GRIVely
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Flights At IAD Disrupted--Poss Problem In New York

Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:27 pm

My wife is presently stuck in Dulles on her way to CHO. Her flight has been pushed back several times already. She said that a number of flights out of New York are being cancelled now and mass confusion is beginning to reign as perturbations propagate through the system. Any idea what is going on?

GRIV
 
MountainFlyer
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RE: Flights At IAD Disrupted--Poss Problem In New York

Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:33 pm

Looks like a line of thunderstorms going over the eastern seaboard.
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codc10
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RE: Flights At IAD Disrupted--Poss Problem In New York

Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:56 pm

An isolated line of nasty storms. Everything shut down for a little while.
 
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Acey559
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RE: Flights At IAD Disrupted--Poss Problem In New York

Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:26 pm

Yup. I just landed at JFK in the middle of a thunderstorm and it's still raining pretty hard. It looks like it might be getting better off to the west but I haven't looked at the radar so not sure. We were vectored all over the place though and got a wild ride down the glide slope. Hopefully it clears up soon. Also, I love CHO, it's one of my favorite overnights.
 
plateman
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RE: Flights At IAD Disrupted--Poss Problem In New York

Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:04 pm

Yep, weather, not Dulles but NYC problem. From FAA:

Due to WEATHER / THUNDERSTORMS, there is a Traffic Management Program in effect for traffic arriving John F Kennedy International Airport, New York, NY (JFK). This is causing some arriving flights to be delayed an average of 1 hour and 59 minutes. To see if you may be affected, select your departure airport and check "Delays by Destination".

Due to WEATHER / THUNDERSTORMS, there is a Traffic Management Program in effect for traffic arriving La Guardia Airport, New York, NY (LGA). This is causing some arriving flights to be delayed an average of 1 hour and 48 minutes. To see if you may be affected, select your departure airport and check "Delays by Destination".
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PHX787
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RE: Flights At IAD Disrupted--Poss Problem In New York

Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:59 am

Is it just me or is rain the FAA's worst enemy in the northeast? Seriously something needs to be fixed here. Every time I try flying into JFK it ends up getting cancelled or delayed severely, because of rain.
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wagz
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RE: Flights At IAD Disrupted--Poss Problem In New York

Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:15 am

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 5):

Perhaps you'd like to go fly through some thunderstorms and let us know how that works out. Seriously, what is supposed to be done when lines of thunderstorms form hundreds of miles long?
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vhtje
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RE: Flights At IAD Disrupted--Poss Problem In New York

Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:12 am

Quoting wagz (Reply 6):
Perhaps you'd like to go fly through some thunderstorms and let us know how that works out.

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asteriskceo
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RE: Flights At IAD Disrupted--Poss Problem In New York

Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:16 am

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 5):

Is it just me or is rain the FAA's worst enemy in the northeast? Seriously something needs to be fixed here. Every time I try flying into JFK it ends up getting cancelled or delayed severely, because of rain.

Add SFO to the FAA's worst enemy list.
 
777ord
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RE: Flights At IAD Disrupted--Poss Problem In New York

Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:52 pm

and then add hurricane Isaac... This summer has been an operational NIGHTMARE!!
 
N766UA
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RE: Flights At IAD Disrupted--Poss Problem In New York

Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:31 pm

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 5):
Is it just me or is rain the FAA's worst enemy in the northeast?
Quoting PHX787 (Reply 5):
Seriously something needs to be fixed here. Every time I try flying into JFK it ends up getting cancelled or delayed severely, because of rain.

There's no "fix" here. You're talking about flying into one of the world's busiest airports in the world's busiest airspace. The northeast's climate means there's going to be rain, and airplanes can't fly in thunderstorms, nor would you want to if they could. I suggest stop flying into NYC.
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PHX787
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RE: Flights At IAD Disrupted--Poss Problem In New York

Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:07 pm

Quoting asteriskceo (Reply 8):
Quoting PHX787 (Reply 5):

Is it just me or is rain the FAA's worst enemy in the northeast? Seriously something needs to be fixed here. Every time I try flying into JFK it ends up getting cancelled or delayed severely, because of rain.

