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Australian air traffic control - retrospective.
#1
Dropped in to have a cuppa with IT guru P6.  (Ping-back) the other day, naturally the forum was a topic of interest.  In response to my – how we doing, he said it was all good BUT, suggested many of our visitors are from overseas and; unless they were followers of the Unspeakable Prune, possibly would not understand Aunt Prue's anger.  As the management of all Australian matters aeronautical are in or passing through various stages of crisis, it was decided that the CASA and ATSB matters could stand alone, without some background; but air traffic control, being essential, could stand a little 'expansion'.  

The next two posts on thread and the associated video should provide enough 'message' for the astute reader.  Watch the movie first, it will help explain the commentary and opinion.  

P7 baby sitting Aunty.  "K" has gone a droving and we don't know where he are.  Banjo_P
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#2
Back in Nov 2014, I was determined not to watch the ASA estimates session; I was however determined to watch the Feb 2015 edition.  The following is provided for background, hoping it will help the reader to follow the Feb 2015 commentary.  If public whippings, or humiliation are your thing, first watch the video. – HERE – Apologies to those who have previously read this twiddle.

Well, much to study and ponder; must thank brother Sarcs for talking me into using part of a RDO to watch the one sided show. The Senate team played brilliantly, it's hard to pick the man of the match when a well oiled firm sets about it's business.  The props Heff, Sterle played a solid 90 minutes with moments of dour defence and aggressive running, the hooker well supported, scrum half feeding the ball to the backs, who had some flashes of inspiration and moments of sparkling brilliance. The opposition?, well, perhaps it's time they had a new coach, one who's plays are not so well known and; maybe, a captain who can actually tell whether a tossed coin has landed on it's head or it's tail: could be a help.

We did warn the opposition; (we did).  That is an angry, insulted, well informed committee and they intend to see things put to rights. One thing for certain, they are better briefed than the hapless Staib and obviously have access to good 'intelligence', a commodity Staib seems to be lacking.  This demonstrated from minute one, as she stumbled, mumbled and fluffed her way through the highly inflammatory opening statement. The statement was not only inflammatory, it was insulting to the intelligence of both Senators and observers, clearly designed to head off what ASA believed were the issues. Wrong: underestimating the will, intelligence, competence and fury of this committee, hoping that bluff and praying that pony-pooh will save the day, is an arrogant assumption. Attempting to deliver that message, into that atmosphere, in such a condescending manner simply added fuel to the flames. Some of the later rhetoric and heroic platitudes dragged out by a sinking Staib, were ill considered waffle, which only served to deepen the opening chasm. I'm going to wait for Hansard, there were some classic moments mixed with the pregnant, poignant and electrical ones, the detail will be worth the wait.

The Senate team systematically took the ASA apart, smacked their plush, plump bottoms, then sent them around again, to come back for more. The ASA were out played, out guessed, out gunned and had nowhere to hide; every dark corner and bolt hole was either lit or covered.  Make no error, this was an orchestrated team effort which sent a clear, unambiguous message to Merde'k, CASA and the ATSB. The Senate crew are trusted by industry; they don't leak and they demonstrated that they can and will wisely use any information provided, to achieve sane, sensible governance of all matters aeronautical.

Watching the Senators, you could see the finely tuned, high power BS detectors at work, body language spoke of a hostile frustration, a larded with indignation, tempered only by good manners.  First there was the Senate Haka: then, it was game on.

I really only used the Sarcs' bucket twice; the first was a big one (huge) – "Courage" badges, worn on the wrist.  Ducking bright blue wrist straps with "Courage" inscribed. Did you ever, in all your days, ever hear of such a mealy mouthed, merchant bankers, multi handed stropathon. Once I'd stopped puking and Hoody has stopped waving his about, like a talisman to ward off the evil eye, I managed a smile. (I'll have to do a fairy story twiddle, it's priceless). Whoever dreamed up that piece of artificial feel good, psycho- babble, arse about logic for three year olds, crock of pony-pooh, deserves to be put in the public stocks and pelted with filth, on the hour, every hour for as long as they live. Ye gods, I though it was joke, until I realised, Hoody was a true believer; unless, he was just taking the Mickey and bringing the tomfoolery to the public attention. Anyway, I tracked down the manufacturer and ordered two gross, Red, with "Bollocks" inscribed for wrist wearing and two dozen small - with BOHICA inscribed, for Willy decoration, as IOS Christmas presents.

Later, when, Staib fell into a beautifully preset, off-side trap; which was elegant in it's simplicity, I had to smile : Q) "IF you don't call in PC Plod for fraud; why is he called when you suspect an internal 'leak' of the truth? " Well, out came the courage badges, then the puzzled looks and memory loss ploys.  No defence though against a concerted panzer attack by the Senate forward pack. ASA lost the ball, Staib is left laying in the mud, drowning, and confused, nor seeing either inconsistency or contradiction. Then a dim bulb flickers into light and the denial starts, "Oh – but, but that's totally different".

Bollocks: converted try: team Senate.

