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Old 05-31-2009, 01:26 PM   #1  
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Joined APC: Mar 2007
Position: Capt
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Default DAL ATL 767 Pilots flying to NBO...ATC Help


I got here in March, flying out of NBO. The ATC here does some strange things, so I thought I'd write this up to help anyone out that is flying in or out of NBO.

First of all, as you may already know from flying into West Africa (I assume it's the same), is that Africa is slow and disorganized. The organization, manpower, equipment, etc. is often lacking. I'm assuming that when you first get here, things will be more unorganized and will slowly improve. I just recommend that you be patient, and not surprised if things don't go smoothly, or quickly, and you don't meet your 2+3x turn times, at least at first.

The biggest problem is that the NBO ATC is inconsistent, in terminology, and in their clearances. It has seemed, though, that ATC will give the foreigners more SIDs, simplified clearances, and talk slower, than to the locals (ie: me). Frequently, I wish I was not a local when dealing with ATC.

ATC Progression:
You will contact Nairobi Control North or South, or Nairobi Radar, depending on your route. If you are having trouble contacting NBO Control, you can try NBO Information. Sometimes their frequency works further out.
Get out all the STARs that have the inbound intersections for your route. They may assign you a STAR (regardless whether or not it is on your flightplan), or they may clear you to fly direct to an intersection that is on one of the STARs that is applicable.
Regardless of the STAR, or intersection that you are cleared via/to, ATC may change at the last minute and assign you one of the JOMOK transitions (Jepps p. 10-2S), so always have this STAR out also.
If you are cleared to GG/GV (they are co-located), be ready to hold there as depicted, if they are busy.
Regardless of all the above, at the end, you may be cleared to ANTUK, and then the LOC for Runway 06. So, find a plate with ANTUK on it so you know where it is. This has occurred several times.
After Landing:
You will probably turn off at E Taxiway, and tower will tell you your landing time and to go to Ground (on the Jepps they're called “Apron Control” but they're usually called “Ground”...ATC inconsistencies). Once with Ground, there is an initial radio call protocol:
Call Sign/Origination/Souls on board/Operator:
“Delta 42, Inbound from Dakar, 262 passengers/11 crew, Operator Delta Airlines.”
Ground will probably send you via Juliet Taxiway to a gate. They typically will call it a “Spot”, but the terminology is variable. They may or may not tell you to call them with the marshaller in sight, but they want you to do this, and then they will release you to the marshaller.
First try and listen to ATIS. If it is ancient, or you can't understand the transmission (not uncommon) call TOWER for the weather. If you call Ground they will tell you to call tower for the ATIS, and they may get annoyed, which can be not good down the road when you need something from them.
Engine Start-Tower:
You are required to call Tower for engine start permission, and they have a protocol:
Call Sign/Request/Destination/Flight Level Requested/Souls on board (pax/crew)/Fuel Endurance:
“Delta 76 Requests engine start, Dakar, Flight Level 360, 235 passengers/13 crew, 11 ½ hours of fuel.”
Tower will give you start permission and confirm your cleared flight level. They may ask you questions if they are confused or you flight plan has problems. They may be busy and tell you to standby for a while...they have to taxi aircraft, give landing and takeoff clearances, ATC clearances, engine start permissions, and sometimes ATIS. I know, why does TOWER do all that? Talk to the Kenyan CAA Director...I'm just the messenger!
Note: You will probably have a jetway. But, sometimes, even if you are parked in a spot with a jetway, it may be broken and the pax will walk (unescorted and without much direction or supervision) from the mobile aircraft stairs to the fixed stairs of the terminal, which is in the middle of the gate area.
Call Sign/Location (Usually called a “Spot”, but the terminology varies)/Request/Destination/Souls on board:
“Delta 48, Spot 4, Request Push (or “Push Back”), Dakar, 220 passengers/14 crew.”
You will now get pushed back and start your engines. Normally, EVERYONE gets pushed back, and they are good at it, so you should have no problems here.
If you look at your Jepps, you will be parked near or to the left of Taxiway J, so your taxi clearance should be the same each time...Protocol:
Call Sign/Location/Request
“Delta 92, Pushed Back from Spot 2, Request Taxi.”
They will normally say:
“Delta 92, Taxi Juliet/Gulf, Approaching Gulf contact Tower on 118.7.”
Sometimes they may ask you for your Destination/Souls again.
Approaching Gulf (the parallel) you will call Tower...Protocol:
Call Sign/Location/Souls on board:
“Delta 86, Approaching Gulf, 164 passengers/12 crew.”
Tower will give you your Squawk, your Taxi Instructions, and may tell you to advise them when you are ready for your ATC instructions. Formats vary wildly:
“Delta 98, Squawk 4375, Holding Position Runway 06.”
“Delta 98, Holding Point 06/Number One, Squawk 4375.”
“Delta 98, Squawk 4375, Holding Position 06/Number Three, advise when ready for ATC.”
1-The above formats vary wildly, so be ready for format sequence variation, terminology variations, and, other questions from the Tower.
2-I believe that the “Holding Point 06” (or “Runway 06”) is the position at the normal hold short line next to the end of the runway on Kilo taxiway. I believe that the”Holding Position Runway 06” (or “06”) is the set of hold short lines that are on the 45 degree taxiway/ramp off of Gulf Taxiway, before you get to Kilo taxiway. However, I think that they sometimes interchange the two terms, and use both terms for BOTH POINTS, so please be careful and clarify which spot they want you to taxi to.
Clearance-Tower: This is the worst...
Sometimes they will wait for you to tell them you are ready for the clearance (if they have asked you to report ready). Sometimes they will ask you if you are ready for your clearance, which is nice. Sometimes, they will just blurt the clearance out at very high speed, out of the blue, assuming you are poised with your writing utensil in hand. Nice!
The flight plan you file for has no bearing, whatsoever, on the clearance you will get from Tower. You may file a SID, and: Not be given any SID, be given a different SID, be given the SID, but by telling you each specific instruction on the SID, which you have to read back, instead of just given you the SID, or, you may get a clearance that doesn't make any sense whatsoever to you. The last week I flew, we got cleared to an intersection that we did not recognize. I think it took 5, or maybe 6 tried to get the phonetic spelling. It turns out that the intersection was on one of the STARS for Runway 24, the runway that is never used. Since we were departing, and using Runway 06, it seemed odd to us.
“...Cleared to FL 180, Request altitude change enroute...”
“...Fly runway heading to FL 100, then L/R turn to (a fix that may or may not be on your flight plan)”
“...Cleared to Boundary/UTA Boundary/FIR Boundary...”
“...Cleared to Dakar...(and then later) XXX (the VOR at Dakar)”
The bottom line here is, be ready for ANYTHING, and remember that you are in AFRICA.
After ATC Clearance:
You may be given your takeoff clearance immediately after your ATC clearance (even if you're nowhere near the end of the runway), so be ready.
After takeoff, Tower will contact you and give you your takeoff time, and tell you to go to Nairobi Radar at 122.3. When you check in with Radar, all you need to tell them is your Squawk. They are very good.

