|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Locale Reference||atc facility : zfw.artcc|
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : handoff position|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Experience||controller military : 4|
controller radar : 4
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
2 sectors were holding aircraft landing dfw international. Delays were exceeding 30 mins. The number of aircraft holding or being sequenced exceeded 10; and there were other overflts and terminal arrs involved. There were diversions into tyr due to fuel concerns. Meanwhile; ZFW tmu had initiated a release for a jet departure from tyr to dfw. My supervisor informed me of this; and with the support of my supervisor; I called tyr tower and told them to hold for release all dfw aircraft because of airborne holding. The radar team was deeply concerned about dfw refusing handoffs; so the release would only aggravate the complexity of the sector. Tyr called back mins later and said that ZFW tmu told them to release the aircraft. I once again told them to hold for release and expect a 15 min delay due to holding. This was very distracting. My supervisor was called by tmu not long after; and insisted I release this aircraft. Tmu undermined the sector team's judgement; not considering the aircraft still in high altitude. Against my better judgement; I called tyr and told them to release the aircraft and advise the pilot to expect holding. At least 10 mins later; the aircraft departed. Tyr offered to hold him in their airspace as they knew the complexity of our situation. The aircraft was assigned 5000 ft and held at fzt VOR. As expected; the aircraft needed higher; and we assigned him 10000 ft and a heading of 210 degrees (90 degrees away from dfw). The aircraft continued south until we could sequence him with other arrs. The previous event created confusion and controversy that ultimately led to a compromise of safety. Under no circumstances should tmu be involved in control instructions of aircraft. This is a result of the reorganization of tmu. ZFW tmu no longer answers to ZFW; but to the command center. There have been great concerns about the effectiveness of tmu since this change. The organizational structure is now one that is only concerned of efficiency; not safety. Tmu; supervisors; and controllers can no longer formulate plans that are both safe and efficient. There is no accountability in the current system. Furthermore; there are no after-action reviews in which we can (as a group) learn from. There have been numerous events like this one; and they are forgotten only because the results were not catastrophic. We cannot safely operate in this manner. I strongly suggest a change in organizational structure to prevent disaster. Blending the national command center and tmu has proven to compromise safety and service.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ZFW CTLR EXPRESSED CONCERN REGARDING TMU'S DECISION TO RELEASE A DFW ARR OFF TYR WHEN DFW ARR'S WERE IN HOLDING; ADDING POS COMPLEXITY.
Narrative: 2 SECTORS WERE HOLDING ACFT LNDG DFW INTL. DELAYS WERE EXCEEDING 30 MINS. THE NUMBER OF ACFT HOLDING OR BEING SEQUENCED EXCEEDED 10; AND THERE WERE OTHER OVERFLTS AND TERMINAL ARRS INVOLVED. THERE WERE DIVERSIONS INTO TYR DUE TO FUEL CONCERNS. MEANWHILE; ZFW TMU HAD INITIATED A RELEASE FOR A JET DEP FROM TYR TO DFW. MY SUPVR INFORMED ME OF THIS; AND WITH THE SUPPORT OF MY SUPVR; I CALLED TYR TWR AND TOLD THEM TO HOLD FOR RELEASE ALL DFW ACFT BECAUSE OF AIRBORNE HOLDING. THE RADAR TEAM WAS DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT DFW REFUSING HDOFS; SO THE RELEASE WOULD ONLY AGGRAVATE THE COMPLEXITY OF THE SECTOR. TYR CALLED BACK MINS LATER AND SAID THAT ZFW TMU TOLD THEM TO RELEASE THE ACFT. I ONCE AGAIN TOLD THEM TO HOLD FOR RELEASE AND EXPECT A 15 MIN DELAY DUE TO HOLDING. THIS WAS VERY DISTRACTING. MY SUPVR WAS CALLED BY TMU NOT LONG AFTER; AND INSISTED I RELEASE THIS ACFT. TMU UNDERMINED THE SECTOR TEAM'S JUDGEMENT; NOT CONSIDERING THE ACFT STILL IN HIGH ALT. AGAINST MY BETTER JUDGEMENT; I CALLED TYR AND TOLD THEM TO RELEASE THE ACFT AND ADVISE THE PLT TO EXPECT HOLDING. AT LEAST 10 MINS LATER; THE ACFT DEPARTED. TYR OFFERED TO HOLD HIM IN THEIR AIRSPACE AS THEY KNEW THE COMPLEXITY OF OUR SITUATION. THE ACFT WAS ASSIGNED 5000 FT AND HELD AT FZT VOR. AS EXPECTED; THE ACFT NEEDED HIGHER; AND WE ASSIGNED HIM 10000 FT AND A HDG OF 210 DEGS (90 DEGS AWAY FROM DFW). THE ACFT CONTINUED S UNTIL WE COULD SEQUENCE HIM WITH OTHER ARRS. THE PREVIOUS EVENT CREATED CONFUSION AND CONTROVERSY THAT ULTIMATELY LED TO A COMPROMISE OF SAFETY. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD TMU BE INVOLVED IN CTL INSTRUCTIONS OF ACFT. THIS IS A RESULT OF THE REORGANIZATION OF TMU. ZFW TMU NO LONGER ANSWERS TO ZFW; BUT TO THE COMMAND CTR. THERE HAVE BEEN GREAT CONCERNS ABOUT THE EFFECTIVENESS OF TMU SINCE THIS CHANGE. THE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE IS NOW ONE THAT IS ONLY CONCERNED OF EFFICIENCY; NOT SAFETY. TMU; SUPVRS; AND CTLRS CAN NO LONGER FORMULATE PLANS THAT ARE BOTH SAFE AND EFFICIENT. THERE IS NO ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE CURRENT SYS. FURTHERMORE; THERE ARE NO AFTER-ACTION REVIEWS IN WHICH WE CAN (AS A GROUP) LEARN FROM. THERE HAVE BEEN NUMEROUS EVENTS LIKE THIS ONE; AND THEY ARE FORGOTTEN ONLY BECAUSE THE RESULTS WERE NOT CATASTROPHIC. WE CANNOT SAFELY OPERATE IN THIS MANNER. I STRONGLY SUGGEST A CHANGE IN ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE TO PREVENT DISASTER. BLENDING THE NATL COMMAND CTR AND TMU HAS PROVEN TO COMPROMISE SAFETY AND SVC.
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.