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Land At Your Discrection Clearance  
User currently offlineAjaaron From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 113 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 years 21 hours ago) and read 2306 times:

Land at your discrection clearance is not uncommon in GA at small mickey mouse airports in UK, etc.

Will you commercial guys/(ladies) be allowed to serve an airport where only a 'land at your discrection' clearance is given at the smaller, remoter airports in Africa, for say a 737, 75/67, 747 Airbus etc. landing and carrying passengers, from say UK, US etc.

or is the danger too big, and the airlines dont allow it.

I can't imaging that all airports in Africa are fully equipped and responsible, and licenced enough to give a full 'cleared to land'.

Are there any airports the airlines (and I mean a big mean full PAX Boeing or Airbus) serve where there are no controllers?

cheers,

Arn.

7 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCovert From Ghana, joined Oct 2001, 1450 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (11 years 21 hours ago) and read 2280 times:

I can't imaging that all airports in Africa are fully equipped and responsible, and licenced enough to give a full 'cleared to land'.


Licensed enough to land? Huh? Maybe next time I fly KLM or BA to Africa I should walk, Aaron says its unsafe! All these times I've been going my life has been in danger!!!



thank goodness for TCAS !
User currently offlineSkyguy11 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (11 years 19 hours ago) and read 2253 times:

Jeeze he just asked a question....

User currently offlineRalgha From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 1614 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (11 years 19 hours ago) and read 2242 times:

You only need clearance to land at controlled airports. The huge majority of airports are uncontrolled, and you can land whenever you please. I know that Horizon at least flies into uncontrolled airports.


09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0
User currently offlineUN_B732 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 4289 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (11 years 3 hours ago) and read 2206 times:

Continental Connection goes to Saranac Lake NY, with a Beech 1900.. which in FS2002, is uncontrolled.
What he means is like do any big a/c go into uncontrolled airports.
Don't pound/be vindictive at him guys.
He has a hard time explaining himself.
-UN



What now?
User currently offlineM717 From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 608 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (11 years 3 hours ago) and read 2192 times:

I don't know what qualifies as a "big" aircraft, but I have operated at uncontrolled fields (either uncontrolled at all times, or uncontrolled because the tower does not operate full time, and we were there after it had closed) numerous times in a B-737, B-757 and B-717.

User currently offlineBen From Switzerland, joined Aug 1999, 1391 posts, RR: 50
Reply 6, posted (11 years 2 hours ago) and read 2182 times:

That post shows quite a serious lack of understanding on just about every point, so I wont address them individually, but explain the different ATC services in the UK instead.

There are 3 main categories:

1. The most basic service is an Air-Ground Station. Air-Ground services have their callsigns suffixed with RADIO.

They can not give instructions or clearances. For example, a typical pre-takeoff conversation might be:

Aircraft> G-CD Ready for departure.
Air-Ground Station> G-CD Traffic is a Seneca on short final, surface wind 240, 10 knots.
Aircraft> G-CD.

NO clearance is issued. It is 100% the responsibility of the pilot to look out for traffic, look at the windsock, and make sure he/she is at the correct runway.

It would be very ignorant to call these airfields "Mickey Mouse". There are many substantial airfields who have ATSU's which become Air-Ground stations after-hours or when there is nobody qualified available to offer a different service.


2. The next level of service is the FIS (Flight Information Service). These services have callsigns suffixed with the word 'INFORMATION'. FISO's (FIS Officers) can give instructions only to aircraft and vehicles on the manoeuvring area (ie. on the ground). Everything else they say is purely information, for the pilot to act on however he/she sees fit.

When they say "Land at your discretion, surface wind 190, 12 knots", that is not a clearance. It is still the Pilot In Command's responsibility to make sure he/she is lined up on the correct runway, it is clear of other aircraft etc etc.

A typical converstaion with a landing aircraft might be:

Aircraft> G-CD Downwind.
FISO> G-CD Roger, Report final.
Aircraft> Wilco G-CD.
Aircraft> G-CD Final.
FISO> G-CD Land at your discretion, surface wind 310, less than 5.
Aircraft> G-CD.
Aircraft> G-CD Vacated runway 24.
FISO> G-CD Taxy to stand 6 via Alpha. [this is the first actual instruction!!]


