exits thereby assisiting in reduced blockages during periods of high R/T useage.

The system is clear and easy to follow compared with the often confusing mess at Manchester where such a system is not employed.

Don't get rid of it !
Bealzebub is offline  
Old 16th Apr 2007, 10:18
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 6,375
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Operated in and out of LHR for nearly 20 years (Longhaul) and I lagree that is probably the best system in the World.
wiggy is offline  
Old 16th Apr 2007, 10:25
  #12 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: LONDON England
Age: 51
Posts: 269
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Envoy604,

Thanks for the reply. I have to say I am not sure about the stop bar issue. They hold traffic in position for a variety of reasons like opposite direction traffic , outbound traffic from cul-de-sacs or inbound, allowing traffic to safely vacate ahead of other traffic on taxiways adjacent to runways AND also gaurantee wing tip clearance, if you stay behind the bar you will be clear of other traffic. They do have a reason for being there so I can't see how removing them will do anything other than erode safety. Its NOT ALL about runway incursions, collisions can happen on taxiways as well.

Most crews who come up to visit ATC like it, as it reduces heads down time looking at charts and 99.9 % of the time if the pilots follow it , it massively reduces RT which can REALLY slow thing down if you can't get in on the RT. It also removes ambiguity about exactly where an aircraft should hold as marker boards can be confusing...take a look at the route ALPHA-MIKE-UNIFORM or ALPHA-MIKE-HOLD SHORT OF ALPHA. Not easy to find...follow the GREENS and STOP at the BAR and we will get you there!
autothrottle is offline  
Old 16th Apr 2007, 10:25
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: UK
Posts: 365
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It works.
It works WELL.

Don't change it.

My first flying job involved a night mail run into LGW, and it made getting about a doddle. Daytime by contrast was an absolute nightmare.

Now I'm LHR based and really like the reds and greens. The only snag I've had was when an inexperienced lights operator removed the runway exit lights just before we got there, and the tower gave me a bo*****ing for not coming off fast enough and nearly sending the next guy around. However a swift apology, plus explanation was given by ground. All in all its so much easier to use than trying to look for taxyway markings on a wet night. And when the frequency is rally busy, it keeps you moving, without guessing or adding to the chatter.

KEEP IT
Nubboy is offline  
Old 16th Apr 2007, 10:27
  #14 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: LONDON England
Age: 51
Posts: 269
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks everyone for the replies , very interesting ...keep them coming ...it might help?!
autothrottle is offline  
Old 16th Apr 2007, 10:30
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: venus
Posts: 82
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Used it for many years - a really good system with no faults as far as I can see. Please leave well alone.

If British [email protected]@dy Airways wants it changed, kindly inform them that they don't own the airfield, they are merely users and must abide by the same set of rules that govern everybody else.

I would be willing to bet that, should the system not be installed, one of their bright sparks would have seen it in operation in Singapore and there would be a great cry of " We want it here", from the same source.

LEAVE IT ALONE, please.
oscarh is offline  
Old 16th Apr 2007, 10:32
  #16 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: LONDON England
Age: 51
Posts: 269
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I like it Oscarh!!!!
autothrottle is offline  
Old 16th Apr 2007, 10:41
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: SE UK
Posts: 199
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
based at lhr with ba and i think its blooming brill. causing delays? yeh maybe a couple of seconds if they forget to drop the reds for you but thats gotta be it?

I can't see how the company want lhr to ditch the lights, what was the source?

d2k
and yeh, we are only users so should be told where to go.
Dozza2k is offline  
Old 16th Apr 2007, 10:48
  #18 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: LONDON England
Age: 51
Posts: 269
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
No big secret...BA want to raise it with BAA/HAL at next meeting.
autothrottle is offline  
Old 16th Apr 2007, 10:54
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Preferably on terra firma.
Posts: 746
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
No doubt at all that the system has prevented taxyway conflict/near collisions and runway incursions in the past. It adds that level of safety which, late at night (LGW), when you are completely exhausted, gives you a great deal of comfort. On the down side one could argue that pilots have too much faith in the system and therefore they relax too much during the taxy phase but I feel that the advantages far out way this.

The occasion when the GMC operator is slightly slow to respond to changing the sequence and an aircraft encounters an unneccessary stop-bar is easily rectified within seconds by a gentle enquiry and a little patience!

Far better than writing of two hulls!
Man Flex is offline  
Old 16th Apr 2007, 10:57
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 243
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
DON'T CHANGE IT... Everywhere should have it!!
Smudger is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.