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Josh Seagrave

atc-discussion Use of J1 Holding Points at EGCC

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Josh Seagrave

Hi all,

I've noticed recently a few instances where GND controllers are refusing to give aircraft departing 23R at EGCC holding point J1 due to the real-world situation of Max 8's being parked there. Whilst I understand that we are a simulation network, and we try to replicate real-world circumstance where practical, I don't think that insisting on limitations that act to the detriment of people flying out of Manchester conforms with the spirit of the game.

If pilots wish to simulate the max 8's blocking J1 they are, of course, more than welcome to, but if someone specifically requests J1, it should be given. Real world, the lack of access to J1 is causing real issues to airlines operating long-haul routes, it makes no sense to impose the same limitation on people wishing to fly those same routes on VATSIM.

Contrary opinions or thoughts welcome.

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Darren Hill

I fully agree Josh. I feel it is not compulsory, and shouldn't be used in busy times when we need good timings for route separation.

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Rob Stephens

The option for long-hauls is covered in the NOTAM - backtrack from M1.  Turning circle is good for A380s.  But agree it shouldn't be insisted upon.  Many pilots just ignore the M1 instruction in any case.

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Kye Taylor

While I agree with you, Recently our SMR (the display for the airport) Has updated to show J1 and area around has been blocked off. While it can still be an option for some pilots it does change the day to day operations and make things a little more interesting 🙂

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Trevor Hannant

This is where I've disagreed in the past - changes such as aircraft parked on a taxiway, or links closed for a few weeks work on them are not modelled in scenery so shouldn't be enforced on pilots.

Similarly, we need to be careful of keeping SMRs TOO up to date as layout changes aren't available in scenery all that quickly. 

I'm all for realism but there's taking it too far and closing a taxiway for non-existent static aircraft is too far for me

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Lenny Colton
16 hours ago, Darren Hill said:

I fully agree Josh. I feel it is not compulsory, and shouldn't be used in busy times when we need good timings for route separation.

A key thing here is that S1s perhaps need a better understanding of what a sequence is and why it's important. I don't even necessarily mean teaching them how to manage one, just that when TWR asks for an aircraft in a specific place (J, M, or H in this case), it generally means that they are busy and trying to expedite departures. They probably do not have time for an argument about how the J1 holding point is out of use, nor do they want a long explanation of how the queue will not block the apron entrances (such as G/G4), or that a heavy can fit through the M entrance to 23R (this actually happened!). Please, just trust TWR to sequence and help them out when they ask (if you have time to and the situation permits, of course).

Edited by Lenny Colton

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Darren Hill
2 hours ago, Lenny Colton said:

A key thing here is that S1s perhaps need a better understanding of what a sequence is and why it's important. I don't even necessarily mean teaching them how to manage one, just that when TWR asks for an aircraft in a specific place (J, M, or H in this case), it generally means that they are busy and trying to expedite departures. They probably do not have time for an argument about how the J1 holding point is out of use, nor do they want a long explanation of how the queue will not block the apron entrances (such as G/G4), or that a heavy can fit through the M entrance to 23R (this actually happened!). Please, just trust TWR to sequence and help them out when they ask (if you have time to and the situation permits, of course).

Fully agree here too. I generally try to give some exposure to this stuff in OBS_PT2 sessions, just so new S1s feel comfortable with changes to routing as instructed by TWR.

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George Peppard
12 hours ago, Trevor Hannant said:

Similarly, we need to be careful of keeping SMRs TOO up to date as layout changes aren't available in scenery all that quickly. 

This highlights it very well - we need to strike the fine balance between a decent level of realism, but also the practicalities of the fact that we are a simulation, not the real thing. For 99.9% of pilots (most likely 100% - but nothing can be 100% probable 😉) there are no aircraft blocking J1 - therefore in my opinion, it should not be closed.

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Jonas Hey

I must be in the minority here then, when else do you get to fly out of busy international airport like Manchester and get to backtrack your 747 to Orlando or an A380 to Dubai! #ShutJ1 #realism 😉 

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Simon Kelsey

For me, I would broadly agree with most on this thread in that I have no issue with not using a holding point/taxiway etc if it is closed in real life -- it made a bit of a change when the works on A North at LHR necessitated reacquainting myself with B and the attendant holding points and it is this added 'texture' that one can only get from a human-based network like VATSIM compared to a piece of software.

However, I also agree it's not worth getting in to an argument about. If a pilot really doesn't want to accept the intersection/backtrack then there's no point trying to force the issue.

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Adam Farquharson
On 29/08/2019 at 19:53, Darren Hill said:

I feel it is not compulsory, and shouldn't be used in busy times when we need good timings for route separation.