Add SFO to the FAA's worst enemy list.

I wasn't saying fly through the storms, but it's my point exactly. These airports can't handle the capacity when it rains. That's why some sort of reliever fix is needed.

Quoting 777ord (Reply 9):
and then add hurricane Isaac... This summer has been an operational NIGHTMARE!!

Good thing I'm not going anywhere near the gulf coast anytime soon. All I've been hearing on the news is that it's gonna be another Katrina.

Quoting N766UA (Reply 10):
There's no "fix" here. You're talking about flying into one of the world's busiest airports in the world's busiest airspace. The northeast's climate means there's going to be rain, and airplanes can't fly in thunderstorms, nor would you want to if they could. I suggest stop flying into NYC.

That's what I do. I avoid LAX, SFO, and NYC whenever I can. DL has the idea focusing everything into ATL but when they began to focus stuff into NYC, on-time ratings dropped. Why? I have no idea. It's not a good idea to ADD service into NYC. Overcrowded, inefficient when one small thing goes wrong.

End rant.
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MSJYOP28Apilot
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RE: Flights At IAD Disrupted--Poss Problem In New York

Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:03 pm

If anyone should be blamed it should be past generations of politicians and city planners that never had the foresight to build NYC an airport like DFW.

The FAA is actually not all that inefficient at moving traffic in the northeast, though there definitely is room for improvement. The FAA tells the airlines exactly how much traffic each airport can handle in most of the known weather scenarios. In the NY area with LGA/EWR/TEB/JFK all close together and sharing the same departure fixes and having common arrival patterns with runway limitations based on the number of runways available and runway headings at the airports, it doesnt take much for even on the most optimal day for there to be issues because airlines schedule way above what the airports can handle on a ten and clear calm wind day.

Airlines schedule this way because passengers demand the service. Despite all the delays, airlines still have high demand for NYC routes and schedule what the consumer demands. Once the consumer starts abandoning NYC area, you will see airlines drop flights to meet the lowered demand. However, delays or not the consumer has continued to vote with their wallet that connecting or flying through NYC is better than other alternatives.

The purpose of ATC is to maintain and manage the flow of air traffic. ATC does not care about the weather your aircraft encounters so long as the general flow of traffic is maintained. The job of caring about what weather your aircraft flies through is the dispatcher. Thats why in many parts of the country, ATC will clear traffic to fly through areas of tstorms while shutting down fixes for weather in the NYC area. ATC shuts down fixes when it feels that deviations around weather will conflict with other traffic causing possible collision scenarios between traffic. In the winter time, low vis/cigs mean an increase in separation minimums and lower acceptance rates. Wind can further complicate things by blocking certain runways from use by aircraft. EWR sees this everyday. EWR tries to get runway 11 up for use to relieve congestion on 4R/22L but cannot if 11 has a tailwind greater than the limitation of the airlines that would use it.

If you want less delays in NYC, stop flying to NYC or demand a huge airport be built to replace to the current ones. Maybe you can convince the govt to force airlines to schedule 30 or less arrivals per hour into EWR/LGA/JFK because only with those type of arrival rates will you be able to really reduce delays into NY area airports. But then you would have very little choice other than to connect at all the airlines hubs to get anywhere from NYC.
 
wagz
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RE: Flights At IAD Disrupted--Poss Problem In New York

Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:11 pm

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 11):
I wasn't saying fly through the storms, but it's my point exactly. These airports can't handle the capacity when it rains. That's why some sort of reliever fix is needed.

You don't understand, there is no fix. You keep saying "rain". Just plain old rain without major convective activity associated with it isn't really a problem. Low ceilings and low visibility can reduce the number of operations at a given airport due to the inability to run multiple approaches that are possible in good VFR weather. Unfortunately airlines schedule their operations based on a best case scenario, not a worst case scenario. So when capacity is reduced even a little, a domino effect occurs pretty quickly that can delay aircraft and crews throughout the rest of the day.

