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Why Is London ATC Said To Be "among The Best"?  
User currently offlineMozart From Luxembourg, joined Aug 2003, 2167 posts, RR: 13
Posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 4549 times:

I often hear that London ATC is among the best in the world. I read it on this forum, but also heard a Lufthansa pilot say that in-flight (when he told us that we were going to hold for some time but that ATC in London is among the best in the world so there would be a chance of this not lasting long).

I imagine that it can be quite a headache handling all that Heathrow traffic on just two runways, but what exactly are the aspects that make people say that London is so good?

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineWILLO From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 1352 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 4509 times:

Not sure of all the technical reasons, but bear in mind London Terminal Control also looks after flights for LGW, STN, LCY in addition to LHR, all within a fairly small geographical area. It takes some doing.

User currently offlineArsenal@LHR From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 7792 posts, RR: 20
Reply 2, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 4476 times:
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The skies above London and the south east of England are one of the busiest in the world. If you've ever flown in or out of LHR you will see the amount of aircraft on hold or in stack. It's one hell of a job juggling all that traffic in a pre-defined geographical area.



In Arsene we trust!!
User currently offlineMozart From Luxembourg, joined Aug 2003, 2167 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 4465 times:

Hmmm, I knew all of that, but then London is a bit like NYC or LAX, plenty of airports, lots of traffic. Still somehow the guys from Southcal or NYC have never been mentioned as being as great as the ones from London. So what is it that makes them so great? Calm? Control? Trying to cut corners? Smart ways to organise traffic?

User currently offline411A From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1826 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 4431 times:

Having flown into LHR and LGW since 1974, and listened to these guys a LOT, can personally say that they absolutely are NO better than others that control in busy TMA's...AMS and FRA, come to mind in Europe, LAX and DFW in the USA.
You ask the Brits, and they will say LHR is the best.
Consider the source. Insane


User currently offlineWILLO From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 1352 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 4423 times:

what, the lufthansa pilot?

User currently offlineEjazz From United Arab Emirates, joined May 2002, 719 posts, RR: 34
Reply 6, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4425 times:

I'd put London Heathrow at the top of the best of the ATC league.

Why, because they are so professional, always cool under pressure, use proper RT techniques, appear to understand the capabilities of an aircraft and its crew, and instill confidence in all who come under their control. They are superb and justify their excellent reputation.



Etihad Girl, You're a great way to fly.
User currently offlineArch89U From United States of America, joined May 2001, 188 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 4336 times:

New York Approach has a reputation for being very demanding and not very polite...however, I have always been treated politely by them.



User currently offlineArsenal@LHR From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 7792 posts, RR: 20
Reply 8, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 4327 times:
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So what is it that makes them so great? Calm? Control? Trying to cut corners? Smart ways to organise traffic?

Probably all of that, but you'll have to ask pilot's who have flown in and out of London to get a clearer response as to why they're the best.



In Arsene we trust!!
User currently offlineJetguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 4303 times:

Just an experience that I had a few years ago with London ATC...

We were preparing to depart from the west coast of the US to fly to Farnsborough. We were given a two-hour ground hold because they didn't want us to arrive during a shift change - they were afraid that one of their controllers might not show up because of the flu. Among the best? I wasn't impressed. Of the many other times that I have flown into the London area they were competent - good, but not outstanding. Personally, I believe that outstanding controllers are where you find them.

Jetguy


User currently offlineBa299 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2003, 173 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 4286 times:

I fly from-to LHR and LGW all the days. The difference are that they are always calm also during bad weather condition. Very important they say exactly what you have to do. And you don't heard all that noise that you can heard flying to EWR or DFW.

User currently offlineBravo45 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2165 posts, RR: 11
Reply 11, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4224 times:

Personally, I believe that outstanding controllers are where you find them.
While I would agree to Jetguy completely, I have heard that the German controllers are the best. Don't remember the source but I do believe that the source is a big factor.


User currently offlineVSGirl From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (10 years 7 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3958 times:

I have found and heard that London ATC is one of the best in the world, but I would hope that there is not that much differance for safety sake  Smile

Happy New Year

Kimberly.


User currently offlineAir1727 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (10 years 7 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3740 times:

As always, I agree with 411A completely.

User currently offlineSanthosh From India, joined Sep 2001, 545 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (10 years 7 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3730 times:

They have got Arrivals and Departures every minute of certain periods of the day.So to keep up with the oncomming traffic the ATC must be very very effeciant,to keep the sky safe.So EGLL ATC is one of the best ATC's in the world.

S.K.George



Happy Landing
User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 15, posted (10 years 7 months 20 hours ago) and read 3696 times:

If you want to see the 'Best in the World', look no further the the North East corridor of the US. BOS-LGA-JFK-EWR.


"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineGeotrash From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 326 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (10 years 7 months 18 hours ago) and read 3678 times:

I think there's something to be said for controllers at a busy GA airport as well, especially on a Saturday afternoon. Juggling 20 or more planes in the Class Delta and on the ground- some singles, some twins, some jets. Touch and gos, full stop landings, practice ILS approaches; it's amazing there aren't more midairs in that environment. Most I've worked with are very good at harnessing the chaos and keeping things flowing, while being courteous. A bad controller really sticks out in such an environment.

The large centers such as London and New York do have the benefit that most of the traffic is comparably well organized IFR. I'm not suggesting that there is an accurate comparison here- it's apples to oranges. I'm simply saying that GA airport controllers also deserve a round of applause for managing mayhem.

Dave


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