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Laval LFOV, and the non ATC approach

Several of us have done a trip down to Laval today.

A nice airport and a nice town.

The interesting aspect is the GPS approach with no ATC, just AFIS, and using a remote US-style approach controller (Rennes).

However the controller does not “clear” you for the approach, because it is in Class G. They clear you to the IAF and you are required to hold there until previous traffic has either departed or landed. The resulting spacing is considerable, at up to 10 minutes.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

We had the same happening in spain (Burgos), where they wouldn’t let the others behind me commence the approach until I had landed, but we weren’t in G airspace.

Since it’s G, I guess either they are
1) Recommending that you do so
2) As part of the service agreement you have with them (that they try to provide you with separation), they request that you do as they say, otherwise service cancelled.

What was the exact phraseology?

I imagine conditions were IMC for part of the approach at least?

Peter, what you describe sounds like the US system of 1-aircraft-on-approach-or-released-for-departure at airfield X.

Seems sensible and safe, given these airports have very little IFR traffic.

Waiting for your report !

LFPT, LFEH

Got the movie and sound track

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I had some fun on the way there.

I filed, with the Autorouter, 13/2/2019 0800Z.

EET about 1:30.

Then one of the others said he would not arrive until 11Z so I thought why not get an extra hour’s sleep. At my age, sleep is important So, knowing the AR’s web interface has been broken for ages for delaying FPs, but the telegram interface reportedly working ok, I used the telegram interface to do

eobt 0900

One slight problem: I did this roughly on 12/2/2019 ~0800. So the AR code brought the FP back to 12/2/2019 0900! Instead of making it 1hr later it made it 23hrs earlier. Well, I suppose I should have expected that… the ambiguity is obvious.

So I tried a delay. I waited till after 0900 (still on 12/2) and then did

eobt 0900

and it refused, saying something about the delay being longer than permitted (20hrs?). So I did

eobt 2000

which worked, delaying till 12/2/2019 2000. Then immediately I did

eobt 0900

which worked, delaying it till 13/2/2019 0900.

Then I got a phone call from LFOV wondering why I was coming at 2000! Then, still on the phone, he saw the final FP and was happy.

But this screwed up the software at both NATS and France. NATS lost the FP completely. France corrupted it with a destination of LFOX, which resulted in me getting the first half of the flight going somewhere else

But the FISO at LFOV had the right FP all along. He thought this was hilarious

Of course, cancelling the original and doing a new one would have probably avoided this, but I don’t like cancelling because you sometimes invite a CTOT.

I wonder whether the Belgian ATC being on strike all day screwed up things. London Control were going berserk. One pilot was going to come to LFOV but when he discovered his only option was a long VFR OCAS leg through the strike region, he cancelled.

On the way back it worked properly

It’s going to take me a few days to get the video done. Editing with a sound track takes ages because you have to listen to the whole lot while cutting.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Cancelling and refiling does not attract a CTOT.

If the air traffic flow is regulated for a flight from A to B, you will get a CTOT regarless you filed the FPL 30 minutes or 6 days early. What is recommended is to file the FPL at least 3 hrs prior EOBT in order to get a « nicer » CTOT.

By the way, when you « bring forward » a FPL like you unwillingly did, what AR did is a FPL cancel and a FPL file.

Last Edited by Guillaume at 14 Feb 16:19

Cancelling and refiling does not attract a CTOT.

Not by itself, but CTOTs are allocated to penalise late filters first – as I know from much experience

By the way, when you « bring forward » a FPL like you unwillingly did, what AR did is a FPL cancel and a FPL file.

Yes of course, and this is why I also avoid using the AR’s “bring forward the EOBT” feature. In this case it happened accidentally. AR does check, before cancelling, that the new (earlier) FP will still validate, but it cannot check if a CTOT will be issued immediately upon filing.

That said, CTOTs are very rare on the route in question. They are much more common on the EGKA – KONAN – KOK – LNO kind of route.

I do wonder what happened on that FP. Perhaps a French ATCO can look it up? I got LFOX instead of LFOV, with some route to LFOX whose details I never saw.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

however the controller does not “clear” you for the approach, because it is in Class G. They clear you to the IAF and you are required to hold there until previous traffic has either departed or landed. The resulting spacing is considerable, at up to 10 minutes.

Noe wrote:

Since it’s G, I guess either they are
1) Recommending that you do so
2) As part of the service agreement you have with them (that they try to provide you with separation), they request that you do as they say, otherwise service cancelled.

@Guillaume, what about this?

Last Edited by Noe at 14 Feb 16:32

To add to this bit: I was at FL080 inbound LADAV and requested a descent, but Rennes would not do it; they made some phone call and said the MEA is 2900ft and it sounded like as an implicit clearance to descend to “whatever”. I called them to check this and they confimed. So I descended to the 3500ft stated on the plate

The sound track will be interesting; I have probably misunderstood, as I often find the accent tricky.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

It’s more or less correct.
OCAS, ATC can only suggest what is sensible to do.
As of today, I’ve only seen crew complying with ATC “suggestions” including a regional turboprop when I worked in the south.
But if a pilot elect to proceed differently, information and alert services will continue to be provided. Needless to say that it’s not the best approach.
I don’t work with AFIS myself (where I work airports are either ATC or Air to Air outside ATC hours), but I’ve flown to a place where an AFISO told me that he is not allowed to have more than 1 IFR traffic at a time on it’s frequency.

It was a sunny day and I offered to cancel IFR in order to let a business jet depart.

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