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In August last year, a British Airways 757 bound for Copenhagen was taking off on Heathrow’s northern runway. At the same time, Virgin Express 737 trying to land in thick cloud was directed into the path of BA jet. The AAIB report says the aircraft avoided collision 2,400 ft over the London airport by just 800 ft. It blames poor communication between controllers in the Heathrow tower and says there was a combined mistake. Disaster was averted when a training inspector overheard the arrivals controller announcing he had turned the Virgin aircraft into the path of the British Airways jet. Both aircraft were instructed by the arrivals and departures controllers to alter course. The report concludes with recommendations that communications between controllers should be improved, and that radar screens used to check aircraft conditions should be modified.



TEXT 2 (1.05 – Track 02)


There are a number of differences between VFR and IFR arrivals. The first surprise for the IFR pilot is that although they are instructed to contact tower, they probably won’t be able to talk to the tower! We will always try to talk to pilots, but sometimes it’s not possible. This is because there’s often not even enough time for verbal responses from the VFR traffic in the pattern, so instead we ask pilots to rock their wings as a response or if we instruct an aircraft to turn base, and that aircraft turns base, that’s also sufficient acknowledgement for us.


Because we are able to land multiple aircraft on the runway at the same time, the second surprise that IFR pilots will see VFR aircraft turning final in front of them until they are about one and a half miles out. Usually, the VFR in front will land long, and the IFR will land short. IFR arrivals are given touch-down position on the runway marked with a green dot. Landing on this dot allows plenty of space to roll out and also gives good access to taxiways, which allows the pilot to vacate the runway quickly.


The third thing to be aware of is that IFRs will probably be sequenced behind VFR traffic travelling at, say, 80 kn, and pilots need to bring the speed right down on final and really concentrate on flying their aircraft at these airspeeds, which many pilots are not used to.

TEXT 3 (1.08 – Track 03)


I = interviewer, DB = David Boatang

I David Boatang has claimed the recent closures at Nnamdi International airport are unacceptable. I have Mr Boatang with me now. Mr Boatang surely it is not right that airports are closed for VIP flights?
DB No it’s not. The recent VIP closures at Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport represented a great danger to public safety. They led to unnecessary congestion of the airspace and increased the danger of collision by holding aircraft.
I But why is there an increased danger of collision?
DB Too many aircraft in the airspace at the same time stress the control tower staff and increase their chances of making grave human errors. It is also common knowledge that the maintenance of most domestic passenger aircraft is short of international standards and in a situation of poor visibility, the risk of crashing is much higher, especially in a mountainous area such as Abuja.
I So poor maintenance is also a factor?
DB Not just maintenance. Air passengers always consist of all sorts of people: women, children, the aged, the infirm being medically evacuated. Many of these people could become anxious or suffer from a shortage of needed oxygen and other forms of first aid. There is also the possibility of mid-panic as a result of rumours on board.
I But if VIPs are not given preferential treatment won’t they be reluctant to travel here and won’t that affect our economy?
DB The unnecessary and long holding of aircraft is not only dangerous, it is very expensive for aircraft operating costs and company time – the time lost by the passengers in their business, etc. The most logical solution to delayed and cancelled flights as a result of VIP movements for Nigeria to have its own special military airport for its Air Force and VIPs.
I Is this something that happens elsewhere?
DB Yes, it happens in lots of countries. The Edward Royal Air Force Base near London, Andrew Air Force Base of Washington DC and Le Bourget Airport in France. Even here in Nigeria, the Air Force Base in Kaduna has a separate airport which removes the burden of VIP flights from the main airport.
I Thank you very much Mr Boatang. What do you listeners think? Have you ever been delayed at an airport waiting for a VIP?


TEXT 4 (1.11 – Track 04)


Good morning. My name’s Donat, and I’m giving this morning’s tactical briefing at 0800 hours. The present situation is affected by some staffing issues at Rhine control in Germany. Affected sectors are middle sector at Kahlsruhe sector and Nattenheim base and middle, which are combined. The delays have dropped since we proposed some level caps and individual re-routings, but there is still some delay.


We have over-fly problems in central Europe, due to thunderstorms and rain. There is also bad weather causing disruptions, especially in Vienna, with the arrival regulated from 0700 to 1200 causing delays of up to one hour.


Also, in Spain we have Madrid airport regulated until 1200 due to CBs, and delays there are up to 30 minutes. I guess this regulation will be extended if the weather doesn’t get better.


We have, in Italy, a regulation running to Pisa due to work in progress. This is from 0820 until 1020 and is giving around 30 to 35 minutes delay.


For Istanbul we have an arrival regulation running until 2020 this evening. Nothing we can do due to lack of parking space.


In Cyprus, the west north sector will be also regulated between ten o’clock and 1330. We are coordinating and we are hoping that by eleven o’clock the rate will be increased by two aircraft per hour. Unfortunately, the Echo to Sierra airspace is also regulated, making any rerouting impossible for traffic going to or coming from Israel.


Before I hand over to meteorology, I ought to remind you that the Romanian air force is conducting training exercises over their airspace today.



