"Third world" ATC

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Carlos G.
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"Third world" ATC

Postby Carlos G. » Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:31 pm

Sounds a perfect "visitcard" to moderate this forum. Only problem now: questions are needed.

So I'll start with something which may be a bit "hot": which perception does the airline transportation industry of our "first world" get from the actual ATC procedures in other parts of the world, for instance in Brazil? In other words: are crews flying into "third world countries" specially trained to cope with unusual methods/language problems/lack of assistance on the part of ATC? The GOL/Legacy accident comes to my mind here, obviously, and what we have learned in its aftermath about brazilian ATC problems.

ATCBob
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Developing Countries' ATC

Postby ATCBob » Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:29 am

Hi Carlos, I split this off of the "hello everyone" thread because it was a separate question.

I don't know what airlines and aircrews think of developing countries' procedures, but from an ATC perspective almost all developing countries adhere to international standards for ATC as defined in what's called the "ICAO 4444" document. That is really a compilation of best ATC practices from all countries that government aviation authorities can use verbatim, or as a guideline. ICAO certifies countries' ATC procedures based on their adherence to those regulations, which is important for their economies so they do strive to meet them (otherwise many airlines won't fly there). So really ATC is very much the same throughout the world. The differences though are in the reliability of the equipment (radios, radar and NAVAIDS) which have to be constantly maintained and that sometimes falls short in poorer countries. But the controlling procedures really are the same everywhere -- ATC is a small community worldwide and the new ideas and lessons learned really get around.

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el
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Re: Developing Countries' ATC

Postby el » Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:35 pm

ATCBob wrote:.... So really ATC is very much the same throughout the world. The differences though are in the reliability of the equipment (radios, radar and NAVAIDS) which have to be constantly maintained and that sometimes falls short in poorer countries. But the controlling procedures really are the same everywhere -- ATC is a small community worldwide and the new ideas and lessons learned really get around.


Do you think this does hold true for some African countries as well?

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ZeroAltitude
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Re: "Third world" ATC

Postby ZeroAltitude » Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:56 am

I heard that over Africa and China, crews keep watch on certain frequencies where they issue position reports on a regular basis. Thus, they're able to maintain their own rough image of the current traffic situation enroute.
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el
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Re: "Third world" ATC

Postby el » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:26 am

An Austrian A340 captain once told me that they used to have the landing lights on during cruise over Central Africa. Others apparently did this as well. Not sure if they are still doing this.

ATCBob
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Re: "Third world" ATC

Postby ATCBob » Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:13 am

Right, much of Africa is ICAO class "G" airspace meaning uncontrolled with no ATC, so pilots have to provide their own separation. With low traffic volume and good weather it's not necessarily dangerous -- many thousands of VFR aircraft in the U.S. fly around daily without separation from ATC for example -- but there's a limit, and it does get dangerous if visibility is limited. It's probably a lot more dangerous on the ground in some of those countries, though.


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