Barry Sanders Jersey  Overload due to thunderstorms – Mindfulness

Overload due to thunderstorms

Describe the situation or the context that gave rise to this report.
What factors in the situation could contribute towards a problem, hazard or incident?
What was, or could be, the undesirable outcome of this episode?
What action or recommendation did, or could, avoid this outcome?
How (in what way) could the recommendation prevent the problem, hazard or incident
What was (would be) the direct result of this (i.e. how effective was / would it be)?

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It’s a situation that arose quiet frequently the last few weeks. That of overload due to thunderstorms.

When the number of aircraft is near or at the capacity of a sector and a squall line passes through.
The complexity involved in handling this amount of traffic will increase to such an extent that it can increase the risk of an incident.
The hazard was probably identified but due to different reason’s i.e. reluctance to put on restrictions, the weather being worse than expected, someone interpreted the figures incorrectly etc.. it lead to an overload.

At worst a loss of separation, at best a situation that was very stressful for the controller.

A high intensity 20min to half an hour radar session which probably couldn’t be maintained for much longer avoided the above outcome but still proved very stressful.

The action didn’t prevent the problem it just provided a temporary mitigation.
The controller had to be defensive like descending aircraft that had to descend early, applying as much as possible vertical separation to keep an overview on the situation and relying very heavily on the assistant radar controller.

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