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T4 Shambles - 21 May 1400

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T4 Shambles - 21 May 1400

Old 22nd May 2007, 13:05
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TB -
Some people just look for problems rather than solutions!
- the point is, you ain't going to get a solution to a BA problem here on PPRune.
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Old 22nd May 2007, 13:08
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Originally Posted by 747-436
Hopefully T5 will solve a lot of the problems but it will be running at full capacity for aircraft stands soon after BA move in to it.
Looking down on the T5 site from departing aircraft it seems that most if not all of the stands already completed before the terminal building are already pretty well occupied by parked aircraft all day long. So where will THEY go when T5 is opened for business and T2 is closed for demolition ?
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Old 22nd May 2007, 13:12
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It's been discussed before by LHR ATC, of a procedure where BA inbounds are left in the stack and any other airline can land.

Obviously not until fuel becomes critical, but give each BA inbound an extra 5 minutes (could be more) delay in the stack, thereby reducing the demands on the overworked and undersized number of red caps and keeping GMC flowing for all airport users. I wonder how much 5 minutes of stack fuel per inbound costs compared to the cost of 1 extra red cap per hour. Maybe then BA management will be able to get their thumb out of the proverbial!

Topbunk, our ops have approached BA BAA B&Q MI5, whoever it takes to get the stand guidance system sorted, but ultimately it comes down H&S at work and BAA can't authorise such a scheme.
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Old 22nd May 2007, 14:06
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bricks & praise

from an slf view (if I dare)
Mrs W.L. (who does not really enjoy air travel) travelled to LHR this weekend and got caught up in this Sun PM. The delay wasn't vast but she tells me what made it better was the commentary fron the F/D as to cause (lack of dispacher/tug/runway change - the earlier post about parking probably the cause) & progess - to that crew .

Also on the flight down in Fri the comment again from F/D to the effect "On landing we will be using reverse thrust - on this aircraft/type? it is rather noisy but normal" Again good customer communication
Won't give any info on destination etc in case some BA spy gets upset with staff telling customers the truth - a practice seemingly sadly lacking in the airline industry. Telling SLF the truth about delays and TECh problems that is!

Crews give yourselves pats on the back

Not forgetting ATC for trying to hold it together

Last edited by west lakes; 22nd May 2007 at 14:08. Reason: Forgot this
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Old 22nd May 2007, 14:44
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- the point is, you ain't going to get a solution to a BA problem here on PPRune.
Obviously not Mike, but then again you can't get an answer to a BA problen within BA either. In the meantime I suggested that as BA pilots we try to minimise the problems our (mis)management cause by moving as far forward as is prudent to ease congestion
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Old 22nd May 2007, 15:35
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to minimise the problems our (mis)management cause by moving as far forward as is prudent to ease congestion
Peter - the better answer, surely then, might be to remain on the taxiway, blocking other traffic until pressure on BA mounts to such an extent that they resource correctly? You are obviously free to manoeuvre your aircraft as you wish - partly or even all the way onto stand - without guidance, but I would not rely on my management backing me up if there is a whoopsie?

Yellow Snow - an amusing idea but it would only delay the congestion by the same amount
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Old 22nd May 2007, 16:00
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YS

in theory it might shake up BA, for a while, but it would make the DIR job a nightmare, especially at this time of year when you usually have a level or two blocked off in the stacks due to special flights.

Why should ATCOs and BA crews have to suffer for mis management? Unfortunately I doubt whether much will change in the future.
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Old 22nd May 2007, 17:10
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Grrr

I suggest that as BA are clogging up the works, they are costing you revenue. Therefore you should take out a claim for damages against the directors of BA to recover your losses.

I also suggest you hurry, in case they all end up in gaol.


I'll take on the competition anyday. It's my management I can't beat!
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Old 22nd May 2007, 17:54
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the better answer, surely then, might be to remain on the taxiway, blocking other traffic until pressure on BA mounts to such an extent that they resource correctly?
Obviously I have thought of that ... but I have discounted that in that it would require a concerted effort, and that would be hard to arrange. In the meantime I prefer to minimise the effect and to try to be professional and to help my fellow aviators, both within BA and outside [whilst at the same time removing any risk to myself].

