YUL vectors

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skyhighh
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YUL vectors

Post by skyhighh » Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:54 am

HI my ATC colleagues,

Usually when something doesn't make sense to a pilot, there usually is a good reason so instead of hearing the same complain over and over on the flight deck I figured why not ask and then be able to educate the pilots I fly with.
My question is very simple, getting into YUL with bad weather we always get extremely long vectors at very low altitude (Often 3000ft) and low speed. With lots of traffic I can understand the long vectors but why so low and slow? In gusty conditions asking us to stay at 3000ft for a long time is very unpleasant for everybody on board. In most of the airports we go to, when gusty conditions, we are usually kept higher until we are required to drop down until pretty much last minute in order to avoid these.
Does it has something to do with the way the airspace is made off? Or is it just easier for you to have us low and slow early? Could something be done about it?

Thank you and happy vectors!
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Braun
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Re: YUL vectors

Post by Braun » Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:26 am

Hey skyhighh,

I actually work YUL so I think I can answer a few of your questions. Also, thank you for asking instead of just "bitching", both sides do it but the better way is definitely to educate ourselves!

The first reason this happens is our rules, our rules force us to make aircraft intercept the approach 2nm before glideslop, or 1nm under certain conditions. This rule is applicable for all ATC in Canada but I can't comment on how it is applied elsewhere. We are constantly getting comments from various chief pilots at airlines on stabilized approaches and how important it apparently is for crews to have a nice stabilized approach. I remember hearing something to the order of 97% of unstabilized approaches land anyways and from what we understand companies are pushing a lot to limit these events. Keep in mind, i'm not a pilot but this is what the major operators are harping on these days to us.

We have a lot of straight in traffic, especially on 06's, that is descending to 4000' so we need you at 3000' so we can slide you in ahead. We use 210kts assigned speed when required on the downwind. If you are assigned slower it's usually because it is really busy and final is getting too long. Sometimes things go wrong (birdstrike, overshoots, emergency) and the initial plan goes out the window and someone unfortunately gets penalized for it.

The second arrival controller (126.9) also has very limited airspace to do his work in so vertical separation is very important as a lot of traffic is crossing for the north star for 24L and the south star for 24R plus the straight-in arrivals. If we are doing visuals what we usual do is ILS on 24R/06L and visuals on 24L/06R, work methods are usually to descend the ILS aircraft to 3000' in order to cross above at 4000' with the aircraft doing a visual for the other runway.

I know that with the advent of RNAV approaches and CDA the rules and work methods might change to allow a constant descent without level off's but our current rules, noise abatement issues and flow planning aren't quite making the change easy.

All that being said, the usual flow of traffic will have you abeam the field at 6000', descent to 3000' after that and usually we try and keep final within 15-20nm. Sometimes it can get longer as the current construction has a pretty big impact on our required spacing requirements with tower. Construction should end at the end of June and we should be back to normal ops after that (hopefully).

I hope this helps a bit, I can for sure tell you our work methods aren't to descend everyone ASAP, I just think the rules, airspace structure and traffic flow dictate a certain way of managing the traffic and since every airport is different there will be differences in the way things are run. That being said I believe with the ground layout at the airport, current rules we can use and all the construction we do a pretty good job at minimizing delays and are always trying to find a way to move more traffic within our parameters.

If you have any specific times and dates you can PM and I can check it out.
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Cessna 180
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Re: YUL vectors

Post by Cessna 180 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:36 pm

skyhighh wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:54 am
HI my ATC colleagues,

Usually when something doesn't make sense to a pilot, there usually is a good reason so instead of hearing the same complain over and over on the flight deck I figured why not ask and then be able to educate the pilots I fly with.
My question is very simple, getting into YUL with bad weather we always get extremely long vectors at very low altitude (Often 3000ft) and low speed. With lots of traffic I can understand the long vectors but why so low and slow? In gusty conditions asking us to stay at 3000ft for a long time is very unpleasant for everybody on board. In most of the airports we go to, when gusty conditions, we are usually kept higher until we are required to drop down until pretty much last minute in order to avoid these.
Does it has something to do with the way the airspace is made off? Or is it just easier for you to have us low and slow early? Could something be done about it?

Thank you and happy vectors!
Because it's Montreal (gets made fun of continent wide) :lol: .
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Braun
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Re: YUL vectors

Post by Braun » Sat Apr 20, 2019 2:39 am

Thanks for participating, in no constructive way atll, behind the anonymity of your keyboard in . Not exactly sure why we are the laughing stock of Canada. I'd definitely be curious to know more about this. I'm glad there aren't more posters like, in general this sub section is actually nice and constructive to be. Looking forward to your comments!
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Outlaw58
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Re: YUL vectors

Post by Outlaw58 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:31 am

Braun wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 2:39 am
Thanks for participating, in no constructive way atll, behind the anonymity of your keyboard in . Not exactly sure why we are the laughing stock of Canada. I'd definitely be curious to know more about this. I'm glad there aren't more posters like, in general this sub section is actually nice and constructive to be. Looking forward to your comments!

