Airports - Buy two, get one free.




TICK TOCK goes the DFO clock -  Blush

"...seeing as how their ‘expert’ has been shuffled off to Montreal, tucked away in the ICAO safe house..."

Ah yes the obsequious Mr (Fixit) Tiede Bin Liability tasked yet again with obfuscating ICAO on the parlous state of aviation safety in Australia:

Quote:Australian Government involvement in ICAO groups

Australia has maintained a Permanent Mission to ICAO in Montreal since 1947, and is represented on the Council of ICAO, and in the Air Navigation Commission.

Australia's current Permanent Representative to ICAO, and Representative on the Council, is Mr Samuel Lucas, appointed in 2016.

Australia's current Nominee to the Air Navigation Commission is Mr Andrew Tiede, appointed in 2018.

Officials from a number of Australian Government agencies participate actively in a wide range of ICAO groups, including Panels, Working Groups, Study Groups, and Regional Planning Groups. The Australian Government's involvement spans all of ICAO's five global strategic objectives, including experts from:

- the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities, on facilitation, environmental, and economic development issues;
- the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, on aviation safety issues;
Airservices Australia, on air traffic management and aviation fire fighting and rescue issues;
- the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, on accident investigation issues;
- the Bureau of Meteorology, on meteorological issues;
- the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, on search and rescue issues;
- the Department of Home Affairs, on aviation security issues;
- the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, on passport-related issues; and
- the Attorney-General's Department, on international legal issues.

For further information on the Australian Government's involvement in ICAO groups, please contact the relevant agency.


Last Updated: 20 December, 2017

P2: Note the date that the above Dept webpage was updated? Not sure how it is possible for TBL to be (re-)appointed as our Air Navigation Commissioner 2 weeks before the end of 2017 and at least a month before the ICAO meeting which officially rubberstamps decides to endorse these nominations? - Just saying.. Dodgy  

In addition to the Youtube segments from last year's Additional Estimates above I'd like to add the following Hansard and Youtube extract:

Quote:Senator XENOPHON: So do you think that building, the DFO at Essendon, with its proximity to the end of the runway, would meet your criteria for fulfilling CASA's views as to the safety criteria for a building of that size, of that height, in that proximity to the runway?

Mr Carmody : Currently, my understanding is that it would. There was a building there prior to the DFO building. Prior to the DFO building process in, I think, 2004 or thereabouts there were buildings that preceded that on the same location.

Senator XENOPHON: You are quite comfortable, if there were going to be another airport plan, that you would not have an issue with a building with that proximity to the runway?

Mr Carmody : On that runway, in that location, I understand it fits within the template. Mr Tiede would be able to correct me if I am incorrect.

Senator XENOPHON: And you set the template? Is that your template?

Mr Tiede : CASA's interest is in the safety-of-air-navigation piece of this. There are obstacle limitation surfaces, in very broad description, around an airport, starting from the runway out to 15 kilometres, like an upside-down wedding cake. The take-off climb surface extends off the runway in a straight ahead thing for 15 kilometres, climbing at a slope that is dependent on the specification of the runway. So this, in significant part, overlies the public safety zone, third-party protection apparatus that is talked about. The DFO complex fits under the obstacle limitation surfaces, and so it meets the regulatory—

Senator XENOPHON: Do those obstacle limitation surfaces need to be reviewed in light of the DFO accident?

Mr Tiede : The obstacle limitation surfaces are drawn from some quite detailed ICAO specifications—International Civil Aviation Organization specifications—that are very detailed and very longstanding. We model our regulations on that information. ICAO is in a process of reviewing the OLS. The issue with that, of course, is that any outcomes are some time downstream. CASA participates in that work of ICAO as a member of the working group that is looking at this.

Senator XENOPHON: But you are not bound by ICAO? Or are you saying you are bound by ICAO in terms of recommendations for buildings in proximity to airports?

Note how CC comes in over the top of TBL - Dodgy

Mr Tiede : These are standards of ICAO that, yes, we have incorporated into our laws. We follow the ICAO specifications in their Annex 14, their aerodromes annex. We transfer....

Mr Carmody : We routinely follow their standards and recommended practices, unless we notify a difference. In this particular case, too, with Essendon, I might add that part of this discussion would depend upon the results of the investigation, at the end of the day.

Senator XENOPHON: So if the ATSB says, 'We need to review public safety zones—

Mr Carmody : I would be very interested if they came out with something like that. At the moment, the investigation is afoot, I understand. I do not know what the cause of the accident was. I know what the consequences were. But I think that that is part of the picture.

Senator XENOPHON: There is always the cause, but would the outcome have been different if that building were not in the way?

Mr Carmody : And that is correct. Huh






Coming back to TBL's hushed and rushed re-appointment to the ICAO ANC... Huh

From ICAO it is stated the primary purpose of the Air Navigation Commission is...

"...The Air Navigation Commission (ANC) considers and recommends Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and Procedures for Air Navigation Services (PANS) for adoption or approval by the ICAO Council..."   

This would support TBL's statement that...

"...These are standards of ICAO that, yes, we have incorporated into our laws. We follow the ICAO specifications in their Annex 14, their aerodromes annex..."

However Mr Carmody was quick to add...

"..We routinely follow their standards and recommended practices, unless we notify a difference..."

So was that the issue here? Did we notify differences to the relevant sections of Annex 14 Volume 1? For reference Annex 14 Vol 1 link - HERE. And the latest Australian notified differences link go - HERE - and then click on Annex 14 Vol 1 in appendix. 

Then refer to CHAPTER 4. OBSTACLE RESTRICTION AND REMOVAL and table 4-1 from the Annex :




[Image: Table-4_1.jpg]



Now compare that to pages 12 and 13 of the 41 pages of notified differences to ICAO Annex 14 Vol 1:


[Image: Annex-14-ND-12.jpg]
[Image: Annex-14-ND-13.jpg]


Hmm...I notice this is a common response for many of our ND's??

"..Australia has not legal authority outside the
aeordrome boundary..."


For example ND explanation for SARP 4.2.10:

"..New objects or extensions of existing objects shall not be permitted above an approach surface within 3 000 m of the inner edge or above a transitional surface except when, in the opinion of the appropriate authority, the new object or extension would be shielded by an existing immovable object...

...Note.— Circumstances in which the shielding principle may reasonably be applied are described in the Airport Services
Manual (Doc 9137), Part 6..."


Maybe that is what CC was trying to allude to when he said...

"...There was a building there prior to the DFO building. Prior to the DFO building process in, I think, 2004 or thereabouts there were buildings that preceded that on the same location..."  -  Huh

Anyway over to you Mr PB ?? Big Grin

MTF? - Definitely...P2 Cool

Ps Tomorrow spare a thought for the victims NOK on the anniversary of the tragic B200 DFO accident - Angel

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Magic; stuff that makes you go Uhmmm!

P2 “When I first clicked on the AI-2018-010 link I noted that this investigation (within an investigation) had been initiated/updated 11 days before on the 08 February 2018. It was also stated that the expected completion date was August 2018:”

P2 – “Some scant 5 minutes after completing my airport thread post I revisited the investigation webpage link and that was when I discovered that the O&O fairies had done their magic...”  - “Expected completion: February 2019”.

Hitch – “The ATSB indicated last year that they would likely examine the approval process for the Essendon DFO that was involved in the fatal King Air crash in February 2017, and now they've announced a separate investigation that will go on even after the final accident investigation report is published. They say where there's smoke, there's fire, and I suspect the ATSB has found an inferno. If the planning process had played a negligible part in the crash, I think the ATSB would have folded that into the accident report. That they have elected to run a separate report tells us that the building location played a significant role in the tragic outcome. The results of the investigation may have ramifications right across the country, as there are many other buildings on federally-leased airports that have the potential to find themselves occupying space that an aircraft in an emergency might need one day.”

"It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key."

Churchill said that about Russia, but it fits this developing piece of legerdemain, very neatly. Although the ‘riddle’ is easily solved;

Boy pilot - “What is this large white object I see before me?”
Mummy – “Silly boy, why it’s a building of course”.
Boy pilot – “Oh, looks awful close Mum, what if we hit it?
Mummy – “Don’t worry son; we have CASA to make sure that the nasty building can’t jump up and bite your sorry arse”.
Boy pilot – “That’s great news – Uh oh" - BANG -  (End of recording).

When the fire is out and the body parts have been removed the ATSB investigators shuffle in to see what happened. After that they go into report writing mode and produce ‘the report’. This usually takes a little while, so that a clear picture can be provided and some recommendations to prevent this ever happening again. Salutary lessons which may, when demanded, change the rules to ensure ‘safety’. It costs a lot of money to get this all done, but the travelling public are happy to pay, believing their ‘safety’ is being properly managed by a trusted agency. Does the word BOLLOCKS spring to mind?

The duckling building was and remains a serious safety hazard; it is a significant part of the ‘investigation’ and it’s being located where it is remains a major part of the investigation into the Essendon accident. How can it possibly be ‘removed’ and treated as a ‘separate’ stand alone element, before the final report is released?

Post report – fair enough – let’s have a look at the  why and how’s this thing was allowed to park within the boundaries of an active runway and why the ‘documents’ failed to notify aircrew of the hazard or a reduced runway safety zone. The encroachment of buildings into operational airspace is a major concern and worthy of it’s own enquiry – but, the DFO at Essendon is part of the causal chain and it MUST be treated as such, not snapped off and put on the wait-a-bit shelf, marked ‘do later’.

Hood working his own brand of magic – yet again; to delay, distract, defer and protect his masters by prostituting the once proud ATSB.

Out, damned spot! Out, I say!—One, two. Why, then,
’tis time to do ’t. Hell is murky!—Fie, my lord, fie!
A soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it,
when none can call our power to account?
—Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him.

Toot – slightly disgusted – toot.
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TICK TOCK goes the DFO clock - Part II


Via the Adelaide Advertiser:


[Image: f4e4fd279f2c364de1fc54c997b909b2?width=1024]

The proposed new shopping and entertainment centre at Kings Junction, Salisbury South.

Parafield Airport plane crash concerns halt Kings Junction shopping centre approval
Patrick Keam, Northern Weekly Messenger
March 2, 2018 8:30am

APPROVAL of a $150 million shopping centre in Adelaide’s north is on hold because of air safety concerns regarding nearby Parafield Airport.

Salisbury Council’s assessment panel this week deferred making a decision on the 30,000sq m Kings Junction complex until developer Michael Vidale and his company, GIC Australia, secured support from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

The panel said additional checks were needed to remove any doubt about potential incidents, citing a crash at a shopping centre near Essendon Airport in Victoria in February last year.

A pilot and four American men died when their light aircraft was in the air for only nine seconds before ploughing into the shopping precinct.

A report on the cause of the Essendon crash is set to be handed down in May.

The Kings Junction complex, proposed for the corner of Main North Rd and Kings Rd in Salisbury South, would include major retail chains, a cinema, 13 specialty shops, a gym, fast-food restaurants and three entertainment venues.





Dashcam footage of Essendon DFO plane crash

Planner Damien Ellis, on behalf of Mr Vidale, told the panel it would take six months to get approval from CASA.

