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Standard of RT in USA

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Standard of RT in USA

Old 16th Jul 2013, 10:46
  #161 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: US
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Deefer the Dog wrote:
The point I am making is simply this. In the US the phraseology is completely non standard to that agreed in the convention and bears no relationship to any differences filed. Whichever way you look at it, and as painful as it may feel, your system of not complying with agreed conventions increases the likelihood of confusion, especially when operators whose native language is not English have to disseminate slang. Confusion in a busy ATC environment is not what any of us want.

Put simply, if you sign up and agree to a convention, why not honour it?
Deefer, let me ask you a question.

Is your real concern with safety or with the fact that we dare to do things a little differently and fail to "honor" the convention as you put it?

If its because we've got minds of our own and don't fear doing what works for us, I don't have much to say.

If its to do with safety then statistics clearly show that we are safe, real safe in fact.
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 11:27
  #162 (permalink)  
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Well Hell Man, I suppose you don't care about being SAFER, you don't care about taking advice from others who think about phraseology and it's impact on safety and mutual understanding and agree to it's use. You don't seem to care much at all, just so long as your free to make it up as you go along regardless of anyone else. So that's OK then.
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 12:05
  #163 (permalink)  
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Point is beardy, we are safe.

Its our non-conformist approach that seems to rile you limeys!
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 12:23
  #164 (permalink)  
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It's all ICAO's fault

But that was just an attention-getting device......
Anybody know if the substantive discourse within this thread also will be the subject of a panel discussion or more formal proceeding at the ICAO conference this fall? I do not mean to suggest that this thread per se would be (or even could be......or could it?) synched to the ICAO conf agenda; it just strikes me as reasonable to expect that such substantive matter or matters as (a) standardisation (with, or without, differences filed under the Convention); (b) determination of most appropriate safety metrics to be employed in assessing efficacy of specific ATC regimes in various nations and/or geographic regions thereof; (c) possibility of moving toward a more flexible concept of standardisation under ICAO so as to account for important differences in language, airports, and other factors; and (d) some means of integrating (i) driver objections to specific habits of ATC, assigned to particular approach airspace, in giving suboptimal (or, evidently, highly suboptimal) approach clearances with (ii) the over-arching question of standardisation of ATC language, all warrant a formal examination and deliberative process. Without delay. I'd be keen on taking that proceeding in, if it is on the slate. Any Delegates here?
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 12:57
  #165 (permalink)  
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Well Hell Man,

It's the non-standard I don't like. It adds nothing and since the likes of me have to pause and think "what did he/she really mean" it introduces elements of doubt. I say again, it adds nothing; it is neither more concise nor clearer: this begs the question why do it? Perhaps you have inadvetrantly answered this with the word non-conformist (rebellious, cowboy, unwillingness and inability to act as others do?) or would it possibly be through ignorance of procedures? (Not rhetorical)

If you are content with your safety record then why bother to improve it (rhetorical) why bother to be standard with anything. Just do what you want when you want and the rest of the aviation community will fit in around you. (Ironic)
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 13:05
  #166 (permalink)  
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I think the point is being missed entirely here; willy-waving about whose airport is better on which side of the pond is a boring side-track. As is debating regional differences such as "director call sign only". Even in the UK alone there are a myriad of different ways to skin the cat, whether it's Southampton insisting that we read back "next frequency when instructed Solent 120.225" with the clearance every single day (WTF indeed) or East Midlands wanting us to squawk ident on the approach frequency.

The important point is using standard phraseology spoken in a clear and concise way. This applies to all of us. Understanding that not everyone has the same command of the English language that you do, or do not have ears tuned to your accent, would go a long way to making sure all the players involved are aware of what is expected of them. It isn't just beneficial for the controller and immediate recipient, it aids the situational awareness of all other traffic on the frequency. It might just be the last line of defence in preventing someone lining up without clearance with another on a takeoff roll, for example.
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 13:21
  #167 (permalink)  
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Willow Run: experience has shown that when ICAO moves at sprint pace (and that doesn't happen that often) it takes about seven (yup SEVEN) years to get something adopted as a standard...and even then longer to for Individual States to implement the changes in their national ANO provided they don't decide to file a difference (or ignore the SARP altogether)...

