AviationLaw
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Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Fri May 10, 2002 1:47 pm

I have a question for the Air Traffic Controllers on the forum: What sort of procedures are used for Air Force One?

Specifically, are their increased vertical or horizontal separation requirements when the President is in the airspace?

Are approachs and departures halted while Air Force One is in the airspace?

Are communications with AF1 on standard frequencies?

Are secret service or other federal agents in the in route air traffic control facilites while AF1 is transiting through the coverage area?

I have always been curious about just how much AF1 really impacts scheduled service. Remember the "Clinton Haircut" incident?
 
mightyfalcon
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Fri May 10, 2002 6:03 pm

Hi Michael,

As I'm not an American atco, I obviously cannot tell you how it goes in the US.

I've got twice the chance to get AF1 on my frequency though: The first time was when I was still working in France and the second was when Clinton came back from his India/Pakistan tour. I got his flight on frequency when, on his way back to the USA, he stopped in Muscat (Oman) for a couple of hours.

AF1, as any other head of state's flight, didn't benefit of any separation increase, either in French or in Omani airspace.

In Muscat, the airport was closed minutes before AF1 arrived but to be truthful, the reason wasn't really Clinton's arrival. The airport is closed here as soon as HM the Sultan of Oman puts a foot on the ground, whatever the reason.

Maybe things are different in the USA; you'll have then to wait for an answer from my American colleagues.

Best regards
MightyFalcon
The sky has no limit...
 
jhooper
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Fri May 10, 2002 6:32 pm

Last summer, I was flying on an IFR flight plan from Austin (KAUS) to College Station (KCLL) at 11:00pm in a Cessna 172. There were only two airplanes on the frequency talking to this particular controller, myself and Air Force One. Gee, I wonder which of us was recieving the priority attention?  Smile
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
Contact_tower
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Fri May 10, 2002 7:14 pm

When flying in scandinavia, aircraft carrying heads of state get priority ahead of airlines, but not any special deals regarding seperation.

If you get AF1 on the freq, I'll bet you try to make their trip as smooth as possible. (AF-1, expedite turn/climb etc would be frowned upon  Big grin )
 
andreas777
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Sat May 11, 2002 1:56 am

Hey all,

sorry but this has nothing to do with the original question, but...what is the "Clinton haircut" incident...
sounds interesting....???

Tnx

Andreas.
 
N79969
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Sat May 11, 2002 2:32 am

Clinton was getting a haircut at LAX in Air Force 1 from some famous european hairstylist and LAX had to be shutdown for the duration of his hair appointment.
 
AviationLaw
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Sat May 11, 2002 9:47 am

Thank you all for the posts. The Clinton Haircut was a media incident in which the President stayed on the ground at LAX, aboard AF1, for at least an hour while he received a haircut from a famous Los Angeles hairstylist.

At the time, the media claimed that the President caused LAX to be shut down, (I don't know if any movements occurred as the reports indicated that 2 runways were shut down, perhaps the two on the side of the field where AF1 was parked).

My question basically concerns whether or not AF1 is a major disruption to commercial traffic when it is operating. Thanks for the information!
 
shaun3000
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Tue May 14, 2002 3:52 pm

When AF1 has flown into DAL, the couple of times I actually payed attention to it, they said they halted all traffic into and out of the airport while AF1 was on approach. Once it had landed, they resumed normal operations. Of course, DAL has only two [main] runways and they are faily close together... I do not know what would happen at a larger airport.
 
sccutler
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Tue May 14, 2002 9:12 pm

Speaking only from what I have heard...

...yes, AF1 is on frequency with Approach and Tower, handled crisply but routinely.

And, from what I could hear, there was no arrogance in the tone of AF1's comms.

Very cool to hear AF1 receive its takeoff clearance, then watch as the VC37 takes off into the Texas sky- what a beautiful bird!

Then, a while later (but strictly routine), the C-17 takes off with the Presidential Cadillac.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
shaun3000
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Wed May 15, 2002 3:53 pm

I thought they used C-141(s)?
 
