This is a forum for discussing General Aviation in Ireland
Not saying they are a bad bunch, but on Tuesday had an ATC read out the AIP to me in chapter and verse on the radio advising me that Connaught West Airport is 24hrs PPR for all flights. Seems like a hit or miss implementation, as most other times it's never been an issue. But just so it comes as no no surprise to anyone it is there in the AIP, I checked. I would have considered the regional airports "public" airports, funded by taxpayers and staffed any ways during the published op hours. It's not like they need to go out and shoo cattle off the field. But there you go....
Funny little place Ireland.
And you can call into Aldrogrove anytime, an airport probably more active than Dublin and be accommodated without a blink of an eye.
Ireland, strange little country indeed..... no wonder its fu***d !
24 hrs PPR in EIKN ??? was he just taking the mick ? if ATC had time to read chapter and verse to you prob feck all else to do. A pity as the marketing team there were really helpful to GA visitors. i wonder if they know of their colleagues in ATC? 24 hours PPR in our weather is a no go most of the time.
so theres another perfectly good state owned airport that is effectively closed to GA. the list is getting longer;
anyone know if AOPA has a view on this ?
24 hours is stupid. It's twice the time Special Branch need for a trip into Northern Ireland/UK.
I'm surprised that this was done over the radio. Is it the case that you were looking for PPR over the radio? If so, I wonder was his gripe really that he wanted PPR by phone, but had nothing to back up that as a requirement so chose this instead?
As others have said...if he had enough time to look that up and read it out to you, then he had enough time to handle your flight.
EIKN need all the business that they can get. Stupid of them to be turning some away.
A letter to the airport manager might be useful.
I was going to post a cryptic response to the PPRN issue but on reading Robert Watts article on 'Far-reaching reforms alter public service landscape' in to days Irish Times it all now makes sense. Here is what he said:
The Government's reform programme is based around five central themes: placing customer service at the core of all we do; maximising new, innovative service-delivery; radically cutting costs to get better value; leading, organising and working in new ways; and a strong focus on implementation and delivery.
So is it not perfectly obvious if you publish something in AIP to and read it out over the airwaves to stop people from using the facilities you definitely have Customer Service at the core of your business. Its also an innovative service delivery method. It will cut costs as no-one will be using and therefore wearing out your runway, ramp and passenger areas etc etc.
His last paragraph is also telling:
The winners from all this will be the people who benefit from well designed and well delivered public services, and those of us in the public service who take pride in an innovative environment with highly motivated colleagues.
gET UP OF THE FLOOR & STOP LAUGHING - i'M NOT JOKING
Knock is a bit of a comedy, really. I went there one fine summer's day (yes, really!) and we were directed to orbit South of the runway, even though there was no traffic nearby. When we asked why, the ATC guy said that there was a Ryanair 20 miles away.Coincidentally, we heard the same Ryanair aircraft announce his position, which was considerably more than 20 miles away. The embarrassed Atco let us land and directed us to the Club ramp. We parked and were met by a nice chap in a tatty old van, which could apparently get out of 2nd gear and we were driven up a narrow road to the terminal, which was lined by derelict cars and cast-off baggage trollies, to the cargo area and into the terminal we went. The driver told us to ask for him when we were leaving. After tea and buns, we went to pay the landing fee and went thru a bit of a rigmarole to do this, even though it was only about a tenner. To get out to our aircraft, we were handed temporary boarding cards by the van driver, had to go through the standard passengers creening process (belt and jackets thru the xray) and then handed the boarding cards back to the van driver. Back out via the cargo area to the van and back to our aircraft. We were ticked off for not having yellow bibs by another member of staff.
When we went to depart, we almost had to repeat the before-landing saga as there was another commercial aircraft within 50 miles of Knock, but the guy let us go in the end.
I've had less trouble in France and Italy.
Can I suggest a letter to the CEO of the IAA (ATC employer) with a simple question WHY 24 hours PPR for EIKN? mines ready to go and ill let ya have the result.
if there is a result, i'm still waiting for a response to my last letter to the IAA regarding the potential of a Strasser acheme for Ireland !!!!!! almost a year now................. they must be fierce busy.
come on lads if ya do nothing we will be shut out of many more facilities that our taxes have paid for. over to you now.
My suggestion....ship all the lads in ATC out to Oshkosh Tower for the convention in late July......"see the light...end of problem"....might have to give them a few Valium to take care of the shock.....!!...
Or even on a smaller scale, take them across the water to Popham in late May, could be up to 20, maybe 30 in the circuit for landing, I have been in the middle of 15 on finals to land.
All we have to do is look at the controlled airspace around Irish airports , bloody joke.
Knock is really a hit and miss affair and theres one controller there who in my opinion should not be there.I heard him blast GA pilots before.Also heard him blast a Ryanair pilot over the airwaves after the pilot said "the last 10 minutes here were totally unacceptable" with regards ATC.The other lads in the tower seem sound although any build up of traffic at all and theres a panic.
Re the 24 hr PPR: If you look at say Waterford's website it specifies 24 hr prior permission also but in practice they are quite happy if you ring them and ask for PPR even an hour before your planned arrival. There is no doubt that if 24 hr PPR were strictly enforced, no-one would be able to fly into any regional airport just by virtue of our weather as has already been stated by others. Requiring PPR is not a totally unreasonable thing, in that it allows the airport to know you are on the way and they are expecting you. It's also a good opportunity for the GA pilot to get weather info, find out if they have fuel available or if there will be, say, an Aer Arann flight in at the same time (which often means you won't get fuel in a hurry because the scheduled flight is their priority).
Like any form of bureaucracy and red-tape, it's often better to go with whatever system they have (regardless of how logical it is) rather than trying to buck it! Of course you have to know what the system actually is and in Knock in the past there could be different systems on different occasions and what was correct protocol last time is not de rigeur the next time. But having said that I have to say that while there might have been some inconsistencies (e.g. about getting temporary boarding passes etc) at Knock in the past, there was never any malice or obstructionism. On the contrary, I always found staff there very helpful and easy going in a way you only find in the West and long may it continue.
Re: ATC and pilots etc. You can hear on the radio when people are stressed. That applies to ATCOs and aviators. The attitude conveyed over the radio by ATCO's can make a huge difference to the aviators stress level. You really appreciate the helpful, non-stress inducing, non-confrontational approach of most ATCOs but on the other hand one narky controller (who may well be suffering from stress caused by any number of work related or personal matters) can make you feel like not flying again. The obvious difference of course is that ATC are on the ground.
The other thing arising from other posts above is to remember to be careful about what you say on the radio! As we know, all transmissions are recorded and the tapes are retained. For example, air accident investigators were reviewing ATC tapes at one regional airport and came across evidence of a previous incident involving an aircraft which later was involved in a serious accident near another regional airport which they were also investigating at the time and which would not have come to light otherwise, because the details of the previous incident were not recorded in the logbooks.
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