I submit that the solution to this problem (and if the findings of recent IATA/IFALPA/IFATCA Phaseology survey are believed there IS a significant problem) lies more with national CAA/DGCAs actually implementing (and enforcing) the existing SARPs rather than trying push through new ones (at ICAOs blistering pace!)
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 15:08
  #168 (permalink)  
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Beardy, would you like to provide an example that you have personally experienced on this side where we have made things difficult for you to understand and which, as you say, has caused you to doubt?
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 15:09
  #169 (permalink)  
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Correct RT

Whilst there is a need for standardization, some local RT phraseology may be appropriate and could be included in specific Country Rules and Regulations (CRAR).
Some local terminology can reduced length of RT transmissions, include more meaningful replies and be more easily understood by controllers.

For example,
1/ Out of 29.7 for 30.0 as a replacement for Passing Flight Level 297 for Flight Level 300.
2/ Can you slow to 220? Answer is Affirm. Make it so.
3/ Charlie Charlie instead of Affirm.

Last edited by Capt Groper; 16th Jul 2013 at 15:10.
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 15:40
  #170 (permalink)  
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Dear Hell Man,

I am so sorry, I don't keep a record of the times I am confused by non-standard RT, I am normally too busy! Although I do operate to and from your country weekly.

I do find the area air traffic controllers to be, normally, quite good, terminal area radar controllers to be fine, runway controllers to be mostly OK although a little slapdash when overworked.

However, there seems to be a marked reluctance by pilots, at all times, to even read back, verbatim, what they have heard. Never mind phrase requests and reports correctly. There is always that element of non-conformity. The simplest of all is substituting OH for zero. Air traffickers ALWAYS say zero, pilots rarely do, it makes little difference most of the time, but neatly illustrates a certain obstinacy. There is no need for it to be so, after all they hear zero from ATC so ignorance is no excuse, why refuse to use it?
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 15:49
  #171 (permalink)  
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Fact 1: On any given day there is more airliners flying in North America than anywhere else in the world.
But we have more airspace than Europe.

Canada? Calgary to Edmonton would be considered a near miss.
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 16:00
  #172 (permalink)  
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I know I am getting old so forgive what may seem an obvious question, but here goes:

When I did my FAA ATPL and airbus type rating in Minneapolis, I don't recall having to sit an RT exam. Does my memory serve me well, one doesn't have to have RT training and an RT licence?

Just found my licence from FCC (not the FAA) but don't recall an exam in aviation terminology.

Last edited by beardy; 16th Jul 2013 at 16:44. Reason: Just remembered
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 16:20
  #173 (permalink)  
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RT license is required in the US.
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 16:24
  #174 (permalink)  
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We can't even agree to spell it the same way. What hope is there?
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 16:43
  #175 (permalink)  
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Put the steroides aside and don't make it so complicted.
1) English based RT for all professionals (it's a good exercise for every non native English speaker). Mixing RT languages will continue to cause problems
2) native english ATCO to non native guest: treat them as such. From the first contact you're able to judge what proficiency level you are dealing with. Leave your John Wayne and do some of your highschool english.
3) native english speaking pilots visiting: behave like a guest - same remedy.

Story time........This morning in a southern spanish fish market I visited, the probably poorly educated girl rattled something after handing over the order. Within a split second of seeing my puzzled face she repeated 'dosss EUROOO cciinnncuuentaaa'. Exchange was kept brief and a quick smile cleared me for a swift departure, the next client lining-up right behind me. She could have handled LAX/LHR/ORD any time
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 17:16
  #176 (permalink)  
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My submission has been pre-empted by the excellent post of Dibo. Just about sums it up.
I can only supplement by stressing that the use of Aviation English is paramount at airports with multiple nationalities on both ends of the mic. I work at a busy Asian hub and, while we are certainly not perfect, we require standard phraseologies at all times.
While controllers and pilots are supposedly operational Level 4 or above, standards vary dramatically.
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 17:34
  #177 (permalink)  
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To Hell Man, (and others who don't get the point of the thread),

This thread has NOTHING to do with who handles the most traffic, or who has the best safety record, or indeed who are the World's best Air Traffic Controllers! If you want to argue about these semantics, please start a separate thread and fight among yourselves until you are blue in the face, but please do not divert the thread away from its premise.

The ONLY point of the thread was to question why the vast majority of US operators and ATC operatives feel the need to make use of a completely different code of communicating when using RT than the rest of the World, and one that flies in the face of the Standards and Recommended Practices agreed by all ICAO Member States, including themselves.

If by now you don't understand the concept of ICAO, what its purpose is, who the members are, and how international agreements are decided upon, made and implemented, please read no further as you will never get the point I am trying to make here.