TEXT 5 (1.18 – Track 05)


I = interviewer , O = Mr Oblovsky

I Today a Tupolev 154 performed a gear-up touchdown during its landing here at Almaty airport. It skidded on the runway, but fortunately was able to take-off and land normally after a go-around. The passengers were lucky to have landed without any injuries. I have Mr Oblovsky with me, a spokesperson for the airport. Mr Oblovsky. I understand that the ground proximity warning system which warns the crew to lower the undercarriage was switched off. Is that correct?
O Yes it’s true. Because the approach is so low, just 100 m over the mountains, the warning was going off all the time and was distracting the crew.
I And that led to the aircraft landing with gear-up?
O No. The approach was faster than expected and because the runway was occupied by another aircraft, a 757, the pilot decided to do a go-around. But then the Tupolev captain saw that the 757 was taking off he changed his mind and decided to land.
I But with gear up? Surely with the GPWS switched off the crew would have gone through their checklist and realized the gear was not extended.
O They simply didn’t have time because of the change of mind and they only realized just before landing. The captain immediately ordered a go-around. The aircraft reacted slowly and hit the runway and then lifted off the ground.
I Was the aircraft damaged?
O The Tupolev has large landing gear carriages which shielded the landing gear, wing and flaps. The aircraft skidded on these but was able to take off and land normally after a go-around.
I So this is clearly a case of pilot error?
O At this stage it is too early to say and we need to examine all the evidence.

TEXT 6 (1.21 – Track 06)


R = Reporter, Y = Yuri

R Two passenger airlines were just seconds from disaster in a near miss incident near Krasnodar. A quick thinking air-traffic controller saved the lives of 302 people. It’s not just pilots who are responsible for the safety of passengers. Teams of dispatch engineers have a huge responsibility. At this centre each controller monitors up to ten aircraft at a time. Yuri has been working as a controller for over ten years. Yuri’s quick thinking prevented two planes that were only 200 metres apart from crashing into one another. Yuri, can you talk us through what happened?
Y Well I could see that the two airplanes were too close together, and both immediately responded to my instructions.
R Why were they so close?
Y The Tupolev 154 and Boeing 767 both departed during my shift. But the Tupolev had problems with its landing gear and they were unable to retract so the airplane started to lose altitude. Meanwhile the Boeing beneath it was climbing at full throttle over the aircraft. They were both travelling at high speed and were only 15 seconds away from colliding. I instructed the Boeing to turn right. The whole incident was over very quickly but it seemed to last forever.
R Yuri has received a lot of media attention and many calls. But he simply gets on with his job.
Y The risks are many, but with concentration and good teamwork we are able to keep the sky safe.
R Usually we don’t know the names of the people who keep us safe in the sky. But now this air-traffic controller is no longer unknown and he is getting all the praise he deserves.

TEXT 7 (1.24 – Track 07)


I = interviewer, D = David

I David, we’re standing by runway 01 here at Whitsand International airport where your team is working with new system. Can you tell us what we have here?
D Yes, , sure, this is a mobile bird detection radar system designed to cover the runway here where we are at the moment. We have a horizontal radar that’s tracking bird movements four to six miles around the airport. And this is the vertical radar which covers the approach and departure corridors. This detects birds four miles out in the corridor and gives us risk levels on bird activity.
I And what are you hoping to do?
D The goal is to track species that pose the greatest risk to aircraft, the medium, large and flock-size category birds, and provide useable control data to the air-traffic controllers so they can more effectively manage the risk.
I How reliable is this technology?
D Oh, very. We can pick up a small bird out to several miles, and flocks out to eight, ten or even 12 miles. Let’s go inside and have a look.
I So show me what this is.
D These computers process the real-time data from the radars, and the data for bird tracks. The screen here shows us the bird activity around the airport.
I And … er … each of these green dots on the screen is a bird?
D Yes. Basically, it’s an air-traffic control radar for birds.
I Is the system operational?
D It’s used by the military, so it is already operational, but we are still testing it for use in civil aviation.
I And what’s the timescale on this project? When do you think it’ll be ready?
D We’re aiming for launch in …

TEXT 8 (1.27 – Track 08)


AFHL = Air freight help line, C = customer

AFHL Hello air freight. How can I help?
C Yes, hello. I need to send a shipment of goods and I need to know the best way to pack them.
AFHL OK. Well it will depend on the nature of the goods, but generally, the most important thing is to put them in a container.
C Is that really necessary?
AFHL Well, containers will protect your cargo from physical damage and from rain and will also protect your cargo from thieves, by making it more difficult to steal. We charge for containers at lower rates than uncontained cargo of the same weight, so it would be cheaper for you. Finally, containers will keep your cargo together and stop portions of it getting lost.
C OK, that all sounds sensible. What do I need to do with regards to labeling?
AFHL You need to label each piece in big, bold letters in two places with the name, address, and phone number of the shipper and consignee, that is, the person or company you are sending the goods to.
C And do I need to wrap the container?
AFHL Many of our customers bind their shipments in containers with metal bands. Use three in each direction around the piece. Use numbered seals if possible. We can provide you with these if you’d like to use them.
C I’ve got some pretty unusual things I’d like to ship. Can you tell me what is and isn’t permitted?
AFHL You’ll need to look at our rules for all the details. But to give you an idea, there are special procedures for articles of unusual size or length, articles of extraordinary value, art objects, hazardous materials, perishables, very fragile items, live animals and so on.
C I see. Well actually I do have some quite valuable art pieces. What kind of special procedures do I need to go through?
AFHL If you’ll just hold the line for one moment I’ll put toy through to someone who’ll be able to give you some more specialist advice. One moment please.
C OK. Thanks for you help.

TEXT 9 (1.33 – Track 09)

Date: 2016-01-03; view: 1329

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