What's with all the ATC Delays @DFW?

Old Apr 7, 21, 9:19 am
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What's with all the ATC Delays @DFW?

Multiple flights lately into and out of DFW have been delayed due to "congestion of air traffic". My last two connections in DFW have required a mad run through the airport and I'm getting damn tired of it.
Last week: Delayed out of OKC by almost an hour - first because a guy managed to board the wrong flight and it took 30 mins to figure it out. Then a computer reboot, and then ATC.
Last night: On time push back, 50 minute delay due to DFW traffic patterns. Then, out of DFW, nearly 30 minutes awaiting takeoff.

How is this even possible with such a reduced schedule? If there is excessive traffic now, how was a full pre-covid schedule managed?
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Old Apr 7, 21, 9:25 am
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I have seen tweets from DFW airport saying delays due to ground construction. Annually, they tend to do maintenance on the runways etc this time of the year. Not sure if this work rolls into ATC delays though but I guess it could




Originally Posted by bchandler02 View Post
Multiple flights lately into and out of DFW have been delayed due to "congestion of air traffic". My last two connections in DFW have required a mad run through the airport and I'm getting damn tired of it.
Last week: Delayed out of OKC by almost an hour - first because a guy managed to board the wrong flight and it took 30 mins to figure it out. Then a computer reboot, and then ATC.
Last night: On time push back, 50 minute delay due to DFW traffic patterns. Then, out of DFW, nearly 30 minutes awaiting takeoff.

How is this even possible with such a reduced schedule? If there is excessive traffic now, how was a full pre-covid schedule managed?
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Old Apr 7, 21, 9:37 am
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Originally Posted by AAExecPlatFlier View Post
I have seen tweets from DFW airport saying delays due to ground construction. Annually, they tend to do maintenance on the runways etc this time of the year. Not sure if this work rolls into ATC delays though but I guess it could
I offered that reason as well some time back but was countered with "it shouldn't matter with the total number of runways in use".
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Old Apr 7, 21, 10:31 am
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DFW 18R/36L has been OTS for months now. There's no way for DFW to simultaneously land on four runways/depart on two with that runway OTS.

Typical DFW ops when VFR has landings 13R, 18R, 17C, 17L and departures off of 18L and 17R when in south flow. Flip those around and swap 31R for 13R when in north flow.

With 18R now OTS, you're either going to have to move those arrivals to a different runway or stagger arrivals and/or departures on 18L. Either way reduced volume.

Anecdotally it also seems that while AA total daily movements are down at DFW, those movements that are operating are now more banked than ever. DFW isn't just a repeaked hub, it's a superpeaked hub.

Anecdotally I have also noticed more "crossover" operations where you cross DFW midfield to enter downwind for an opposite side runway. This was quite rare in the past.

(Edited to add: it's also possible that more time in north flow is contributing to delays because I believe there is no way yet to get around crossing active runways in N flow like there is in S flow. I believe an additional taxiway is being built like the one at the far S end of the airport but not complete yet?)
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Last edited by Herb687; Apr 7, 21 at 10:36 am Reason: perimeter taxiway?
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Old Apr 7, 21, 11:54 am
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Originally Posted by bchandler02 View Post
Multiple flights lately into and out of DFW have been delayed due to "congestion of air traffic".
Another Positive Covid Test. ATC suspended while janitors spray Formula 409 on the scopes.
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Old Apr 7, 21, 11:56 am
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Currently sitting on 2412 waiting to push and EDT pushed back 15 minutes. Pilot comes on the horn and says “the tower is slowing us down just a bit. They are moving planes around to deal with the high traffic”.
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Old Apr 7, 21, 12:03 pm
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
Currently sitting on 2412 waiting to push and EDT pushed back 15 minutes. Pilot comes on the horn and says “the tower is slowing us down just a bit. They are moving planes around to deal with the high traffic”.
Yep, that's what I am seeing too.