The unavoidable fact that many seem to miss here is that a committee including representatives of the US decided that standardization would be in the best interests of safety and the industry as a whole. They concluded that specific phraseology should be defined and used to direct traffic, and in doing so they created what are in effect SOPS for ATC and pilots. The sole purpose of standardizing the industry in this respect was to minimize the possibility of misunderstandings that could potentially lead to unsafe conflicts. Over time the SARPS have been amended - many of you will recall that we used to say "ready for take off" instead of today's "ready for departure," and in time I'm sure there will be more amendments incorporated as we learn from experiences (and phraseology) that lead to confusion. The point I am trying to make here is simple; ALL users of USA airspace need to understand what they and others are being instructed to do, just as US operators need to when flying outside of what may be their comfort zone.

If some of you still don't get it, consider how those of you in the US would feel if we in Europe started "tweaking" the way we light our airports. How about some of us choosing to use green centre line light bulbs if we run out of white ones, or just for the heck of it choose to space out the lights at different intervals, just because we can't be bothered to stick to the international agreements, or don't have the time during busy periods? Would you be confused, would it likely lead to a degradation of safety? Get my point? Well do you, Hell Man? So what possible argument do you have for discarding the internationally agreed SARPS in respect of ATC comms?

The argument put forward by some is just plain stupid, especially when talking about busy US hubs. Talking slang to a Chinese, Japanese or even Pikanese pilot is more likely to result in a request to "say again prease," if indeed its possible to get a word back in. Use of the correct phraseology in such cases will not only reduce misunderstandings, it will also expedite the traffic flow.

As for isolated instances of traffic conflicts, misheard comms, or simple cock ups, they serve no useful purpose in this thread. Pilots and controllers of all nations screw up from time to time. As the starter of the thread I would rather explore how we can all work together and make best use of the agreed standards, or, if some are to be believed, should we simply all go our own way and chat to each other in any way shape, form or language?

Standardizing ATC comms cannot be argued against, and its my opinion that the US needs to fall into line and follow the rules in the interests of IMPROVING on what is already their excellent safety record!

Last edited by deefer dog; 16th Jul 2013 at 17:45.
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 18:12
  #178 (permalink)  
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1) English based RT for all professionals (it's a good exercise for every non native English speaker). Mixing RT languages will continue to cause problems.
2) native english ATCO to non native guest: treat them as such. From the first contact you're able to judge what proficiency level you are dealing with.
3) native english speaking pilots visiting: behave like a guest - same remedy.
Brilliant. Someone buy this man a cigar.

Deefer: while I appreciate your sentiments (as noted, I had many pet peeves about standard R/T and in particular read backs) in general, the flavour of your OP was both of a wind up and a bash.
That is how your OP came off.
Not sure if that is what was intended.

To repeat, as I noted to Mary in re LaGuardia, it ain't just foreigners who have difficulty with that comms environment.

I seem to recall that the OP's origin was linked directly to Asiana mishap and the wide ranging discussion in that mega-thread.

I reject the insinuation that comms at SFO was the cause of the accident, or even a causal factor: (When the NTSB report goes final, we'll see if my view matches the investigators' views).

1. Aviate
2. Navigate
3. Communicate

Priority order, right? Pri 1 seems to have been missed.

Last edited by Lonewolf_50; 16th Jul 2013 at 18:16.
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 19:49
  #179 (permalink)  
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I'm sorry if you got the impression that the post was a "bash" or that I insinuated that RT comms was in any way connected to the recent mishap at SFO. I have no idea what caused that crash, and like you I will wait for the investigation to run its course.

What prompted me was the blank faces of F/O's I get fed up looking at when they are dumbfounded by instructions they are required to read back and adhere to when operating in the US. It doesn't happen in any of the other continents we fly through or into, (all of them except Australia which I have yet to visit), or any of the 50 odd DIFFERENT countries (and languages) that make up Europe.

I appreciate that to some extent at least you understand the problem. Please appreciate that I have a genuine reason for asking that you guys play according to the operating standards that, with very few exceptions, the rest of the world generally follow.

I have a feeling that I'm banging my head against a brick wall here; whichever way you slice it you know you guys don't comply in the main, and rather than try to defend the indefensible its perhaps easier to look at the post as a "bashing."

Consider it this way. As a global leaders in aviation, and as proud holders of an enviable safety record, do you not at least agree that the US should up its game in this respect, and at least try to adopt the principles and standards that you helped to design, and agreed to?

I know it won't happen overnight, but baby steps might help.
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 20:30
  #180 (permalink)  
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One can listen (live) to all ATC at JFK here. Just been listening to Approach for the past 10 mins while reading this thread - what I can say is that they sound very professional to me.

Well done USA!
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