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UK APP Controller Limits


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Andy, I just said in my previous post that your question was a fair one and that I would go and find out the answer! I will post the answer as soon as I get it. If you want to use my response as a reason for another grumble so be it.

 

You may not have raised a complaint on this thread, but Jason most certainly did. I will only action complaints about individual controllers if I receive an e-mail giving me the details of date, individual concerned and the issue. If any action needs to be taken, then I will do so, but not until then.

 

I too like the idea of Confidential Reporting, and would be interested to know what other people think. I would agree with Rob that it would have to be factual, not opinions or whinging (you would be amazed how many complaints we get that sound as if the writer has a personal grudge). It would be confidential, but in my view it couldn't be entirely anonymous, otherwise it could be easily abused - perhaps the identity of the reporter should only be identifiable to the DCRM or someone equally senior.

 

I have no problem with people bringing up issues, but what I do have a problem with is when a thread gets turned into yet another slanging match.

Ruth McTighe

Heathrow Director, Essex Radar, Thames Radar, London Information

[Mod - Happy Thoughts]t webmistress CIX VFR Club http://www.cixvfrclub.org.uk/

Webmistress Plan-G http://www.tasoftware.co.uk/

Now not a VATanything

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Jason, I suggest you read the thread again. The issue is about which airports a specific APP can control - many APP controllers are responsible for more than one airport. What you do on TWR is covered by a completely different set of rules, as I'm sure you know well. Please don't try to side-track the original point that Andy was making.

Ruth McTighe

Heathrow Director, Essex Radar, Thames Radar, London Information

[Mod - Happy Thoughts]t webmistress CIX VFR Club http://www.cixvfrclub.org.uk/

Webmistress Plan-G http://www.tasoftware.co.uk/

Now not a VATanything

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I remember the thread you list - from memory, most of the postings went a long way to praising individuals as opposed to attacking them. The primary issue being discussed

 

ROBERT

I suggest then that you go back to the thread and read the first post again. Is it a question or a complaint ?

 

If I were to have to follow the labelling of this thread as a complaint made by the staff member, then the thread started by the member in the link that I provided would have to be labelled the same.

 

Did you see the same staff member who ripped into Andy King on this thread do the same ?

 

I have said previously that we all interpret things differently, and further to this as you have pointed out earlier, we are also not of the same calibre when it comes to the use of the correct phraseology and in the use of grammar, that is something that we all personally live with and others have to bear and should make allowances for.

 

If I may be allowed to draw my own conclusion, If the staff member has labelled the initial post in this thread a complaint, which is so, then the thread that I pointed out to you in my own opinion should have also been tagged the same.

 

I did not see this transpire on the other thread, therefore the only conclusion that I am able to draw is that depending on who you are, will determine on how other people will read your posts and respond to them.

 

The fact of the matter in reality Robert, is that Mr King then as staff, in my own opinion should have been supported by his fellow staff members and not left to hang and dry by the posting of a public complaint. Where was the complaints procedure then? Where were the posts on this occasion from the same staff member ?, it all appears very suspicious to me, but that is what it is all about, we all see things in a different light and obviously again it all depends on who you are which will determine how other people see your posts, either as complaints or questions.

 

In conclusion, I do know for a fact that Andy King did not want to enter a complaints procedure about this event. I have also heard this happening frequently over the past three months nor did I want to enter any complaints procedure. The topic was raised again purely as an attempt to set the wheels in motion and obtain a definitive answer.

 

I honestly thought that someone bringing up the subject again, would have prompted a response in the form of an answer and then for the ACC manager to be informed of the fact that there was some confusion of responsibilities amongst some of the ACC controllers. He/She then would be able to deal with that in-house and point the controllers in the right direction, nobody suspended, nobody reprimanded and nobody offended.

 

But no, almost every time a subject is brought up, its “use this procedureâ€

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Since I am a long standing member of the UK division who also happens to hold a senior rating, I'd like to add my perspective to this thread.