Originally Posted by Herb687 View Post
Anecdotally it also seems that while AA total daily movements are down at DFW, those movements that are operating are now more banked than ever. DFW isn't just a repeaked hub, it's a superpeaked hub.

Anecdotally I have also noticed more "crossover" operations where you cross DFW midfield to enter downwind for an opposite side runway. This was quite rare in the past.

(Edited to add: it's also possible that more time in north flow is contributing to delays because I believe there is no way yet to get around crossing active runways in N flow like there is in S flow. I believe an additional taxiway is being built like the one at the far S end of the airport but not complete yet?)
I do think the banking is making things worse as well. Additionally, I've noticed more of the DFW Airport grand tour when landing too. For example, yesterday we landed to the south on the A/C/E side of the airport. Instead of exiting off near terminal C where our gate was (which we were slow enough to do), they went to the far south end of the field and then came back up to terminal C. Wasted a good few minutes there as well.
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Old Apr 7, 21, 12:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Tanic View Post
Another Positive Covid Test. ATC suspended while janitors spray Formula 409 on the scopes.
That aligns perfectly with my flight time yesterday.
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Old Apr 7, 21, 1:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Herb687 View Post
DFW isn't just a repeaked hub, it's a superpeaked hub.
I can't stand that. I end up taking 2 to 3 hour connections instead of the "stock" 50-min connections, usually for a higher price. And good luck securing your F seat on your new connection. A solid case for upgrades to occur just prior to boarding, but I digress.

Even taking the first flight to DFW, you can still miss a short connection. A small delay for defrosting the aeroplane turns into a major delay on your end due to the scheduling situation.
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Old Apr 7, 21, 3:05 pm
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It's been going on for months. I've had three AUS-DFW flights so far this year, at various times in the morning, and after leaving the gate all three pulled into a siding, shut down engines, and announced a delay due to traffic going into DFW. Fortunately all ended up being relatively short delays.
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Old Apr 7, 21, 3:06 pm
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Originally Posted by bchandler02 View Post
That aligns perfectly with my flight time yesterday.
It was also crazy windy yesterday. My power flashed several times.
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Old Apr 7, 21, 7:46 pm
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3 hour flight to ORD today! Crazy routing.
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Old Apr 7, 21, 9:38 pm
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Agreed. I fly out of a small airport near OKC, which ONLY connects to DFW. Flew last week and was scared to death I'd miss my connection. Flight Aware (free) showed 12 previous flights. 7 of them had left about an HOUR late and one had been canceled. I lucked out and got the one that left 1 minute early, but was panicked until wheels up. They all boarded on time, but sat sat sat. Ridiculous. If you know it's going to happen often, stop scheduling. If 8 of 12 can't make it on time due to ATC, then Houston, er, Dallas, we have a problem. Also, I cannot tell you how many times I have sat on that same runway because "folks, we have a bit of a hold from air traffic at DFW, but we hope to have you off the ground in a few minutes." We're talking multiple times over the past eight years I have lived here.
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Old Apr 7, 21, 10:05 pm
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ATC delays seem pretty common going to DFW, some a few minutes others longer, nothing new. I try to avoid DFW if possible because of weather and ATC delays.
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Old Apr 8, 21, 7:23 am
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Originally Posted by bchandler02 View Post
Yep, that's what I am seeing too.



I do think the banking is making things worse as well. Additionally, I've noticed more of the DFW Airport grand tour when landing too. For example, yesterday we landed to the south on the A/C/E side of the airport. Instead of exiting off near terminal C where our gate was (which we were slow enough to do), they went to the far south end of the field and then came back up to terminal C. Wasted a good few minutes there as well.
Yes I've had that grand tour of DFW more times than I can remember. Last week we landed 30 minutes early and between the Tour De DFW and waiting for a gate we arrived at the gate 10 minutes late. Some poor guy behind me had booked a 40 minute connection to PHX and needed to go from D to C.

While AA has reduced the number of banks it's increased the number of flights in the banks. CLT at night can easily be 40 minutes after you leave the gate and take off.
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