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T4 Shambles - 21 May 1400

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T4 Shambles - 21 May 1400

Old 23rd May 2007, 11:21
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Thumbs down

The stand ground markings are pretty clear at LHR, IMHO. The issue of stand guidance seems to be a combination of vested interests, inertia and finger pointing.

I, for one, would be quite happy to taxy onto stand as it is easy to see if anything is infringing or not. As it's still MY fault if we hit something, even if the stand is supposedly checked obstruction-free, I would welcome the POWER to taxi on there myself as I'm already taking the RESPONSIBILITY.

This has a parallel in the ATIS instructions: "Pilots are to exercise caution at the holding points as wingtip clearance may not be assured". If we all put the brakes on until we got a marshaller, both going onto stand and down near the runway, the penny might finally drop.
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Old 23rd May 2007, 11:54
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Yellow Snow - I hope you may see more of this in the future. We are aware you guys are watching us and in the lack of anything concrete from the office, discussions about how we can speed things up are appearing in more and more of our pre flight briefings.

Elsewhere in the world ATC are less forgiving (for e.g. LAX get VERY cross as we have a bit of history blocking their entry points and will instruct us to taxy down the runway and rejoin the back of the queue if we cause delays), so my fleet are definitely trying to improve - though our addiction to PA's takes some overcoming......
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Old 23rd May 2007, 12:21
  #43 (permalink)  
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Fullwings, I think you are a brave man. Whilst I fully share you common sense and practical approach w.r.t taxi-ing onto an empty stand, if, and it's a big if, you do hit something you're screwed - you won't have a legal leg to stand on. HSE, lawyers, management will come own on you like a ton of bricks. If you're not going get a jet bridge anyway - why risk it? The world has gone completely mad, but if that's the way they want to play it then so be it.

I'm not prepared to risk my £XXXk per year because we now live in such a litigious/PC/HSE dominated/empire building/nanny state society.

I feel for fellow pilots and ATCO's at LHR. To put up with this $h*t day in day out is nothing short of scandelous. If it were down to me I would impose massive inbound restrictions on BA flights to LHR. If they only have the capacity to handle 30% of the inbounds then that's all they should be allowed to have on the ground. Simple - show the bean counters it's hurting and then watch things change. Or impose fines. How about £20/minute starting two minutes after the jet bridge is removed until you push. Or £50/minute for inbounds starting 10 minutes after landing?

The fact that other airlines get totally disadvantaged by "The Worlds Favourite" (only in their eyes/dreams) is also totally unacceptable. But in the tradition of British Senior management, no-one will actually address the problem or resign. Just let it all carry on and wait for your bonus or "promotion". If we drivers did our jobs then same way as these "managers" it would be bloody carnage - literally.

From the outside looking in it is totally obvious that BA management are totaly delusional. Just look at the history of high profile cock-ups over the last couple of years. Catering. Fog. Baggage being "lost/pilferred" for weeks. ADMITTING fuel surcharge fixing and now they practically bring LHR to a standstill on a regular basis with total disregard for all other users. BA deserve everything coming to them - arrogance will be duly rewarded. How the mighty have fallen.

Rant over.

A4

And now they want Iberia
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Old 23rd May 2007, 12:25
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....(for e.g. LAX get VERY cross as we have a bit of history blocking their entry points and will instruct us to taxy down the runway and rejoin the back of the queue if we cause delays)...
This is certainly nothing new for LAX.
Many years ago, as I sit waiting in the DC-6B for taxi instructions, here comes PanAmerican, in one of their brand new B747's...

PanAm; Clipper Two on ground.

Gnd: Good morning Clipper Two, taxi to the gate.

Pan Am: Ah...we're not sure where the gate is.

Gnd: I'm not sure either, Clipper Two. We have 3300 acres here, it must be somewhere.
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Old 23rd May 2007, 14:32
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Fullwings, I think you are a brave man. Whilst I fully share you common sense and practical approach w.r.t taxi-ing onto an empty stand, if, and it's a big if, you do hit something you're screwed - you won't have a legal leg to stand on. HSE, lawyers, management will come own on you like a ton of bricks...
I'll take that as a compliment! I wasn't suggesting going against the instructions of the BAA or my Company, just that if they left the guidance on permanently and said: "you decide if it's safe", I would be quite happy to take on that responsibility, along with everything else.

