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DAL ATL 767 Pilots flying to NBO...ATC Help

atpcliff

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
4,260
Total Time
6000
Hi!


I got here in March, flying out of NBO. The ATC here does some strange things, so I thought I'd write this up to help anyone out that is flying in or out of NBO.


First of all, as you may already know from flying into West Africa (I assume it's the same), is that Africa is slow and disorganized. The organization, manpower, equipment, etc. is often lacking. I'm assuming that when you first get here, things will be more unorganized and will slowly improve. I just recommend that you be patient, and not surprised if things don't go smoothly, or quickly, and you don't meet your 2+3x turn times, at least at first.


The biggest problem is that the NBO ATC is inconsistent, in terminology, and in their clearances. It has seemed, though, that ATC will give the foreigners more SIDs, simplified clearances, and talk slower, than to the locals (ie: me). Frequently, I wish I was not a local when dealing with ATC.


ATC Progression:
Inbound:
You will contact Nairobi Control North or South, or Nairobi Radar, depending on your route. If you are having trouble contacting NBO Control, you can try NBO Information. Sometimes their frequency works further out.
STAR:
Get out all the STARs that have the inbound intersections for your route. They may assign you a STAR (regardless whether or not it is on your flightplan), or they may clear you to fly direct to an intersection that is on one of the STARs that is applicable.
Regardless of the STAR, or intersection that you are cleared via/to, ATC may change at the last minute and assign you one of the JOMOK transitions (Jepps p. 10-2S), so always have this STAR out also.
If you are cleared to GG/GV (they are co-located), be ready to hold there as depicted, if they are busy.
Regardless of all the above, at the end, you may be cleared to ANTUK, and then the LOC for Runway 06. So, find a plate with ANTUK on it so you know where it is. This has occurred several times.
After Landing:
You will probably turn off at E Taxiway, and tower will tell you your landing time and to go to Ground (on the Jepps they're called “Apron Control” but they're usually called “Ground”...ATC inconsistencies). Once with Ground, there is an initial radio call protocol:
Call Sign/Origination/Souls on board/Operator:
“Delta 42, Inbound from Dakar, 262 passengers/11 crew, Operator Delta Airlines.”
Ground will probably send you via Juliet Taxiway to a gate. They typically will call it a “Spot”, but the terminology is variable. They may or may not tell you to call them with the marshaller in sight, but they want you to do this, and then they will release you to the marshaller.


