cptspeaking
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Flow Control And "Tower Enroute"

Mon Oct 02, 2006 6:22 am

This afternoon (Oct. 1 2006) my dad is on a flight from PHL to ROC in a CRJ-200. (FlightAware tracking) The captain announced before the flight that they were going to stay at 8,000 ft. the ENTIRE way to avoid flow control out of PHL, saying that the minimum spacing departing PHL was 20 miles. He used to term "tower enroute" to describe this, also saying that it would be a bit bumpier down low, but if it got too bad, they would request a higher altitude.

Ok, so I have NEVER heard this term before, and found this practice extremely strange in a jet both because of the loss of speed (true and <250 below 10000) and the enourmous increase in fuel burn. A little research on the net brought up some topics about preferred routing for jets and turboprops, but that still wouldn't explain why they would stay so low if certain altitudes are reserved for certain types of aircraft. What exactly is this about and why would this be more advantageous than waiting a bit on the ground and spending a whole lot less time [in air] and gas money?

Your CptSpeaking
...and don't call me Shirley!!
 
flymatt2bermud
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RE: Flow Control And "Tower Enroute"

Mon Oct 02, 2006 6:28 am

Tower enroute is a procedure where a flight can be operated from local radar controllers without the need to transfer the flight to a major center's control(thus avoiding flow control restrictions, etc). The altitudes can go as high as the letter of agreement between CENTER and local controllers permits but its top is usually from between 8,000 and 12,000. This was used extensively in the early 80's when the US Air Traffic controllers went on strike and all IFR flights into Center controlled airspace had to have a slot.

[Edited 2006-10-01 23:29:47]
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward" Leonardo Da Vinci
 
Goldenshield
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RE: Flow Control And "Tower Enroute"

Mon Oct 02, 2006 7:48 am

The FAA has also implemented an airspace flow control program where certain areas of congested jet routes and altitudes are metered to allow a more efficient use of that airspace. It was a shock to most pilots to hear the phrase, "Yeah, it's like flow, but in reverse."
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P3Orion
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RE: Flow Control And "Tower Enroute"

Mon Oct 02, 2006 9:49 am

Depending how many aircraft are in front of you, 20 MIT (Miles In Trail) can/will create long departure delays. ZNY (New York ARTCC) must have had weather or RADAR/Freq. issues to implement that type of flow program. Tower enroute or TEC, means you go from TRACON to TRACON, usually AOB (At Or Below) 100 (ten thousand). This is very common in the Northeast. One could fly TEC from BGR to ORF or from HYA to BUF, all filed on preferred routes of course, and never be worked by a Center. I'm not sure of your father's route, but probably went from PHL approach to ABE approach to AVP approach to BGM approach to ELM appraoch to ROC approach.

[Edited 2006-10-02 03:19:29]
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IAHFLYR
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RE: Flow Control And "Tower Enroute"

Mon Oct 02, 2006 10:40 am

The term is very old actually.........keeps you out of the "center" environment where alot of delays take place in the first place due to anchient separation standards, another topic for another day!

Oh short flights, with not much time above 10,000' and in EHA (extreme haul ass) mode, the 20 mile per plane delay could be very lenghtly from PHL as any major HUB location.........so, go low, get there and be done.
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cptspeaking
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RE: Flow Control And "Tower Enroute"

Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:17 am

Very interesting...I had never heard of any of this! Thanks for all the information guys, I appreciate it!

Your CptSpeaking  wave 
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Woodreau
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RE: Flow Control And "Tower Enroute"

Mon Oct 02, 2006 1:26 pm

You can read more about tower enroute control if you pick up one of those green Airport Facility Directories for the Northeast (New England) or Southwest (Southern California) That's the two regions where TEC is in use.
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flymatt2bermud
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RE: Flow Control And "Tower Enroute"

Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:05 pm

Quoting CptSpeaking (Thread starter):
(I) found this practice extremely strange in a jet both because of the loss of speed (true and <250 below 10000) and the enourmous increase in fuel burn.

Don't feel too bad for the jet at 8,000, the speed restriction is 250 KIAS which is approximately 280 True Airspeed and this speed even though its low altitude the speed is LRC mode (long range cruise) so specific range numbers might be close and without burning fuel in the holding bay prior to takeoff. In some instances once you are in the air local ATC may be able to hand you over to the CENTER traffic permitting to allow you to climb to a more faster and efficient altitude. Here is a comparison for a Boeing 717 on the PHL-ROC mission:
ALTITUDE...8,000.......22,000
SPEED............280............396
TIME(min)..........74..............54
FUEL(lbs)......6593..........5340

I think the decision to accept an early departure time in most cases may be the wiser choice.
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward" Leonardo Da Vinci
 
Arch89U
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RE: Flow Control And "Tower Enroute"

Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:34 pm

As an instrument pilot who flies in the low levels, I can tell you that TEC is something that is very useful.