When we move to T5, then my approach may well be different , as it will only be BA affected.
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Old 22nd May 2007, 17:57
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BOAC

the better answer, surely then, might be to remain on the taxiway, blocking other traffic until pressure on BA mounts to such an extent that they resource correctly
Not a better answer at all I don't think, unless its only BA aircraft that are being blocked.

As has been mentioned before, almost every other airline manages to get parked straight away (with the exception of BMI, SAA and other T1 operators who can't park due to BA equipment on the stand...yet another major problem!!) so blocking all other traffic penalises these airlines unfairly in my opinion.

As another ATCO who was working sun/mon afternoons, I also tried to maintain as much humour as possible (and yes it was me who littered the aircraft all over T1!!! It seemed like a good idea at the time) it was very, very irritating to finally get traffic pushed back from a stand which an inbound was waiting for, to work like a one-armed paper hangar, zig-zagging said inbound around everyone else waiting for a gate, only for them to get there and tell us the guidance wasn't on, hence blocking the outbound as well!!

A suitable alternative would've been to just get the outbound pushed and taxied out before bringing the inbound on, but as Yellow Snow has mentioned, the finite space at EGLL means this isn't possible as the minute you free up some space, its got to be taken by another who's stand is occupied!!!

My prefered solution would be to stop thinking about bloody profits and hire more despatchers (dispatchers?!?), but that would be too easy I suppose.

One thing I do wonder, however, is how long it'll be before the airfield operator finally bites the bullet and says "NO" to any further requests for leader vehicles to park aircraft!!

My sympathies to all the flight crew and pax!!

FB

p.s. have any of you guys noticed any kind of concerted go-slow from the tug drivers towing aircraft around the airfield??
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Old 22nd May 2007, 18:50
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Yep, they've been ona go-slow for the last two years, although my last departure was at a particularly tortoise-like pace.
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Old 22nd May 2007, 19:44
  #32 (permalink)  
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unless its only BA aircraft that are being blocked
- the whole idea is that it would block OTHER companies. Unless you understand the mentality of the BA managers you will not find a solution. Delays to BA a/c and pax do not matter to the accountants. The fares are paid. The staff will work that extra bit to make up the lost time. In my opinion, it is only by driving all the other operators to desperation that there will be a change.
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Old 22nd May 2007, 21:09
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I used to ask if there was a marshaller available and get him to park you on stand.
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Old 22nd May 2007, 21:45
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Delays to BA a/c and pax do not matter to the accountants
But surely then delays to any other carrier would be of even less consequence to them, if they don't even care about their own customers?!?

I personally would be inclined to do absolutely nothing other than provide the basic service for BA flights if it would get results and my actions were understood by crews. This would mean no more long pushes to let inbounds park, no more marshallers, no more multiple push backs etc and even not letting any inbounds taxi in until confirmation that guidance is on...but, and i'm glad to say this, my sense of professionalism and my desire to do everything I can to expedite every aircraft in and outbound (regardless of carrier) means that isn't going to happen.

Maybe HAL could start levvying charges for every aircraft that can't park, but then BA management would probably look to recover the costs from elsewhere!!!

I used to ask if there was a marshaller available and get him to park you on stand.
I've been saved untold amounts of hassle by the leader vehicles who do a fantastic job () but they have other things to do on the airfield and cant be running about all over the place switching on guidance. And from what I can gather even they're getting in short supply now, or so i understand?!?

The lights should be left on constantly, and if there's any concern about equipment on stand or anything else, then you ask for help. I would be very surprised if any crew simply turned onto a stand without checking if it was clear, whether the guidance was on or not!!!

FB
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Old 22nd May 2007, 22:47
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We used to be able to taxi on to stand with or without guidance.