But Mr Vidale told the Northern Weekly he would continue to work towards commencing construction on Kings Junction by mid-2018.

“GIC will work diligently to prepare the necessary reports for (the) council, with the original development and construction timelines for the project still applicable,” Mr Vidale said.

The panel heard three anchor tenants had been secured for the complex.

The panel’s presiding member, Doug Wallace, said a CASA assessment was fundamental to the application.

“I am confident ... there will be nothing wrong, but the CASA assessment has to happen,” Mr Wallace said.

[Image: d565ae5cd2a389509a571d62a3252319?width=650]


Planes at the Parafield Airport flight training school.


The decision to defer was unanimous, although each panel member expressed the view that the application would have been approved otherwise.

The developers engaged wind engineering consultancy firm Vipac to assess the impact of the proposed buildings on the airport’s operations.

Vipac found the development “would not generate windshear and turbulence in excess of the criterion for safety” under National Airports Safeguarding Advisory Group guidelines.

CASA will now assess the Vipac report.

Panel member John Watson said he supported the development application, aside from the questions about air safety.

“Aviation safety issues are paramount and a referral to CASA is the best option, while we understand the pressures the applicants are under,” Mr Watson said.

“The Essendon Airport scenario demonstrates what could potentially go wrong, and I don’t think that is something we want hanging around this panel.”



Fancy that? A local council developing a conscious when it comes to urban development and air safety issues around airports, something is afoot I suspect -   Huh


MTF...P2  Cool
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Airports & a red dawn rising - Undecided


Via the Oz:

Quote:
China ‘takeover’ sparks air rage


[Image: 2bc667771964b88e7f68a888c7854110]12:00amANDREW BURRELL

China plans to train thousands of pilots at regional airports, angering locals over noise and a perceived security risk.



China’s pilot training school ‘takeover’ sparks air rage on the ground over noise, security


China is pushing to train thousands more pilots in Australia each year as part of plans for at least three multi-million-dollar ventures in NSW and Queensland, sparking anger among residents over increased noise, a perceived security risk and the “takeover” of regional airports.

Amid mounting concerns about a looming shortage in Australia of commercial pilots, Chinese companies have been buying flight-training schools without controversy in recent years to meet demand for China’s booming aviation industry.

The emergence of plans for Chinese pilot training in Kempsey, on NSW’s mid-north coast, and at Frogs Hollow near Bega, in the state’s southeast, has galvanised residents in both towns — ­despite the promise of hundreds of jobs and other economic benefits.

A Chinese-backed venture is also behind a proposed training school at Mareeba airport in far north Queensland.

Dick Smith, a former Civil Aviation Safety Authority chairman, said yesterday he was highly concerned that some of the ventures were backed by Chinese government-funded companies with an “unlimited amount of money to pour into flight training”.

He said this was occurring while scores of Australian schools were going broke because of what he claimed was the excessive regulatory burden imposed by CASA.

“We have a dysfunctional regulator that is unintentionally destroying Australian ownership of the general aviation industry,” Mr Smith said.


Concerns about a Chinese takeover of training schools comes as Australian Industry Standards has identified a critical shortage of flight instructors caused by airlines around the world poaching experienced teachers to work as pilots. China will need an estimated 110,000 new pilots by 2035 but is relying on countries ­including Australia for training because of its heavy smog, ­military-­controlled airspace and lack of teachers who speak ­English.

In Kempsey, residents are fighting an $18 million plan by the Australian International Aviation College, owned by China’s ­Hainan Airlines, to increase flights at the town’s small airport by 1000 per cent — from 3000 a year to almost 30,000 a year.

Save Kempsey Airport Action Group president Adam Ulrick said locals believed Chinese pilots had shown disrespect by conducting repetitive low-altitude circuit training from 7am on Australia Day this year, in an alleged breach of the college’s licence conditions. This had destroyed “any glimmer of remaining trust” between the company and the community.

The college’s plan to expand its operations at Kempsey — where it began training three years ago — is awaiting a decision from the Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel. The development is backed by Kempsey Shire Council, which says each student will spend almost $44,000 a year.

Mr Ulrick said residents were worried about incessant noise from circuit training 18 hours a day, every day of the year under the expansion plan. He said he was also concerned a foreign government-backed body could take ­effective control of the region’s main airport. AIAC did not respond to requests for comment from The Australian over several days.

In the Bega Valley, residents have written to Malcolm Turnbull and other federal MPs in an attempt to block plans by a company, Sports Aviation Flight College Australia, to build a recreational flight-training centre at the existing Frogs Hollow airfield.

The SAFCA board has strong Chinese links and includes former NSW deputy premier Andrew Stoner, who sits on several ­Chinese-owned company boards.

The head of the Frogs Hollow community group set up to fight the move, Steve Jackson, said the school’s proposed activities were incompatible with the tranquil lifestyle of the Bega Valley and the “clean, green” image of its agricultural producers.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Jackson alleged the plan raised national-security concerns given pilots would have unrestricted aerial access to a munitions base at Eden and the Defence Force’s Australian Headquarters Joint Operations Command near Bungendore.

SAFCA chief executive Mitch Boyle said yesterday the college planned to have a maximum of 360 students on campus at a time, with 1200 students graduating each year. He rejected national-security concerns, saying CASA had marked restricted areas on airways maps used by pilots.

Mr Boyle also dismissed fears over pollution, saying the college would have the same effect as putting 40 small cars on the road.

“By contrast, there are 5181 vehicles passing the airfield every day on the Princes Highway and this is increasing by approximately 70 cars per year,” he said.

In Mareeba, Australian Education Overseas has teamed up with Shanghai Jiao Tong University to propose a $10m training hub for Chinese pilots. The move has not generated unrest in the community.

Chinese companies are behind several other flight schools in Australia. In 2015, a China Eastern Airlines subsidiary bought a 50 per cent stake in CAE’s Melbourne training school. Its rival, China Southern Airlines, owns 50 per cent of a West Australian academy with operations in Jandakot and Merredin.


& via 4BC:

Dick Smith: Chinese companies taking over our airports ‘complete madness’

 
1 hour ago
Chris Smith

CASA Dick Smith
[Image: Dick.jpg]
Dick Smith says Chinese companies infiltrating Australian airports is a “complete disaster for Australia”.

Flight schools and smaller airports are being bought by cashed-up Chinese companies while Australia faces a serious shortage of commercial pilots.

The Australian has revealed at least three multi-million dollar ventures in NSW and QLD are in the works, involving Chinese companies and it could harm local industry.

Former chairman of the Civil Aviation and Safety Authority (CASA), Dick Smith, tells Chris Smith bureaucracy is doing “everything it can to destroy general aviation in Australia”.
“It’s complete madness.

“Every time I go down there and say we have got to have a viable general aviation industry, they stop it.”

Mr Smith says we must prioritise our Australian pilots over Chinese investment.
“We have this extraordinary safety record. I think substantially because we have Australian trained pilots.

“Well, within the next five years… I understand most of our pilots will be coming from overseas.

“Is that what we want? Why can’t we have our own Australian pilots?”

[Image: image.jpg?t=1465260771&size=Small]The Chris Smith Show
Dick Smith: Chinese companies taking over our airports 'complete madness'
https://omny.fm/shows/the-chris-smith-sh...our-airpo/


MTF...P2 Cool
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There’s been plenty of us making the same point about loss of Australian pilots who would migrate from General Aviation to our airlines. The trend has been clear for many years and other prominent authors such as Paul Phelan have seen the writing on the wall. All our efforts have gone for naught as successive National Party and Labor Ministers sat on their hands.

Of course the ‘independent’ Commonwealth corporate CASA, one of a proliferating class of statutory bodies unrestrained by regular Departmental norms, continues to claim ‘safety’ as the ultimate excuse. The excuse for the longest running rules rewrite in history, the excuse for this make work salary factory which has been left completely to it’s own devices and become thoroughly dysfunctional as burns up untold $billions. It’s spending is great for the highly paid employees with fat super, RDOs, stress leave, 7.5hr ‘working’ days and seminars to attend in northern hemisphere summers or perhaps for the lower ranks in QLD.

Until the Act is changed and Parliament realises the truth of the wrecking if a perfectly good GA industry we cannot look forward to any resurgence.

Mr. Carmody is obviously still at the behest of the Iron Ring, it’s truly a wonder he’s been able to go for some AVMED commonsense, even as a flawed concept it's better than nothing; as is, his proposal which will encourage pilots to drop their instrument ratings or not graduate to the higher and safer form of flight.

Being able to instruct on a Class 11 medical might help (but why not car driver standard?) but until we can have independent instructors not hampered by the incredibly costly and most useless Air Operators Certificate system no where near enough home grown pilots will be available for airlines.
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Senate Report released -  Rolleyes

Finally, in the Senate today the RRAT Legislative committee inquiry tabled their report into the Airports Amendment Bill 2016:


Report

Airports Amendment Bill 2016 [Provisions]
19 March 2018

© Commonwealth of Australia 2018
ISBN 978-1-76010-747-5

View the report as a single document - (PDF 315KB)


The following is the relevant part of the report that caused this inquiry to be extended/deferred for 1 year:



[Image: AAB-1.jpg]
[Image: AAB-2.jpg]
[Image: AAB-3.jpg]
[Image: AAB-4.jpg]
[Image: AAB-5.jpg]
[Image: AAB-6.jpg]
[Image: AAB-7.jpg]
[Image: AAB-8.jpg]
[Image: AAB-9.jpg]


  
Note the weasel words from CASA:

Quote:...CASA was of the view that, with regard to the accident at Essendon Airport, a public safety zone would not have played any role in the accident, as the aircraft did not enter what would be considered a public safety zone area...

&..


...CASA further advised that it would not have objected to the location of the shopping complex in relation to the Essendon Airport runway, as the building location adhered with current regulations...

"Nothing to do with us 'Your Honour'..." - Dodgy


MTF...P2 Cool
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(12-09-2017, 06:09 PM)Peetwo Wrote: While on airports and somewhat related to manmade objects creating mechanical turbulence in the vicinity of airports, the following was brought to my attention by Sandy... Wink
Quote:Cobden Airport under a Cloud, an open letter.                   28th Nov. ‘17
Cobden Airport is threatened by 12 enormous wind turbines planned at nearest distance from Airport 1.4 nautical miles and spread to the north west, against a preferred absolute minimum of 3 nautical miles. Seventy metre blades would reach up around 800 feet into the circuit area. A normal circuit height is 1000 feet, a bad weather circuit may be conducted at 500 feet. Cobden has one north south (night lit) sealed runway. If built in the planned position this wind farm will destroy Cobden Airport. Cobden Airport is community owned and has had much voluntary work and substantial taxpayer funds expended in it’s development.  Privately funded hangars and Aero Club rooms, the latter used as a terminal building, are part and parcel of the infrastructure.
 
In addition to the obvious obstruction problem and loss of night flying availability, downwind turbulence and wind shear would be dangerous when, as commonly, the wind direction is northerly.
 
Our Airport puts Cobden and the surrounding district ‘on the map.’ Air ambulance and firefighting are two important uses that will undoubtably finish. Charter flights, training flights and tourist flights will cease, no one would plan ahead to use this airport if the towers are in place. Owned by Council, it would have to consider the liability issues and insurance. If the Corangamite Council, as owner, can cause the Airport to be registered, as was the long term plan, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority may provide some protection. Otherwise the go ahead will be a political decision therefore only community opinion might sway the decision in the Airport and community’s favour.
 
