Ever wondered whether to hit that Request Pushback button for the third or fourth time at a busy field, surrounded on all sides by 50-75 aircraft all doing the same?
Ever wondered what it sounds like on the other end? Why it might be frowned upon for you to continue banging that button? Why you’re not receiving an immediate response?
Wonder no more:
A few notes on the video:
I have a 15 minute time limit, so the cuts at each end may be a bit abrupt, but it essentially starts when I was dropped into the event already in motion at KORD, with everyone needing pushback.
What to note:
Note just how cacophonous it sounds on the other side. Note just how difficult it might be to respond to you instantly with 50 other people also blowing up the frequency.
I kind of moved the camera around a bit to get some perspective on the length of the existing line, etc, but what parts you should really note are the ones that show 8 to 10 planes in a line, or an alcove. Not all of those can pushback at once, but all of them will certainly be asking at the same time. Also note how many times, those aircraft are requesting pushback with another aircraft sitting behind them awaiting taxi.
You may think Ground is simply ignoring you, but hopefully hearing the other end will give you some sort of perspective on why it may be a second.
What you don’t see:
What you can’t see here is the ATC queue of tags.
IFATC typically works on a first-in-first-out system. The queue displays the first requests at the bottom of the queue, and the most recent at the top.
When you re-request pushback, your tag jumps to the top again.
That’s right, every time you request pushback again, you’re voluntarily sending yourself back to the end of the queue.
Doesn’t seem so productive, does it?
Anyway, hopefully this lends some perspective and leads to perhaps a tad more patience.