HAL
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Wed May 15, 2002 4:03 pm

The "Clinton Haircut" is just another one of those urban legends that grows with time. Yes, he was on the ground at LAX getting a haircut in AF1, but no, they didn't halt traffic into or out of LAX. One of the local media outlets made a joke about it, and it spread within a day to be the 'gospel truth'.

Just remember - the wilder the story, the more likely it's false. Also remember the words of Carl Sagan: "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof"

HAL
One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
 
NZ767
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Wed May 15, 2002 7:16 pm

I suppose it depends on the particular visit Shaun3000.
When Clinton came to NZ they used C17s, C141s, C130s and Gulfstreams for logistical support.
The C130s were to ferry equipment from Christchurch to Queenstown due to the latters short runway.
The Gulfstreams were for Secret Service personnel with one also becoming Air Force One for an Auckland-Queenstown sector.  Smile
 
QANTAS747-438
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Thu May 16, 2002 8:32 am

I was on a TWA flight going STL - LAX when the pilot told us over the PA system that we were being "hurried" to land on 24R because Air Force One was right behind us waiting to land. I remember landing, and very quickly, taxiing, then parking at the gate. 10 minutes later or so, AF1 came rolling in. LAX had stopped air traffic on the 24 runways until the plane was at a stop on the west end of the airport. It was pretty cool.
My posts/replies are strictly my opinion and not that of any company, organization, or Southwest Airlines.
 
777wt
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:23 am

I was at LGA on a day Rice Condoleezza came in a VC-32...police cars were parked out everywhere, even right by the approach fence, constant driving around the airport and in it back and fourth.

30 mins later there was no planes arriving or departing...then the VC-32 came in and landed, taxi to the remote parking and parked. About 10-15 mins later commercial traffic was now lining up both in the air and on the ground. By that time, the engine inlets were covered up and a security car was driving slowly around it constantly with a few well dressed agents standing outside wandering once in a while.

About 2 hours when I was about to leave the airport, I saw all the traffic stopped again, this time with just 2 regional jets waiting on the taxiway by the active runway. It taxied from the remote parking to the active runway and departed without stopping.

Found out later she came in to go to a meeting at the UN.


Another time; a bunch of black licion cars went into the airport with a escort by the airport security, people got out and waited with the cars 30 mins before arrival. A US govt DC-9 came in, taxied to the remote parking and parked. Saw them deploy the thrust reversers buckets and covered up the inlet of the engine. 2-3 agents was standing outside the whole time with a security car slowly driving around it, same as it did with the 757.

Now this makes me wonder why do they deploy the thrust reversers when parking...to protect or shield the rear turbine disc from possible snipers shooting into it?

[Edited 2007-06-11 02:35:23]
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:07 am

Quoting Sccutler (Reply 8):

And, from what I could hear, there was no arrogance in the tone of AF1's comms.

I suppose to reach that kind of level in their profession, the pilots and other crew are not asses. I have noticed that most people at the pinnacle of a technical profession tend to be pretty laid back that way. Confident, yes. Pushy but only when needed. Modest, sometimes. But not arrogant. They simply don't need to be.

Quoting 777WT (Reply 13):

Now this makes me wonder why do they deploy the thrust reversers when parking...to protect or shield the rear turbine disc from possible snipers shooting into it?

Lol. Well it does raise a point. Does all this stopping of traffic really increase security? Not that I am a security expert but I have my doubts. If Condi just came in with the normal pattern and taxied to a remote stand, would that be less secure? How likely is it that any of the other aircraft is carrying a missile pod (you know, the one that can be hung under a 767)?
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
PGNCS
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:15 am

Quoting AviationLaw (Reply 6):
My question basically concerns whether or not AF1 is a major disruption to commercial traffic when it is operating.

That's easy: yes.

Quoting Shaun3000 (Reply 9):
I thought they used C-141(s)?

They are all gone. (Though I hear that the lone C-141A may still be hanging around; treat that as a very unconfirmed rumor.)
 
