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Spanish ATC

Old 19th Jul 2003, 06:35
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Spanish ATC

Does this sound familiar?
First to the holding point, 24R, PMI, slot pending.
Imagine my suprise when an A320, with an orange and yellow tail, taxi's around us and departs!
Then even more strangely, TWO DHC-8' (same colour tails ) appear from somewhere and go. We then line up and wait for the DHC's to clear, now at slot plus 12 minutes.

Is it only me who finds this frustrating.

A level playing field?
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Old 20th Jul 2003, 00:15
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Yeah I had a similar incident with the Lisbon controllers going into Funchal. At about FL300 slowed us to min speed then brought in a Portugese B737 from 40 miles BEHIND us. He landed in front of us. It is very frustrating.
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Old 20th Jul 2003, 01:06
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Gentlemen,

Just as you get on your high horses when non-pilots speculate about pilot matters, let me ask you not to do the same re ATC. Not having the FACTS at hand I can't comment on your particular cases. However, I can tell you that I often see BA and BD a/c apparently jumping the queue at LHR, LH at FRA, KLM at AMS etc etc!!! It has absolutely NOTHING to do with favouritism. You need to be aware of the many factors that dictate departure and arrival sequences.

Don't get paranoid boys!

Last edited by Avman; 20th Jul 2003 at 01:25.
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Old 20th Jul 2003, 02:22
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Avman, try coming to the Canaries and see how many times you have to bring a jet back to 220Kts whilst still well above 10,000ft or take major heading changes to let the Binter ATR get in ahead. I have often, politely, asked the question why, when we could have continued at normal speed and landed and cleared the runway before he even crawls in to finals and never received a sensible answer. I'm afraid the previous posters are right, it IS often simply a case of blatant nationalism for arrivals and departures, the Spanish being the worst offenders in Europe.
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Old 20th Jul 2003, 04:10
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The Spanish can be accused of favoritism sometimes, but not always, and it does vary with the location.

Two weeks ago,on one of the busiest days in the year for Ibiza I flew Palma to Ibiza twice there and back dropping friends off, and on the first approach I was vectored to a 5 mile final for R24 for practice on the ILS, and found two Iberia airbuses, a TUI and a condor at the holding point.

I was in an flying club Archer, and the tower as normal were very friendly, and we were communicating in english rather than spanish which I use at Palma to oil the cogs a bit. If you rush them in quick english and fail to be super friendly, ten yes, they have been known to bump foreign tails little. Hardly what you want to hear after the long hours you guys do, but at PMI especially they like it slow and friendly.

I imagine, though, the Spanish tails might be feeling the same outside their own airspace.

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Old 20th Jul 2003, 06:00
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AVMAN - You have no idea how bad the Spanish are for blatently giving priority to Iberia. I reckon Malaga is the worst place for it.
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Old 20th Jul 2003, 06:19
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Thumbs down

Avman, I am afraid in this instance you are so far off the mark itís not funny!

Iíll be a bit more specific about my complaints rather than including all of Spanish ATC. Possibly I have been into the following places more often than a lot of other Spanish destinations but, letís get this on record. For years now, the standard of ATC displayed, at very regular intervals, at the following airports, is an absolute embarrassment to your profession. I include the approach control for LPA, TFS, PMI, IBZ, AGP and GRO.

Approaching each of these airports I have on many occasions been the recipient of the instruction to reduce speed from as far away as 70 miles on one occasion (from 320 kts to 270, 250 and finally 220 while still 30 miles from the airport), in order to allow some little Binter turboprop to get on the ground in front of our 767. As Scallywag intimated, in almost every case, if we had been allowed to follow our normal profile of approach we would not only have landed without hindering said Binter, we would have been parked and offloading our passengers before he reached short finals.

This is not an exaggeration. It has to be seen to be believed I know, but it is seen every single day by every foreign operator into these, and possibly other Spanish, airports. As I said, these guys are a total embarrassment to the ATC profession, plain and simple. Some of the controlling I have seen by them would simply not be believed by people such as yourself Avman.

