WAA/ATC Quarterly Meeting Recap/March 2018
On the morning of March 28, the WAA hosted a meeting with a mix of corporate and light general aviation pilots, and air traffic controllers, to maintain open the lines of communication at the airport. Leading the meeting were WAA Board Member Scott Dyer, Mike Wold,, (Air Traffic Manager/HPN), Demisha Vega (ATC supervisor), Terry Ryan (Traffic Management, NY Tracon) and Jon Norris (Traffic Management, NY Tracon).
Please mark your calendars: our next quarterly meeting will be on Monday June 11, 2018,at 7:30 pm .
The focus of the meeting was on SWAP and other routings for corporate operators out of the Westchester area. Below are highlights taken from the meeting to recap some significant information:
- When SWAP is in effect, and provided that the WHITE gate remains open, it is likely that aircraft with destinations as far south as RDU will receive SERMN (Severe Weather Escape Route Metro NY) routings to the south over JFK and along V1. If this routing is accepted, operators will not be cleared higher than 8.000' - 10,000' and higher routings should not be requested. Plan your fuel load/burn accordingly. While SERMN routes also exist in other directions (west, north and east) they are seldom used.
- Routings over GREKI may be used on occasion for westbound aircraft, to avoid affected west and north gates.
- BEADS routings are often used for traffic or weather avoidance purposes for HPN departures for Florida destinations., especially when WHITE is affected by weather or volume of traffic.
- DUCT (Depart Under Center Traffic) routings, while used in the PHL area and which provided routes to Cleveland center airspace capped at FL220, are seldom used for NY Metro departures.
- Do not refile IFR flight plans to try to take SWAP gate closings into account, let ATC or your flight plan provider work out the most advantageous route at the time. If you would like something specific, e.g., a SERMN route, or GREKI or BEADS routing, let HPN tower know and they will coordinate to the air traffic organization to the extent possible.
- Be aware of the departure procedures when departing out of HPN (i.e., the current Westchester Seven Departure), such as the appropriate frequency for departure (ssigned by clearance delivery (which may be different than on the SID) and any special altitude limitations. ATC reports that some departing jet aircraft fly runway heading rather than according to the SID, or do not comply with a 2,000' climb restriction thereby creating traffic conflicts with LGA traffic in the vicinity of HPN at 3,000'.
- Tower reported that jet and other operators have established a good record of avoiding runway incursions at HPN.
- Taxiway A in the vicinity of the airline terminal will be closed for 6-8 weeks starting in May and planned to end before July 4. This will necessitate additional crossings of 16/34 by taxiing aircraft for the period of the taxiway closure.
- The airport is planning to resurface 16/34 in 2019, with details on the scheduled runway closings still being determined.
- Student pilots on solo flights (local or cross country) are encouraged and expected to identify themselves to ATC. Controllers will keep an extra eye on them, and generally avoid 360s in the the downwind, short approaches and other similar instructions.
- In response to comments about excessive spacing between aircraft departing HPN, the controllers noted several things: 1) some controller trainees are less likely to approve immediate takeoffs with traffic on final as they gain more experience; and 2) controllers need to plan for the "worst case" scenario, such as an aircraft that is cleared for departure but takes an inordinately long period of time to actually departure while the traffic on final continues the approach. If you are willing for an "immediate" departure, let the tower know. But if that is approved, depart expeditiously.
- Controllers stressed that 360s on final (especially below pattern altitude) are not usual and will often result in the controller giving the instruction being counseled not to do so in the future. Pilots who are asked to do 360s on downwind and are uncomfortable doing so, such as because of concern that due to limitations on their proficiency the wind aloft may blow them over the runway while doing the 360, should decline the instruction.
- As always, the Tower at KHPN welcomes visitors. Visitors must have a 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, and quieter times are more advantageous for learning as the controllers can spend more time talking to you.
- Jon Norris and Terry Ryan encouraged pilots to arrange visits to NY Tracon (US citizens only). Their email addresses are: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com