A10WARTHOG
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:22 am

When I worked at SGF we have had the Bush and Cheney come in. They completely shut the airport down, both to air and ground traffic. We had to stay in the hanger with all door shut and if we opened any door, we would have a visit from the secret service.
 
LVTMB
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:52 am

I have seen AF1 at MIA several times. On one ocassion I had my scanner with me and was on Tower frequency. Before the President arrived at the field, everybody was placed on a ground hold. Everything came to a stop. No arrivals, no departures, no taxi at all. The last one coming in was a commuter Beech. As he landed on R9, he was asked to expedite exiting the active and taxing to the gate. Then the motorcade showed-up, approximately 30 vehicles from motobikes to limos, Suburbans, regular cop squad cars, rescue ambulance, etc. The motorcade crossed the field towards the big bird. After approximately half an hour, it taxied to R8R and took-off. During all this time I didn't hear it neither on the regular Tower nor Ground frequencies. Actually, the regular frequencies were very quiet. It did call the regular departure frequency -- 119.45. From there on, everything was just the regular stuff, i.e., cleared to 7,000 straight out to the shore line, left to the Vally transition, climb to 16,000 .... What caught my attention is that, as with many others, the controller refer to "Air Force One Heavy", while the crew used only "Air Force One".

MB
 
atct
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:57 am

As a US controller....

I dont think I can answer most of your questions... I can tell you that yea, its on the normal frequencies.

Personally I havent the chance to work AF1 on the freq, but ive seen it come through before.

ATCT
Trikes are for kids!
 
zanl188
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:13 am

Quoting 777WT (Reply 13):
Now this makes me wonder why do they deploy the thrust reversers when parking...to protect or shield the rear turbine disc from possible snipers shooting into it?

Lol. Common practice with the military variants of the DC-9. It keeps water from accumulating in the TR
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Viscount724
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Mon Jun 11, 2007 12:11 pm

This may be of interest from the FAA website re procedures for handling Presidential flights.
http://www.faa.gov/airports_airtraff...ications/atpubs/FAC/Ch5/s0501.html
 
IAHFLYR
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Mon Jun 11, 2007 12:39 pm

Quoting ATCT (Reply 18):
I dont think I can answer most of your questions... I can tell you that yea, its on the normal frequencies.

The kid is so correct........anyone posting something about Air Force One is either full of shit or full of themselves, as they will be looking for a job very soon!

So be curious, that is all you get from an ATC person on here. NITE
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
PGNCS
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Mon Jun 11, 2007 1:03 pm

Quoting 777WT (Reply 13):
A US govt DC-9 came in, taxied to the remote parking and parked. Saw them deploy the thrust reversers buckets and covered up the inlet of the engine.

Standard for all USAF C-9 aircraft. It prevents FOD keeps tailwinds from turning the LP turbine stage backwards. It's really not a big deal, just an Air Force procedure anytime a DC-9 flight terminates.
 
jgarrido
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Tue Jun 12, 2007 11:35 pm

Quoting AviationLaw (Thread starter):
Specifically, are their increased vertical or horizontal separation requirements when the President is in the airspace?

no

Quoting AviationLaw (Thread starter):
Are approachs and departures halted while Air Force One is in the airspace?

In my experince no. Generally there is a TFR restricting non-scheduled traffic from entering the airspace around where AF1 has landed. This same procedure has been used the couple time's I've see the VP fly in.

Quoting AviationLaw (Thread starter):
Are communications with AF1 on standard frequencies?

in my experience, yes

Quoting AviationLaw (Thread starter):
Are secret service or other federal agents in the in route air traffic control facilities while AF1 is transiting through the coverage area?

not in my experience, but I've always been in a radar facility. I've heard of the secret service being in the tower when the President flies in.

Nothing here is Secret, FOUO or otherwise sensitive information so there's no reason to act like it is. My experience may differ from others because as I would imagine whatever the Secret Service/DHS wants for the President, they get.
 
LVTMB
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Wed Jun 20, 2007 4:30 am

Quoting Jgarrido (Reply 23):
I would imagine whatever the Secret Service/DHS wants for the President, they get.

