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Suggestion: Manchester (EGCC) - Introduction of Planner

William Brushfield

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William Brushfield

Hello all,

With Cross the Pond around the corner and Manchester being a leading airport for departures, and an extreme increase in traffic and slot management, I believe this is the perfect time to trial Manchester Planner.

To ensure it can work effectively, it may be wise to test it during Manchester Midweek madness (Wednesday 14th March) which allows for adjustment of policies and further improvements.

Also see HERE a link to the page where I have gained the frequencies potentially usable 

Let me know your opinions, and if it would be worth having it as CTP can be a very slot-heavy thing, and having a dedicated few people that understand how to manage the slot system would make the event run smoother, at least in my eyes.

Many Thanks


See below an adjusted format to the current Gatwick Planner policy

Logon - EGCC_P_GND
Relief - EGCC_Q_GND
RTF & Coordination Callsign - “Manchester Planner”
Potential Frequencies:

  • 121.600 (Manchester Fire Service frequency)
  • 128.175 (Manchester Arrival Information frequency)

Note: Although a split of GMP, Planner shall connect with an _GND log on to prevent pilots from inadvertently calling Planner instead of GMP for clearance.


Responsibilities for the Planner controller are to ensure:

  • The forward planning of the departure flow to meet airfield reasonable departure spacing (ARDS).
  • The updating of slot sequence numbers and informing pilots of delays.
  • The transfer of aircraft to GMC in accordance with assigned slots.

When Planner is split from GMP the following sequence of events will take place:

  1. Aircraft calls GMP for clearance and is cleared.
  2. Once the pilot has correctly read back the clearance they shall be instructed to report ready.
  3. When the pilot reports ready they shall be transferred to Planner.
  4. Planner shall allocate the aircraft a slot sequence number and may inform the pilot of the estimated delay/start time/position in the queue.
  5. When the aircraft is the next aircraft that will push/start Planner shall instruct the pilot to hold position and contact GMC - Planner will append /ST to the stand number in the scratchpad, for example 132/ST - this indicates to GMC that the aircraft has been appropriately transferred from Planner and hasn’t skipped the queue.

Note: If an aircraft is on a route that is not subject to delay they should still be transferred to Planner however Planner will not allocate a slot number and transfer the aircraft to GMC when appropriate considering overall flow and airfield reasonable departure spacing (ARDS) requirements.

Planner controllers should be familiar with the notes below on using slot numbers within Euroscope:

  • When aircraft are allocated a slot this is to be recorded within the “Slot” field in the departure list - this uses the Euroscope assigned speed function, data can be entered by left clicking on the appropriate aircraft’s “Slot” field, typing SX where X is the the slot number, and pressing the Enter key.

Note: The “Slot” field is not displayed by default but may be selected using the list display “F” drop-down selector within the departure list.

  • Planner and GMC controllers should sort their departure list by “Slot” field in ascending order.
  • The slot number is allocated sequentially - starting at 1 and incrementing, the slot number does not decrease (as this would increase workload), the aircraft with the lowest slot number is the next aircraft in the sequence.
  • The slot number does not represent a slot time.
  • Planner shall allocate a slot number to aircraft that require a slot when they contact them ready for push/start - if an aircraft is not on a route subject to delay then, subject to ARDS, Planner shall transfer them straight to GMC.
  • Planner shall retain slot aircraft on their frequency - they may report either the rough delay in minutes or the approximate position in sequence to the pilot.
  • Aircraft with a slot shall be transferred to GMC in slot sequence - aircraft shall only be transferred to GMC when they are the next slot aircraft to push/start, ie. GMC should not have multiple slot aircraft awaiting push/start on their frequency.
  • When aircraft are transferred to GMC the scratchpad should be updated with /ST appended to the stand number, for example 132/ST, this indicates to GMC that the aircraft has been appropriately transferred from Planner and hasn’t skipped the queue.
  • When the aircraft is cleared to push/start, GMC shall clear the slot number.
  • Slot numbers do not determine the final departure sequence.
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