Houston TRACON - I90


Aug 5, 2009
Are you guys still doing 6 day work weeks? I'm a controller at ZJX and thinking about putting in for the current I90 bid. What can I expect if I make it to I90?


Sep 30, 2009
I'm a pilot...not sure if i belong here but GOD am i frustrated with houston approach. I've worked out of most other major hubs, flying turboprops based at national, boston, philly, and lagarbage...and never seen anything quite like this. I'm in a King Air 350, I go 250 under 10,000 just like everyone, but i can't even stand blue bell ice cream after flying that arrival! fly heading 160 after sunday? sure...then down to 3,000, fly heading 270 for 40 miles, then 160 down to freeport, then 090 over to somewhere over the gulf, back north to hobby, over to tower on a visual approach where theres NO DAMN TRAFFIC!!!! My Lord! I just made 10 people sick, and cost the boss another $1,000 operating costs for that 30 minute tour!

Here's what i need to know...will vfr help? file another arrival? What? i want to be sequenced with everyone else into hobby! Under 10, we're all the same! why can't i be just put in with the jets? I'm going to call and get a tour of the facility so that maybe someone can help me understand.
HI, I'm not some visitor or someone who doesn't work this sector with something to say. I work the bluebell arrivals daily. I see this problem happen on day to day basis. Unfortunately we have procedures established with Houston Center. These are the controllers that clear you for that arrival. We have no control over the procedures established between the two facilities, Center and TRACON. We do have the ability reference traffic to deviate from the procedure with the approval of the ZHU Center again based on traffic situations. This is the tip you have been looking for and you don't have to change your flight planning. Coming in VFR will not guarantee you'll stay high and be sequenced in with the jets. Because of all the crossing that happens within the Bravo airspace which is a lot more than any pilot realizes you'll most likely be pushed to lower altitudes. This is what you do. Once you talk to Houston Approach not the Center so this will be shortly after you have been cleared for the bluebell. Request that you want to stay as high as you can as long as possible and in that request include that you can run fast 250kt or better for sequencing. More times that not the low altitude sector has like you said a lot of traffic down low. If you can run fast and you can, the controller sequencing the jets to Hobby has no problem with keeping you at seven thousand feet above the little buddies and on a good sequence to Hobby. Keep in mind you have a fifty fifty chance of getting this procedure approved it has to do with a multitude of factors. Try this every time, there is nothing saying you can't request to stay high right all that can happen is they say no. If they say no there is usually a good reason and you just have to try again next time. It will be like having a toll pass if the procedure is approved. The TRACON is currently in the process of re designing their airspace again for the third time in five years. I will bring this issue up of allowing high performance turbo's to come in at higher altitudes but don't hold your breath. I realize that being pushed down low is frustrating especially if your behind the wheel of sports car of a plane. Remember this procedures can always be improved upon and they are not always the best for the flying community as far as savings is concerned but they are very safe. We as air traffic controllers think of one thing first and that's SAFETY. Unfortunately not everyone will understand certain procedures and their possible quirks but everyone understands safety. That's one thing we as Houston TRACON controllers pride ourselves on. We work in a highly complex area with a high rate of aircraft arriving at multiple airports and we do it safely. Hope this helps ease the pain.