Hello everyone, today I’m here to tell you what happened today at Daniel K. Inoye Intl. Airport.
As you all know, PHNL was the busiest airport during the day, unfortunately, although it has four runways, it is not a strategic location.
After controlling as an IFATC, I am making this message to make sure that all pilots were able to understand what happened and that it is not your fault if delays or go-arounds are caused.
To give you an idea of how the control of an IFATC starts, it starts like this, with all these planes to control :
Why is PHNL not a strategic location?
The first thing you need to know is that Atis only opened runways 8L and 8R for take-off and landing, the problem is that traffic was concentrated on 8L, so more planes landed blocking the take-off of some.
As you can see below, this image explains the chaos concretely.
Here is what we can deduce :
- United 300 will land on Runway 8L
- Four aircraft wish to take off / cross runway 8L to the west
- G-TSGB and two aircraft in front of him wish to cross runway 8L
Even as a controller, your solution would be to wait for United 300 to land, except that you don’t see a dozen other planes following it.
Landings were no longer the priority
You may not do a go-around, but if the problem is not done in flight, it will be done on the ground, this picture shows us that two planes are dangerously blocked by a 737 that wants to cross the runway, it is therefore imperative to make it cross by canceling the landing of some planes.
I’m not trying to criticize the pilots who are currently on all the pictures I put, but what I’m trying to make you understand are the following things:
- Impossible to make a plane cross / take off
- Landings only possible
- Go-Around probable for lack of distance
- Big delays
One more problem that does not suit us
A wind change was suddenly made, and the planes were flying with 10kts in tailwind, which is very dangerous, but because of the traffic, the change was extremely difficult to make
What pushed me to make this topic, is to make sure that you are aware that being alone, but managing only the Tower is a lot of work, and that some people have to wait a lot of time, even ten minutes if it is necessary to have an authorization for something.
I would like to thank those who waited a long time ( 15 - 30 min ) to receive a simple instruction to cross the runway, because even if you think that you will have had time to do this action, safety standards impose the opposite, especially as I was led to do dangerous things.
I also want to share with you my mistakes during this session, because the choices were quite difficult to make, and I had to ask for a lot of Go-Around, which allowed me to free up some ground traffic but caused a lot of trouble.
Then, I don’t know if it was me or IF, but I started to lose a lot of planes for a few moments on several occasions, which was quite annoying.
Finally, I just want to ask that pilots don’t get mad at IFATC but understand that even in the real world, a controller would go crazy over such a traffick, and that it’s human to make a mistake or do something stupid, but please be patient and respect our instructions, because we know what we’re doing and we sympathize with you that it might bother you.