No Federal pay raises 2019

cmac88

Well-Known Member
#25
I'm hoping the FAA isn't anticipating technology to save them. We got a bulletin (which constitutes adequate training) on in flight CPDLC frequency changes and clearances in en route airspace. It's turned on in Indy center and I believe KC center now. The timetable is to turn it on in the en route centers over the next six months or so. I was doing some flying through Vancouver center recently and saw it for the first time myself there. It's really cool and seems to work well for those properly equipped. Could potentially make thing easier for ATC, going forward. I don't see it useful at a busy terminal like N90 though.
The greatest benefit in congested areas will be not having guys check in or not having to switch them. Frequency congestion/issues/readbacks are the most needlessly frustrating thing when busy. I'm cautiously optimistic but it seems to be the greatest thing I've seen the faa spend money on. We start in January.
 

Stinger

Well-Known Member
#27
Oh man, now this is going to help already dismal staffing.

Get ready for more "I'm workin' NINE frequencies, everyone stand by"
My last terminal facility it was common to work 15 frequencies plus 2 clearance frequencies for satellite airports in a single radar position. If it started to get unworkable for one person, we'd split that into one position with 5 freqs and another position with 10 freqs. It was designed for 7 individual positions, but 1-2 was the most common and I only saw 3 open no more than 4-5 times.
Flying near SAT one day with another controller buddy, the SAT controller had enough and said on frequency, "all right everybody you're going to have to listen up because I'm working THREE frequencies here." The other guy and I turned to each other and just started laughing.
 

NovemberEcho

Dergs favorite member
#28
My last terminal facility it was common to work 15 frequencies plus 2 clearance frequencies for satellite airports in a single radar position. If it started to get unworkable for one person, we'd split that into one position with 5 freqs and another position with 10 freqs. It was designed for 7 individual positions, but 1-2 was the most common and I only saw 3 open no more than 4-5 times.
Flying near SAT one day with another controller buddy, the SAT controller had enough and said on frequency, "all right everybody you're going to have to listen up because I'm working THREE frequencies here." The other guy and I turned to each other and just started laughing.
I only work one frequency at a time even when working multiple positions. When we combine we only use the freq of the sector we are combining into. Too much traffic to have multiple freqs keyed because it would just be everyone stepping all over each other constantly. We’ll keep the other freq on rx on the loudspeaker for when pop ups call or the adjacent facility forgets but we tell whoever is calling to switch freqs.
 

Stinger

Well-Known Member
#29
I only work one frequency at a time even when working multiple positions. When we combine we only use the freq of the sector we are combining into. Too much traffic to have multiple freqs keyed because it would just be everyone stepping all over each other constantly. We’ll keep the other freq on rx on the loudspeaker for when pop ups call or the adjacent facility forgets but we tell whoever is calling to switch freqs.
That'd be nice, but there's range issues on the frequencies for us.
That was just one side of our approach, the other side is 3 positions (west/north/east) that are almost always combined into a single position with 6 frequencies (vhf/uhf pairs). Not all the aircraft are vhf capable (maybe they are now but....), and if you leave them on the north (middle) frequency pair we lose transmit/receive capability with them on the east/west sides when they're at the MVA and just when you want to give them a base or final turn they effectively go nordo without knowing it....which leads to calling us calling the tower and having the tower reach out on the PET2000 to give them the correct frequency. There's a commercial airport in each sector that we're always running practice approaches to and aircraft fly back and forth between all of them. "Change to my frequency" and "say request and how it will terminate" are the most used phrases in the building.
 
#30
When has 1 controller working a bunch of different frequencies/airspace ever lead to problems...

When the 2300 bank at SFO gets delayed past 0030, it is common for planes to sit on the gate 20-30 minutes prior to pushback just trying to get their clearance delivered with 1 guy doing all the frequencies. And that is just clearance/tower/ground, can't imagine how crazy 15 would be, even with light traffic.
 

NovemberEcho

Dergs favorite member
#31
And that is just clearance/tower/ground, can't imagine how crazy 15 would be, even with light traffic.
Not as bad as you’d imagine. If you’re keyed up on that many freqs (and keep in mind in this case there’s a UHF for every VHF) there’s not the traffic volume to warrant cutting down to one frequency. (Towers might be different, idk, I can only speak for approach control)
 
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