Auckland Approach Timelapse

Auckland Approach Timelapse

As my first session of 2022, I opened Aukland Approach with @Thunderbolt and later @JeffreyTian on Tower and Ground. There had been no radar frequency present for roughly 15 minutes, so the airspace was quite messy at first. Runway 23L had been used the whole morning, but we started to see a trend of go-arounds due to strong tailwind gusts on final. For that reason, Thunderbolt and I made a risky decision to change the runway we were using to 5R; risky because there was a departure queue holding at 23L that needed to depart before I could bring in the inbound traffic continuously growing in the airspace above. If we did the change inefficiently, we’d be looking at a clogged-up airspace that could potentially affect the rest of the day at Auckland for the next series of controllers.

Thunderbolt got his departure line moving quickly and sent new outbound traffic to 5R. During this time, I organized my inbounds, brought them over and around the airfield, and prepared for the last 23L departure to clear the 5R arrival cone. Whenever I was unsure about lateral spacing, I’d ensure vertical separation before altering speeds to form the lateral distance I needed. I’d then drop the higher aircraft down to 4000 on downwind or 3000 on base. Something to note about speed commands: After hearing it often on liveatc.net, I’ve recently gotten into using odd speeds like 210, 190, and 170 rather than my once-typical even speeds. I used 210 a ton in this session—almost every aircraft in the pattern I started was at 210 until clearance.

This session ended up being one of my busiest, highest-earning sessions yet. I ended up with 815 operations after an hour and a half of controlling. I was rather pleased with pilot behavior and how everything went in general. The radar-local communication was great and there was a nicely balanced flow of arrivals and departures. One critique I would make is of the spacing between certain aircraft. I definitely could have made Tower’s job easier by ensuring more spacing for at least one or two aircraft between each pair of arrivals—it’s unbelievably challenging to have a departure line constantly building no matter what you do as the local controller because there’s not much you can do. Radar controllers have more influence on what’s happening on the ground than you might think. Recognizing that is an important first step in eliminating the inefficiency. With that all said, I hope you enjoy the timelapse!


Click below to watch!

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Nice! How did you make it into a time lapse?

Thanks! I screen-recorded my replay and sped it up in an editing software. After a little cropping and music, I uploaded to YouTube and that’s what you’re seeing. Let me know if you have any questions!

Thanks! (Ten character)

That runway change 🤤

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And this decision brought us this masterpiece! 😍

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Woah! That runway change pattern is mesmerizing. Amazing work! I always know I’m in good hands when I see you open <3

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