To the west I have landed at LAS and to the east at AKL and numerous places in between. I have never, ever come across controlling even remotely as blatantly nationalistic as seen in the environs of the above airports. The cost in wasted fuel alone must be incredible. One thing that has to be said though, is that the pilots of said turboprops are usually just as culpable and as big an embarrassment to our profession!

BTW Anchorman, sorry but you really do not know what we are talking about. Getting bypassed or held on taxi is the very least of the problems these comedians give us.

Has anybody got any ideas about how to get this to change?
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Old 20th Jul 2003, 07:09
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If it's as blatant and frequent as you suggest, it shouldn't be too difficult to prove. Ask your IFALPA representatives to raise the matter with IFATCA.
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Old 20th Jul 2003, 10:49
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Without wanting to comment on the specifics of any of the cases mentioned, some factors need to be considered:[list=1][*]Your position inn the sequence is dependant on more than just the one aircraft immediately preceding you.[*]Departure order is dependant on more than just who is ready and at the holding point first.[*]At any location, there is a better than even chance that you will be following an aircraft belonging to the local/national carrier.[*]The easiest way for ATC to sequence traffic is to follow the 'natural' sequence. Anything else is just too much work.[*]Formal complaints may achieve results. A carton of beer is quicker and more effective. [/list=1]
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Old 20th Jul 2003, 19:57
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I already heard that kind of remarks about Spain, but I've never had the chance to ask a spanish ATC about that.
I just want to say that we (ATC) sometimes consider the company nationality to work. But nothing to do with discrimination!!!
For exemple I presume that an Air Algerie or Europ airpost pilot will keep max speed to the final while a BA pilot will reduce to 180kts 30 miles north of the airport ! :-) . I know quite surely the kind of visual approach an Air France Pilot will perform..and so on...
Considering that , we sometimes make a difference regarding nationality, and it could be misunderstood by pilots....
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Old 21st Jul 2003, 02:23
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If you think Spain is bad you should try Turkey! Try going in the hold at FL220 to let 4 Turkish 737s aircraft 50 miles behind overtake you.
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Old 21st Jul 2003, 06:14
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To Mr. John Boeman (or have I got to call you Sir),
For your words I recomend to buy "your" own airport to use "your" 767 without pain. The speeds you state are appropiate in situations of heavy traffic in order to avoid holdings in the IAF and, therefore, save "your" fuel. After almost 30 years on the job I feel very proud of it and satisfied every time I come home after a heavy working day.

To unwiseowl,
your opinion is just like your nick, unwise.

To Eff Oh,
How did you know the portuguese was 40 nm behind you?. Unbelievable.

Avman said: " It has absolutely NOTHING to do with favouritism. You need to be aware of the many factors that dictate departure and arrival sequences". Agree 100%, and the controllers is the only one who knows and manage these factors.

Four Seven Eleven's 5 points are very accurate, especially nļ5.

Fortunately not every opinion on spanish ATC is negative (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthr...threadid=93111).

Enjoy the summer wherever you are.
Regards
Pako
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Old 21st Jul 2003, 06:35
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priscilla,
can you direct me to the appropiate icao document that allows for sequencing based on a continental tendency to fly split arsed approaches with hundreds of people in the back who are expecting the safest option , ie conservative handling in normal operations.Its a tendency that starts in belgium and get worse the deeper into eurasia you get.i like to fly visuals but not under pressure, and ther is a time and a place to practice what should be a motor skill.what a shame we all have to share the same licence now.

as an aside
following two pests were not given priority.
a recent incident at kos where a german ac arrived out of the blue demanding to change the sequence (he was no 4) as he was on final and promised by athens, was given short shrift by the controller . the pilot then got up early the next week and got his towel on the runway first. not sure if the same would have happened for olympic.hmmm.

also a (uk) eac 737 operating domestics to mahon is just a big a pain with his constant demands for straight in, visual,whats the other aircraft position? etc etc ad nauseam despite an audible queue of (already sequenced )inbounds of the same tribe. he wasted his time as the spanish controller gave him short shrift as well and we got an attack of drag.


looking forward to the usual abuse from the pprune followers.


p.s i know kos isnt i spain its in france
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Old 21st Jul 2003, 10:45
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Pakospain, you donít have to call me Sir or Mr.

