|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||airport : cvg.airport|
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : cvg.tracon|
|Make Model Name||Any Unknown or Unlisted Aircraft Manufacturer|
|Flight Phase||descent : approach|
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : approach|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Experience||controller non radar : 2|
controller radar : 11
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : supervisor|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
Supervisory personnel and some traffic management personnel; neither of which are proficient on arrival position (4 position) at cvg; are working arrival coordinator position during arrival pushes. During these pushes; occasionally these individuals are turning off; or otherwise making unviewable; equipment that is used to indicate to arrival controllers what kind of departure traffic is waiting at the runways. We call this the 'apm.' also; in trying to do a flow controller's job; they are neglecting duties they should be doing as 'coordinators.' during the XA00 push tonight; I was working west final at cvg. Departure demand was indicated on the computer monitor down the aisle. The supervisor instructed me that 4 mi gaps were needed to get 1 departure off runway 27. I started running 4 mi gaps; but then decreased the size of the gaps to 3 - 3.5 mi. The control tower was successful in departing aircraft in these gaps; so I kept the gaps at that size. I glanced down at the apm about 1/2 way through the push and saw higher numbers of departures waiting at the runway. I started increasing the size of the gaps to 7-10 mi to help the tower get a few more departures off the airport; then settled back into 3 - 3.5 mi gaps. After that; I was instructed -- in fact ordered -- to give the tower 5 mi gaps. I explained that 3 - 3.5 mi was working fine. The apm was then turned off; so I could no longer see what kind of departure traffic was at the runways; and when I moved my chair back to check the departure demand (on a second; smaller monitor for the tmc); the supervisor physically stood in front of me so I couldn't see. After running several gaps; I was told to begin 'packing' (ie; running arrs as tightly as possible on final) the runway once again. This kind of action on the airport not only wastes arrival and departure gaps; but costs the users of the airport money in runway efficiency. Had I stuck with the 3 - 3.5 mi gaps on final; this would have given arrs and departures equal use of the airport; and would have been much more efficient. In addition; removing a tool that assists controllers in using the airport to its potential is insane. Had I been able to run the gaps that were working; instead of running excessive gaps with no departures at the runway; I could then tighten arrs up when needed. Seeing more departures waiting at the runway would result in me running bigger holes for departure traffic and; therefore; again using the airport runways to their maximum potential. When supervisory personnel run the coordinator position; they spend almost no time behind scopes that arrival controllers are using. At times; when adjacent facilities are trying to coordination with arrival controllers; these personnel are not in position to answer the lines. Therefore; the very job that they're supposed to be doing is being put back into the lap of controllers who are supposed to have their job loads lessened by the presence of the 'coordinator.'
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: CVG CTLR EXPRESSED CONCERN REGARDING FACILITY POLICY WITH RESPECT TO STAFFING CERTAIN OPS POS WITH SUPVRS.
Narrative: SUPERVISORY PERSONNEL AND SOME TFC MGMNT PERSONNEL; NEITHER OF WHICH ARE PROFICIENT ON ARR POS (4 POS) AT CVG; ARE WORKING ARR COORDINATOR POS DURING ARR PUSHES. DURING THESE PUSHES; OCCASIONALLY THESE INDIVIDUALS ARE TURNING OFF; OR OTHERWISE MAKING UNVIEWABLE; EQUIP THAT IS USED TO INDICATE TO ARR CTLRS WHAT KIND OF DEP TFC IS WAITING AT THE RWYS. WE CALL THIS THE 'APM.' ALSO; IN TRYING TO DO A FLOW CTLR'S JOB; THEY ARE NEGLECTING DUTIES THEY SHOULD BE DOING AS 'COORDINATORS.' DURING THE XA00 PUSH TONIGHT; I WAS WORKING W FINAL AT CVG. DEP DEMAND WAS INDICATED ON THE COMPUTER MONITOR DOWN THE AISLE. THE SUPVR INSTRUCTED ME THAT 4 MI GAPS WERE NEEDED TO GET 1 DEP OFF RWY 27. I STARTED RUNNING 4 MI GAPS; BUT THEN DECREASED THE SIZE OF THE GAPS TO 3 - 3.5 MI. THE CTL TWR WAS SUCCESSFUL IN DEPARTING ACFT IN THESE GAPS; SO I KEPT THE GAPS AT THAT SIZE. I GLANCED DOWN AT THE APM ABOUT 1/2 WAY THROUGH THE PUSH AND SAW HIGHER NUMBERS OF DEPS WAITING AT THE RWY. I STARTED INCREASING THE SIZE OF THE GAPS TO 7-10 MI TO HELP THE TWR GET A FEW MORE DEPS OFF THE ARPT; THEN SETTLED BACK INTO 3 - 3.5 MI GAPS. AFTER THAT; I WAS INSTRUCTED -- IN FACT ORDERED -- TO GIVE THE TWR 5 MI GAPS. I EXPLAINED THAT 3 - 3.5 MI WAS WORKING FINE. THE APM WAS THEN TURNED OFF; SO I COULD NO LONGER SEE WHAT KIND OF DEP TFC WAS AT THE RWYS; AND WHEN I MOVED MY CHAIR BACK TO CHK THE DEP DEMAND (ON A SECOND; SMALLER MONITOR FOR THE TMC); THE SUPVR PHYSICALLY STOOD IN FRONT OF ME SO I COULDN'T SEE. AFTER RUNNING SEVERAL GAPS; I WAS TOLD TO BEGIN 'PACKING' (IE; RUNNING ARRS AS TIGHTLY AS POSSIBLE ON FINAL) THE RWY ONCE AGAIN. THIS KIND OF ACTION ON THE ARPT NOT ONLY WASTES ARR AND DEP GAPS; BUT COSTS THE USERS OF THE ARPT MONEY IN RWY EFFICIENCY. HAD I STUCK WITH THE 3 - 3.5 MI GAPS ON FINAL; THIS WOULD HAVE GIVEN ARRS AND DEPS EQUAL USE OF THE ARPT; AND WOULD HAVE BEEN MUCH MORE EFFICIENT. IN ADDITION; REMOVING A TOOL THAT ASSISTS CTLRS IN USING THE ARPT TO ITS POTENTIAL IS INSANE. HAD I BEEN ABLE TO RUN THE GAPS THAT WERE WORKING; INSTEAD OF RUNNING EXCESSIVE GAPS WITH NO DEPS AT THE RWY; I COULD THEN TIGHTEN ARRS UP WHEN NEEDED. SEEING MORE DEPS WAITING AT THE RWY WOULD RESULT IN ME RUNNING BIGGER HOLES FOR DEP TFC AND; THEREFORE; AGAIN USING THE ARPT RWYS TO THEIR MAX POTENTIAL. WHEN SUPERVISORY PERSONNEL RUN THE COORDINATOR POS; THEY SPEND ALMOST NO TIME BEHIND SCOPES THAT ARR CTLRS ARE USING. AT TIMES; WHEN ADJACENT FACILITIES ARE TRYING TO COORD WITH ARR CTLRS; THESE PERSONNEL ARE NOT IN POS TO ANSWER THE LINES. THEREFORE; THE VERY JOB THAT THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING IS BEING PUT BACK INTO THE LAP OF CTLRS WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO HAVE THEIR JOB LOADS LESSENED BY THE PRESENCE OF THE 'COORDINATOR.'
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of January 2009 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.