 

Andy, Dan, Jason:

 

You know that I have always had respect for the work you put into the training machinery at EGNR. However, I cannot help but agree with the viewpoint expressed by certain others that by starting posts such as this you deliberately and unnecessarily create an air of friction which need not be present when discussing the actual issue at hand here. In this respect, you do yourself no favors. There is no way that a calm, unbias and logical discussion can follow from the kind of "loaded" question which was posted at the start of this topic. You may claim that this is what it has come to, that this is what you must now do to get yourself heard - I don't buy it guys and I don't think it is a good way to go about business. Had it been me starting this thread, I would have found a more diplomatic tone to my first contribution because logically I would expect it to give me a better result.

 

I might also have considered reporting the incident to a staff member. I would have recorded the time, date and content of my report to the staff member. If there was no response within, lets say 3 days, I would then consider taking my ENQUIRY (complaint is an unpleasant term which is used far too often and far too willingly these days) to a higher level. I would, ultimately expect a response from someone addressing my concerns, posted personally to me. When I receive an email from the membership I can almost always guarantee a response within 24 hours. This might not be true of all staff members and I would not expect everyone to meet that level, but I do not think that the time taken should exceed "several days". If this is a problem which people are consistently experiencing I would be interested to hear from the relevent parties in private.

 

All of the above, however, would not be my primary choice of action. If I saw someone doing something I deemed to be innapropriate I would first speak to THEM about it. I would try and have a friendly discussion with the person involved to try and figure out the proper procedures. I would do this in a spirit of co-operation because I don't want to fall out with the person in question, nor do I wish to start a thread which brings their competence into question in a public arena. If having tried this, and having tried to speak to the staff about it privately, you still feel the need to post to a public forum, try to do so in better taste.

 

To the UK staff:

 

It seems this issue has been discussed before. This isn't an insurmountable problem. There has to be a policy somewhere about this and if there is not there should be. The simple answer to threads like this is to post a statement saying "Yes, you can do that" or "no you can't do that" or "Yes but with limitations as follows". This can be done without damaging the privacy of anybody.

 

My personal opinion (and to answer the question directly) is that as an APP controller you should NOT offer a service to traffic arriving and departing at nearby airports unless those airports lie directly in or beneath your own controlled airspace. You could, however, offer traffic nearby a FIS/RIS or RAS as appropriate. Other people will disagree and say that pilot's are grateful for the ATC.

 

Will someone from the UK staff please clarify this situation for us all as soon as possible? There seems to be this air of secrecy about certain things. Questions such as this do not need to be addressed in private unless we're talking about a specific member. Nor do I really understand why no one seems to know the answer to such a basic policy question. Why does one person have to go away and ask another, who then has to ask someone else? I could understand that if it were some niggling point about an LOA - but we're talking really general stuff here. Can an APP controller ever be allowed to control other airports? Is CC_APP ever allowed to [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ume control for EGNM/EGNR/EGGP etc? Let's have an answer.

 

 

People, this is really sad to see. We all partake in this hobby for our own enjoyment and to ensure that other people share in this enjoyment. This can't happen while there seems to be such a fundamental breakdown in co-operation and communication. This is not us versus them - we should ALL be working together. Please, lets put an end to this kind of unsavoury discussion once and for all.

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Having re-read the first post of this thread as I think you suggested, I still read that a a complaint. Sure, it is also a question but it is phrased in such a way as to take issue with an observed difference from known protocols. Had it stopped short of giving examples it would have been read differently.

 

The use of the phrase "This has got to be sorted...." doesn't help your side of the argument, but it is there too.

 

In the matter of the issue with the pilot training material, yes; Andy should have been defended from any personal attack in the same way that any other person should be, though references to the position might not automatically be personal attacks on the person holding that position.

 

Back to the here and now - the problem I see with the way that this current issue has been raised in that it contained too much information - that swung the balance from a simple question (which the person that spurred this on would probably have guesed was about them anyway) and moved it into the realm of an official dispute which obviously needs to go through channels (even if those channels appear to be ineffective or worse.)

