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T4 Shambles - 21 May 1400

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T4 Shambles - 21 May 1400

Old 27th May 2007, 10:00
  #81 (permalink)  
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As Gonzo says if there are a lot of aircraft waiting at the hold then not being ready gets hidden. However when there are only 6 or 7 there and the taxi time is under 10 minutes BA aircraft are often not ready. For example the 747s off the europier due to their short taxi time will not be ready, so you have to hold them somewhere in the acres of space we have available!
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Old 27th May 2007, 10:25
  #82 (permalink)  
 
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ok, am not tower rated so be gentle...

if a ba a/c reaches the hold with other a/c behind and he is not ready, can you not taxy him on and back off the runway to join the back of the queue again, or would this operationally be impractical. just a thought that it would cause ba non atc attributable operational delays ie money
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Old 27th May 2007, 10:32
  #83 (permalink)  
 
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Gonzo...
There's already talk of taking BA a/c north out of T5, then clockwise around E and to the back of the queue, giving you all a chance to be ready when you get to the hold.
"talk of" is probably not enough A number of ATCOs here have spoken of their "private" arrangements for dealing with BA... all very sensible and understandable but won't solve the problem.
However, when they become "public" rules, BA will have to take note Personally I like all the suggestons made here:
  • Leave us in the hold until we have a stand
  • Don't long push someone allowing a BA into a cul-de-sac since we will then stop short
  • Give us specific longer taxi routes, or send us to sin-bins, until we say we are ready
Your
I believe that the AIP EGLL section still states that if you're not going to be ready on reaching, you should tell us
When we get transferred to Twr are you saying you want us to call you and say "not ready"? As stated earlier, trouble is we just "monitor"... or maybe as we get transferred to Twr, tell Gnd ion the signoff call "by the way, we're not ready..."?
we do get the odd one who either accepts a line up, or marshalling instruction and then says 'errr, we're not ready'
Given our poor performance, it is not surprising then that all BA issues are put in the same box. Please be aware that there are quite a number of circumstances where we "are ready", accept line up etc., and then become "not ready" e.g technical problem / call from the back / message from Company. Safety must come first, and "pressure" to takeoff because of a punishment otherwise compromises this...
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Old 27th May 2007, 11:07
  #84 (permalink)  
 
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NoD,

When we get transferred to Twr are you saying you want us to call you and say "not ready"? As stated earlier, trouble is we just "monitor"... or maybe as we get transferred to Twr, tell Gnd ion the signoff call "by the way, we're not ready..."?
Personally, if you're approaching the clearance limit (HORKA/OSTER/ETTIV/S1N etc) and not ready I'd recommend a call to TWR to say: "we'll report ready" adding the reason if you feel able. Also similar if you're given marshalling. It's far better for us to know so that we can change the marshalling for you or those behind.

Given our poor performance, it is not surprising then that all BA issues are put in the same box. Please be aware that there are quite a number of circumstances where we "are ready", accept line up etc., and then become "not ready" e.g technical problem / call from the back / message from Company. Safety must come first, and "pressure" to takeoff because of a punishment otherwise compromises this...
Don't worry, this is known (believe me, we often get phone calls from Company too! - although it doesn't help if they tell us to urgently stop the BA306 from taking off as his loadsheet is wrong...and it turns out he's actually called BAW41Y ). I certainly do not put any pressure on anyone to take off by threatening a punishment, that's dangerous, and I would expect my colleagues to be the same. Just sharing info is all I'm after. The odd one who accepts a taxy up to SB1, for example, and then says that they're still awaiting figures really brs it up for those behind. I too have got into the habit of asking most BA (certainly all T4 on 27L) to report ready, meaning I lose even more control of the R/T.

And those who advocate taxying the 'offender' down the runway haven't thought it through....in most situations it will actually take more time and cause more delay. I don't think I've done it in all my time at LL.
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Old 27th May 2007, 12:32
  #85 (permalink)  
 
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Itll take a couple of years, but a BA manager will have the bright idea to close centralised load control and give all the "TRMs" a new title, "Aircraft Dispatcher" who will have a license and be able to finalise load sheets on stand and send them to the aircraft within 5 mins of doors closed......Wait a minute thats the system we used to have. Centralised Load Control is a complete joke as many other companies have realised to their cost and closed their departments. Its not just pilots that have to deal with this everyday, the rest of BA has to deal with it too, and unless we operate the systems and procedures as management intend, they will never change it back, or make the changes that will improve it, and merely expect us all to muddle throught and call it another success. A lot of the calls I hear over the VHF give the definate impression that there is a fair percentage of flight crew that have little comprehension of how the rest of the company operates, reagarding where are our final figures/who do we speak to get them?..no-one, CLC dont have VHF, why is the engineer taking so long to arrive? he is on another aircraft who also want to get going. where is our loading team? thanks to Single Line Allocation and changes in numbers in a team and single hold loading they are taking longer than before to unload/load another aircraft and often compound the problem, or do not join in and oppose decisions until it affects them directly - after the change has come to pass. Such as Single Line Allocation for the loaders, or CLC. Maybe a you should do a few days on the ground to see the shackles put on groundstaff by bad management decisions. Often we work shadow in other departments for understanding, it would be good if Flt Ops did the same.
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Old 27th May 2007, 19:44
  #86 (permalink)  
 