Sandy Reith , member Cobden Aero Club, Commercial Pilot, retired flight instructor with 10,000 hours experience.  Stonyford,  0428 85 88 20  
 
[Image: Untitled_Clipping_120917_070624_PM.jpg]

Update: via the ABC News. 

Quote:Airstrip used in firefighting threatened by proposed wind farm
ABC South West Vic

By Daniel Miles and Emily Bissland

Updated Thu at 2:19pmThu 29 Mar 2018, 2:19pm

Video: Claims Cobden airstrip under threat from proposed windfarm (ABC News)

A south-west Victorian airport instrumental in fighting the St Patrick's Day bushfires could be forced to close if a proposed wind farm is approved by the state planning minister.

The $100 million Naroghid Wind Farm project plans to build 12 wind turbines on the outskirts of Cobden, seven kilometres south-east of Camperdown.

According to those who run the airstrip, the location is a problem.

Part of the farm's proposed site borders the northern edge of the Cobden Airport, with four of the 180-metre-high towers to be built within kilometres of the start of the runway.

"Where the wind towers are proposed there's a very real risk of a collision — either taking off or landing from the north," Cobden Aero Club secretary Bill Woodmason said.

"We'd only be able to operate to the southern side of the runway. We see that as a real safety issue.

"If the proposal goes ahead in its current form, it will more than likely mean the closure of the airfield."

[Image: 9600204-3x2-700x467.jpg]

Photo:
The location of the proposed wind turbines drawn on the Cobden airport window. (ABC South-West Vic: Emily Bissland)


It's a sentiment shared by Corangamite Shire mayor, Jo Beard.

The shire runs the facility, which is used by private planes, agricultural crop dusting services and most recently by the CFA in the battle against last week's bushfires and resulting peat smoulder.

"Council is supportive of wind farms — we just need them in sensible areas," Cr Beard said.

"At the end of the day you have to talk to the pilots and if they're saying it's not safe, we have to listen."

Design approval process

The Naroghid Wind Farm proposal has been more than 10 years in the making, and was taken over by Hong Kong-owned power company Alinta Energy in 2017.

In a statement, the company said the plan complied with all aero safety requirements.

"As part of the design and approval process for the wind farm, an Aviation Impact Assessment was undertaken by a recognised aviation expert and its design was subsequently amended and one turbine was removed," a spokesperson said.

"The project has recently completed a public feedback process and we believe the current proposal complies with all relevant regulatory requirements."

State government planning requirements require any company that wants to build a wind farm with towers more than 110 metres high within 30 kilometres of an airfield needs to consult with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) — a regulation Alinta said it had complied with.

[Image: 9600142-3x2-700x467.jpg]

Photo:
The Cobden airport runway could be impacted by proposed windfarm turbines, according to the airport's managers. (ABC South West: Emily Bissland)


National windfarm commissioner Andrew Dyer has received several submissions from Cobden locals concerned about the project, and said all planning requirements should be independently audited to ensure compliance.

"There was sufficient concern to warrant me to go down and see what was going on," Mr Dyer said of the proposal.

"I've had discussions with the department of planning here in Victoria.

"The minister was welcoming of my suggestions and I'm sure he's considering them as he works on his process."

Air ambulance helicopter

Cobden resident Daniel Beard said he knows first-hand how important the air strip is.

The husband of the Corangamite mayor, he was transported to Melbourne via air ambulance from Cobden 20 years ago after suffering extensive injures in a fatal crash along the Great Ocean Road.

"This airport saved my life," he said.

"I was told afterwards by the surgeons that upon getting to Melbourne my body was shutting down — I was within minutes of not being here."

[Image: 9598086-3x2-340x227.jpg]

Photo:
Daniel Beard recovers from his accident. He says the existence of the Cobden airport was a major factor in his survival. (Supplied: Jo Beard)


Cr Beard said it sent a shiver down her spine to think what might have been.
"If he didn't have that aircraft (transportation) he wouldn't be my husband and he certainly wouldn't be the father of my two boys," she said.

However, Air Ambulance Victoria acting manager air operations Bradley Martin said the proposed changes would not affect its operations.

"Air Ambulance Victoria will only utilise the Cobden airstrip on rare occasions and is unable to utilise the airstrip during night-time conditions," he said.

"In most instances, the air ambulance helicopter lands at the Cobden sports oval instead of the Cobden airstrip.

Forced to relocate business

"The introduction of wind turbines to the north of the Cobden airstrip would have no effect on our operations."

The mayor acknowledged that emergency services helicopters could potentially still service the area, but suggested that without commercial tenants the airstrip may not be a viable financial proposition for the council.

One pilot, who did not wish to be named, said he would be forced to relocate his business and face the loss of an $80,000 hanger if the airport closed.

The state minister for planning Richard Wynne has the final say on the proposed farm and a ruling is expected in the coming weeks.

The minister refused an interview with the ABC, instead providing a statement.
"The minister is aware of the community's concerns over aircraft safety and emergency services accessibility, especially given the devastating fires the community has recently had to endure," the statement read.

Quote:"These concerns will be a primary factor when the minister makes his ruling."



MTF...P2 Cool
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 The ASGH (Aviation Safety Ground Hog); & Airports?? Rolleyes

Via the AFR:


  • Mar 22 2018 at 5:36 PM
  • Updated Mar 22 2018 at 5:36 PM
 
Commercial developments at airports threaten safety, Senate report says

[Image: 1521700575047.jpg] Authorities are still investigating a plane crash at the DFO retail centre near Essendon Airport in February 2017. Justin McManus

by Jenny Wiggins

The encroachment of housing and commercial developments around airport land in Australia is creating "significant safety concerns", a Senate committee has found as it called for new rules to limit development near airports.

New guidelines for the development of public safety zones near airports were a "priority", the Senate's rural and regional affairs and transport legislation committee said in its final report on the Airport Amendments Bill.

Australia does not currently have any guidelines for so-called "public safety zones" around airports that allow space for airports to take evasive action or make emergency landings without hitting buildings. Draft guidelines have been prepared by the Commonwealth and Queensland, but legislation has only been passed in Queensland. 

New guidelines could affect future housing and commercial developments near airports, and should be considered by airports in future planning, the committee said.

"It is essential that safety on and around airports is given proper consideration at all times, without being overridden by commercial pressures.

"It should be incumbent on all airport lessees, developers and planners to do more than the bare minimum to adhere to airport planning legislation and frameworks."

The committee expressed concern at how long it was taking for authorities to investigate a fatal plane crash into a Direct Factory Outlet building near Melbourne's Essendon Airport in February 2017, which killed all four passengers and the pilot. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating building approval and planning processes as well as the causes of the crash.

The crash report is not expected to be released until late May or early June, while the planning report is not expected to be released until August. Findings from the ATSB reports could lead to further amendments to airport planning legislation, the committee said.

Any planning changes could affect the development of the new airport precinct at Badgerys Creek in western Sydney, which is being built by the Commonwealth, and areas around proposed new runways at Melbourne and Brisbane airports.

The Australian and International Pilots Association has also raised concerns over buildings near runways that cause turbulent wakes in strong winds and wants airports to be required to assess operational risks of building development.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority said increased numbers of buildings at heights just below prescribed airspace had contributed to wind shear and turbulence in recent years.
Although most of Australia's airports have been privatised, the Commonwealth retains regulatory oversight of building approvals and land use planning on airport sites, as well as approving airport master plans.

The bill aims to make changes to the Airports Act 1996 including lengthening master plan submissions to every eight years from every five years for smaller airports such as Adelaide, Canberra and the Gold Coast, and requiring new noise forecasts for every airport master plan.

Larger airports like Sydney and Airport are still required to prepare master plans every five years.

The committee, which did not hold public hearings but received 23 submissions, recommended the bill be passed by the Senate.

Read more: http://www.afr.com/business/commercial-developments-at-airports-threaten-safety-senate-report-says-20180322-h0xt62#ixzz5BajgFTQ9
Follow us: @FinancialReview on Twitter | financialreview on Facebook



While on commercial developments and aviation safety around airports, I note that yesterday AOPA Australia's Ben Morgan provided media commentary on yesterday's light plane crash at Bankstown airport:
 
Quote:Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Australia added 2 new photos.
Yesterday at 3:12pm · [/url]


The AOPA Australia this afternoon assisted our member Whitworth Aviation in responding to media enquiries regarding today’s incident at Bankstown Airport. We are thankful the pilot involved was uninjured.

Responding to media enquiries with respect to the location that the aircraft landed, the AOPA Australia has highlighted our concerns regarding incompatible airport developments, which would see airport land used for safety developed into commercial industrial estates.

“We are incredibly fortunate that the pilot was able to make a safe return to the airport, however had the location on the airport been redeveloped into a commercial industrial estate, the pilot would be presented with extremely limited options, that may very well have resulted in a fatality.”, Benjamin Morgan, AOPA Australia Executive Director, said.

“Today’s incident should be a stark and sombre reminder of the need to prioritise the aviation industry’s safety above the interests of property development profits.”

“Our Association is urging the Government and the airport operator to reassess their plans.”

NOT A MEMBER? JOIN TODAY | AOPA.COM.AU

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Ah yes that old aviation safety chestnut with secondary airports, like Bankstown, being systematically sliced and diced by urban developers... Dodgy

Blast from the past with Hansard from the 2013 Additional Senate Estimates:
.pdf   hansard_infra_regional.pdf (Size: 887.0700000000001 KB / Downloads: 0)

Quote:Senator FAWCETT: Just to follow up on some of the points Senator Back was making about the imbalance of power, I will take you to Bankstown Airport. As the chair would appreciate, the master plan was signed off under a previous government, a coalition government, but the zoning that was regarded as commercial was viewed by the tenants at the time as being commercial aviation, because it involved areas that were used for the movement of aircraft, specifically helicopters approaching, landing and taxiing to maintenance facilities that people had invested significant amounts of money in building.

There is now advertising on the internet that that land, which currently is a manoeuvre area for helicopters, is being made available by the leaseholder for commercial warehouses, hard stands and other things. His response, when I contacted him, was that it is in the master plan that was approved as commercial areas and that there had been no objections.

To what extent does the department accept that if an airfield is an airfield, predominantly for aviation purposes, then it is reasonable that an existing business, when looking at a proposal saying, 'You are a commercial operation and we are zoning the area you are in as commercial', would expect that things like aircraft movement areas would remain aircraft movement areas and therefore not lodge an objection to that zoning that says commercial?

Is it reasonable for the leaseholder to call for expressions of interest from the public to build warehouses on an area that would then essentially prevent the operation of an established business?

Mr Mrdak: I am not familiar with the circumstances.

Mr Doherty: Obviously in reaching the master plan decision the potential use of the site for aeronautical purposes—and that would be strongly evidenced if it was currently being used for aviation movements and I understand in this case that it is helicopters—then that would be a powerful factor. The difficulty here is that once the master plan is approved, where it is zoned as something to allow for broader commercial development, they are going to look at what they can do to make use of that site. We would certainly be keen for them, if they are moving current aviation users, to explore reasonable alternatives, but it is very hard for us legally to stop them doing what is being allowed under their master plan.

