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Schedule (airport opening times) in French VAC: How to interpret?

It is in my reply above. They ARE (corrected) UTC times. If they wanted to use UTC times only, in the example above, they would have to write

0600-1900 (0500-1800)

(as other countries in fact do…) but it is longer. Hence, they do the trick with that note above.

Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

Even with the French way of publishing times, I’ve seen a few airports publish two sets of time between summer and winter, possibly because of longer daylight in summer and hence stay open for longer.

Quote This is bizzare… why not publish UTC times?

Another reason might be that whoever decided that rule wanted to simplify the pilot’s life. It’s easier to always add 1hr than to remember to only add 1hr in winter and 2hrs in summer. In my experience, it does help to know it’s always -1hr from LT and not have to change with season. But…creates massive confusion with the rest of Europe publishing times in UTC

Last Edited by james16 at 24 Aug 10:41
LFMD

wanted to simplify the pilot’s life

A pilot who cannot understand UTC will never be able to

  • understand tafs/metars
  • understand notams
  • understand loads of other stuff
  • fly to any airport whose opening hours etc are not already intimately known to him
  • fly internationally

I can well imagine many pilots manage to avoid all of the above especially on a trip to a grass strip “down the road”, but would this method of writing the AIP really be intended to support that?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I would be very interested to hear the official backstory behind this decision

LFMD

Maybe it went along the lines of “if we do this it’ll save us from writing two sets of times when they don’t change in summer/winter…..ok….oh and then we also won’t have to do the +1/+2 weird UTC thing….(lightbulb moment)…Double win, let’s do it!!!”

LFMD

The VAC of Calvi LFKC specifies ATS hours as follows:

Is my following interpretation correct?

  • Summer: 0445 UTC – 1 hour offset → 0345 UTC → 0545 L
  • Winter: 0545 UTC → 0645 L
LFHN, LSGP, LFHM

Zorg wrote:

Is my following interpretation correct?

Summer: 0445 UTC – 1 hour offset → 0345 UTC → 0545 L
Winter: 0545 UTC → 0645 L

No. It’s:

Summer: 0445 UTC equals 06:45 LT until sunset+30 min
Winter: 0545 UTC equals (again) 6:45 LT until sunset+30 min

So basically, airport has same working hours in local time which is completely normal and expected because people working on it usually have same working hours all year around. And SS is important due to LFKC specifics and surrounding terrain.

Last Edited by Emir at 09 Oct 19:03
LDZA LDVA, Croatia

Emir wrote:

No. It’s:

Summer: 0445 UTC equals 06:45 LT until sunset+30 min
Winter: 0545 UTC equals (again) 6:45 LT until sunset+30 min

So basically, airport has same working hours in local time which is completely normal and expected because people working on it usually have same working hours all year around. And SS is important due to LFKC specifics and surrounding terrain.

Hrm … but this is not consistent with the above discussion, where “UTC WIN; SUM SKED: -1HR” meant “apply -1 hour offset to times in summer”. Or does the separate specification for summer and winter imply that the above rule does not apply (i.e., the part about “Timetables unless otherwise specified”)?

My feeling is that this “clever” way of specifying times creates more confusion than worth it …

LFHN, LSGP, LFHM

Zorg wrote:

Is my following interpretation correct?
Summer: 0445 UTC – 1 hour offset → 0345 UTC → 0545 L
Winter: 0545 UTC → 0645 L

Correct, again: +1h to any time you see in French AIP gives you LT (usually LT will be the for Winter/Summer )
For once, you have airfield opening LT time that differs between Winter/Summer, but still AIP + 1h = LT does work

Last Edited by Ibra at 09 Oct 19:32
ESSEX, United Kingdom

Ibra wrote:

Correct

No, it’s not. It’s exactly as I wrote above – it’s always from 06:45 LT, which is 05:45 UTC in winter and 04:45 UTC in summer.

LDZA LDVA, Croatia
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