I am really happy for you that you are so proud of your job and satisfied with your performance every day after work. So presumably you are not one of those guilty of the deeds I speak of. On the other hand it could be that you see nothing wrong in anything I described because you think it is normal and is the way things are handled in every country. I can assure you it is not (although Hand Solo has found someone similar in Turkey, I have to say it has not been my experience there).

You are correct that the speeds I mentioned are appropriate in situations of heavy traffic. They are damn well not appropriate to position one Air Nostrum Fokker in front of a 767. On the day in question (it was in fact Air Nostrum on that particular day and not a Binter), after following those speed instructions, we were directed overhead the airfield when our original route would have given us a 40 degree turn on to finals. As we approached the overhead (having listened to a lot of chatter in Spanish) there was our traffic, 1000í below and heading downwind for the runway we could have landed on minutes earlier. THERE WAS NO OTHER TRAFFIC. Is that quite clear?? None of the situations I described were in heavy traffic. If they were I would not have a problem.

And could you leave out the childish nonsense about ďmyĒ 767.
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Old 21st Jul 2003, 16:36
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Not just Spain/France/Turkey - I've been vectored 90 deg off course inbound Scandi for Nationals 30 miles behind!

A few years ago, with a valid EuroC slot ex MAD, waiting for start with slot 'cancelled' by MAD ATC due to 'airfield restrictions'. Fortunately our ground eng spoke Spanish and had a feed from delivery, and only 1 in 10 non-Spanish a/c were getting start clearance (some on our route). I was the only BA a/c (out of 4 delayed) there with HF. Also as luck would have it, a phone patch went STRAIGHT to the BA ATC liaison man who just happened to be in Flow Control at Maastricht and the MAD SATCO had a right earful from Eurocontrol.

UK ATC plays it ABSOLUTELY straight, as does UK with all things Euro, unlike some! Wouldn't it be ?'fun'? to have, say, a week, where London plays the game differently - and see how it feels both professionally and commercially? Anyone up for it?
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Old 21st Jul 2003, 18:17
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PAKOSPAIN
It was a thing called TCAS! On some B757s (and I'm sure other types) you can look behind you too. Still so unbeleaveable?
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Old 21st Jul 2003, 20:31
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Angry

I guess you haven't flown in Spanish airspace often then RTO?

I would cheerfully endorse all of the previous negative comments regarding the pi$$ poor nature of ATC in Spain. Parochial, stroppy and unhelpfull are the words that I would use to describe them. This is of course a generalisation, there are some good guys/girls out there - the approach controller at MAH the other week who had the outragous idea to let a 330kt 767 ahead of a 230kt turboprop who was 5 miles behind..... and for his trouble got a five minute harangue from senor turboprop.

Hopeless. 'kin hopeless.
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Old 21st Jul 2003, 23:31
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BOAC When you write if London were to ignore the rules for a bit etc etc ...Wouldn't that be fun.... I will take it as all UK and just remind you that not so long ago at my unit we recieved a missive on the effect that "slotbusting " had on our colleagues(overloads....straw that breaks the camels back) and that to do so would be deemed a diciplinary offence.The chances of me slotbusting are akin to satan travelling to work on a snowplough.Likewise the idea that I as an approach controller would endeavour to engineer a thirty mile catch up and overtake is equally ludicrous(the sectors must be HUGE in Spain).This job has enough hassle in it without you lot controlling on Tcas




Edited to say I am speaking ONLY about my bit of the UK
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Old 22nd Jul 2003, 00:43
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eastern - me suggest that?

Anyway, it would not be 'slotbusting' - I should have made it clearer - I was talking about 'sequencing' the inbounds. 'Fiddling' with t/off slots is certainly a n-no and I do NOT suggest THAT.

Is it a 'disciplinary' to put a UK 40 miles behind (and at a higher level) an Iberia inbound via BARLU ahead by 'sequencing'? Just a week...................
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Old 22nd Jul 2003, 04:14
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BOAC, just not cricket old chap!

Whenever Midland crews come up to the tower, they always lightheartedly complain about having to 'give way to the BA', and whenever BA crews come up they do the same about 'give way to the Midland'.......we take that as evidence we are doing something right!
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