Outbound:
ATIS:
First try and listen to ATIS. If it is ancient, or you can't understand the transmission (not uncommon) call TOWER for the weather. If you call Ground they will tell you to call tower for the ATIS, and they may get annoyed, which can be not good down the road when you need something from them.
Engine Start-Tower:
You are required to call Tower for engine start permission, and they have a protocol:
Call Sign/Request/Destination/Flight Level Requested/Souls on board (pax/crew)/Fuel Endurance:
“Delta 76 Requests engine start, Dakar, Flight Level 360, 235 passengers/13 crew, 11 ½ hours of fuel.”
Tower will give you start permission and confirm your cleared flight level. They may ask you questions if they are confused or you flight plan has problems. They may be busy and tell you to standby for a while...they have to taxi aircraft, give landing and takeoff clearances, ATC clearances, engine start permissions, and sometimes ATIS. I know, why does TOWER do all that? Talk to the Kenyan CAA Director...I'm just the messenger!
Pushback-Ground:
Note: You will probably have a jetway. But, sometimes, even if you are parked in a spot with a jetway, it may be broken and the pax will walk (unescorted and without much direction or supervision) from the mobile aircraft stairs to the fixed stairs of the terminal, which is in the middle of the gate area.
Protocol:
Call Sign/Location (Usually called a “Spot”, but the terminology varies)/Request/Destination/Souls on board:
“Delta 48, Spot 4, Request Push (or “Push Back”), Dakar, 220 passengers/14 crew.”
You will now get pushed back and start your engines. Normally, EVERYONE gets pushed back, and they are good at it, so you should have no problems here.
Taxi-Ground:
If you look at your Jepps, you will be parked near or to the left of Taxiway J, so your taxi clearance should be the same each time...Protocol:
Call Sign/Location/Request
“Delta 92, Pushed Back from Spot 2, Request Taxi.”
They will normally say:
“Delta 92, Taxi Juliet/Gulf, Approaching Gulf contact Tower on 118.7.”
Sometimes they may ask you for your Destination/Souls again.
Taxi-Tower:
Approaching Gulf (the parallel) you will call Tower...Protocol:
Call Sign/Location/Souls on board:
“Delta 86, Approaching Gulf, 164 passengers/12 crew.”
Tower will give you your Squawk, your Taxi Instructions, and may tell you to advise them when you are ready for your ATC instructions. Formats vary wildly:
“Delta 98, Squawk 4375, Holding Position Runway 06.”
“Delta 98, Holding Point 06/Number One, Squawk 4375.”
“Delta 98, Squawk 4375, Holding Position 06/Number Three, advise when ready for ATC.”
Notes:
1-The above formats vary wildly, so be ready for format sequence variation, terminology variations, and, other questions from the Tower.
2-I believe that the “Holding Point 06” (or “Runway 06”) is the position at the normal hold short line next to the end of the runway on Kilo taxiway. I believe that the”Holding Position Runway 06” (or “06”) is the set of hold short lines that are on the 45 degree taxiway/ramp off of Gulf Taxiway, before you get to Kilo taxiway. However, I think that they sometimes interchange the two terms, and use both terms for BOTH POINTS, so please be careful and clarify which spot they want you to taxi to.
Clearance-Tower: This is the worst...
Sometimes they will wait for you to tell them you are ready for the clearance (if they have asked you to report ready). Sometimes they will ask you if you are ready for your clearance, which is nice. Sometimes, they will just blurt the clearance out at very high speed, out of the blue, assuming you are poised with your writing utensil in hand. Nice!
The flight plan you file for has no bearing, whatsoever, on the clearance you will get from Tower. You may file a SID, and: Not be given any SID, be given a different SID, be given the SID, but by telling you each specific instruction on the SID, which you have to read back, instead of just given you the SID, or, you may get a clearance that doesn't make any sense whatsoever to you. The last week I flew, we got cleared to an intersection that we did not recognize. I think it took 5, or maybe 6 tried to get the phonetic spelling. It turns out that the intersection was on one of the STARS for Runway 24, the runway that is never used. Since we were departing, and using Runway 06, it seemed odd to us.
Examples:
“...Cleared to FL 180, Request altitude change enroute...”
“...Fly runway heading to FL 100, then L/R turn to (a fix that may or may not be on your flight plan)”
“...Cleared to Boundary/UTA Boundary/FIR Boundary...”
“...Cleared to Dakar...(and then later)...to XXX (the VOR at Dakar)”
The bottom line here is, be ready for ANYTHING, and remember that you are in AFRICA.
After ATC Clearance:
You may be given your takeoff clearance immediately after your ATC clearance (even if you're nowhere near the end of the runway), so be ready.
After takeoff, Tower will contact you and give you your takeoff time, and tell you to go to Nairobi Radar at 122.3. When you check in with Radar, all you need to tell them is your Squawk. They are very good.


Good luck, and if I can help in some other way, contact me.


Cliff
NBO
 

CBob

Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2004
Posts
9
Total Time
7000
And whatever you do don't park on the mil ramp on the SE side. Grass on the tarmac is 6" deep with a big slope. If you don't have chocks, a ladder isn't a good substitute, at least on the 737. If you then go into the woods around the tarmac at night looking for chock rocks, watch out for small Kenyan military encampments. They will scare the heck out of you...
 

atpcliff

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
4,260
Total Time
6000
Hi!

Sometimes it feels like Naboo.....

cliff
NBO
 

pilotgolfer

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 13, 2005
Posts
536
Total Time
7500
Cliff,

If you are an american living in Africa...do you insist on having them call you an American-African?

Just curious if they have political correctness over there.
 

GCD

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 23, 2002
Posts
476
Total Time
>1500
I would second the motion to be very patient over the African Continent.

I would also stress that the air-to-air in-the-blind VHF position reporting has saved me from a few TCAS encounters (assuming the other airplanes had TCAS).
 

atpcliff

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
4,260
Total Time
6000
Hi!

It is a lot different here than in the US. When you tell them you are American, almost all Kenyan's faces light up and they say "OBAMA!!!"

There are lots of different people over here, and the locals seem to like us Muzungus (white people). They talk about people's different colors (lighter than that person, darker than me, etc.) over here, and most seem to think any type of marriage dating is acceptable between races.

The biggest problem area/stereotyping is between the various tribes here. There are about 47 tribes, with vastly different cultures. That is a lot bigger than black/white or foreign/local. Not much tribal intermarrying.

There are LOTS of foreigners, and lots of people moving here from Europe, Australia and New Zealand, not to mention Asia. LOTS and LOTS of Indians and Chinese.

cliff
NBO
 
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