Senator FAWCETT: What is the duty of care by the Commonwealth, as the owner of the airport, if the basis of the lease was that it should predominantly be preserved as an aviation facility? Is there not a duty of care in the Cmmonwealth to make sure when approving master plans that those kinds of loopholes, essentially that then allow a lessor to shut down aviation related businesses, are actually prevented as opposed to being endorsed, acitly, by the Commonwealth?

Mr Doherty: I cannot talk about what happened back in 2005 when that master plan was approved, but it is one of the things that we tried to get to the bottom of.

Mr Mrdak: I would say, as I have said previously, wherever possible our intention is to maximise aeronautical activity. That is what we are looking at. If there has been that issue of a merge which has in someway rezoning has happened without the aeronautical operators being aware or raising their concerns, then we would be concerned about that. We are looking to maximise the aviation operations of that airport, and as you
know better than all of us, aeronautical assets are a very scarce resource.

Senator HEFFERNAN: If this is Bankstown, we have raised this some years ago. This is a doctoring aviation, this fellow here and the cross wind runway being scrapped, the airspace will become unmanageable.

Mr Mrdak: Our concern is to maximise the capacity of Bankstown. If you look at the work of the joint study report it makes it clear how critical Bankstown's aeronautical growth is.

Senator FAWCETT: I would like to take you to some media reporting from October last year that 'Bankstown is looking to take over a state government lease of an adjoining golf course'. Are you familiar with that reporting?

Mr Mrdak: Yes.

Senator FAWCETT: The stated intention is so that they can increase aviation facilities. Reading a bit further, what they are actually talking about is relocating buildings and businesses from the current airport site to the new golf course site, so essentially they have now just become a developer as opposed to an airport operator. What kind of oversight does the Commonwealth exercise on behalf of the existing leaseholders, given the reports we have had from many of these airports, including Canberra, where the leaseholder has almost arbitrarily moved, at the businesses' own expense, those people to a new location? What protection is the Commonwealth seeking to put in place on behalf of those aviation businesses?

Mr Doherty: If that transaction was to go ahead, the first question for the Commonwealth would be whether to incorporate the new land into the airport site, and if that was done then there would be planning. The first hurdle in this case, as I understand it, would be to convince the New South Wales government to make the land available to Bankstown, and I am not sure that they have crossed that hurdle.

Senator FAWCETT: I understand that. In fact, the local government, as well, appears to have objections because of drainage, but what I am more interested in here is the principle. Let us assume that those other two levels of government give it the green light. What I am asking is, in principle, for your governance frameworks, what processes do you have or will you put in place to protect the interests of people who have invested in
aviation enterprises on that site or any other site around Australia?

Mr Doherty: Again, I can only think in terms of the existing regulatory requirements. If there was a substantial new part of the land to be added to the airport, we would certainly consider calling in a new master plan and try to examine some of those issues about what this would mean for the existing tenants on the site.

Equally, if an airport was proposing to move tenants around on the airport under some power, we would look at how to satisfy ourselves about the impact of that before giving any regulatory approval that was required...
From the same Hansard link and very much related to the previous post, plus the safety issues connected to commercial developments around airports, the following extract was taken from the CASA segment of the Hansard:
   
Quote:Senator BACK: I would be keen for your advice with regard to the potential threat to aviators of the new wave of industrial wind turbines. There has been discussion on two fronts; first of all, the height of the tower plus the blades when they are extended to their full height and the second, of course, is associated with bushfires in the area where wind turbines might be located. Could you help the committee by giving us some ideas as to where the risks might lie, what heights of wind turbines or the vertical height of any obstacle I suppose, but in this instance a wind turbine, that would constitute a risk to aviation? Could you also address that question in the context of limited visibility and presumably air turbulence occasioned with bushfires?

Mr J McCormick: As we discussed before, in an answer on notice to a question about wind farms, the question of wind farms has been addressed through the NASAG process, of which the department has carriage.

As far as general terms of wind farms go, if they are within 15 kilometres and in some cases, depending on the regulation, within 30 kilometres of an airfield that is certified or registered, then it is on the operator, the constructor or the owner to ensure that the wind turbine does not impinge on the obstacle limitation surface. If it does impinge upon the obstacle limitation surface, in other words the safety slope into the runway, then CASA has the power to act in that area. Outside of that, it has been an issue which has been discussed many times in this committee. Secretary Mrdak might like to add a bit more and I will ask Mr Cromarty, our Airspace and Aerodrome Regulation Division executive manager, to give you a bit more detail.

Senator BACK: Thank you. Just before he does, that safety slope that you speak of, I guess what interests me is either 15 or 30 kilometres. What is the highest vertical height that triggers that concern regarding that safety slope?

Mr J McCormick: That safety slope goes away from the runway threshold at a defined angle, so depending on how far away from the airfield it is and what the elevation of the terrain is that the wind turbine has been built on compared to the terrain the airfield is on will vary. There is no fixed height where we, as far as the obstacle limitation surface goes, are concerned.

Senator BACK: Your concern would be height above the airfield, itself, whether that is made up of natural landforms and/or obstacles such as a tower?

Mr J McCormick: Yes. I will ask Mr Cromarty to give you a little bit more information around the 15 and 30 kilometre limits.

Mr Cromarty: I would just like to clarify one thing that the director said which is that the obstacle limitation surfaces and the PANS-OPS surfaces are different. There is no CASA power to stop obstructions penetrating obstacle limitation surfaces. If they are within the vicinity of an aerodrome and they penetrate the obstacle limitation surface, we have the power to make the proponent light the obstacle and that is all. If they are away from the vicinity of the aerodrome we have no powers at all. If they penetrate the PANS-OPS services then the department has powers to prohibit that.

Senator BACK: Light the obstacle or in some circumstances no capacity at all?

Mr Cromarty:
Correct.

Senator BACK: Or if they penetrate the PANS?

Mr Cromarty:
The PANS-OPS. That is the procedures for our navigation services operations surface. These are the surfaces that are derived when an instrument approach procedure is drawn up.

Senator BACK: When it comes to my concern about safe flying in bushfire circumstances, all of that responsibility rests with the pilot, does it?

Mr Cromarty: That is correct.

Senator BACK: To place his or her aircraft in a—

Mr Cromarty: If they are away from the vicinity of an aerodrome, which generally they are, then it is up to the pilot to do the proper preparation for his flight, flight planning, to determine where the obstacles are. In the case of agricultural aircraft, they often do a risk assessment of the whole area to make sure that they are aware of exactly where the obstacles are and, as you say, it is not just wind turbines. Quite often they put up towers to monitor the wind before they build the wind turbine—radio towers, mobile phone towers and so on—so the pilot would do their preparation in advance and know exactly where the obstacles are. In the reduced visibility circumstance that becomes even more critical, as you can imagine.

Senator BACK: But, once again, no role for the organisation to alert aviators to any special risk associated in this case with bushfire?

Mr Cromarty: We require notification when obstacles are going to be built above 110 metres above ground level. When we receive that notification we write to the proponent and point out to them the various stakeholders that they would probably want to talk to in the event that they do their due diligence and not put up an obstacle for aviation. All we can do is suggest to them the people that they should talk to, such as local aerodromes, Airservices Australia for the PANS-OPS criteria, the agricultural association and so on. There is a list of them that we suggest and we also tell them that they should be notifying it to the Department of Defence because they hold the database on obstacles.

Senator BACK: Thank you. That is all I wanted.

Undecided - Ever get the feeling that matters of identified aviation safety risk and risk mitigation in this country is stuck in some kind of bizarre bureaucratic ground hog day?? - UDB... Undecided





TICK...TOCK - (new) miniscule 'do nothing' McCormack, Senators, Carmody et.al - TICK...TOCK INDEED! Confused

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MTF...P2 Tongue
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From off the O&O thread:



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ATCB lining up the ducks on YMEN DFO accident -  Dodgy  

A rehash of where HVH's topcover bureau is currently at with the combined investigations surrounding the tragic Essendon DFO accident: AO-2017-024 & AI-2018-010 

...And from off the UP, Old Akro & Mr Peabody voice their frustrations:

Quote:OA: This accident has been over speculated. We need the ATSB to do its job and publish the report.

In Feb the ATSB put out a media release essentially saying that the report was done but release was delayed because of a requirement to give interested parties time to comment with the inference that this involving international parties was increasing this period to 60 days. This 60 day period has now elapsed by 30 days and still no report.

The exact same update was issued on the same day for the 3 September 2015 incident at Mt Hotham with VH-OWN & VH-LQR- an incident that occurred 32 months ago. .

The list of pending reports has grown to 109.

This is from the ATSB's current strategic plan:

" The Government’s recent Budget measures, and the ATSB’s organisational change program, position the ATSB to reduce its investigation backlog and increase its capacity to complete complex investigations within 12 months, which is a key deliverable of the ATSB."

The ATSB is clearly failing to do its job by any measure.



Mr Peabody: I think we will be waiting quite a while for this report to come out; according to the ATSB investigation status the report is still at "Final Report: Internal Review". That means it likely hasn't even gone to the DIPs yet, if it had the status should be "Final Report: External Review".

And yes they do appear to work at a cracking pace!! Snail wise I mean.

In a 'passing strange' coincidence I noted the following addition to the ATCB AAI webpage: 

Quote:What happened

In October 2009, the operator of Essendon Airport (now Essendon Fields Airport) received an application from the Hume City Council (HCC) to construct a radio mast on top of the council office building at Broadmeadows, Victoria. The application was made under the Airports (Protection of Airspace) Regulations 1996 (APA Regulations) which was only applicable to leased, federally-owned airports, such as Essendon. The application identified that the building and existing masts had not been approved under the regulations. The regulations required any proposed construction that breached protected airspace around specific airports to be approved by the Secretary of the then Department of Infrastructure and Transport (Department). Protected airspace included airspace above a boundary defined by the Obstacle Limitation Surface (OLS). The Secretary was required to reject the application if the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) determined that the application would have an ‘unacceptable effect on safety’.

CASA’s initial response to the HCC application stated that the building and existing masts represented a hazard to aircraft and should be marked and lit, while the proposed radio mast represented a further hazard and, as such, would not be supported. The advice was considered inadequate by the Department, who instructed CASA that they required advice that either the application for the mast had an unacceptable effect on safety, or it did not. CASA subsequently determined that the application did not have an unacceptable effect on safety, and in addition, advised the Department of specific lighting and marking requirements to mitigate any risk presented by the mast. The Department approved the HCC application on 28 February 2011 conditional on appropriate marking and lighting being affixed to the radio mast and building. The ATSB has since been advised that the radio mast has been removed due to reasons unrelated to aviation safety.

What the ATSB found

The scope of this investigation was limited to the processes associated with protecting the airspace at leased, federally owned airports, and in particular the application of safety management principles as part of that process. The investigation used the HCC application for examining the APA Regulations processes, and as a result identified an issue specifically associated with that application. However, the investigation did not consider whether or not the aerial on the HCC building was unsafe.

