I recently attended a GA safety meeting as rep for LAGAUA. Marc Hill and one of his colleagues attended for ATC. Marc remains very supportive of GA at Liverpool and always listens and more importantly acts on what we have to say.
A couple of interesting points arose.
Firstly with ref to ATC service: by default ATC will offer a basic service outside the zone but Marc said that we should not be shy to ask for a traffic service which will be provided unless the workload is too high.
Secondly I raised with Marc the lengthy delays which sometimes occur at the holding point due to the volume of IFR arrivals and departures. I asked whether it would be feasible to ask the assistant when booking out whether there is likely to be a lengthy delay as if so the pilot may wish to delay his own departure for a few minutes to save time being held at the holding point. Marc responded in terms that he could see no reason why we should not ask the question and although he could not guarantee the accuracy of the information due to the number of factors involved in scheduling arrivals and departures he was happy to “give it a try” and see whether it assists. He would therefore warn the assistants to expect such enquiry.
I wish everyone a very happy Christmas and lots of safe flying in 2017.