One airport, two different approaches

June, 17, 2019 by

Efficiency is one of the most important parts of being a controller. Each controller will have their own strategy, no two approaches are a like.

That is particularly try for this session I had with two radar controllers, both using different strategies. I’d encourage you to watch this video of a time-lapse if that session for context.

The first strategy can be seen depicted here, and in the video. The workload for me, final approach was quite high, maintaining spacing mostly via speed commands. I had room on the 5000ft leg and 4000ft leg to slot people in if they needed slotted in. That can be seen on occasions in the video, with go arounds.

The second strategy was very nice looking. Depicted here and in the video, the spin cycle was very pleasing on the eye. Lower workload for final approach, but less margin for error and only one leg to create space for go arounds and inbound aircraft from all directions.

After reviewing the replay and doing some math, I’ve determined that the first strategy was more efficient. As most of the traffic came from the East and South, I compared the two. For the first strategy; it took aircraft 32 minutes to fly the entire approach from the South and 36 minutes from the West. For the second strategy; it took aircraft 43 minutes to fly the entire approach from the South and 52 minutes from the West. Large differences, I’d prefer the first strategy but both are great options in comparison to any others. Whatever works!

Kyle Boas is the Founder of the IFATC Education Group. He is an IFATC Supervisor and Infinite Flight Appeals team member. — More