Predicting ground conflicts using progressive taxi instruction

August, 1, 2021 by

In a busy airport environment, resolving ground conflicts efficiently and effectively is imperative to maintaining quality service. At airports with a complex taxiway layout, this is easier said than done. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that controllers do their best to prevent ground conflicts before they happen.

During a recent session of mine at Dublin, this ideology was put to the test.

Runway configuration during session: departing 28L, 34; landing 28L.

There was a long line of aircraft waiting for takeoff on the parallel taxiway to 16/34 (Foxtrot). At Dublin, most commercial aircraft that land on 28L exit right and turn right onto the taxiway parallel to 10R/28L, Bravo. To taxi to the terminals, aircraft are usually required to cross 16/34, but due to the line of aircraft on Foxtrot, continuing straight on Bravo (red line pictured above) means taxiing into the line of aircraft waiting for takeoff, thus creating a nightmare of a ground conflict.

However, all of this is preventable with the use of progressive taxi instructions. During the entirety of my session, the aforementioned ground conflicts were prevented through the use of the “turn left next taxiway” command when the arrival aircraft reached the neighborhood of the yellow circle. As a result, aircraft could continue on Mike (green line pictured above) or Hotel (the adjacent parallel taxiway to the right of Mike), cross 16/34, then taxi at their discretion to the terminals.

Successfully identifying potential hotspots for conflicts and creating plans to mitigate the hotspots are key to a successful operation, especially at an airport as busy as Dublin. As with many other aspects of ATC, planning is the first step to a successful session.

Matt, better known as Thunderbolt, is an editor for the IFATC Education Group. He is an IFATC Supervisor and the Founder of the IFATCLive Twitch Group.