Gordon we are well aware that BGI
is on the limits of Conc's range, but at the end of the day we don't know how much fuel has been uplifted, what the burn was during the flight etc. Conc arriving back from BGI
has accepted delays of up to 40 minutes on occassions and on some other occassions it can't take any delay and BA
will swap it's place with company traffic.
We can only rely on the information given to us by the crew, if they decide not to tell us we can't read minds !
We can't provide special treatment to any individual aircraft, service is provided on a first come first served basis, not on how big, fast or special your aircraft is. I love Concorde but at the end of the day it's not fair to penalise someone else to accomodate one aircraft, even if it is special. For example how would you feel if you were on say your BA
A320 holding at LAM for 30 mins, which was right on your crews limits for accepting LHR
, then Concorde comes in, takes your place, and you have to divert to Stansted as a result of your EAT slipping?
This is often the dilemma crews have, in that the EAT given to them is exact to the minute, and even a 2 minute slip can cause a crew to have to divert if that extra hold causes them to drop below min diversion fuel. It happens so often that crews tell us they can take their EAT, but if it slips any further they will have to divert.
On Saturday, I think the mayday declaration was aimed at breaking off the traffic in front to achieve a "gauranteed" landing so that another go-around would not happen, as if it had the situation would have become life threatening.
A go-around does not really create much hassle from an ATC point of view, as they are well practiced, and it's just a matter of finding a place back in the sequence, for example a left or right hand circuit.
With more and more aircraft being squeezed into the system and the necissarily tight spacing multiple go arounds are only likely to become more frequent, especially in the marginal weather conditions we often get in the UK.