The Airports Act 1996, which was administered by the Department, was the principal airspace safety protection mechanism associated with a leased, federally-owned airport’s OLS. The Australian Government had committed to using a safety management framework in the conduct of aviation safety oversight (that is, a systemic approach to ensuring safety risks to ongoing operations are mitigated or contained). In contrast, the conduct of safety oversight of an airport’s airspace under the Airports Act used a prescriptive approach (that is, the obstacle was either acceptable or unacceptable). This approach met the requirements of the Airports Act, but was not safety management-based. With respect to the assessment of the HCC application under the Airports Act, a safety management approach was not used.

What's been done as a result

The Department, now known as the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities, has advised that it will confer with key stakeholders in the APA Regulations process regarding relevant risk management practices. The intent is to implement a more systematic approach to risk management, guided by the Commonwealth Risk Management Policy.

The Department has also identified the need to reform the current airspace protection regime based around the Airports Act. In a paper titled ‘Modernising Airspace Protection’, the Department identifies that current airspace protection regulation under the Civil Aviation Act 1988 and the Airports Act requires improvement, and has initiated public consultation regarding reforms into this particular regulatory system.

Safety message

A safety management system approach is considered ‘best practice’ by the International Civil Aviation Organization and has been adopted by Australia as the core method of aviation safety oversight through the State Aviation Safety Program. The Airports Act processes need to adopt safety management principles to the assessment of construction applications involving breaches of prescribed airspace, but rather, used a prescriptive regulatory approach. Construction proposals can impinge on aviation safety margins, such as those represented by the OLS. A fully informed, safety management-based approach should be used to ensure that safety is not compromised.
 

Background
Context
Safety analysis
Findings
Safety issues and actions
Sources and submissions
Appendices

This bit is IMO simply gob smacking in the observed subservience by CASA to what was then Murky's Department: 

"..CASA’s initial response (sic)...while the proposed radio mast represented a further hazard and, as such, would not be supported. The advice was considered inadequate by the Department, who instructed CASA that they required advice that either the application for the mast had an unacceptable effect on safety, or it did not. CASA subsequently determined that the application did not have an unacceptable effect on safety, and in addition, advised the Department of specific lighting and marking requirements to mitigate any risk presented by the mast..."

Reference safety issue: AI-2013-102-SI-01

Quote:The use of risk management principles when considering an application under the Airports (Protected Airspace) Regulations

Issue number: AI-2013-102-SI-01
Who it affects: Airports managing protected airspace associated with their runways
Issue owner: The Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities
Operation affected: Aviation: Airspace management
Background: Investigation Report AI-2013-102
Date: 03 May 2018

Safety issue description

The Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities adopted a prescriptive approach to the Hume City Council building application within the obstacle limitation area of Essendon Airport, which was in accordance with the process prescribed under the Airports (Protection of Airspace) Regulations 1996, but did not require the application of risk management principles to the department’s consideration.

Proactive Action

Action organisation: Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities
Action number: AI-2013-102-NSA-063
Date: 03 May 2018
Action status: Monitor

In response to this safety issue, the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (Department) advised that:

The Department notes the ATSB comments that the approach to the application was in accordance with the relevant applicable regulations i.e. the Airports (Protection of Airspace) Regulations 1996 (APA Regulations). The Department also notes that under APA Regulations r. 14(2) the Secretary must approve applications unless they interfere with the safety, efficiency or regularity of air transport operations.

As outlined in the report, the Department stresses that the primary responsibility for providing safety advice rests with CASA, given that under APA Regulations r. 14(6) the Secretary must not approve a proposal for a controlled activity if CASA has advised the Secretary that carrying out the controlled activity would have an unacceptable effect on the safety of existing or future air transport.

While the Department does consider relevant risks (including to safety, efficiency and regularity) in considering applications under the APA Regulations, the Department agrees that in the future a more systematic approach to risk management should be implemented in relation to applications being assessed under these regulations. To this end, the Department will be guided by its internal 2015 Risk Management Framework, which aligns with the 2014 Commonwealth Risk Management Policy. The Department will document its risk management approach to airspace protection applications during 2018.

The Department will also work with key stakeholders to understand and document relevant risk management practices within those organisations (particularly CASA) that impact on the application processes and advice provided to the Department for the purposes of the regulations.

A significant change since the 2010 incident has been that in October 2015 the Victorian Government amended the Victoria Planning Provisions to include mandatory consideration of National Airports Safeguarding Framework Principles and Guidelines in planning processes around the state’s airports and airfields. This is outlined at: www.dtpli.vic.gov.au/planning/plans-and-policies/planning-for-airports/the-national-airports-safeguarding-framework.

This amendment will assist in early identification of potential airspace intrusions and facilitate communication between the relevant regulators, airports and developers. Further information about the National Airports Safeguarding Framework Principles and Guidelines is available at: www.infrastructure.gov.au/aviation/environmental/airport_safeguarding/nasf/index.aspx

The Department continues to work with industry and State, Territory and local governments to improve awareness of airspace protection issues and planning processes.
The Department is currently reviewing the airspace regulations as they will sunset in April 2019 under the Legislation Act 2003 and will also take into account the ATSB’s findings on this matter.

ATSB response:
The ATSB welcomes the above proposed safety action concerning introducing a risk based approach to decision making. The ATSB will monitor the progress of implementing this safety action in future amendments to airspace regulations.
 
 
Current issue status:
Safety action pending

 
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[i]Last update 03 May 2018[/i]


 

The above safety issue response, from the current iteration of the Dept, would appear to suggest that finally we have a Dept Secretary that acknowledges the inherent deficiencies of the regulations surrounding airspace and airport protection in both the CA and Airport Acts. 

However IMO it is still totally unacceptable that this investigation has been O&O'd at HVH HQ for the better part of half a decade, only to be dragged out now when other investigations may potentially draw attention to the ATCB's apparent inability to independently investigate and make safety recommendations to help industry participants proactively mitigate safety risk issues... Dodgy    



Also on the latest from the PFAS front, via the ABC:



PFAS chemicals not linked to disease but health effects 'cannot be ruled out', expert panel finds
Updated about 2 hours ago
[Image: 9027738-3x2-700x467.jpg]PHOTO: An expert panel has not found evidence of a link between exposure to PFAS chemicals and disease. (Four Corners)
RELATED STORY: PFAS chemicals at 'exceedingly high' levels in some Katherine residents, doctor says
RELATED STORY: Blood tests to begin for Katherine residents affected by toxic firefighting foam
RELATED STORY: National guidelines around toxic firefighting foam 'confusing', doctors say


There is limited or no evidence to link exposure to PFAS chemicals with human disease, but health effects cannot be ruled out, an independent panel has advised the Australian Government.

Key points:
  • PFAS chemicals have contaminated groundwater around Defence bases, following their historical use in firefighting foams
  • An expert panel has now found there is no evidence to link PFAS chemicals to human disease
  • But it did find limited links between PFAS exposure and other health effects

An expert health panel was set up in October 2017 to advise the Government on the potential health impacts associated with exposure to the chemicals, which were historically used in firefighting foams, and to identify priority areas for further research.

While it concluded there was no increase in overall cancer risk, it did note the "most concerning signal reported" in the scientific studies was a "possible link" with an increase risk of testicular and kidney cancer.

Per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS chemicals, were used in firefighting foams at 18 Defence bases across the country starting in 1970.
Use of the foams was phased out from 10 years ago but caused widespread contamination in the soil, groundwater and surface water around some of the bases.

Since revelations about contamination, residents who live near Defence facilities in Katherine in the Northern Territory, Williamtown in New South Wales and Oakey in Queensland were offered blood tests, and some offered alternative sources of drinking water.

[Image: 6992900-3x2-700x467.jpg]PHOTO: PFAS chemicals build up in animals and humans and remain in the body for many years, the panel report said (Supplied: CRC CARE)

Several health effects noted

"Importantly, there is no current evidence that supports a large impact on a person's health as a result of high levels of PFAS exposure," the report found.
What you need to know about PFAS

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Contamination of Katherine's water supplies is just one site emerging in a major public health issue Australia-wide.

"However, the panel noted that even though the evidence for PFAS exposure and links to health effects is very weak and inconsistent, important health effects for individuals exposed to PFAS cannot be ruled out based on the current evidence."
It found that "although the scientific evidence on the relationship between PFAS exposure and health effects is limited, current reports, reviews and research provide fairly consistent reports with several health effects".

These included:
  • Increased levels of cholesterol in the blood

  • Increased levels of uric acid in the blood

  • Reduced kidney function

  • Alterations in some indicators of immune response

  • Altered levels of thyroid hormones and sex hormones

  • Later age for starting menstruation in girls, and earlier menopause

  • Lower birth weight in babies

The panel noted, however, the level of health effects in people with the highest exposure was generally still within "normal ranges" for the whole population.

[Image: 8031320-3x2-700x467.jpg]PHOTO: PFAS contamination was mostly of concerns to residents in Katherine in the Northern Territory, Williamtown in New South Wales and Oakey in Queensland (ABC News: Sally Brooks)

More long-term studies needed

Considering all the evidence before it, the expert health panel advised Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt any health screening for exposed groups should be for research purposes only.

"The evidence does not support any specific health or disease screening or other health interventions for highly exposed groups in Australia, except for research purposes," the report stated.

Quote:
"Decisions and advice by public health officials about regulation or avoiding specific PFAS chemicals should be mainly based on scientific evidence about the persistence and build-up of these chemicals."

A number of future research priorities were suggested by the panel, including long-term studies to reduce the risk of bias and confounding.

Another future research priority suggested health authorities get a better understanding of how PFAS affects humans and at what level, possibly including long-term studies or identifying ways to speed up the body's elimination of PFAS.

Northern Territory Health Minister Natasha Fyles said the Federal Government needed to prioritise such long-term studies to support residents.

"We need the Federal Government to put in long-term studies so we can see any potential impacts on the residents in Katherine, but [also] across Australia for those communities that PFAS has affected their groundwater, and their soil and in turn their produce," Ms Fyles said.

Panel's report not very reassuring, Katherine doctor says

Voluntary blood tests got underway in Katherine in March this year, following an interim human health risk assessment that warned against eating local seafood and home-grown produce.

The entire town has been on water restrictions since August 2017, while a permanent solution for an alternative water supply could take up to two years.
Katherine GP Dr Peter Stafford said today's findings did not answer or relieve the concerns of residents.

He said blood tests in Katherine had shown higher than average levels of PFAS chemicals to date.

"We're looking at substantial levels that I cannot, from the evidence that's been shown there [in the report], be very reassured that there's not at least an association with certain diseases if not a causation," Dr Stafford said.

Quote:
"And I think it's very premature if the Government turns around and says 'look we don't have to worry about this, let's sit back, relax'.

"They must take responsibility to do those cohort studies, to take this seriously and to prevent further exposure of the population — that is paramount."

The report is 'a farce', Williamtown resident says

A Four Corners investigation revealed Defence was explicitly warned about the chemicals' impact on the environment as early as 1987, two years before the RAAF base at Tindal opened operationally.

Salt Ash resident Nick Marshall, who lives five kilometres from the Williamtown base in NSW, said the expert health panel's report was "a farce".

