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Advertised Runway -vs- Your Requested Runway

Old 04-14-2006, 06:29 AM
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Angry Advertised Runway -vs- Your Requested Runway

If you require a departure runway other than one of the advertised departure runways, would you consider telling us that fact on initial contact?

As a Ground Controller, I am going to provide you with taxi instructions that comply with our local directives and agreements with FDX. These instructions will take into account weather, Traffic Management restrictions, FDX "programmed" runways and sector/runway availability.

Here's what happens repeatedly on a nightly basis:

FDX1234 - "Ground, FDX1234 at spot 6 for taxi."

Ground - "FDX1234, Memphis Ground, information alpha current. Cross runway 27 at bravo, taxi to runway 18R via bravo, alpha, charlie, papa and mike. Give-way to the Airbus south on yankee and the Boeing left to right on alpha."

FDX1234 - "Uh... Ground... we need runway 18C for operational necessity."

Ground - (off frequency) SHEITE!, (then) "FDX1234, Runway 18C, cross runway 27 at bravo, hold short of taxiway sierra. Give way to the Airbus south on yankee and the Boeing left to right on alpha. Monitor the Tower on 119.7."

(Then the real kicker!)

FDX6789 - "Ground, FDX6789 we're next at spot 6."

Ground - "FDX6789, Memphis Ground. Information Alpha is current. Cross Runway 27 via yankee, taxi to runway 18L. Give way to the B727 left to right on alpha, and follow the Falcon Jet exiting the Wilson Ramp at yankee."

FDX6789 - "Uh... Ground... we need runway 18C for operational necessity."

Ground - (off frequency) ****! ARRGGGHHHH! Why can't these guys just tell me that they need the long runway?



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Whew... I feel better now.
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Old 04-14-2006, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by MEM_ATC
If you require a departure runway other than one of the advertised departure runways, would you consider telling us that fact on initial contact?

As a Ground Controller, I am going to provide you with taxi instructions that comply with our local directives and agreements with FDX. These instructions will take into account weather, Traffic Management restrictions, FDX "programmed" runways and sector/runway availability.

Here's what happens repeatedly on a nightly basis:

FDX1234 - "Ground, FDX1234 at spot 6 for taxi."

Ground - "FDX1234, Memphis Ground, information alpha current. Cross runway 27 at bravo, taxi to runway 18R via bravo, alpha, charlie, papa and mike. Give-way to the Airbus south on yankee and the Boeing left to right on alpha."

FDX1234 - "Uh... Ground... we need runway 18C for operational necessity."

Ground - (off frequency) SHEITE!, (then) "FDX1234, Runway 18C, cross runway 27 at bravo, hold short of taxiway sierra. Give way to the Airbus south on yankee and the Boeing left to right on alpha. Monitor the Tower on 119.7."

(Then the real kicker!)

FDX6789 - "Ground, FDX6789 we're next at spot 6."

Ground - "FDX6789, Memphis Ground. Information Alpha is current. Cross Runway 27 via yankee, taxi to runway 18L. Give way to the B727 left to right on alpha, and follow the Falcon Jet exiting the Wilson Ramp at yankee."

FDX6789 - "Uh... Ground... we need runway 18C for operational necessity."

Ground - (off frequency) ****! ARRGGGHHHH! Why can't these guys just tell me that they need the long runway?



MEM_ATC
Whew... I feel better now.
I share your pain, my brother. It drives me nuts, too. It ties up the freq something fierce. It doesn't work every time (I forget to tell them, they forget to say it) but when I'm working a leg that requires the long runway I try to brief the F/O to advise the ground cntroller on first contact. It saves a lot of time and grief.
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Old 04-14-2006, 07:06 AM
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Well, see, there ya go - - we can't even remember the ATIS code, how are we supposed to remember something important like a runway requirement?!?!?










