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Guest Cantuezel

KJFK: Huge delays (>3 hours)...abbreviations

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Guest Cantuezel

Hi,I have a general aviatic question, I hope you don`t mind: :)I am listening to the current JFK-ATC and they say something of huge delays (more than 3 hours!) for in- and outbound traffic due to heavy weather conditions. Now I am reading this at the dep/arr infopage:**************"Due to WEATHER/LOW *CIGS*, departure traffic destined to General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport, Boston, MA (BOS) is currently experiencing delays averaging 2 hours and 14 minutes. Due to WEATHER/*TSTMS*, departure traffic destined to Newark International Airport, Newark, NJ (EWR) is currently experiencing delays averaging 2 hours and 13 minutes. Due to WEATHER/*TSTMS*, departure traffic destined to La Guardia Airport, New York, NY (LGA) is currently experiencing delays averaging 3 hours and 24 minutes. Due to WEATHER/WIND, departure traffic destined to Chicago OHare International Airport, Chicago, IL (ORD) is currently experiencing delays averaging 32 minutes. Arrival traffic is experiencing airborne delays of 15 minutes or less."**************1) I dont`t understand what "CIGS" at the 1st paragraph and "TSTMS" at the 2nd and 3rd paragraph means. Could you English guys translate it (the meaning) and tell me what those abbreviations are for?2) I myself took-off from KJFK some years agao and I also had a 3-4 hour(!) delay due to heavy thunderstorms and rain-showers. Do you know if KJFK is "famous" for its *weather related* delays because that airport is very

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Guest Cantuezel

Thanks so much Wallace, it`s a great glossary..(I saved it at once)...:)Do you also know if these abbrevations are standardized? Are they e.g. official ICAO-, IATA etc. code ?Kind GreetingsSusan

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Guest wkzzo

I believe they are official and standardized Susan, although how up to date they are I cant say.