3. The highest level of ATSU is a full Air Traffic Control service. Air Traffic Controllers can issue instructions and clearances to aircraft on the ground or in flight. Their callsigns can be TOWER, GROUND, DIRECTOR, APPROACH, RADAR and a few others I can't think of at the moment.

A typical arrival miight be:

Aircraft> Eastflight 291 Final.
ATC> Eastflight 291 Clear to land runway 06, surface wind 150, 20.
Aircraft> Clear to land runway 06, Eastflight 291.
ATC> Eastflight 291 vacate right onto Bravo.
Aircraft> Vacate right onto Bravo, Eastflight 291.
ATC> Contact Ground on 120.9.
Aircraft> Contact Ground 120.9 Eastflight 291.

Notice that on clearances and instructions (and certain other items), there is a mandatory read-back to an ATC Service.

---------------------------

As for the questions:

or is the danger too big, and the airlines dont allow it.

It would be wrong to say that airfields without full ATC are less safe. That is simply wrong. The do tend to be smaller, but as I said above, the service offered can vary by the time of the day. All of that information is contained in the UK AIP which is available (free registration) on www.ais.org.uk. Go to AIP>Aerodromes>Specific and select one from the list.


I can't imaging that all airports in Africa are fully equipped and responsible, and licenced enough to give a full 'cleared to land'.

Airports that have full ATC (and can therefore give clearances) are definitely a minority even in 'civilised' countries like the UK. You would be surprised that quite a few, as you say, "Mickey Mouse" airfields in the UK have full ATC in operation. Defining the quality of airfield by the ATSU in operation isnt very helpful.

But having said that, AFIS and Air-Ground services are generally found at smaller airfields so I cant think of any situation where an intercontinental Speedbird 747 would land with anything less than full ATC...











User currently offlineCovert From Ghana, joined Oct 2001, 1450 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (11 years 2 hours ago) and read 2183 times:

Ajaaron

To elaborate on some of your questions;

Will you commercial guys/(ladies) be allowed to serve an airport where only a 'land at your discrection' clearance is given at the smaller, remoter airports in Africa, for say a 737, 75/67, 747 Airbus etc. landing and carrying passengers, from say UK, US etc.

Africa is a really diverse and interesting continent when it comes to aviation, as most operations are either unscheduled or sporadic in nature. As such, larger aircraft can be seen operating in or out of smaller airports with questioning levels of ATC services. However the operations department of most major airlines stick to certain airports with good and comprehensive (for what it's worth in Africa) ATC facilities.

I can't imaging that all airports in Africa are fully equipped and responsible, and licenced enough to give a full 'cleared to land'

Well Africa consists of 53 nations, and every nation I believe has its own CAA, which is probably a member of ICAO. Most countries base their rules on FAA or the UK CAA.

It is a known fact though, that rules are meant to be broken in Africa, although for the most part their acts are straight. I will give an example of Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos. Terminal radar service is non-existant there--it is said not to rely on an instruction given by Nigerian ATC because something is always unservicable.

Is it really unsafe?

Despite the fact, Virgin flys there daily, so do BA, with 747-400's, KLM, AF, SN, LX, SR and several other airlines but be never hear about crashes.

It's the other way around only 150 miles away in Accra, which holds a category one rating by the FAA and is a easy place to fly in to.

Are there any airports the airlines (and I mean a big mean full PAX Boeing or Airbus) serve where there are no controllers?

Can't answer this, but I know of smaller scheduled services to little airports in exotic places, but I don't really think that the media would take kindly to hear that a 747 is being vectored into an Kai Tak-like airport with a flashlight.

Like Ben said, it is up to the pilots to be on the lookout around an uncontrolled airfield, if its not Heathrow, if you pay attention and announce your position and intentions on UNICOM, you can fly into one easily.

covert



thank goodness for TCAS !
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