Topic Author
Posts: 599
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 1999 8:49 am

Autolands - Why Tell The Tower?

Thu Jul 05, 2001 3:57 pm

I was listening to Amsterdam Schiphol's Tower frequency when UA946, a 777 from IAD, checked in. Upon receiving landing clearance, the pilot told the controller "We're using autoland". What is the purpose of this? Why would the tower find that information useful?

By the way, conditions were VMC.

"... for there you have been and there you will long to return."
Posts: 706
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2000 7:10 am

RE: Autolands - Why Tell The Tower?

Thu Jul 05, 2001 10:26 pm

A guess but it might be that aircraft need a longer final approach a slower speed, or a longer gap behind when using autoland.

Another reason could be to prevent another aircraft holding just short of the runway and blocking the signals from the ILS antena
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RE: Autolands - Why Tell The Tower?

Fri Jul 06, 2001 8:28 pm

In our company,SAS,the policy is to tell the tower to shut down the ILS to the opposite RWY when we're performing autolands in our MD-80's and -90's.All ILS systems are usually on the air simultaneously to make a RWY change faster if need be.We've had problems with interference from the other ILS.
Maybe this was the intention of the pilot when he made the call?
"Luck and superstition wins all the time"!
Posts: 1981
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RE: Autolands - Why Tell The Tower?

Sat Jul 07, 2001 2:27 am

From my experiences at SEA, when an aircraft calls they are using a CAT III autoland, the tower controller has to make sure there are no aircraft near the ILS transmitter.

Maybe someone can verify?
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RE: Autolands - Why Tell The Tower?

Sun Jul 08, 2001 9:02 pm

When Cat II and III operations are being used officially,i.e. due to WX or system tests,several changes will take place;one is the use of special Cat II&III holding positions to keep other traffic out of the ILS system's area,this may also involve closing taxiways close to the RWY,increased separation between traffic on finals,special reporting procedures,etc.
A heavy reduction in traffic capacity is the result,so these procedures are not in force if there's no need for them.A radio call on finals is way too short time to implement these procedures.
So why this radiocall in good visibility and WX conditions? Beats me!
"Luck and superstition wins all the time"!
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RE: Autolands - Why Tell The Tower?

Mon Jul 09, 2001 8:12 am

Its so the controllers can protect the ILS critical area.

Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 1999 11:16 pm

RE: Autolands - Why Tell The Tower?

Thu Jul 12, 2001 4:43 am

Thanks for the topic and information as I too have heard this upon landing at SEA on a UA 320. But, I'm sure it was on final when the crew notified the tower as I listened most of the way from IAD.

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