As busy as you are it may difficult to believe how hard it seems to be to gather all the information to make that silly radio call. OK, what's my callsign this time, where did we write that down? Ok, umm, this is spot 6, no, it was Spot 6 last night, umm, is this 4 or 5? They're so close, I never can remember which is which. Does it even matter? I need to hurry up so the Captain won't have to stop taxiing before we get to the spot - - I'm sure he'll yell at me if we don't get to keep rolling here. Oh, shoot, I'll just say 5. <Keys microphone> Memphis Ground, good after, ummm, good morning, FedEx, uh, 3456, Spot (oh crud, I forgot what the ATIS code was and the lighting is too dim for me to read the Takeoff Data card from here, maybe I can talk and reach over ther) <microphone unkeys as he reaches for card> <grabs card, holds it up to dim light and reads a H,> (no wait, is that a K? NO, it looks like a C that has a D scribbled over it. Oh, yeah, I remember now, the ATIS was updated after the card was done, it's definitely D.) <microphone keys> Spot 6 (is that what I decided it was? oh well, I already said it now) with Delta. (Whew, I got it)

FedEx 3456, Runway 18 Right (dang, I meant to tell him we need the Center, now I'm still gonna have the Captain breathing down my neck, what a great way to start the trip) Cross blah blah blah, give way to blah blah blah, follow the blahh blah blah blah... (oh wait, I said Spot 6, didn't I - - I think we're at 5, ummm)



We'll try to do better.







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Old 04-14-2006, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by TonyC

We'll try to do better.
Nobody ever said the job was easy. . they just pay us like it is
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Old 04-14-2006, 01:55 PM
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After my read back, we advise clearence delivery to pass the message to ground... sort of a heads up.
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Old 04-14-2006, 04:16 PM
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I try to remember, afterall, I did the performance- the captain reminds me three times, I write it down, and as soon as I get to the spot, I go into auto mode and forget to tell you. Trust me, the captain gives me crap about it and I have to buy the first beer on the layover.

In general, if it's going over an ocean, it's going to need the center.
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Old 04-14-2006, 09:03 PM
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Agree with captjns. Better to request it from clearance delivery, together with the initial call.
Try something like
"Delivery, FDX1234, morning, ready to copy, and we need 18C today"
Sometimes in Europe, changing the runway will change your SID and the initial clearance altogether, so it's better to do it early.
Then, if GRD doesn't mention it, ask again. Then the "(off frequency) SHEITE!" will be directed at the delivery controlled who forgot to pass on the request.
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Old 04-15-2006, 04:30 AM
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If you have ACARS, you won't be calling Clearance Delivery in MEM and a lot of other cities. The clearance comes across the ACARS automatically as a PDC.

But again, I am one of the annoying-congesting the freq- first officers that forgot to ask for the center runway. Oops. Sorry.
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Old 04-15-2006, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Fedex999999

If you have ACARS, you won't be calling Clearance Delivery in MEM and a lot of other cities. The clearance comes across the ACARS automatically as a PDC.

But again, I am one of the annoying-congesting the freq- first officers that forgot to ask for the center runway. Oops. Sorry.
Without trying to get technical here, and for the benefit of MEM_ATC who asked the question and who has been extremely helpful in providing insights into the ATC perspective by discussing these things candidly with us...


It is rare that a FedEx airplane will call Clearance Delivery in Memphis. Even airplanes without ACARS can receive their PDC through our computer system which prints the PDC with the Weight & Balance each time the W&B is printed. Of course, the PDC is not available until 30 minutes prior to the scheduled block out time, so it's possible that we won't get a PDC. In that case, we would call Clearance Delivery and use the LOA procedure to recieve our clearance. Even in that case, it's a canned call, and a canned response.


I've given the runway assignment topic a bit of thought, and have an idea that I think might be worthy of discussion and possible pursuit. We all know before pushback if we'll be needing the long runway for departure. Why not include a request or a flag with the pushback call to Ramp Tower, and let Ramp Tower pass the information along to Memphis Ground Control? Or, perhaps even better still, attach that information to the Beacon Call - - I don't know if it matters, but perhaps it could influence the order of beacon/push.


Then, when we get to the Entry/Exit spot, Ground already knows which runway we need, and even if we forget to mention the runway requirement, there's already a flag on our strip to that effect.

Does this idea have any merit?







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Old 04-15-2006, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by TonyC
I've given the runway assignment topic a bit of thought, and have an idea that I think might be worthy of discussion and possible pursuit. We all know before pushback if we'll be needing the long runway for departure. Why not include a request or a flag with the pushback call to Ramp Tower, and let Ramp Tower pass the information along to Memphis Ground Control? Or, perhaps even better still, attach that information to the Beacon Call - - I don't know if it matters, but perhaps it could influence the order of beacon/push.
I've been doing that for years. I also think on the MD11, if heavy, we should give approach control a heads up about our approach speed. Always a problem when they give 170Kts to the OM and most traffic slow to 130-140k from the OM to touchdown and we can only slow to 165kts.
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