"It's just another disappointment for the residents in the area. Now we've got to continue fighting to get the right medical monitoring," he said.

"Even if they're going to turn around and say this stuff is OK, nothing gives them the right to put this in the blood of our children."

Queensland beef producers told 'not to eat product'

Queensland beef producer Dianne Priddle, whose property Berwick Stud is in the groundwater contamination zone, slammed the report.

"We've been waiting three months for this, and not to have any good news in it, with the same rhetoric we've been hearing since assessments were done, it's bloody bull s***," Ms Priddle said.

Quote:
"We need to be able to produce a clean product, yet this government is telling us to reduce our intake - well how the hell can we do that when we live and breathe it?"

Ms Priddle said Defence had repeatedly told her and her husband not to eat their own product, but were told to sell it on to the wider community.

[Image: 9735810-3x2-700x467.jpg]PHOTO: Resident Mark Hogg and Jenny Spencer on her contaminated property (ABC News: Lexy Hamilton-Smith)

Oakey resident Mark Hogg said: "It's just another whitewash, a minimalisation of PFOS contamination".

Jenny Spencer, a property owner whose land is contaminated, also said the report was "a farce".

"I felt sick, it was just what I expected... But to have it there in writing as a release from our government it shocked me. I do feel let down by it.

Quote:
"It does not make us feel any safer because they are saying we have to limit our exposure.


"We do not live here because the bank has deemed this property worthless."




MTF...P2  Cool
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MORE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO BE WASTED ON AVIATION SECURITY

The Department of Homo Affairs headed by Peter Dud’on have excelled themselves with what can only be described as a ‘play directly out of the CAsA book of stupidity’ - a burdensome new compliance requirement which will do nothing but create more chaos in an already over the top compliance forced industry. Letters have gone out to industry. Yes enhanced security measures at regional airports are coming! Thirteen unscreened Airports will now have to introduce screening equipment, and up to 61 regional airports will have to introduce body scanners (P2, please insert picture of Albo with his hands in the air in the body scanner!)

[Image: 9e25ff3a8c0317ff941f0e48a0a1b2f1]

What a duckling joke. If a terrorist wants to down an aircraft he will, and no regional body scanners will stop it happening as the crafty bastards in the underworld are one step ahead of the lethargic useless Government. Here is a thought you ducking morons - ban religion make it illegal.  Stop  Immigration to Australia, keep the bad ones out and reintroduce corporal punishment. But no, instead we will have more bureaucratic procedures introduced into the industry that will further clip the wings of our industry.

It would seem Miniscule Dud’one isn’t interested in listening to industry, but then again he was just a street Cop who has slid his way up the greasy pole of Government. It also appears that he isn’t listening to the airlines or the airports, which includes the obese AAA bureaucratic CEO who has spent her life in Can’tberra eating creme brûlée having never worked at an airport.

TICK TOCK as more restrictive political ineptitude strikes again....

Aunt Pru says - Ban one, ban ‘em all GD; [my edit…..]


P2 addition, via the AFR:

Quote:Federal Budget 2018: Airport security and rail links get priority spending
[Image: 1525768331308.jpg]

The budget allocates $122 million to increase police and border force presence and capability at nine major domestic and international airports. Rob Homer
[Image: 1507774009838.png]


[size=undefined][size=undefined]
by Mark Ludlow[/size]

The Turnbull government will spend $294 million to beef-up security at Australian airports. This money will include $122 million to increase police and border force presence and capability at nine major domestic and international airports, $50 million to upgrade security infrastructure at 64 regional airports, $122 million to enhance screening capability for inbound air cargo and international mail.

Almost $3 million will be provided to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to manage safety standards and associated compliance for recreational and commercial drone technologies in Australia.

The Turnbull government will provide $125 million over five years to support infrastructure projects and "liveability initiatives" under the Western Sydney city deal. The money will include $50 million towards the development of a business case for Western Sydney rail projects, including the delivery option for the full North South Rail Lik from Schofields to Macarthur, to be funded on a 50:50 basis with the NSW government. There will also be $60 million to improve community infrastructure in western Sydney.

More than $220 million over four years will be spent to improve the accuracy and availability of satellite navigation in both regional and metropolitian areas, enhancing the use of GPS. This new technology will be used to increase productivity across the economy, including in the agriculture, construction and logistics industries.

 The federal government will provide $41 million to establish a national space industry, with an aim to help Australian businesses capture more of the US$340 billion a year global space industry.[/size]

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Gobbledock said :-

Or,  WHO IS BOARDING THE PLANE???
WILL THE REAL PASSENGER PLEASE STAND UP

This is a very good question. Let me try to show you where I am coming from;
You see, Gobbledock is meant to fly, booked and paid for his ticket, but suddenly the Styx River Houseboats Diesel engine needs repairing. So Gobbledock checks in on line, including one bag. He used his mate Kharon’s mobile number and email address and Kharon receives the boarding pass via text. He heads to the airport, checks the bag in at the automatic bag drop. Heads through security and up to the boarding gate. Flight is called and he uses the boarding pass on his phone to board the flight. Not one airport staff member has seen Kharon, talked to him, noticed him or interacted with him. The doey flight attendant at the boarding gate is the only person to actually eyeball Kharon, whom she assumes is Gobbledock. It’s then straight onto the plane....

It’s a complete joke. Yet Miniscule Dutton from Homo Affairs wants to waste money on body scanners and enforcing the ludicrous ASIC red background farce to ‘enhance security’, while in the meantime any mug can board a plane using someone else’s details!! That leads us to this;

“Top policeman can't say what will happen if people can't show their ID at airports”. Link here;

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-23...id/9790794

Yep, what a complete farce. Dutton, Turdball and McDo’nothing are a complete joke and a waste of oxygen. As if the bad guys are going to be stopped by these contrite and useless processes.

TICK TOCK MORONS
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A4ANZ and AAA go to war?  Confused  

Interesting airport related media coverage yesterday in the Oz:

Quote:The Oz:

Time to rein in monopoly airports
[Image: 26d06007769baf6659a8fda9528b9d77]GRAEME SAMUEL
Australia’s airports use their market power to set excessive prices and provide service of dubious quality for the travelling public.



We need tighter regulation of monopoly airports

It shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone to hear this week that Australia’s monopoly airports are earning excessive profits. Market analysts note that airport profit margins are growing and will continue to do so at an even higher rate than they have done historically.

Despite the airports’ claims that their charges are reasonable to cover costs, the evidence suggests otherwise. Independent analysis undertaken by Frontier Economics confirms that the airports are using their monopoly position to earn excessive profits.

Over the past decade, Australian airports’ margins have grown significantly higher — in some cases more than double — than those of other airports around the world operating in competitive markets or with greater regulation.

The ACCC wouldn’t have been surprised by this finding either. As part of the light-handed regulatory model under which our airports operate, the ACCC Airport Monitoring Reports document the fact that the major airports are collecting over 25 per cent more revenue for every passenger than 10 years ago, in real terms. At the same time passenger numbers have increased by nearly 20 per cent, delivering an even bigger revenue boost for airports. Yet the ACCC found no commensurate increase in overall quality.

We ought to be surprised by this, shocked even, but it’s become part of our passenger experience to park our cars at expensive carparks, walk through the shiny new facilities at the airport that are revenue generating, such as retail and food outlets, and then find our experience in bathrooms and other parts of the airports far less glamorous.

This situation has arisen because Australia’s airports are indisputably monopoly operators and are able to use their market power to set excessive prices and provide service of dubious quality for the travelling public.

Airports’ monopoly status gives them a natural bargaining advantage over airlines and retail operators, which can lead to some of the following behaviours:

●Adopting a “take it or leave it” position;

●Delaying or refusing to disclose necessary background information or material facts, thus delaying agreement;

●In other ways protracting negotiations;

●Developing agreements that fail to provide contractual certainty as to service quality, or lack clarity and transparency;

●Using media to put pressure on airlines to accept deals; and

●Withdrawing unrelated services during negotiations and disputes.

These experiences were a driving force behind the establishment of A4ANZ last year. While fiercely competitive, what A4ANZ’s member airlines all have in common is the challenge of dealing with monopoly airports and rising charges.

So what to do about this?

A4ANZ’s efforts go beyond an attempt to balance the ledger. A vibrant aviation sector will drive efficiency and innovation, which in turn is good for consumers and the economy. It is clear, however, that one part of the sector is capturing the majority of the benefits that this growth brings.

More effective regulatory pressure is required to prevent excessive profits by airports and return more value to consumers and the economy. Unfortunately, the current regulatory system does not create the right environment for airlines and airports to work in partnership to ensure these gains can be achieved. Instead, they foster the monopoly power of airport owners.

The development of commercial relationships between airports and their customers would be encouraged by the existence of a credible ability to seek arbitration, by the competition regulator, the ACCC. A4ANZ is not alone in suggesting that Australia could benefit from such regulatory change. The Grattan Institute has made similar suggestions, and New Zealand is considering amendments to its regulatory regimen. We need to catch up.

Our members are committed to building, maintaining and improving constructive relationships with airports. We also want to see airports and the whole aviation sector prosper. It is not only in the airlines’ interests but also in their passengers’ interests, as well as the interests of tourism and export sectors, and the broader economy for this to occur.

Graeme Samuel is chairman of A4ANZ and former chair of the ACCC

&..


Airport charges restrict airlines’ ability to invest in fleet renewal

Airport charges are “one of the biggest roadblocks” to airlines’ ability to reinvest in fleet, say local carriers, as they ramp up a push for changes in airport regulation.

Firing a salvo over rising fees, a paper commissioned for Airlines for Australia and New Zealand warns that charges are getting in the way of new routes.

The paper also says that while the aviation sector is enjoying growth, “it is quite clear that at the moment, the airports are capturing a disproportionate share of this growth”.

But the Australian Airports Assoc­iation hit back, saying airports had invested $11.5 billion on improvements over the past decade “without a single tax payer dollar being spent”.

The paper is significant as it has been released ahead of an ­expected review of the economic regulation of airports by the Productivity Commission.

A4ANZ’s members include Qantas and Virgin Australia, their budget arms, Air New Zealand and Regional Express.

Under a plan outlined in the paper modelled on a scheme in use in the US and Canada, it would be made easier to bring in the competition regulator to ­adjudicate on airport charges.

While stopping short of calling for price controls, the report proposes changing the Airports Act 1996 so services from airports with a “substantial degree of market power” would be deemed “declared” — meaning the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission could be called in to arbitrate when airports and airlines cannot strike a commercial deal on charges. The arbitration would be a “final offer” method whereby the regulator chooses between two final offers to settle a dispute.

A4ANZ chairman Graeme Samuel said analysis by Frontier Economics, which was provided for the report, showed “the notion that airlines, and indeed any airport user, can enter into genuine commercial negotiations with a monopoly airport operator in Australia’s cities and regions is clearly nonsense”.

But AAA chief executive Caroline Wilkie said the claims about the airports’ use of market power ignored “robust” negotiations ­between carriers and airports over the delivery of runways, terminals and technology that would meet passenger needs.

“Airlines benefit from higher airfares to support higher profits, and we are concerned the domestic airline duopoly disadvantages the passenger — particularly in the regions,” Ms Wilkie said.

