EDDB dilemma, what to do when denied entry

Today I controlled EDDB, we are having a day long IFATC event with specific arrival procedures. To lighten the workload of EDDT I, EDDB approach, told the two EDDT approach controllers to hand off a large portion of the aircraft on their frequency to me, to divert them to another airport like EDDB or EDDI. Which airport they diverted to was up to the pilot.

When I opened before they started handing off.

To execute this I sent a “deny entry” command upon contact with them after the handoff. Deny entry states that “the destination airport is not accepting incoming traffic at this time”, which means for those that had a flight plan to EDDT, you could no longer land at EDDT.

After sending the deny entry command I put the aircraft into a hold, until they decided which airport they would like to divert to.

Due to a lack of commands, we cannot tell the aircraft to divert, or to divert to another specific airport. All I am able to do as approach is deny entry and wait till the pilot changes their destination and request an approach to a different airport.

To save the pilot’s time if there idea was to wait in the hold, I was only willing to hold aircraft for about 30 minutes. Throughout the 30 minutes I reminded the aircraft several times that they were denied entry still. If the aircraft requested to land at EDDI or EDDB at any time, I would remove them from the hold and start vectoring them to the airport they choose. If after 30 minutes they never stated their intentions, I would have to ask them.

The reason why I needed to ask is simple, fuel. I did not want the pilots under my control to have fuel emergencies. There is no way unfortunately to tell the aircraft how long they would need to hold before they could be vectored to EDDT to land.

After handing off a large portion of EDDT inbounds.

So you see the dilemma. Here is what you need to do when you are denied entry.

Once you are denied entry please switch your destination to another airport and request an approach to another airport, so the approach controller can allow you to divert.