Braun, thanks for your very informative response. It is very appreciated and helpful.

I am just sorry you took the bait in responding to the previous poster, giving him the attention he craves but definitely not deserve.

58
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Braun
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Re: YUL vectors

Post by Braun » Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:35 am

Hehe, don't worry about it. I don't take it personally, I'm sure he has his points and I am genuinely curious to hear them.
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skyhighh
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Re: YUL vectors

Post by skyhighh » Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:27 pm

Thank you Braun for your very informative reply, I really appreciate it and it definitely helps me understand better your position.
Could you explain this sentence a bit for me? "the usual flow of traffic will have you abeam the field at 6000', descent to 3000' after that and usually we try and keep final within 15-20nm".
My take on that is that at 6.000ft abeam the field and a constant 3 degree slope, we would be at 3000ft on the downwind 9 miles back, add 5 miles cross track and a 15nm final (for a glideslope we would intercept at 9NM final)... that's a lot of miles down at 3000ft while in gusty condition. I'm wondering if it's where the problem resides. Also some of the pilots don't speak french (Which is too bad) so they can't judge how much traffic there is in front of them so they would drop down quick in the downwind in order to help ATC out for a shorter approach and end up flying just lower for longer :lol: I won't get into the French/English issue as I think any pilots who flew internationally wouldn't be bothered by that as a lot of country speak their own language on the radio...

As for Cessna180's... please don't listen to him/her... I think some struggles that come up are usually created by the way the airport was designed plus this Apron is garbage.
Btw do you know if they will ever reopen 28? Also very often 24R (During normal ops, not construction) is the landing runway, why is tower in charge of deciding if we can land 24L or not? I understand they use it for departure but keeping one runway for take off and one for landing, isn't it creating more issues?

Thanks again.
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Braun
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Re: YUL vectors

Post by Braun » Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:24 am

No worries skyhighh!

When I say normal traffic flow and 6000ft abeam the field it's just the way the STAR is made, our procedures and airspace make it so at the 9000FT BLO restriction on the STAR you should be given 6000 and 5nm further descent to 3000'. In a normal world this brings the aircraft abeam 10nm @ 3000ft which is basically the 3000' GS intercept area. Of course, when you aren't number one you may end up a bit further but usually if you intercept further than 15nm you'd more than likely be at 4000' or even 5000'. Then comes the straight-in, who we also need to keep vertical with. On a normal day I don't think it's a big issue but on a windy day with a lot of turbulence we "should" be trying to keep you out of it as much as possible...but it's not always possible. Sometimes when there are strong tailwinds we will vector the straight-in into the downwind instead of letting them go straight-in and usually this will help a bit with your issue.

As for the French/English issue...like you said, I don't think it is a negative or positive, it's just there. I have visited terminals in other countries and they all, to some extent, spoke in their local language with at least some aircraft.

You are bang on with the poor apron design, taxiway layout etc....this affects us greatly as it limits the way we can off-load aircraft to each of the runways to maximize efficiency (both with departure and arrivals).

The plan was to re-open 28 this fall while they resurface the remaining portion of 24R/06L but I am now hearing rumours it might not re-open, ever. We'll see. With ADM things change fairly quickly and longterm we will have loads of construction and it will get worse before it gets better.

Runway 24R is the main landing runway but we land all GA aircraft on 24L and we off-load, if required, domestic arrivals going to the domestic gates. The rest will land 24R. Tower decides to approve a request when it's not busy and when it's busy we will off-load aircraft to balance runway loading. Pilot requests are sometimes sent to tower, sometimes we approve without asking tower and sometimes we'll keep you on 24R for efficiency purposes (i.e. you request 24L but you would be number 5 for 24L (6nm in trail on that runway) or we keep you 24R and you are #1).
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skyhighh
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Re: YUL vectors

Post by skyhighh » Mon Apr 22, 2019 6:08 am

Thanks again Braun, it makes things clearer and I'll be glad to share this conversation or at least some of it to the pilots I'll be flying with. It's always interesting to see what the other side is like instead of just complaining and not doing anything about it.

Joyeuse paque!
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Braun
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Re: YUL vectors

Post by Braun » Mon Apr 22, 2019 6:32 am

No worries, my pleasure. I forgot to add one thing, we make mistakes as well! Not many people in this industry want to admit that they aren't perfect but it's true for anyone!