“To suggest airport charges have a major impact on airfares is simply wrong, with charges making up less than 10 per cent of airfares.”

The paper finds that while airfares fell between 42 per cent and 52 per cent in real terms from 2008 to 2017, airport passenger charges on the average airfare rose 15 per cent to 59 per cent.

“The fact Australian airports are now collecting more revenue per passenger and generating significantly higher profit than their international benchmarks stands in stark contrast to the flat or ­declining airfares offered by domestic airlines,” the report says.

“These charges are one of the biggest roadblocks to the airlines’ ability to introduce new and grow existing routes and to reinvest in product and fleet.”

Anyone else spot the fact that Rex is playing on both sides of the airport perimeter fence?  Rolleyes

While on the subject of possible changes to the Airports Act, I note that the Dept 'Aviation & Airport' division seemed to be primed for Bear at Senate Estimates but were bizarrely knocked off early before they could even get a proper "..look what we've been up to.." presented to the 'don't give a RRAT's arse committee' to review... Dodgy

However there was small passage of Q&A that Senator Rice inadvertently unearthed that shows there is stuff going on behind the scenes on the matter of airports and aviation safety:


Quote:Senator RICE: My final issue is, what status does the National Airports Safeguarding Framework have as a guide to zoning and planning issues around airports? It's a document that I've been alerted to on your website, and I'm keen to know how it's used in airport planning.
Mr McRandle : I might ask Mr McArthur to come to the table and assist with this one. There are a number of guidelines that operate around the National Airports Safeguarding Framework. These have been developed over several years, and it's been a focus of the Transport and Infrastructure Council, which is a ministerial council of state and federal governments. You'd recognise that a lot of the planning aspects are beyond the airport boundary and really sit with local government and state government to implement. Mr McArthur may be able to provide some additional advice.
Ms Spence : I can jump in a little bit. By way of context, the National Airports Safeguarding Framework is a commitment from Commonwealth, state and territory governments, with involvement of local government, to address a number of issues associated with airports. It's supported by the National Airports Safeguarding Advisory Group, which is a forum that brings together transport and planning officials to work through issues—whether it be noise, whether it be the public safety zones or whether it be technical issues such as wind shear—to make sure that planning approvals and processes can actually take into account how to factor in airport operations with the amenity of the community.
Mr McArthur : As has been indicated by Ms Spence, the National Airports Safeguarding Advisory Group is formed with both the Commonwealth and the states and territories, basically around land use planning off airports, because essentially land use planning still falls within the purview of the state and territory authorities to actually manage the off-airport parts of that. There are a number of guidelines that basically sit under that. As Senator Patrick alluded to, the public safety zone guideline is now out for consultation at the moment publicly. That's been endorsed by the Transport and Infrastructure Senior Officials' Committee and is going to the Transport and Infrastructure Council for the ministers' endorsement later this year—that is the anticipation around that one.
Senator RICE: That's all of these guidelines or just the—
Mr McArthur : There are a number of guidelines that actually fall under that in a number of areas that have been indicated: public safety zones, wind shear, aircraft noise, helicopter landing sites—there's a guideline that's been put out currently around that one—and wind turbine risk to aircraft. There's also pilot lighting distraction, managing airspace intrusion, and protection of airspace facilities around communication, navigation and surveillance.
Mr McRandle : Some of these have been dealt with previously. The current issues before the council will be around the public safety zone and the helicopter strategic landing facilities.
Senator RICE: The helicopter strategic landing facilities?
Mr McRandle : This is around protecting access for emergency helicopters, such as medical helicopters coming into hospitals, so that the planning in cities takes account of the fact that these aircraft need to get into hospitals and landing pads safely.
Senator RICE: So they're signed off by the—I can't remember the—
Mr McRandle : The ministerial council.
Senator RICE: The ministerial council. But, even after they're signed off, they are still guidelines? They're not mandatory?
Mr McRandle : They are guidelines, and it's the responsibility of the relevant state or territory to actually implement those.
Senator RICE: Do they apply to all airports or just the major airports?
Ms Spence : They actually apply to all airports, not just the federally leased airports. As we were saying, it's a matter for all the states and territories to implement through their planning regimes, but they should apply to any airport.
Senator RICE: So states and territories should be applying them around the more secondary airports?
Ms Spence : Yes.
Senator RICE: Good. Thank you very much.
 
Hmm...anyone else notice that there is a lot of Mc's related to aviation safety and the related bureaucracy these days -  Huh


MTF...P2  Cool
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ACCC - The Kings Of The Wet Lettuce Leaf

You’ve got to laugh that the ACCC has bought in to the ‘he said she said’ debate. They truly set the benchmark for the wet lettuce leaf approach as has been noted repetitively when it comes to fuel, telco’s, electricity, infrastructure fees and charges and everything else!!

As for Softcock Samuels comments about airports, perhaps he would care to explain how the airlines double their fares in locations where they have the monopoly route? Why is it dearer to fly return from Moranbah to Brisbane than fly to L.A? Nothing to do with the Red Rat being the only RPT. Why is it dearer to fly from Devonport to Tulla than it is from Hobart and Launceston? Nothing to do with the fact that only the Red Rat flies that route?

Let s face it, they are all money spinning shonks looking to capitalise on weaknesses or vulnerability and turn a profit for shareholders and Managers bonuses - both the airlines and airports.

“Robust lettuce leaf slapping for all”
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More on A4ANZ vs Airports war -   Confused

Via Oz Aviation (ps congrats AA on new format for the website -  Wink ):

Quote:Passengers “paying the price of airport privatisation” says A4ANZ

written by Jordan Chong May 25, 2018

[Image: 737-700_VH-VBY_SYDNEY_28DECEMBER2012_SET...RSKI-2.jpg]
Australia’s airlines say light-handed airport regulation is not working. (Seth Jaworski)

Light-handed regulation of Australia and New Zealand’s airports has been ineffective at protecting consumers from higher charges due to their monopoly power, a report says.

The findings are in the “Performance and Impact of Australia’s Airports Since Privatisation” report prepared by Frontier Economics and commissioned by recently-formed lobby group Airlines for Australia and New Zealand (A4ANZ).

The report, released at Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday, called for changes to the current way airports are regulated, which has been in place since the start of the century.

“Australian passengers and our economy are paying the price of airport privatisation in the absence of appropriate constraints on monopoly power,” the report says.

“More effective regulatory pressure is required to prevent excessive profits by airports and return more value to consumers and the economy.

“Monopoly infrastructure operators have the ability to raise prices above a level that would prevail in competitive markets and little incentive to improve services above a minimum standard of service quality, to the detriment of economic efficiency and the living standards of consumers.”

A4ANZ’s membership comprises Australia’s and New Zealand’s major airlines – Air New Zealand, Jetstar, Qantas, Regional Express, Tigerair Australia and Virgin Australia.

The organisation was formed in March 2017 to represent the airline industry’s interests and lobby against including lobbying efforts to fight infrastructure constraints, high taxes and other matters of aviation policy.

The report cites figures from IATA Economics, the independent economic consultancy of the International Air Transport Association, that passengers would have saved $180 million through lower charges if airport passenger charges had remained at their 2008 levels instead of increasing over the past decade at the four Australian airports of Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

A4ANZ chief executive Alison Roberts said the report showed airports have been using their monopoly position to earn excessive profits “in the absence of a credible regulatory threat”.

“This is a trend that began over a decade ago and shows no sign of stopping,” Dr Roberts said in a statement.

“A4ANZ is not a lone voice in suggesting that our economy could benefit from a change in the regulatory settings for airports, to mimic the effects of a competitive market.

“As others have noted, Australia is lagging behind the rest of the world in protecting air travellers from monopoly airports.

“Our report makes it clear that it’s time for Australia to catch up and ensure our regulatory system can do what it is supposed to, which is to protect consumers from monopolies.”

The report put forward a “negotiate-arbitrate” model as one that would be “most likely to result in genuine commercial negotiations between airlines and airports to effect fair outcomes for airport users”.

Under the proposed scheme, the ACCC would give consideration to “final offer arbitration”, a method the report said had been used in various sectors in Canada and the United States.

“The final offer chosen by the arbitrator binds the parties to the dispute and in most applications, forms the basis of an agreement between them for the provision of services,” the report said.

“In Australia, the adoption of final offer arbitration would be unlikely to require legislative direction but could be adopted by the ACCC through an amendment to its guidelines, providing an indication to the parties as to its approach to arbitrations.”

“With the arbitrator selecting one party’s final position (or parts of each party’s final position) without the possibility of compromise or variation, the risk of arbitration is raised and therefore, increases the incentives for the parties to bargain and negotiate on reasonable terms prior to the regulator’s involvement.

“In other words, creating a highly credible threat of intervention.”

A4ANZ chairman Graeme Samuel said it has been consumers that have lost out from the current setup and change was in everyone’s interests.

“In the absence of an effective regulatory regime, airport privatisation has ultimately resulted in higher costs for both airlines and passengers,” Prof Samuel said.

“Consumers are the ones who ultimately lose in this scenario, whether it’s the exorbitant landing and service fees paid by airlines on the passenger’s behalf, their car parking fee, taxi surcharge, or the bottle of water they buy in the terminal.

“No one is suggesting the airports don’t deserve to make a decent profit. But the current levels of profit are excessive, and it’s ultimately being paid for by the travelling public.

“Given the importance of air travel to the national economy, A4ANZ and its member airlines are committed to maintaining positive, constructive commercial relationships with airports.”

The A4ANZ commissioned report follows the latest release of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Airport Monitoring Report for 2016/17, which said average revenues per passenger had increased by 25.9 per cent in real terms across the four airports of Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney over the past decade.

Further, the ACCC report said Brisbane and Perth were rated “good” in terms of quality of service, while Melbourne and Sydney were given a “satisfactory” rating in that category.

Australian Airports Association backs current regulation regime

The industry group representing the nation’s airports, the Australian Airports Association (AAA), said in response to the Frontier Economics report that Australian airports had spent $11.5 billion spent on airport improvements over the past 10 years to increase efficiency, enhance the experience and attract new services.

“Attracting international airlines and growing competition has been key to the rise of the tourism industry as a power house of Australian small business and regional economies,” AAA chief executive Caroline Wilkie said in a statement.

“The current regulatory regime for Australian airports has served airlines, airports, Australian and overseas travellers and the broader economy extremely well.

“Airports have enabled significant economic growth since privatisation, giving passengers access to more of the world than ever before and supporting our growing visitor economy.”

[Image: Off-the-runway.jpg]
A4ANZ says airports have been using their monopoly position to earn excessive profits.

Canberra Airport incident highlights tensions that can exist between airports and airlines

The tension that can exist between an airline and an airport was in sharp focus earlier in May when reports emerged of a March 2017 incident where a Qantas Boeing 737-800 had been delayed from departing Canberra Airport after diverting there while en route from Auckland to Sydney due to weather.

Qantas claimed the incident was Canberra Airport “essentially ransoming an aircraft full of passengers on the tarmac by parking a car behind it”.

Canberra Airport labelled the claims that aircraft and the 170 odd people on board were held hostage until a diversion charge was paid “absolute baloney”.