Don't get me started on how some airlines/crews feel about weather. I've had aircraft happily fly through heavy precipitation and report a smooth ride, but the guy 10 miles behind him absolutely refuses given that information and makes me vector him 30 miles around it. It seems like some crews don't want to get their plane wet sometimes. There is no fix when that comes up. Airspace is decidedly finite and becomes a lot smaller in those situations when you work on my side of the radar scope. There's nothing to do then but slow down the problem and take less traffic given the circumstances.

And on those days when a cold front moves east and a line of unbroken thunderstorms forms from Canada to South Carolina, you better just sit back and wait because nobody anywhere on the east coast is going through it.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 11):
That's what I do. I avoid LAX, SFO, and NYC whenever I can. DL has the idea focusing everything into ATL but when they began to focus stuff into NYC, on-time ratings dropped. Why? I have no idea. It's not a good idea to ADD service into NYC. Overcrowded, inefficient when one small thing goes wrong.

End rant.

I'll tell you why DL focused in to NY - because people want to go there. It's a simple concept. You wouldn't argue that Fargo, ND should have huge amounts of airline traffic because relatively speaking few people want to go there. New York is the largest population center on the continent (outside of maybe Mexico City), so obviously a lot of planes are going to wind up going there. If the planes were all empty DL (and every one else for that matter) wouldn't be flying them there. And few people want to bother with the hassle of going to places like SWF or HPN if their destination is in the city. There's no public transport links, so you're left with a long drive on the already congested highways (kind of a common theme eh?).

Another thing you need to consider is that a place like ATL is relatively isolated in comparison to other major airspaces. They have the luxury of having their arrivals designed for optimum efficiency and probably have efficient airspace sectors designed to deal with large amounts of traffic thanks to their location. Airspace sectors in the Northeast are basically shoehorned in every which way to fit between a myriad of other sectors and traffic flows, so we in ATC are left with very small areas of airspace to work with and when that weather rolls in, there's nowhere to go. The system works great on VFR days with no weather for 500 miles. Nextgen may improve capacity on those VFR days but I highly doubt it will do anything for the nasty days. It isn't going to make planes magically be able to fly through weather. So until the airlines stop scheduling for the best case scenarios (which will never happen) you're stuck.

End Rant.
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AA94
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RE: Flights At IAD Disrupted--Poss Problem In New York

Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:40 am

Quoting wagz (Reply 13):
Another thing you need to consider is that a place like ATL is relatively isolated in comparison to other major airspaces. They have the luxury of having their arrivals designed for optimum efficiency and probably have efficient airspace sectors designed to deal with large amounts of traffic thanks to their location. Airspace sectors in the Northeast are basically shoehorned in every which way to fit between a myriad of other sectors and traffic flows, so we in ATC are left with very small areas of airspace to work with and when that weather rolls in, there's nowhere to go. The system works great on VFR days with no weather for 500 miles. Nextgen may improve capacity on those VFR days but I highly doubt it will do anything for the nasty days. It isn't going to make planes magically be able to fly through weather. So until the airlines stop scheduling for the best case scenarios (which will never happen) you're stuck.

Exactly. The air traffic density in the northeast corridor means that it takes just a slight deviation from the norm to send things into a very bad place. Having that deviation happen at an airport like JFK only compounds the problem. There's no real fix for this. It's just the nature of the beast.
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blueflyer
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RE: Flights At IAD Disrupted--Poss Problem In New York

Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:51 am

Quoting AA94 (Reply 14):
There's no real fix for this.

There is a fix, not a popular one, but a fix nevertheless. Slot control based not on best-weather, optimal-situation capacity, but on seasonal average that does that into account the occasional traffic-stopping weather.

It will not solve all problems, far from it, but it will definitively be an improvement over the current situation, unless you happen to be flying to/from that small airport upstate that will probably lose its flights to the Big Apple in the process...

Fix one problem, create another...
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