Except if Paul Marcinkus is around ....

MB
 Wink
 
davescj
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Fri Jun 22, 2007 1:02 am

Quoting Jhooper (Reply 2):
myself and Air Force One. Gee, I wonder which of us was recieving the priority attention?  

YOU of course.......AF1 can go to more airports and circle longer....(just kidding)

Quoting QANTAS747-438 (Reply 12):
LAX had stopped air traffic on the 24 runways until the plane was at a stop on the west end of the airport. It was pretty cool.

I didnt' realize LAX had that many runways.......is that the largest # of runways in the US?
Can I have a mojito on this flight?
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Fri Jun 22, 2007 1:28 am

Quoting Davescj (Reply 25):

I didnt' realize LAX had that many runways.......is that the largest # of runways in the US?

LAX has 4 runways (= 8 numbered runways). IIRC IAD and a few others have 6.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
bond007
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Fri Jun 22, 2007 1:42 am

Quoting Davescj (Reply 25):
I didnt' realize LAX had that many runways.......is that the largest # of runways in the US?



Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 26):
LAX has 4 runways (= 8 numbered runways). IIRC IAD and a few others have 6.

I think (and hope) he was being facetious  Wink ...regarding:

Quoting QANTAS747-438 (Reply 12):
the 24 runways

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:20 am

Hehe. ok.
.
.
.
.
.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Jerald01
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:49 am

Does AF1 transmit on other than the standard Center and Tower/Ground frequencies? Yes.... and no. Normally they use the standard frequencies like any airliner, BUT they DO have the capability to use other, discreet, frequencies if needed. Those would normally be frequencies known to a very few agencies, such as military airfield controllers, etc., and they probably would NOT be used for assigning altitudes, routes, speeds, etc. Why? Because AF1 is sharing the same airspace as any other aircraft IFR aircraft so there should be only ONE agency controlling that airspace (insofar as altitudes, routes and speeds are concerned.) The discreet frequencies would be used for passing data / information to and from AF1 concerning it's mission and/or schedule changes, news items (and maybe the Prez' order for a ham-and-cheese pizza to be delivered upon arrival). Okay, so maybe not the ham-and cheese...

Does AF1 operations into/out of an airfield interfere with normal commercial/private aviation activity? Yes. As noted above, ground and flight operations at or near the airport of departure/arrival are usually curtailed prior to/during/shortly after the arrival/departure of AF1. This is to better provide security for the Prez and his entourage... if there are no airplanes moving around on the ground or in the air there is less chance of having a mid-aire (mid-ground?), deliberate or otherwise.

Does AF1 get "additional" horizontal/vertical separation from other IFR aircraft in the air from that given other aircraft of the same general design / type? No... and yes. No, not in normal operations. Yes if something "big" is going on and there is increased security for the Prea. 9/11 comes to mind. It's not often AF1 has the kind of fighter escort that it had when it was on it's way to the mid-west right after word got sent to it that the twin towers had been struck.

New question: Does AF1 ever go by any other callsign? (Careful... this is a trick question).
"There may be old pilots, and there may be bold pilots, but there are darn few green cows"
 
bond007
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Fri Jun 22, 2007 4:51 am

Quoting Jerald01 (Reply 29):
Does AF1 ever go by any other callsign?

No ... since it is ONLY a callsign  Wink


Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
sccutler
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RE: Air Traffic Control And Air Force One

Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:32 pm

Funny thing, I did not know a thread this old could be "resurrected."

When I posted my response above, I was 11 days away from starting flight training; now I are a pilot, and I have shared airspace with AF1 near the "Texas White House," when I was flying south from Dallas to Austin, and AF1 was arriving at KCNW (TSTC Waco).

All strictly routine, I heard "Waco Approach, Air Force One, three thousand." To tell the truth, it was handled like any other aircraft, and in fact, they even got a traffic call (an American Eagle Saab headed from Waco back to DFW).

My main beef is, when the President comes to Dallas, there's a ten NM ring of restrictions centered on DAL, and that kills ADS, my home base... just barely inside the ring.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...

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