Good luck, and if I can help in some other way, contact me.

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Old 05-31-2009, 05:09 PM   #2  
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Great gouge! Thanks for the info--
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Old 05-31-2009, 05:32 PM   #3  
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I get the idea this is goin to end up in the tip sheets in very short order. Thanks, cliff!
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Old 05-31-2009, 07:54 PM   #4  
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Sure glad I'm doing Vegas turns
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Old 05-31-2009, 08:02 PM   #5  
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Wow! I guess there are advantages to being a junior -88 guy!
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Old 05-31-2009, 08:26 PM   #6  
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Excellent post! Thx for taking your time to write this stuff down.
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Old 05-31-2009, 09:48 PM   #7  
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Nothings changed since I was flying C-141s in and out of there 20 years ago. Bottom line: expect the unexpected.
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Old 06-01-2009, 03:19 AM   #8  
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Originally Posted by buzzpat View Post
Nothings changed since I was flying C-141s in and out of there 20 years ago. Bottom line: expect the unexpected.
Where did you fly the Star Lizard? I was at McChord for 5 years. Greatest airplane ever in the Air Force inventory!
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Old 06-01-2009, 06:28 AM   #9  
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Originally Posted by satchip View Post
Where did you fly the Star Lizard? I was at McChord for 5 years. Greatest airplane ever in the Air Force inventory!
Jeez; an air force guy who also has a horrible avatar.
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Old 06-01-2009, 06:34 AM   #10  
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Originally Posted by B757200ER View Post
Jeez; an air force guy who also has a horrible avatar.
Still smarting from the Semis? Up the Arse, mate!
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