Posts: 1490
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2000 3:18 pm

Frequency Planes Communicate To Tarmac On?

Sun Nov 25, 2001 5:45 pm

I've noticed several times when flying UAL and listening to Channel 9 that after touchdown at O'hare, we will go to the penalty box and declare to the ground controller that "United 123 doesn't have a gate!" However, I never hear the transaction where the pilot finds this info out. How do they learn of this? I know it isn't the ground controller telling them, they don't have time and it isn't their job. So after landing does one pilot stay w/ the ground controller and another radio in to the ops tower on the ramp area to let them know they are in? Is that how they find out that there is another plane at the gate and that they have to go to the penalty box? I also noticed it today at OAK during the security breach. There were more WN 737s than gates and they all had to idle out in the distance until one opened up. At OAK, there is no ops tower, so who communicated to all those WN planes and made sure they were up to date and where to go when things came open?
Posts: 1553
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2001 9:17 am

RE: Frequency Planes Communicate To Tarmac On?

Sun Nov 25, 2001 6:11 pm

Normally they'd get assigned gate information from their own company frequency.
That's probably why you never heard it because communication with company ops wouldn't be put through your headset as a lot of confidential info is passed along here.
Then again, procedures for who does what on whatever frequency may differ from location to location.

RE: Frequency Planes Communicate To Tarmac On?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 4:11 am

At America West the pilots get gate info from ops at the airport they are at on company frequency.
Posts: 3201
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 4:35 pm

RE: Frequency Planes Communicate To Tarmac On?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 6:57 am

As far as I know, United has to contact company on their own company frequency at some point before landing. So when they get switched over to ground they can then tell ground which gate they will be parking. The reason you guys went to the penalty box is to clear your aircraft from all traffic until your gate becomes available.
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
Posts: 6066
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2001 7:39 am

RE: Frequency Planes Communicate To Tarmac On?

Mon Nov 26, 2001 7:26 am

I would presume that the apron controller assigns the gates and tries to pass that onto the handling company and/or airline in question before they land; it's a fairly common occurence to hear various handling agents at MAN tell aircraft "gate to be allocated on the ground" (aka shortage of gates at peak periods!).

I expect the apron controller and the ground controller to be in constant contact with each other to try to minimise delays in getting an aircraft that's landed onto a gate.

Typically, pilots would either call the handling agent or send them an ACARS message in question some 20 minutes prior to arrival detailing all the requirements that they need so that all personnel are in position when it arrives e.g. cleaners, baggage handlers, refuellers, customer service agents, and the handling agent tells them the provisional gate that has been allocated in return.

David/MAN: 242 and counting

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