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NigelOnDraft

Just for some background, the idea of taxying North out of T5 and down Taxiway Echo for an 09R departure has been thrown up as necessary at certain times of day, according to computer modelling that NATS was asked to undertake (with a proposed schedule).

It would appear that when the airport gets busy it will not be possible to simply drop out of the bottom of T5 as it will impact on a/c trying to push off the bottom of the pier served gates. Notwithstanding this, at the moment LHR ATC have no confidence in BA a/c being fully ready on reaching and this is why they are talking of implementing this method all of the time, post T5.

BUT we have got 8 months to keep the pressure on BA management and make a concerted team effort to improve overall performance that will benefit BA and the airfield as a whole.

P7
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Old 27th May 2007, 21:56
  #87 (permalink)  
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[a passenger speaking]
The sequence of events that have led BA to this low level will be so long and tortuous that it will be nigh impossible to get back.

Modern 'management' makes lots of little changes and each builds (if that is the right word!) on the previous until the law of unintended consequences overwhelms the process.

Even without knowing the operation, I can guess that the orginating idea was to 'empower' lower levels of management. They would have been encouraged to 'take responsibility' and 'find solutions'. The solutions they found would have been good for them and their section/department but out of kiltre with everyone else, thus forcing problems externally on their neighbours in the chain of actions to get an a/c off and back. Each such section/department would, in it's turn be getting external pressure from their neighbours - but fail to understand that they were all upsetting each other. That is because the rush to sort out their problem took priority over the problem of getting a/c off and back.

Secondly, all of this is compounded by each section/department trying to save money in order to win gold stars from the accountants. The people at the top look at each component but lose sight -and more critically, lose control - of the whole process. The advantage of this is that the folks at the top no longer have respobsibility either and can fire people and escape the blame.

This fragmentation of business started in the mid 80s and accelerated in the 90s. Currently I see no stopping it. If you want another example, the present Labour govt have been attempting to run the country on the same basis for ten years - and it has not worked out too well.

Until the whole system grinds to a halt - nothing will change. The rest of the good people at EGLL and all the other users of the airport are currently subsidising BA. If they stop, the problem will be fixed BUT if they stop it will appear ot be their fault.
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Old 28th May 2007, 02:45
  #88 (permalink)  

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A lot of us worry what will happen when you're all coming out of T5 for 09R and have a 100m taxi!
This was the situation at the old HKG. The ramp and the threshold to R13 sat side by side. The solution then, and I am sure the solution will be, is to do all your checks, and get the cabin ready before we call for taxi.

Then again, who knows. I only fly 'em.
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Old 28th May 2007, 09:04
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I think my favourite T4 day was when we were late back (of course) from CDG. achieved a 40min flight time due no holding................to arrive into a 50 minute taxi from touchdown to on chox, due to general inability of the company to achieve anything.......no stand........given stand (occupied)......no guidance......marshalled on.......then had to wait for pax buses.
Fun times.
I genuinly feel sorry for anyone trying to connect with us thru LHR.
d2k



also my chief concern about T5 is when we are on the 09's, the queues often stretch well past the entry to the T5 apron........so will this not lead to us pushing off stand and then sitting still as the queue shuffles past.......therefore blocking inbound/outbounds on the t5 apron?

I hope it has a dual centreline at least (like MUC,CDG,FRA etc)
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Old 28th May 2007, 10:02
  #90 (permalink)  
 
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Itll take a couple of years, but a BA manager will have the bright idea to close centralised load control and give all the "TRMs" a new title, "Aircraft Dispatcher" who will have a license and be able to finalise load sheets on stand and send them to the aircraft within 5 mins of doors closed......Wait a minute thats the system we used to have
Aye, we used to have that system and that didn't work either. Countless are the minutes I've whiled away at the holding point calling Speedbird Dispatch to get the final figures. The only place on the network we get them within 5 minutes is at the outstations that are responsible for regional CLC. 5 minutes at Heathrow? Forget it!
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Old 28th May 2007, 10:14
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We're a sham - there's no thought for pax, airport operators, NATS or anyone else for that matter. Don't mistake that the line guys in any capacity at BA don't care deeply, it's just increasingly hard to push water uphill when the slope is steepening daily.
MrB
Oh and as a PS, I do wish some of my colleagues wouldn't lie to ATC to try and advantage themselves. We're not fully ready with holds open just because there's a 10 minute airfield delay. It's not airmanship and it certainly isn't professional.
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Old 28th May 2007, 10:20
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As an aside, a recent missive from management asked us all to remember that BA do many things well and not to focus on the fact that our LHR operation is a total shambles, so I guess even they have grasped the shocking state our home base is in.
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Old 28th May 2007, 11:02
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Just as a commentary, here was an experience on a BA A320 departure from T1 in the last few days.

