KarlB737
Topic Author
Posts: 2635
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2004 9:51 pm

FAA Plans To Separate Radar-Tower Functions At MCO

Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:43 am

Against the wishes of the U.S. Congress the FAA has decided to seperate the radar and tower functions at MCO starting January 4, 2009. According to the writeup and this is their text:

Courtesy: US Newswire

"the tower operation becomes staffed with less experienced controllers, the radar operation becomes unable to staff without forced overtime for fatigued controllers and overall training programs are degraded to a level that does not conform to DOT Inspector General recommendations."

FAA Ignores Congress, Plans to Needlessly Threaten Orlando Air Safety Starting Sunday

2 Pages

http://www.airportbusiness.com/web/o...Air-Safety-Starting-Sunday/1$24961

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I hope there are some ATC guys and gals on A-Net that read this and then can explain what in the world is going on here. How many regular members of this forum even knew about this?
 
xjet
Posts: 407
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 10:09 am

RE: FAA Plans To Separate Radar-Tower Functions At MCO

Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:55 am

Basically the FAA has been trying to split facilities to save money. Pay is based upon facility operations and airspace complexity. Most airports used to be what is called "up-down" facilities where controllers worked "up" in the tower and "down" in TRACON. This increased facility complexity and raised controller pay. IAH, ATL, PDX, and many other facilities used to use this model. However, now the FAA has realized it can split the two into two separate facilities and cut the pay band for one or both.

For example, this just happened at MIA. MIA used to be a level 12 up-down facility (10 is the highest). Now, MIA is split with the tower being a level 11 or 10 (can't remember) and the TRACON is still a 12. This model is spreading and will probably affect TPA, JAX, CLT, RDU, IND a few others in the near future.

Some examples of when this made a lot of sense are in ATL, LAX, and DC area where a few TRACONs were combined into one larger facility to improve efficiency. Unfortunately, the way it is being done at places like MCO and TPA reduces the number of controllers certified on all positions without hiring additional controllers the cover both facilities. The results in a lot of overtime and controller fatigue.

This will only get worse, in my opinion, since the FAA is just now starting to correct the horrid level of staffing that it currently has. And as more rules are changed that don't favor controllers, the sooner people retire and create more under-staffing. It's really a quite vicious circle.

... At least this is my take on the whole thing........ I also think that article blows it a bit out of proportion.
 
IAHFLYR
Posts: 3943
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:56 am

RE: FAA Plans To Separate Radar-Tower Functions At MCO

Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:03 am

The cost issue aside, this is yet another huge mistake! Why, because a tower controller never learns what the TRACON controller deals with and vice/versa. And yes, I understand the fact of proficiency issue as well within the respective operation, something with creative scheduling can be dealt with simply.

The IAH Tower and Houston TRACON split probably occurred in the early 90's, something like 1992 when the last up/down controller was no longer current in the tower. Nothing against either facility operation, but there is the disconnect between the different options.

There are places where the facilities are not located near each other, like ATL Tower and ATL TRACON.....these make sense to have the split facility ops. However, when they are located on the same airport. IMO cost should not be the ruling factor, efficiency and knowledge of the total operation should come first.
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
wagz
Posts: 462
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2003 12:48 pm

RE: FAA Plans To Separate Radar-Tower Functions At MCO

Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:47 pm

We dodged the bullet on this one here at PHL, as the FAA was planning to split PHL, MEM, MCO and soomeone else all at the same time. Luckily our NATCA chapter fought pretty hard and instead we're being sectorized in to an Area A and Area B. Area A being the Tower and the Arrival Sectors in the TRACON. Area B is the entire TRACON but no tower. We keep Level 12 pay for everyone, as they were planning on making the Tower a Level 10 and possibly making the TRACON an 11. Only one other new hire developmental behind me got Area A last year. Everyone else coming in, including some transfers from other facilities, are all Area B.

Us Area A guys at PHL won't get to experience the fun that is our Departure Sectors, but at least we'll be sitting next to them watching as they vector like mad to get departures over one fix 30 MIT, while at the same time working low level props up to EWR and LGA, and work aicraft in/out of some satellite airports.

Oddly enough, I'm heading out to OKC tomorrow for my RTF class.
I think Big Foot is blurry, Its not the photographers fault. Theres a large out of focus monster roaming the countryside
 
SPREE34
Posts: 1568
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:09 am

RE: FAA Plans To Separate Radar-Tower Functions At MCO

Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:23 pm

It's all part of FAA's "run like a business" scheme that puts the bottom line in front of safety.

Funny, coming from the agency that won't let the airlines work that way.

The FAA needs to be destroyed. It's functions parted out to other groups with some working knowledge, or stake in mission success. ATC to DoD or the USAF. Flight safety and standards to NASA. Just suggestions.
I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
 
P3Orion
Posts: 377
Joined: Tue May 30, 2006 10:53 am

RE: FAA Plans To Separate Radar-Tower Functions At MCO

Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:23 pm



Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 4):
ATC to DoD or the USAF. Flight safety and standards to NASA. Just suggestions.

If ATC went to the Air Force, wouldn't the zoomies want to split all the up/downs?  stirthepot 
I will have a Manhattan.
 
IAHFLYR
Posts: 3943
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:56 am

RE: FAA Plans To Separate Radar-Tower Functions At MCO

Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:51 pm



Quoting Wagz (Reply 3):
Flight safety and standards

That entire flight standards process really needs an overhaul......start there without a doubt.
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
jgarrido
Posts: 258
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:40 pm

RE: FAA Plans To Separate Radar-Tower Functions At MCO

Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:08 am



Quoting P3Orion (Reply 5):
If ATC went to the Air Force, wouldn't the zoomies want to split all the up/downs?

It would stay the same until some new Captain trying to make Major comes up with the great idea of splitting the facilities so that each controller is more specialized. Then that guy leaves and some new officer trying to good impression comes in he'll come up with the "new" idea of combining the staffing so that each controller has a better understanding of what the others are going though.
 
SPREE34
Posts: 1568
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:09 am

RE: FAA Plans To Separate Radar-Tower Functions At MCO

Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:11 pm



Quoting Jgarrido (Reply 7):
It would stay the same until some new Captain trying to make Major comes up with the great idea of splitting the facilities so that each controller is more specialized. Then that guy leaves and some new officer trying to good impression comes in he'll come up with the "new" idea of combining the staffing so that each controller has a better understanding of what the others are going though.



Quoting P3Orion (Reply 5):
If ATC went to the Air Force, wouldn't the zoomies want to split all the up/downs?   

Huuummm. Yeah. Scratch the USAF idea.
I don't understand everything I don't know about this.

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