The reporting of a March 2017 diversion more than a year after it occurred came amid Canberra Airport’s efforts to seek an improvement in the number of flight cancellations on key trunk routes from the nation’s capital to Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

The airport, owned by Terry Snow’s privately-held Capital Airport Group, has been vocal about the high rate of cancellations, even calling for the government to become involved.

In late 2017, the airport announced an incentive payment for airlines to try to get the percentage of cancelled flights down close to the national average, as measured by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE).

Next from the other Aunty:

Quote:Graeme Samuel speaks to The Business
4 days ago 6:02 


Episode homeSeries homePublic Feed

Australians are being gouged by under-regulated monopolistic airports abusing their market power, according to former competition watchdog boss Graeme Samuel. Airlines are demanding the government regulate airports to bring down costs which they estimate are increasing ticket prices by 10 to 20 per cent for the premium airlines.
And a Skynews version off Twitter:
Quote:.@A4ANZ Chairman Graeme Samuel says monopolists are rarely efficient because they don’t have to be and attributes their profits to competition.

'Sydney and Auckland airports are the highest profitability airports in the world.'

MORE:
https://bit.ly/2GLGBvX   #Ticky

Again via the ABC, a bit more on the Canberra airport vs Alan Joyce bunfight -  Confused
Quote:Qantas boss Alan Joyce likens Canberra Airport to Somali pirates; airport responds with bewilderment

By Jordan Hayne
Fri 25 May 2018, 12:14pm

[Image: 9799008-3x2-700x467.jpg] Photo: The fight erupted between Canberra Airport managing director Stephen Byron and Mr Joyce. (ABC News/AAP: Joel Carrett)

A fight between Qantas and Canberra Airport has escalated dramatically, with the airline releasing an email suggesting a plane was held to "ransom", and chief executive Alan Joyce comparing the airport's behaviour to that of Somali pirates.

In response to Mr Joyce's claims of an $18,000 ransom requested by credit card, Canberra Airport managing director Stephen Byron responded incredulously: "Do these people walk around with a credit card machine?"

In an interview with ABC Canberra, Mr Byron said the airport had "absolutely not" requested payment before the plane was allowed to leave, after it was diverted to Canberra in March 2017.

But according to an email and invoice supplied to the ABC, a sum of $20,503.77, including GST, was requested with the email reading: "Please note the aircraft cannot depart until the invoice is paid."

The ABC has not been able to independently verify the documents, which support Qantas' claims that the airport asked for money to be paid before the plane could depart.
The email requests payment by credit card.

[Image: 9799544-3x2-700x467.jpg]

Photo:
An email sent to Qantas requesting payment before the plane could depart Canberra airport. (Supplied)


The stoush revolves around a plane that was diverted from Sydney and landed in Canberra, and was physically prevented from leaving when a car was parked behind it.

Canberra Airport contends Qantas had been causing safety hazards by diverting flights to it without proper planning, but Mr Joyce compared the tactics to Somali pirates.

"They actually ransomed one of our aircraft, I mean talk about appalling behaviour," he said.

"I've never seen it in my nearly 30 years in the aviation industry where a pilot's been told to pass over a credit card of $18,000 otherwise the aircraft can't go.

Quote:"Maybe the airport should be called the Canberra Pirates, because you wouldn't have this in Somalia."

Mr Byron said that was incorrect, though admitted a car had been parked behind a Qantas jet.

[Image: 7479138-3x2-340x227.jpg]

Photo: Canberra Airport said the stoush began over Qantas diverting too many flights. (ABC News: Jana Black)

He said the incident only lasted for eight minutes.

"Qantas had landed two 747s unannounced and put other aircraft in danger, five weeks before this incident," he said.

Quote:"This was an incident where Qantas had to be held to account in terms of safety and putting other aircraft at risk.

"There was no payment made at all, there was no dispute about payment.

"This was the last in a series of multiple incidents where unannounced, Qantas were diverting large international aircraft to Canberra Airport, and putting other aircraft that had planned and arrangements in place to divert to Canberra Airport in jeopardy.

"It is true that we said we want a dialogue before the plane leaves and a commitment that these unauthorised landings do not occur again and we got that commitment."

Better arbitration called for

Tension between the companies has been brewing for weeks, with Mr Byron campaigning against the high cancellation rates of domestic Qantas flights between Sydney and Canberra.

Mr Joyce's position was backed up by former Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) head Graeme Samuels, who said the position airports held amounted to a monopoly.

"That's not Australia, that's a third-world country," he said.

"In fact, I'm assured by Qantas that doesn't even happen in third-world countries."

But Mr Byron said safety had always been the airport's priority, calling Mr Samuels a "well-paid lobbyist" for Qantas' interests.

"Canberra Airport can't handle multiple diversions, Qantas was putting too much pressure with their diversions," he said.

"Qantas was running roughshod over all the other airlines and Canberra Airport, making up its own rules and putting other aircraft in danger."

Mr Joyce called for better arbitration between airlines and airports, and accused airports around the country of passing costs onto airlines and consumers.

"We think an arbitration role that the ACCC can fulfil where the airlines and airports can get to agreement, it forces them to go in and do arbitration," he said.

"Consumers are losing out, because there's hundreds of millions of dollars in higher charges that we can't pass on to our customers.

"They can just sit back, increase the fees, and let the airlines pay for it."

According to Mr Byron, Qantas and the airport had agreed to an effective ceasefire over the incident, until Mr Joyce's comments last night.

Further update:

Quote:Kenyans now enter the fray of Qantas scrap with Canberra Airport

By Steven Trask
27 May 2018 — 6:38pm



View all comments

Talking points
  • Canberra Airport has been at loggerheads with Qantas for months. 
  • Last week the airport's behaviour was likened to that of a Somali pirate crew.
  • The Kenyan embassy has now entered the fray, rejecting such comparisons.
The public bust-up between Qantas and Canberra Airport has taken another unexpected twist, with a senior Kenyan diplomat now entering the fray.

Last week the former chair of Australia’s competition watchdog, Graeme Samuel, likened the aggressive behaviour of Canberra Airport to something out of Somalia or Kenya.

[Image: 3d3b6c2af032369355b930796a8637188e6ede65]
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Kenya was named the best-improved airport in Africa in the 2015 Airports Council International Airport Service Quality Awards.
Photo: Kenya Airports Authority

In response, Kenya’s high commissioner to Australia, Isaiya Kabira, has rebuked the comparison in an open letter sent to Fairfax Media.

“While it is in your full right to express your outrage, we find it extremely unfortunate that you draw parallels of inefficiency and imagery of piracy to a respected and much-admired airport of Nairobi,” Mr Kabira wrote.

“We also bring to your attention that thousands of young Kenyan soldiers have put their lives on the line to pacify and bring peace in Somalia, a corner of the world, long forgotten by many nations, as part of a peace keeping force of the African Union,” he added.


The letter attributed the comments to Qantas boss Alan Joyce, although the quote referenced in the letter was made by Mr Samuel, who chairs industry body Airlines for Australia and New Zealand.

[Image: e1cee17e34b3ade8b837c236e10908ed7d9e9e16]
Not happy: Kenyan High Commissioner to Australia Isaiya Kabira.
Photo: Jay Cronan

A spokeswoman for the industry body said they would apologise to the Kenyan embassy.

“The comments were made on the spur of the moment and were a poor choice of wording,” the spokeswoman said.

“There was never any intention to cause offence to Kenya. The intention was to demonstrate our ongoing frustration with the anti-competitive behaviour of Canberra Airport.

“We will issue an apology to the Kenyan Embassy accordingly.”

Mr Samuel made the comparison at an airline industry event at Parliament House on Thursday last week.

“I can’t contemplate any place in the world, except perhaps Somalia or perhaps Nairobi, where an aircraft would, having had to make an unscheduled landing because of weather, had a car parked in front of the aircraft, saying you cannot move until the airline provides a Visa card to extract a charge of $18,000,” he said.

“That’s not Australia. That’s a third world country. I’m assured by Qantas it doesn’t even happen in third world countries they are involved in.”


In contrast, Mr Kabira said Nairobi Airport was a bustling freight and transport hub of which Kenyans were proud.

[Image: 7afa45ea1e9d5c36b7a63134ca57093e5a7e488c]
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce, who labelled Canberra Airport's behaviour "absolutely appalling".
Photo: Dominic Lorrimer

“The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi is the centrepiece of this hub, serving millions of passengers every year,” he said.

“We are indeed proud that later in the year our national airline, Kenya Airways, will begin direct flights from Nairobi to New York.”

At the same event Mr Joyce had likened Canberra Airport to a band of Somali pirates.

“Maybe the airport should be called ‘The Canberra Pirates’ because you wouldn’t have this in Somalia,” Mr Joyce said.

[Image: 072a13b38dbaeb42b470d3ca31ad244c4987a007]
Canberra Airport managing director Stephen Byron.
Photo: Graham Tidy

“You wouldn’t have this in other parts of the world. It is unbelievably appalling behaviour.”

Mr Joyce’s comments referred to a stoush in March last year, in which the airport had asked Qantas to pay an $18,000 diversion fee following an unexpected landing due to bad weather.

A Canberra Airport spokeswoman said Qantas was bullying them after a flare-up over flight cancellations.

“Qantas doesn't like Canberra Airport calling them out on the cancellations,” the spokeswoman said.

Canberra Airport said the plane was only delayed for eight minutes while they negotiated a diversion agreement to prevent unexpected and unsafe landings in the future.

But Mr Joyce said he had encountered nothing like the incident in almost 30 years working in aviation.

A Canberra Airport spokeswoman said last week the airport had a positive meeting with Qantas, and was focused on repairing its relationship with the nation’s biggest airline.

“If Graeme Samuel or Alan Joyce wants to continue this bullying behaviour, so be it,” the spokeswoman said.

“Unfortunately, this new attack comes after a positive meeting with Qantas yesterday and puts the progress we made on behalf of our customers in question.”

Canberra Airport has been publicly at loggerheads with Qantas for months, repeatedly speaking out against cancellation rates plaguing flights between Sydney and Canberra.

The airport has gone as far as seeking federal government intervention and recently met Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack to discuss the issue.


MTF...P2  Cool
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JOYCE, SAMUELS AND BYRON - A SANDWICH OF SORTS!

Well done P2, a nice montage that you have put together. Qantas planes being held to ransom hey, well that certainly is different! Perhaps the big eared Byron was sick of the Rat, as he said, diverting to Can’tberra and screwing up the airport operations at the expense of other airlines and then not having to pay a cent in recompense? Then again, Joyce was happy to ground an airline and hold thousands of Australian passengers to his own form of ransom didn’t he? And he then uses the airline to push a queer agenda upon those not that way inclinded or supportive, holding those people to ‘ransom’ when they fly Rainbow Airways?

I don’t know who would have the softest handshake - the little Mincer and spineless Joyce or the corporate footstool and tough talking/no action weasel Samuels?

But top marks actually go to P2 for using the words ‘Joyce’ and ‘bunfight’ in the same sentence;

”Again via the ABC, a bit more on the Canberra airport vs Alan Joyce bunfight -  Confused”

“Safe consumption of beer and popcorn while watching the airline/airport fight, for all”
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