The Health and Safety Police stopped that because we are obviously too stupid to notice obstructions when taxiing.

Data Protection and Health and Safety have become too all encompassing and used for things far beyond there original remit and to the detriment of common sense.
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Old 23rd May 2007, 00:44
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Got this e-mail the other day from a BA pilot friend of mine:-

Just starting a few days off thank god, the other day we had hour delays because BA introduced a new system on the buses (apparently abandoned now at significant cost!) and last night we landed to be number 8 for a dispatcher (and consequently stand guidance), marshaller kindly parked us after about 10 minutes of holding short and we then waited a further 20 minutes on stand for a dispatcher to arrive to put the jetty on! I pity the ground controller - as you might imagine LHR was slowly grinding to a halt with BA aircraft unable to park anywhere.
Aaaarrrggghhhh, rant over, keep taking the "it'll be allright in T5" pills!
I'm glad he has a 'GMC sense of humour'

I think as ATC we're lucky (relatively) we don't work for BA and have to put up with the cr@p every day all the time.

Incidentally, the Heathrow SATCO has a meeting with 5 or 6 senior BA managers at compass this Friday to 'discuss' the shambles they put the airfield in daily. I wonder how many false promises will be made.
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Old 23rd May 2007, 00:54
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No doubt countless promises, but you can be sure anything along the lines of "we will increase our resources" is a lie..
And since I was the cause of a major snarl up at T4 a couple of weeks back because of :
(a) no guidance, ( no dispatcher) and
(b) couldn't turn in to stop short 'cos then we would have had to shut down ( HSE and also no tugs), I wish the "SATCO" luck in sorting it out.
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Old 23rd May 2007, 03:23
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not getting any better is it ..

Not since the "new working procedures" for baggage handers in the run up to Christmas have I seen such a shambles as T4 last weekend.

Reading this thread I now see that our 52 mins taxi back from landing 27R to shutting down on stand at T4 was not particularly exceptional last weekend! Waiting remotely for a stand to become free is one thing; but waiting a few yards short of being fully parked for want of stand guidance/steps/buses is utterly wasteful of fuel and time. Many of our business customers are regulars, who witness the T4 shambles often enough to realise that the BA T4 handling problem is endemic. And our crews also deserve better after a long trip than all this waiting around, appeasing pax.

As my captain observed the only thing that changes is the order in which things don't happen! All we can do is to tell our passengers why they are having to wait, apologise and hope they appreciate our honesty; there are no acceptable excuses in these circumstances.

I've had a few days off and taken a few shuttles recently - 4 out of 6 delayed by about an hour. On Sunday the BA announcement at T1, Gate 5was more self-defeatingly honest than any of our PAs .. "a major shortage of despatchers"

Thankfully we finalise our numbers at the gate..joining a queue for takeoff only to not be ready for avoidable operational reasons must drive ATC up the wall.

Whatever happened to those then-trendy back-to-basics 90s initiatives "Total Quality" and "Performance Management" with it's theme of continuous improvement? How come the stats on the pareto charts aren't screaming from the projectors and daily/weekly/monthly reports?
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Old 23rd May 2007, 11:35
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Heathrow SATCO has a meeting with 5 or 6 senior BA managers at compass this Friday
I shouldn't hold your breath, Yellow. BA management are incapable of admitting error. Think Cybermen.

Have a better Friday, knock off early and go down the pub
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Old 23rd May 2007, 12:19
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As my captain observed the only thing that changes is the order in which things don't happen
Love that, George. Quality

I've got to admit, was doing 27L deps yesterday, quiet at the holding point. BAW239 to BOS pushes off 423 and is instructed to hold at S1N. I call them and ask them to report ready not expecting the call for 5-10 minutes!
I nearly fell off my seat when they said ready now (a 777 push from the Victors) I couldn't hide my surprise on the RT and jokingly asked if it was a manual demo, I think this might've been lost on the crew.

Anyhow, I thought I'd share a positive BA story!
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