If it was a dark and stormy night or foggy or I wasn't quite sure about that baggage container... then of course, I'd wait until it was cleared up. I'm talking about when it's the stand equivalent of CAVOK - why sit there burning fuel?

There are 1,000,000 things you can do in life that might attract the attention of the HSE, lawyers, management and other bottom feeders; an extra one isn't going to make much of a difference. BTW, do you know of anyone who has gone to court over an incident? I thought that above a certain level of damage you got a management post...
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Old 23rd May 2007, 15:29
  #46 (permalink)  
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Fullwings - it was a compliment. Perhaps I've just been ground down to the point of unquestioning compliance -hope not or I'd better go and shoot myself!!!

Of course if BA got its act together then it wouldn't be an issue of discussion - you'd arrive at stand to be greeted by a smiling and happy ground crew with guidance and ground power awaiting you.

I'm not aware of anyone being taken to court either - yet. Although I'm sure there is a clause in my contract about wilful negligence and damage to company property. Lawyers would have a field day. (No disrespect FL).

A4
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Old 23rd May 2007, 15:48
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As humble slf I'm grateful to this thread for showing me who's to blame for the inevitable frustration on arrival at LHR / LGW due to no guidance / no jetway driver / 1hr+ waits for baggage or whatever. I'd been blaming BAA since things seem to be better at the other end of BA flights, but now I know who to complain to. And as luck would have it I got an email from BA today following up on a customer survey I completed on a recent flight, asking for feedback on the arrivals experience. Maybe if PAs made it clear whose fault these delays are there would be more customer complaints going to BA, which might have an impact.
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Old 23rd May 2007, 16:37
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Sadly the thought police prevent us telling you who is really to blame by letting it be known that anyone who speaks the truth may be disciplined for bringing BA into disrepute.
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Old 23rd May 2007, 18:27
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A few years ago a colleague, frustrated yet again by the non arrival of stairs at a semi remote stand at LHR made a impassioned PA, and included the MD's name and phone number as being the best person to complain to to.
An invitation to tea and biccies, without both, swiftly followed.
Keep whipping the troops til morale improves.
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Old 23rd May 2007, 22:33
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A4,

"Of course if BA got its act together then it wouldn't be an issue of discussion - you'd arrive at stand to be greeted by a smiling and happy ground crew with guidance and ground power awaiting you."

Jay-sus! That would need a Disney-size fairy tale to be accomplished. Apparently Terminal 5 is going to save us all from the ills of BA. Hallelujah! T5 may even be a cure for cancer!

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Old 23rd May 2007, 23:26
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Re the meeting between the SATCO and the BA Mgrs - I hope s/he reads them the riot act. I am proud to be a (SH)Pilot with BA but absolutely ashamed and embarressed with what we,as a company, are offering our customers at the moment - never mind the problems we are creating for other LHR users and Air Traffic. Our managers are delusional or ostrich like or both - they obviously have no concept of the chaos which occurs across LHR on a daily basis. I am sure we are losing customers (particularly the business traveller) at a rapid rate of knots, and if we continue as we are, will we be a viable concern come the much trumpetted move to the panacea which is T5?

I've worked the last 5 days and would like to offer my humble and grateful thanks to all the ATC chaps and chapessses for doing such a marvellous job in such difficult circumstances - particularly the GMCs - I could NOT do your jobs!!!!
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Old 24th May 2007, 07:43
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Hi Sid,

A huge number of LL ATCO's read this forum and I'm sure your comments and the positive attitude of your fellow flight crew on here won't go unnoticed.

In GMC terms you know it's going to wrong somewhere at multiple points during the day in both T1 and T4 (last night Kilos and bravo blocked for 10-15 minutes as SAA A346 towing onto 134 couldn't park due to BA equipment on the gate, delaying both outbounds and inbounds). This is just part and parcel of the job, and most of us enjoy the challenge.

If the magic of T5 happens and loads of umper lumpers appear with red caps, the job might get a bit boring..................
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Old 24th May 2007, 08:56
  #53 (permalink)  
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Yellow Snow - is it not oompa loompas?

By far and away the best comment on this whole debacle that is BA ground OPS at LHR was made by a BA 747 pilot yesterday to one of my collegues, he said "BA should be banned from Heathrow that would solve the problems". He was of course totally correct!