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Guest JamieG

(EDIT) Your first question is a longer answer so I'll get to that one second, your second question--regarding the JFK and bad weather, is basically sort of true at all airports. Bad weather increases delays a lot. In a nutshell, here is why. In good weather, pilots are able to use visual spacing and planes fly closer together when they follow each other to land--you need to have at least 3000 feet (if I recall correctly) when you are on a runway. However, that is only in good weather. In bad weather, or when a pilot does not see the plane (traffic) he is supposed to follow, ATC must separate him if he is on an IFR flight plan. This means they are not kept 3000 feet apart, but a lot farther, which means planes need to slow up farther from the aiport and enter holding patterns. Also, there needs to be more time between each departure. This creates a lot of delays becuase there are rush hours at the airport. As for JFK being impacted by the weather, there are almost always lines for takeoff at JFK during the rush hour, so, I guess, you could easily say that the bad weather compounds the problem.As for the weather:There are certain abbreviations that aviation weather reporting follows in the USA. It could be the whole world too, but I am not sure. Basically there are two main weather reports here1.METAR (meteorological report) which is basically a weather report created every hour and valid for an hour2.TAF (Terminal Aerodome Forcasts) which forcast the weather for an area with a 5 mile radius from the airport. This weather forcast is good for 24 hours, and they are released 4 times a day. (Confusing, I know :-)) These are written in a special way, almost a shorthand, with many abbreviations. A sample one is belowMetar.KORD 170156Z 00000KT 10SM FEW085 19/07 A2986 RMK AO2 SLP107 T01890067I'm sure this looks crazy right now but here is the explanation:KORD--Airport Identifier NOTE:the letter K is used to denote an airport in the contiguous 48 states in the USA (You might not see the K with a very, very small airport, but most have them) KORD is Chicago's O'hare International Airport.170156Z--Date and time The year and month left out. It goes DDTTTTZ, where DD is date, so it's the 17th day of the month, at TTTT time in 24 hour zulu clock (0156Z). Z stands for zulu, so 0156Z is actually 8:56 Central Daylight Time. This is important to see how old the weather briefing is. 00000KT--Surface winds It is writen as XXXYY where XXX is magnetic heading then YY speed in knots. The wind is calm right now, but if it was 27009 it would be 270 degrees at 9 knots. 27009G18 would be 270degrees/9 knots gusting to 18 knots. NOTE: This is the direction the wind is FROM. It helps with picking a runway because you always want a headwind. So if you have 270009 you want a runway that is as close to 270 degrees as possible so you will be facing into the wind.10SM--Visibility Visibility is given in statue miles (SM). In this case it is 10 statue miles. NOTE:statue miles are the 5280 feet ones vs. a Nautical Mile ((NM) which is used in KNOTS (Nautical Miles per hour) etc. Note 10SM is the highest that will ever be reportedFEW 085--Clouds/CeilingFEW stands for the number of clouds The order in order of least to most isNone (SKC-skies clear), Few, Scattered (SCT), Broken(BKN), Overcast (OVC)085 is the altitude ABOVE GROUND LEVEL, not MSL--Mean Sea Level. 085 stands for 8,500 feet. The ceiling is the altitude of the lowest level of clouds that are reported as broken or scattered. CIG is the standard abbreviation for ceilings.19/07--Temperature/DewpointIt goes Temperature/Dewpoint in degrees CENTIGRADE/CELSIUS 19 is 19*C temperature 07 is 07*C centigradeif you get an M in front of the temperature or dewpoint, it stands for Minus which is a negative temperature. A2986-Barometric Pressure(a.k.a. altimeter) The Barometric Pressure (what you set your altimeter to) is 29.86 inches of mercury. 29.92 is standard pressure at sea level. RMK-Remarks AO2-Describes the type of automated station, AO2 stands for a station with a precipitation sensor. (vs. AO1 without) (From Texas A&M University Website)SLP107 -Sea Level Pressure in MillibarsT01890067-More precise Temperature, to the decimal 18.9 degrees and 06.7 degrees for the dewpoint.The report above, a METAR report, is a very useful tool for flying with real world weather. It is exactly what your ATIS reports are based off of (for the weather portion of ATIS). The TAF reports are very similar with only a few differences, mainly regarding visibility (P6SM (Plus/Greater than 6 SM is the greatest vs 10SM) and there is a time valid included, otherwise it basically follows the above)Some other huge abbreviations you will see a lot in weather reports are:CIG--CeilingsTS-ThunderstormsTSRA--Thunderstorms with RainCB-Cumulonimbus clouds (aka thunderstorm clouds)-RA=light rain RA="normal" rain+RA=heavy rainBR- Mist (think Baby Rain)VIS-VisibilitySome great weather sites are:http://adds.aviationweather.gov/ --This is by the NOAA/U.S. Government and is all aviation weather. Really a great tool. http://www.met.tamu.edu/class/METAR/quick-metar.html--I found this about 5 minutes ago on how to decode a METAR report, it has all of the abbreviations that are used.I know its a ton of info, and maybe some unnecessary stuff, but I hope it helps.

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Guest scottzdc

The other major issue with Thunderstorms is the enroute environment. Put a TS on J121 and it may shut the flow down on the route. I'm a controller at Washington Center and if you have a large cluster or line, it can completely shut down the traffic. It may be VFR at the airport, but we can't get you there. Visualize shutting 1 or 2 lanes down on an interstate(motorway) during peak volume and you can see the impact. NY airports are very sensitive to disruption due to the close proximity of the 4 major airports KTEB, KEWR, KLGA and KJFK. the airspace is very regimented. Deviations can't work.