 

There should be no reason to [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ume that an official complaint will result in any suspension, reprimand or offence, as the action must always be proportional to the offence. However, that comes hand in hand with trust in the system and I know that many people's trust has been eroded for various reasons.

 

 

To close, I offer the following rewrite of the original post to illustrate my point:

 

 

Hi All,

 

I have sat and watched traffic operating from nearby airfields without the beenfit of online ATC over the last few days, and got thinking about whether I could offer them some level of control. Can anyone tell me if this is OK as last time I saw this issue raised it was deamed as "Traffic Chasing." Should we as APP Controllers be offering services to airports that are around our area say within 60 miles or should we just be concentrating on our own airport.

 

One question this raises is this: if an approach controller offers a pilot a service at a neigbouring field, then surely if the same pilot calls him even if he is busy with local traffic then he should give those airports a service. If a pilot gets a service from him on an occasion when he is quiet surely he can expect a service if he is busy. This would need to be sorted as pilots will get well confused on who they should be contacting.

 

- Rob

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Since I am a long standing member of the UK division who also happens to hold a senior rating, I'd like to add my perspective to this thread.

 

Will someone from the UK staff please clarify this situation for us all as soon as possible? There seems to be this air of secrecy about certain things. Questions such as this do not need to be addressed in private unless we're talking about a specific member. Nor do I really understand why no one seems to know the answer to such a basic policy question. Why does one person have to go away and ask another, who then has to ask someone else? I could understand that if it were some niggling point about an LOA - but we're talking really general stuff here. Can an APP controller ever be allowed to control other airports? Is CC_APP ever allowed to [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ume control for EGNM/EGNR/EGGP etc? Let's have an answer.

 

 

.

 

Thank you for your well thought out and written contribution Ed. As you will see form my previous posts, I do not currently know the answer to exactly which airfields EGCC_APP can control directly, and those to hich they can provide approach services,as I am not familiar with the area covered by EGCC_APP. As a lowly S3 in Essex and Capital, I know exactly what I can do in my own area, and yes, approach controllers often control more than one airport eg Essex controls Luton, Stansted and Cambridge, plus a number of small airfields. My personal view on the rules coincides with yours, but I have been unable to find a formal written policy and therefore need to go back to more knowledgeable staff on this one. I have publically undertaken on this thread to get a proper answer and report back, as this issue needs sorting out once and for all. However with the Christmas holidays, and people away I am unlikely to be able to provide an answer before the new year.

 

I too have great concerns about the anger and distrust that is coming to light. I am grateful to Ed for offering to provide a private discussion for those who feel unable to speak to any member of the Vatsim-UK staff about their issues.

 

Ruth

Deputy Director, Vatsim-UK

Ruth McTighe

Heathrow Director, Essex Radar, Thames Radar, London Information

[Mod - Happy Thoughts]t webmistress CIX VFR Club http://www.cixvfrclub.org.uk/

Webmistress Plan-G http://www.tasoftware.co.uk/

Now not a VATanything

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EGCC_APP's area of airspace is the Manchester CTR and CTA - only EGCC itself and Woodford (and Stretton and Warrington) actually lie within that airspace. Liverpool has its own CTR and Barton is in cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] G.

 

Unofficial reading of the regulations: CC_APP shouldn't really deal with traffic within other controlled airspace (which would include ATZs) but can give service to traffic departing another field in uncontrolled airspace if workload allows.

 

Woodford, lying within cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] D, falls under Manchester's responsibility. Local flying from woodford (within a local flying area 1.5nm radius, centred on the aerodrome) is subject to clearance from and restrictions which may be specified from, manchester approach.

FLights further afield than 1.5 miles will be in manchester CTR and are subject to the usual zone clearances from manchester approach. These would usually be obtained on the ground (but would not cover taxi/takeoff/cct type instructions.)

Woodford as an entry/exit lane and use is subject to clearance from Manchester Approach (Or woodford tower)

 

Barton is in cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] G as stated earler. If departing traffic remains clear of CAS they don't need to talk to anybody, but Manc could give ATSOCAS to arrivals/departures outwith the ATZ if requested

 

For Hawarden, see Barton.