If you file below 10,000 feet, even if you don't file TEC, you will typically be assigned it. Also, the controllers seem to prefer it, and you will often here "cleared as filed" if you file the published TEC route in the A/FD.

Anyone who is instrument rated should use TEC to its full advantage, in my opinion, because it cuts down on clearance waiting times significantly. That has been my experience.

It seems that to and from Rochester, you can find a TEC route in the A/FD to most of the major metropolitan airports that you would typically fly GA to. (i.e. NYC, PHL, BOS)
 
deltamike172
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RE: Flow Control And "Tower Enroute"

Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:51 pm

At ZBW, we've noticed that low route filed from PHL-ALB. The pilot claimed it was to avoid long departure delays out of PHL. Its not something they briefed us on or anything, but it makes sense.

Those flights rarely get above 17000 anyways, and they tended to be a pain in the butt for ZNY. Basically, ZNY is mainly east-west ops between PHL and NY state, and those flights to and from the NY Metro are rarely in level flight. ZNY has established a few routes that cut through that flow north-south. Mainly, they are SYR-PSB, HNK-PSB and DNY-LHY for the PHL arrivals. You'll notice how DNY.SLATT1 requires aircraft to enter ZNY at FL190, as they just barely get under the NY departures out of the north gate of N90. IADs over PSB are restricted to FL300 and below. The farther west you go, the higher you can go. Well, those ALBs and SYRs and ROCs used to be limited below 18000 for the most part, and now, due to traffic levels, or staffing, or weather, or a combination of those and other factors, the traffic is now restricted to approach controls which owns 8000 and below for the most part. Otherwise, MIT and Ground Delays are the option for flights up higher through the ZNY sectors.

DM
 
Arch89U
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RE: Flow Control And "Tower Enroute"

Wed Oct 04, 2006 6:09 pm

Deltamike-

You might not know the answer to this question, but I frequently take trips to Long Island in a 182 or similar aircraft from the ROC area. If I'm going to ISP or FRG I will invariably get the DNY.LOVES2 arrival and the DNY.PAWLING2, respectively.

However, on departure, I have yet to get a "consistent" routing. Typically I file to the Carmel (CMK) VOR, but I've never received "as filed." I seem to get routed to BDR (Bridgeport) or Sparta (SAX). What is the best way to file out of Long Island to get "as filed," so I don't have to bother with a full-route clearance?

I realize this is slightly out of your airspace, but you might be able to shed some light, because when I get into Boston Center's airspace they are typically willing to clear me wherever I want to go in Upstate NY.

Thanks
 
deltamike172
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RE: Flow Control And "Tower Enroute"

Thu Oct 05, 2006 9:15 am

Eastbound is easy, from ROC, going over RKA for the PWL or LOVES arrivals is obvious. DNY seems a few miles farther for some reason.

Your departure from the NY Metro to ROC rarely would go through ZBW it seems. We generally don't see them. It depends on your filed alt as well. BDR, then up to SYR..ROC, or similar isn't a good plan from 6000-10000 for the most part, as the sectors between BDR and DNY are all arrival sectors descending aircraft down to 8000 or 6000 and handing them off to N90. We mainly see the jets up over GREKI..CTR..CAM or they stay in ZNY on J95. Props tend to come up over CTR/BDL to ALB..SYR/UCA/ROC/BUF. Going westbound from the ALB area, we can go direct pretty much anywhere that doesn't cut through ZNY (ITH and north). Unfortunatly, the towers out on the island most likely have no way of knowing what route is correct on any given day, as weather, traffic, and whatnot will change what center wants. Its very complicated airspace, and there are some set routes that we stick to, but we can cut directs often between arrival rushes.

If you could let me know exactly what your routes are, I might be able to fill you in more. I had to keep this rather general.

DM

As far as getting your route perfect.....well, i wonder if that possible  Smile Going north over the sound seems like it would work more often than not. You just don't want to be around CMK or IGN at the wrong alt at the wrong time.
 
Arch89U
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RE: Flow Control And "Tower Enroute"

Fri Oct 06, 2006 2:01 am

Thanks for the help DM...the specifics aren't really necessary, but I've always suspected going north over the sound will get me "as filed." I'm reluctant to file that, on the off chance that I can go direct CMK or IGN to begin with. Although its quite distressing to be sitting for 15 minutes draining battery power without the engine on. I should probably get a handheld.
 
deltamike172
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RE: Flow Control And "Tower Enroute"

Sat Oct 07, 2006 3:53 am

Arch89U:

I think your best bet, to simplify things, is to file "ISP3.HAAYS.HUO.V252.GIBBE.ROC" See what happens. You should just get vectored to HAAYS and be on your way. I bet you'll get vectored up just south of CMK then westbound. There is a caravan that flies ISP-ROC once a week or so, i saw the flightplan on flightaware, and they file CMK..HAAYS..HUO.V252.GIBBE.

DM
 
Arch89U
Posts: 183
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RE: Flow Control And "Tower Enroute"

Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:38 pm

Thanks...

I'll definitely be using that as soon as I get back to the states.

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