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Guest Cantuezel

Hi Jamie,thanks so much for all the work you did by answering my questions...that was more I ever expected...:)I ll need time to check all thris though...Greetings and thanks again...Susan

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Guest Cantuezel

Thanks Scott for that explanations...the example with the highways is very good...:)Have a great eveningSusan

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Guest JamieG

Sure thing, I really hope it helps a lot. Its a lot of information but hopefully it will be a useful tool. Good luck with all your endeavors. :-)

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>In a nutshell, here is why. In good weather, pilots are able>to use visual spacing and planes fly closer together when they>follow each other to land--you need to have at least 3000 feet>(if I recall correctly) when you are on a runway. However,>that is only in good weather. >>In bad weather, or when a pilot does not see the plane>(traffic) he is supposed to follow, ATC must separate him if>he is on an IFR flight plan. This means they are not kept>3000 feet apart, but a lot farther, which means planes need to>slow up farther from the aiport and enter holding patterns. >Also, there needs to be more time between each departure. >This creates a lot of delays becuase there are rush hours at>the airport.Jamie,I'll have to correct you on some things regarding ATC.So if we are talking about JFK traffic here let's assume it's all IFR. So ANY traffic must be seperated by 1000ft vertical or 5 nautical miles horizontal distance. This has nothing to do wether pilots can see each other, they may be fully VMC but are still not allowed to go below the specified minima.There are exeptions of course, fancy things like VMC climbs or descents that controllers may use. But those do not affect delays but may result in a more seamless descent or climb.Now aerodrome control is somewhat different. There are indeed rules that may result in more or less delays. For landing traffic the minimum distance allowed by ICAO is 2.5 nautical miles, here we have again exceptions like wake turbulance separation or different runway separation rules for many countrys.Now the thing causing delays for departure traffic would be restrictions like wake turbulence separation or slow traffic departing in front of fast traffic, resulting in gaps up to three minutes between departures. This again has nothing to do with pilots seeing each other when flying IFR, the mentioned separation must be done by the controller in any case, even in full VFR conditions.So in essence it is not really the visibility thing that is causing delays (except CATII/CATIII operations) but more the routing around CBs or CBs blocking certain approaches/departures and stuff like that. Regards,Markus


Markus Burkhard

 

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Guest JamieG

yep, you're exaclty right I'm sorry I messed up. I am not an controller, just a pilot so I really shouldn't be speaking on ATC rules. But I do have a quick question for you, I thought I remember hearing that there can be two planes on an active if there is 3000 ft. separation. I.e. CRJ Lands is far down the runway but hasn't vacated. Plane two (let's make this an ERJ for clarity) is told "position and hold, be ready to go". Once the arrived CRJ is far enough down the runway and is clearly just heading for the turnoff to come up, the ERJ can be cleared to t/o, even though the CRJ is on the active? Also I've heard the phrase "standard separation does exist" when I am short final, and there is another plane that is rolling. What exactly is the distance requirement for std. separation? Thanks a ton

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Jamie,yes there may be two airplanes on an active runway. But the topic runway separation has many many different rules across countries. I've learned the Eurocontrol way of doing things, operations in the US are somewhat different also in runway separation.Anyway, as an example from europe you are allowed to clear an airplane to land when you are sure (anticipated separation) there will be at least 2400 metres distance between the airplane over the threshold and the preceeding airplane on the runway. Same goes for departing aircraft. That distance may be reduced to 1500 metres if the succeeding aircraft is a prop. And it must be VMC and no contaminated runway. But what's never being done or never should be done is clearing an airplane for t/o when the landed airplane has not vacated the runway. Even though the airplane may be about to vacate this is still rather dangerous and therefore is not being done around here.But as I said, different countries different rules...I'm not familiar with the phrase "standard separation does exist", must be part of the US voice, so I can't help you on this.Regards,Markus


Markus Burkhard

 

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Guest JamieG

awesome thanks a ton, that really, really helps! It makes sense about VMC and a contaminated runway. What you said makes sense about a t/o and an ldg being on the same runway. Thanks a ton for everything. I think they use "standard separation does exist" when two planes are getting close and they know the landing pilot might be considering going around.

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Guest scottzdc

Hi Markus - good answer with a correction ;) in the terminal environment - separation is 1000ft or 3 miles. (actually it is within 40 miles of radar site and not using a radar mosaic like the centers do)they can also use diverging rules that lower that, visual, and a few others.Chris

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Guest JamieG

awesome--thanks a ton!

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