Happy easter!
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skyhighh
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Re: YUL vectors

Post by skyhighh » Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:43 pm

Braun wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 6:32 am
No worries, my pleasure. I forgot to add one thing, we make mistakes as well! Not many people in this industry want to admit that they aren't perfect but it's true for anyone!
You could be if you were a pilot... :D (That doesn't apply to AF pilots :) )
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Braun
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Re: YUL vectors

Post by Braun » Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:55 pm

Haha! I have my PPL...does that count?
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skyhighh
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Re: YUL vectors

Post by skyhighh » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:39 am

It definitely does! :lol:
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thenoflyzone
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Re: YUL vectors

Post by thenoflyzone » Sat May 18, 2019 6:54 am

Some other things to consider skyhighh,

You said you experienced this during "bad weather". One thing many pilots dont know is that if it's IMC (or even if there is good visibility but the ceiling is low, meaning no visuals), YUL cant do side by side approaches on the parallel runways, unlike YYZ, YVR or YYC. To do side by side approaches (simultaneous independent parallel approaches is the correct term) during bad weather, TCU needs a monitor position. It's basically a controller who's only job it is to monitor the 2 LOC's and make sure no aircraft enters the No-transgression Zone (NTZ) between the localizers during the approach. The minute that happens, the monitor controller instructs the aircraft to go around.

As a side note, YYC TCU has the monitor position set up, but doesn't use it, last I heard, due to staffing issues. YUL TCU doesn't even have a monitor position, nor procedures developed to run it. (plus they have staffing issues as well, so couldn't run it even if the position was available, like YYC)

The fact that YUL can't do side by side approaches reduces the airport arrival rate (AAR) during bad weather, as TCU needs to stagger arrivals between runways. In fact, even in good weather, the airport arrival rate at YUL is always lower than similar layout airports such as YVR or YYC.

https://extranetapps.navcanada.ca/ois/ois.aspx

Typical AAR rates during VMC (arrivals per hour)

YUL 38
YYC 44
YVR 44

There are multiple reasons for this. Lack of proper high speeds exits, locations of said exits, lack of dual parallel taxiways, and therefore the need to vacate a runway closer to the end (ex. in the case of 24L), etc.

YUL also sees more heavies than an airport like YYC, which means spacing on final needs to be greater for aircraft following a heavy, which in turn means the AAR goes down.

During bad weather, the AAR at YUL often goes down to the high 20s, low 30s, which roughly means the airport can handle no more than 28-32 arrivals per hour. Now you might say that arrival rate is plenty for YUL, but the fact of the matter is, the demand routinely exceeds that rate during certain periods.

Ex. yesterday, from 11h45am to 12h00pm, there were 13 arrivals that showed up in the TCU. That's a compounded AAR of 52. Well above the ideal rate, and if you're that 12 or 13th aircraft, you're going for a ride. Especially considering we were single runway ops when that happened yesterday and the AAR was closer to 18-20 per hour.

Remember, this was friday during lunch hour. I'm not even talking about the evening rush that begins around 3 or 4 pm, when demand can reach over 45/hour during certain periods.

So, all of these reasons could also explain why you were low and slow for a longer period of time in bad weather compared to other airports.
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parrot_head
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Re: YUL vectors

Post by parrot_head » Sat May 18, 2019 8:10 am

thenoflyzone wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 6:54 am

As a side note, YYC TCU has the monitor position set up, but doesn't use it, last I heard, due to staffing issues.
YC TCU regularly uses the monitor multiple times per day.
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laserstrike
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Re: YUL vectors

Post by laserstrike » Wed May 29, 2019 11:52 am

Braun wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 2:39 am
Thanks for participating, in no constructive way atll, behind the anonymity of your keyboard in . Not exactly sure why we are the laughing stock of Canada. I'd definitely be curious to know more about this. I'm glad there aren't more posters like, in general this sub section is actually nice and constructive to be. Looking forward to your comments!
In my experience Montreal controllers are the best out of all the big city airports.
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Braun
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Re: YUL vectors

Post by Braun » Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:49 pm

laserstrike wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 11:52 am
Braun wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 2:39 am
Thanks for participating, in no constructive way atll, behind the anonymity of your keyboard in . Not exactly sure why we are the laughing stock of Canada. I'd definitely be curious to know more about this. I'm glad there aren't more posters like, in general this sub section is actually nice and constructive to be. Looking forward to your comments!
In my experience Montreal controllers are the best out of all the big city airports.
thanks laser, I feel we do a pretty darn good job with the ressources we have to work with.
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