OBSERVATIONS AND THINGS ON THE EXPERT SERVER AT NZAA TODAY
This isn’t a complaint or a rant, more of a quiet, softly spoken polite observation on various things that I felt compelled to write.
First of all, as always, thanks to all ATC - service is appreciated and good skills! It took over 35 mins from pushback to departure today, but that’s cool - I didn’t mind that. ATC had their work cut out for them and were probably the busiest I’ve seen combined with the relatively small airport - planes backed up on arrival and approach, aircraft stacked up the length of the runway, filing every space. All gates full of spawning aircraft, all taxiways packed and well maintained in the sky by ATC. Waiting shouldn’t matter when an airport is so busy.
ATC did a grand job and it was actually worth waiting to watch all the skills on show.
Hmm. Ok. So here goes, not moaning, not having a go and in the nicest and most professional way and from my own point of view as a pilot, to some (but of course not all) other pilots, at a busy airport, on a very busy day, such as NZAA today…
It never ceases to amaze how impatient people are on a busy airport. Clearly, there are many dozens of other pilots in the immediate vicinity and yet zero patience is displayed from some. OK, well, we’re not all patient enough to wait a few extra minutes I guess and we’ve got places to be, however displaying that by way of possibly ruining the experience of others isn’t really that great, let’s be honest.
So here are a few bits and pieces from this one experience (of many) at a hugely busy airport…
Be patient and respect ATC - the have a huge job on their hands at such a busy time.
You are part of a huge line of aircraft all piling up at the gates and on the taxiway, waiting to take off, land or taxi to parking. Just wait and be patient - your time will come.
Nobody achieves anything by pushing an inch from the plane in front and then hammering the engines at the smallest sight of movement in the hope it will change anything further down the line. If anything, it could possibly irritate them.
Equally, revving engines clearly aimed at someone in front of you to fill a tiny gap doesn’t achieve anything - there are 10 more planes in front and 10 more behind. We are safely spaced as it is. We are not willing to taxi too close to the plane in front to fulfil engine revving pressures. That could also cause annoyance to the person in front.
If you taxi halfway through the next aircraft in front, they aren’t going to best pleased. On that note, if you are that aircraft that someone taxis into, don’t lower yourself by making it into a creeping forward and revving competition to get there first to make a point. Let them get on with it and taxi through you without reacting and turn it into a positive - that you’re a better pilot for it and no need to turn it into some sort of heated display.
If there are 8 aircraft in front of you, all obviously queuing for departure at the entry point at the very end of the runway, don’t cut in and request departure from an entry point further down to try and get off before them. I don’t think there’s a hard and fast rule on that one, it’s just general etiquette. We’ve been waiting patiently - help out and do the same.
Most of all, enjoy the experience and have fun at the same time as being patient and respecting other pilots. Enjoy and be safe!