TAXI AT LARGE AIR­PORTS LIKE A PRO

Flying - - Inbox - David Novelli Hous­ton

I en­joyed Bret Koebbe’s ar­ti­cle re­gard­ing nav­i­gat­ing ground ops at large and com­plex air­fields [“Taxi at Large Air­ports Like a Pro,” Au­gust].

On a re­cent visit to Dal­las Love Field — my first — trav­el­ing with my col­lege-bound high school se­nior to tour uni­ver­si­ties in the Dal­las-fort Worth metro area, I imag­ined the next level of tech­nol­ogy. KDAL is un­der a tremen­dous ren­o­va­tion. Ac­com­pa­ny­ing this in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ment was a laun­dry list of taxi­way clo­sures along with other no­tams re­gard­ing ground op­er­a­tions. It was daunt­ing. I made notes us­ing Fore­flight’s edit fea­ture be­fore depar­ture. I fly a Cir­rus SR22 with Garmin Per­spec­tive, so my avail­able ref­er­ence ma­te­rial is about as good as gen­eral avi­a­tion can de­liver.

But I did get mixed up on ar­rival. With a South­west Air­lines com­pany plane on short fi­nal, I wanted to evac­u­ate the run­way as soon as safely pos­si­ble at C6. It was closed. Af­ter be­ing safely guided by the friendly tower con­troller to the FBO, I imag­ined a rou­tinely up­dated dig­i­tal chart with X’s (in red, no doubt) to fur­ther sim­plify my in­ter­pre­ta­tion dur­ing the brief­ing. One day, I hope!

What got me smil­ing through it all was pick­ing up the ATIS on ar­rival. I reg­is­tered the crit­i­cal data and lis­tened for a few min­utes more as the con­troller rat­tled through a list of clo­sures and sur­face no­tams. A stenog­ra­pher would have strug­gled to get it all down.

Big air­fields are a blast. As my 17-yearold said, and maybe with a bit of pride, “Dad, your flyin’ with the big boys here.” He’s work­ing on his Ea­gle Scout, so he knows the motto “Be pre­pared.”

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