- Rob

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With regard to CC_APP's control area... Barton, Manchester, Liverpool And Woodford are the only four airfields, thus shouldn't CC_APP only be providing service to those airfields?

 

Lee

 

Robert has posted below a most factual explanation.

 

You had a lengthy mentoring session last night on EGCC Approach. Next time you are both online together, why not ask your mentor for guidance, he/she should be quite familiar with the local procedures having reached a position in the ACC to be able to train members.

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This thread has gone a little quiet, so does that mean yet again that we are not going to get a official answer from any VATSIM-UK staff especially from anybody who knows the Northern procedures as Ruth explained shes does not know the Northern procedures fully with regards to why EGCC_APP thinks he can/cannot control 3/4/5 airfields in the North West of the UK?

 

As Neil seems to have refused to go to this forum any further on this thread it would be nice to get a answer if EGCC_APP was correct to control at 3/4/5 airports other than Manchester, but yet again, certain people refuse to answer a simple question and just think this is just a EGNR v VATSIM-UK which i can [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ure you its 110% not!

Jason

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patience Jason - it's the Christmas hols and hardly anyone is around. The reply will be posted after the new year bank holiday.

 

I will also remind you that this thread is not for complaining about a particular controller - if you wish to do that please e-mail me with the details. My answer will be to Andy's original question ie which airports IS EGCC_APP allowed to provide a service to?

Ruth McTighe

Heathrow Director, Essex Radar, Thames Radar, London Information

[Mod - Happy Thoughts]t webmistress CIX VFR Club http://www.cixvfrclub.org.uk/

Webmistress Plan-G http://www.tasoftware.co.uk/

Now not a VATanything

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I was tempted to say "Patience, Gr[Mod - Happy Thoughts]hopper!" and then realised that might give away my age

Ruth McTighe

Heathrow Director, Essex Radar, Thames Radar, London Information

[Mod - Happy Thoughts]t webmistress CIX VFR Club http://www.cixvfrclub.org.uk/

Webmistress Plan-G http://www.tasoftware.co.uk/

Now not a VATanything

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My answer will be to Andy's original question ie which airports IS EGCC_APP allowed to provide a service to?

 

Seems like it might be a good idea to extend your remit to cover ALL UK airports at some point in the not too distant future Ruth.

 

Happy New Year.

 

EH

 

you read my mind, Ed! What I'd like to do is to add something to section 3 of the Vatsim-UK ATC manual to describe the general prinicples of how aerodrome coverage is determined, and then the specific details for each APP controller on the appropriate Vatsim-UK webpages.

 

Ruth

Ruth McTighe

Heathrow Director, Essex Radar, Thames Radar, London Information

[Mod - Happy Thoughts]t webmistress CIX VFR Club http://www.cixvfrclub.org.uk/

Webmistress Plan-G http://www.tasoftware.co.uk/

Now not a VATanything

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My apologies for the delay - I wanted to get confirmation at the staff meeting on Tuesday, and life got rather hectic after that!

Some interesting stuff came up on investigating this one. Firstly, for most APP positions there isn't any published information on which airports APP controllers are responsible for besides their main ones. This is something we wil remedy as we revise each airport's procedures.

 

Secondly, there were a number of different views on the answer to the question - it seemed to me they hinged on the interpretation of the 40 mile rule. It is now agreed that

EGCC_APP will provide services to aircraft arriving and departing EGCC, EGCD (Woodford), and EGCB (Barton). A FIS/RIS/RAS may be provided to local traffic outside CAS at the pilots request, and subject to controller workload.

 

I hope this answers the question

 

Ruth McTighe

Deputy Director, VATSIM-UK

Ruth McTighe

Heathrow Director, Essex Radar, Thames Radar, London Information

[Mod - Happy Thoughts]t webmistress CIX VFR Club http://www.cixvfrclub.org.uk/

Webmistress Plan-G http://www.tasoftware.co.uk/

Now not a VATanything

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