I mainly agree with this and if someone wants to use J1 then we should let them but if it is busy and you really need the holding points then you should probably be using 23L. Even if it is outwith the hours given it's a sim and we have different busy periods I don't see any reason why you couldn't use the second runway outside of the normal times if it would be beneficial

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Lenny Colton
34 minutes ago, Adam Farquharson said:

I mainly agree with this and if someone wants to use J1 then we should let them but if it is busy and you really need the holding points then you should probably be using 23L. Even if it is outwith the hours given it's a sim and we have different busy periods I don't see any reason why you couldn't use the second runway outside of the normal times if it would be beneficial

I would have to disagree here. If there are lots of departures and very few arrivals, it can be a lot easier to use 23R, as it gives shorter taxi times, means that all of the departures don't need to be recleared, and means that crossing clearances are not required. If there are barely any arrivals, 23R is not being used, so why not put your large number of departures on it?

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Alex Ashley
9 hours ago, Adam Farquharson said:

I mainly agree with this and if someone wants to use J1 then we should let them but if it is busy and you really need the holding points then you should probably be using 23L. Even if it is outwith the hours given it's a sim and we have different busy periods I don't see any reason why you couldn't use the second runway outside of the normal times if it would be beneficial

If you really need the holding points, why not use the one that is there and available for all those using the sim?

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George Peppard
21 hours ago, Lenny Colton said:

I would have to disagree here. If there are lots of departures and very few arrivals, it can be a lot easier to use 23R, as it gives shorter taxi times, means that all of the departures don't need to be recleared, and means that crossing clearances are not required. If there are barely any arrivals, 23R is not being used, so why not put your large number of departures on it?

Using M1 vs J1 for sequencing is an entirely different issue to using M1 because you are simulating the J1 closure.

Offer M1 to pilots - sure - if they don’t want to simulate it, don’t do so. The human factor also means we aren’t lines of code in a DLL file - we can use our judgement to decide what’s best based on traffic etc 😉

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Adam Farquharson
19 hours ago, Alex Ashley said:

If you really need the holding points, why not use the one that is there and available for all those using the sim?

I'm not saying that you should never use J1 but personally I would use it with caution as some pilots will request to use M1 as they want to simulate J1 being blocked and that could easily upset your planned departure order. I wouldn't mind if people used it or not and personally doesn't effect me much but if it was busy enough that I wanted the extra space and someone then wanted M1 when I was planning J1 I would find that slightly irritating as it would upset my departure order.

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Adam Farquharson
On 31/08/2019 at 11:25, Lenny Colton said:

I would have to disagree here. If there are lots of departures and very few arrivals, it can be a lot easier to use 23R, as it gives shorter taxi times, means that all of the departures don't need to be recleared, and means that crossing clearances are not required. If there are barely any arrivals, 23R is not being used, so why not put your large number of departures on it?

Obviously you would have to use judgement based on current traffic and how much is expected but my point was if there was a lot of traffic that wasn't expected to go away any time soon then changing to 23L would be worth it. As I said above it wouldn't bother me either way but I don't think you can say no we should never use it or yes we should always use it as it really depends on the situation.

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Alex Ashley
2 hours ago, Adam Farquharson said:

I'm not saying that you should never use J1 but personally I would use it with caution as some pilots will request to use M1 as they want to simulate J1 being blocked and that could easily upset your planned departure order. I wouldn't mind if people used it or not and personally doesn't effect me much but if it was busy enough that I wanted the extra space and someone then wanted M1 when I was planning J1 I would find that slightly irritating as it would upset my departure order.

If one aircraft requesting a different holding point messes up your planned departure order (which, as GND issues instructions all the way to the holding point at CC anyway, wouldn't be an issue), then you're not being proactive as a controller. Part of the role as a tower controller is to be able to accommodate requests like that where possible - and I must say, an aircraft requesting M1 hasn't affected me ever controlling over the last 3 years.

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Adam Farquharson

I mean if you are sorting aircraft by sid direction at the holding point and someone you were planning on sending J1 then requests M1 and blocks anyone else from being able to taxi past then that would reduce the runway efficiency. It's not a massive issue unless it's very busy and on the network it very rarely get busy enough for that to be an issue. My point was personally if it was so busy that I really needed the extra efficiency then I would use the second runway as it would avoid any potential issues with pilots complaining about us not following NOTAMs. I think the bottom line from all of this is it doesn't really matters enough to have a hard restriction.

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Russ Wragg

I can't help but imagine that the people who insist on following the NOTAMs about taxiway closures are the ones taking the realism that one step too far and are sat in their spare room wearing a pilot uniform they made themselves.

"No further RolePlay available, roleplay's on Unicom 122.80, have a nice life. ByeBye."

Whilst I agree with the notion of "real world imitation" as much as possible I also agree it should not affect sequencing where necessary, but it doesn't hurt to "play along" if someone really wants it.  I had a guy at SS tell me he couldn't taxi on J between Z and A due to a closure, so I re-routed him via H.. no biggy.

No-one is asking you to dress as the trolley-dolly. 😣

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