Last night, the WAA hosted a meeting between nearly 15 pilots at HPN and the control tower staff to further open the lines of communication at the airport. With great dialogue and wonderful interaction from the group, many questions and concerns were addressed. Leading the meeting was WAA Chairman Milt Hobbs, Mike Wold (HPN Tower Chief), and Ben Stuck of the FAA FSDO.
Having held these types of meetings before, the WAA hoped to spark further interest between the GA community of the airport. With a great show of support, this meeting now qualifies for Wings Credit and future gatherings will be led by long time tenant of the airport, Scott Dyer. Although not scheduled yet, please watch the website for quarterly meeting dates.
Below are highlights taken from the meeting to recap some significant information:
- HPN has a significant short staff situation and as a result, impacts the operations at HPN
Very few times that anyone can receive a “line up and wait” clearance which helps expedite the flow of departures and arrivals- HPN is short one supervisor and has one on medical leave. BY FAA SOP, this clearance cannot be issued without a supervisor in the tower cab.
- DCL program is still underway and supported by the Tower. Like most, they feel it still has issues but getting better
- Do not refile during severe weather situations or SWAP events. The Tower is already working on reroutes and other fixes that might work with TRACON when they see your strip. If you refile, will put you at the bottom of the list. It is ok to advise or suggest to them on clearance delivery if you would accept a “TEC” route however (low level tower enroute paths such as DC or Boston)
- Recommended to have your transponder turned on while moving on the ground at KHPN even though HPN is not capable of seeing the transponder on the ground…yet.
- Tower assumes that if you are a jet, you will be ready for takeoff at the end of the runway. Not a problem to call ready but they assume you are and are working on a release as soon as you started the taxi. If you are a piston, they assume you will do a run-up and then call ready.
- No rhyme or reason as to why you are assigned 120.4 versus 126.4. Those frequencies are assigned by TRACON and vary based upon workload. (however, 126.4 works better according to them and TRACON can hear 126.4 from the ground at KHPN)
- The Tower at KHPN welcomes visitors. Must have your passport and be a US Citizen. Call Mike Wold at 914-948-6520 if you would like to schedule a visit. Because of the cramped quarters, limit the group to about 5.
- The Tower folks love to be asked to go along on local flights for familiarization. Does not happen as much as it should.