The new loadsheet system for the Airbus is also causing problems at the holding point, yesterday two different aircraft were at N1 without figures. But I only knew this when they were right at the front of the queue. Shame that BMI and Cathay were stuck behind them and could not get airborne despite being fully ready. I propose a BA holding point and then the other airlines at a separate holding point, that way they only stitch themselves up!
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Old 24th May 2007, 09:20
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Thinking of the various holding points where traffic can pass, why not restrict entry to a choke point until the aircraft is ready to roll?

Or is it not that simple?
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Old 24th May 2007, 09:21
  #55 (permalink)  
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Keep the bean counters confused

As one who was on the edge of this can I offer a suggestion. It worked in the large utility Company that I work for, run by bean counters.
Yes passengers are p*****d off, Staff are frustrated, ATCO's are tearing hair out.
All the bean counters are interested in a £ beans, the thought of customers doesn't worry them - they don't have to deal with them.
We had an issuie with a third party causing lots of customer complaints, all our comments on breeches of SOP's safety breeches etc. got lost in the corporate mill.
Until that is we put a price on it, a collegue mentioned the "cost" at a meeting that led to a senior bean counter seeking me out to find out what's the cost, scribbled some figures (mainly ones they quote us to get us to work harder!!) on a piece of paper and he went away. Shock Horror the problem was dealt with in very short time.

So how to do it.

Looking at previous posts at one time 7 a/c were sitting on 09 extension for over an hour, I assume they had at least 1 engine running.
Posts on another tread suggest that fuel consumption for one of the airbus types, on idle, is 280kg/hr. I am sure you know the figures for the types you are current on.
From another forum jet fuel costs about 35p/litre.
From google fuel weighs about 817g per litre (I am sure you know the exact figures).
So 280Kg fuel is about 342l at 35p/l is £119 times 7 a/c is about £839.
For just 7 a/c once per week thats £43662 per annum
Work that out for all delay over what should be the norm and hit the bean counters with that!
If you aint BA hit your bean counters who may just get a bit peeved with BA for whats its costing.
Everyone then justs to keep operating within the rules and racking the cost up.
ATC I am sure can give info on delay but fly_bhoy's littering of a/c around T1 helps increase the costs!
Hope this helps - it worked for me even though I was only talking of about £25k
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Old 24th May 2007, 10:40
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OK so the dream is that things will be better when T5 comes on line. Why is this?

BA will still have the same number flights, the same number of ground staff and the same equipment inventory to handle those flights. Surely the hold ups will just be moved to elsewhere on the airport. You might not have to park on remote stands anymore but the guidance will still be off for half the time for the same old logistical reasons. The load sheets will still be delivered by ACARS” and eventually T5 will fill up so there will be the same old pressure to leave the stand before this is delivered to the flight crew.

My apologies if I am missing something here but speaking as a passenger, (If I am allowed to speak in this forum) who long ago gave up on flying through Heathrow, I would love to know the answers to these questions.
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Old 24th May 2007, 10:49
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Aaaah but you are missing something!!!! T5 is already full and planning on extensive remote stand usage and it's not even open yet! If the situation was only as bad as your prediction I think we'd be quite relieved!

Never mind, T5 and a stubborn refusal to look facts in the face will solve it all!
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Old 24th May 2007, 11:01
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For just 7 a/c once per week thats £43662 per annum
- for heaven's sake! Don't let the beancounters see that figure. They will shed more dispatchers.
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Old 24th May 2007, 11:28
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For just 7 a/c once per week thats £43662 per annum
To that you need to add the duty hours lost by the crew
The opportunity cost of customers shunning BA & LL for the smaller airports and LoCos(costs BA & BAA)
The opportunity cost of the delays to other BA flights (other aicraft, and delays to the next sector on those aircraft)

There are probably other costs, less tangible perhaps, that I have missed

I am ex-mil, PPL and regular SLF and have all but shunned Heathrow for this very reason. It doesn't take very long after landing to be disembarking at Luton, Stansted, BHX and East Mids that I use instead.

I am using BA from LL in July for a holiday, so am not looking forward to the return trip! If a delay does occur, I will make sure that feedback is given to the appropriate quarter!

Thanks for the insight chaps
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Old 24th May 2007, 15:14
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- for heaven's sake! Don't let the beancounters see that figure. They will shed more dispatchers

that's the difficult bit getting at the beancounters above the beancounters that used their creative accounting skills to convince those above it was a good idea in the first place
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