STD 0955. At 0930 still no details shown on the departure board, then called to gate arriving there about 5 minutes later. Aircraft on stand and Gate Gourmet truck already servicing aircraft. On time departure looked just about achievable.

Sat waiting for 20 minutes until boarding commenced at 0955.

At 1010 baggage holds were opened and baggage loading commenced.


At 1015 skipper makes apologetic PA for delay ascribing it to “the aircraft having to be towed across from maintenance”. An evident inaccuracy as 1) It’s now 40 minutes since I saw the GG truck up against the aircraft 2) aircraft was on stand in time for on-time departure if everybody worked at it 3) Being brought across from maintenance is not a ‘reason’ for delay, something like No Tractor Organised In Time would be a ‘reason’ 4) What are all these tasks only just being started now ?

At 1035 door closed.

But here’s the rub. If the delay reason being put into the system is blamed on a late tow, that is obviously wrong. The gate was just not organised. We complain about how Waterworld are not on the job about the current difficulties but if they are fed inaccurate information then no wonder the wrong items get addressed.


You will also note that Easyjet would have had TWO Airbus in and out of a gate at Stansted, including catering, baggage, etc, in the time it took us to get organised (and of course as our aircraft had come across from maintenance there were no incoming pax to handle).

And so we arrived at St Petersburg, by no means the most well-equipped station on the network (BA use a handling agent) about 40 minutes late. All the handling staff were in place on the ramp, we zipped out and the baggage was delivered in a fraction of the time T1 takes to do it. How come ?
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Old 28th May 2007, 12:02
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Sounds like an aircraft change to me. If they had to tow it from the base, it needs security to do a deep security check when it arrives on stand. Cabin crew will hang around in the jetway until they have finished and will rightly refuse to do their security check until catering have finished, which is why it takes longer. Things definately need to improve but all is not as clear and simple as it may appear from the terminal windows.
Frankly I find it more impressive that when BA and other companies do get it right they can turn a 220 seat 777 or 299 seat 747 four classes with all the rubbish, blankets, wash kits, magazines that goes with that, dress the seats, 8 tonnes of catering alone to come off and on and all the freight, baggage and passengers off and on in in 90 mins while carrying out a daily engineering check and uplifting 100+ tonnes of fuel onboard. Than a wipe down 737 in 20 mins, no refuelling, no freight, no daily check and not much catering.

Last edited by PaulW; 28th May 2007 at 12:13.
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Old 30th May 2007, 14:17
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Most places other than Heathrow are quicker with ramp work, there is still a lot of demarcation going on on the ramp at some parts of LHR as far as I know which slows things down a lot.

Sounds like it will be fun for BA at T5 when 09R is used, I guess aircraft won't be able to queue down both A and B taxiways as it will block one end of the T5 taxiways for BA to get in and out.
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Old 30th May 2007, 17:23
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They will still queue on A and B south. T5 stuff will just take the long route around A and B north!
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Old 30th May 2007, 17:45
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Worst scenario?

If 09R is blocked for any reason - so single ops are necessary on 09L - is there sufficient space at the holds at 09L for all types of outbound traffic? or has T5 construction restricted the space available?
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Old 1st Jun 2007, 13:02
  #98 (permalink)  
 
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Breaking News!!! From long suffering BA SLF

Reports are coming in that the BA 1321 arrived at LHR on stand T1 5A within 1minute of scheduled arrival. Guidance system working, airbridge working, ground staff to open door, and passengers alighted almost on time.

A BA spokeman announced that an enquiry was to be set up to investigate why staff were behaving in a fashion likely to raise unrealistic expectations amongst PAX, thereby bringing the airline into disrepute.
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Old 1st Jun 2007, 13:10
  #99 (permalink)  
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Reports are coming in that the BA 1321 arrived at LHR on stand T1 5A within 1minute of scheduled arrival. Guidance system working, airbridge working, ground staff to open door, and passengers alighted almost on time.
Obviously a hoax.
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Old 1st Jun 2007, 15:58
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No restrictions for single runway 09L but they will depart in the order they arrive at the holding point.
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