Toot toot.
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#3
Quote:"How many times they used the 'I don't recall' line". This may turn up on mainstream news.
Makes you wonder, don't it. That last session exposed a little more than general ignorance 'disconnect', and is more akin to general denial and not being 'responsible', lots more than just a simple "Dunno". There are I expect, many questions of detail which an individual, running an operation cannot answer, that's reasonable – BUT – that individual should, without hesitation be able to identify the person who can provide a lucid, concise answer to a reasonable question and be responsible for that answer. It's delightful to watch the consternation as a question, to which a 'work-shopped' answer cannot provided is asked. Funny as. The word disingenuous is used far to often to define this troop of arrogant clods. Their claim to 'general ignorance' and 'confusion' (the new buzz word). "We wuz confused M'lud"...is .Bollocks.

When you watch the video for a second time, it becomes apparent that the Senate crew have a very clear picture of the disconnect between a smooth talking creature like Clark, aided and abetted by a Doctor (who needs to count, on his fingers, in ones, to work out who was at the meetings he chairs) and the coal face. Watch the video, "Well, that's Umm one (thumb), then there was Um, that's two (index finger), etc. all the way up to the really big numbers between four and seven. Redefines the old joke, Grow your own dope – plant a Pom.

You see, LAHSO ain't the radical, root cause, if you like; of a deep, systemic failure based in greed and cover your arse. Pilot command discretion is slowly being diluted, the responsibilities and onus increased to protect the middle layer of parasitic management. ATCO face the same problem, only it's more obvious and without the pitifully few 'escape' clauses pilots may rely on. If a pilot and controller 'negotiate' a contract for a LAHSO operation, that should be the end of the matter; provided it's within boundaries set by common sense, sound operational practice and arbitrary recommended limitations. Cast in stone limitations are an anathema – legal at five knots of breeze, in jail at six knots, is rubbish.

The ATCO is chained to a treadmill; they know how to manage the traffic, know where and when 'discretion' may used and how much to use; but the ass covering 'rules' prevent this. They also know precisely where the red flags are and what they mean. They also, in all probability know exactly what's wrong with the system and how to fix it. Enter the dragon.

A suggested fix must be passed 'up the line', if it's any good, it will be hi-jacked for kudos but the responsibility for the idea will remain hidden, until something goes pear shaped and it lands on the head of the original 'sugestee'. Same with deficiencies and flaws within the system: ATCO puts in an alert, taking their own lives into their hands, for woe betide anyone who dares rock the Staib boat, the courage badge will not protect from AFP investigation. Anything like a complaint hits management filter 1 and much of the 'guts' of it are sucked out there. The complaint has entered the first disconnect, between the original intent and what filter 1 want (or need) it to mean. No matter, the now crippled complaint is kicked up the line to the next management filter.

Now filter two is interesting – for here the cast and crew are specialists in emasculation, intimidation and earn points for smoothing the waters; for here overseas trips like a month long, all expenses (credit card supported) holiday in Paris; or a nice little week in a Texas casino (using the card) are the rewards for massaging any form of 'alert' into a minor irritation, fit for 'little' board consumption. Filter 2 extracts reality and sells the finished product to the elite market of filter 3. "No sir, there are no problems, we are on track to make another 100 millions this year". This activates filter 3.

Filter 3 is located in a rarefied, other word sort of atmosphere and it's where the god like power, so desired by the lower order resides. The 'little' board reports to the big grown up board (filter 4) : "Morning all" says Angus, "anything of interest this month?" "Oh no Sir" gasps the gushing, wing wearing minion: "just some minor, technical issues which the little board has, smoothly and efficiently dealt with". "Oh, goodee" says Angus, "lets sign off and then we can all get back to the great works, philosophical contemplation and, perhaps 18 holes before beer-o-clock".

And so the humble suggestion, made at the coal face is filtered, the reasonable complaint is neutered and those with the temerity to actually speak up are intimidated into silence; if not by having one's 'courage' badge shoved into a fundamental orifice, then by the boots of the AFP metadata spooks.

Mind you, even if all this ever gets past filters 1 to 4 and anywhere near the surface; there is the CASA oversight circuit breaker to pop, which protects and fosters the government goose, laying it's golden, trouble free eggs, ever fattening those privileged to gorge on the product.

Like Nick X – I have a great respect, admiration and affection for our ATCO coal face boys and girls. That they manage so well, in such a toxic unholy atmosphere is a testament to their skill, dedication and commitment to efficient, safe aircraft movements. It's a tragedy that they are forced to live and work under the management of filter 3. Don't believe me; watch the video, carefully, for it tells it's own story, far more eloquently than I ever could. Let's all hope NX can open the filter by-pass and let some fresh air and light into the dark, subterranean caves of the ATCO underworld.

Now then, who's for Paris or perhaps Texas?. The only requirement is to wear your 'courage' badge and use your card, but only to the maximum limit to which you are entitled. Wings? – well perhaps not, some may see a pair of decorative wings pinned to your right tit as an insult to those who earned them, the hard way. But hells teeth, if what you are doing now don't offend, a pair of faux wings just don't signify. Anyway, symbolism is not an exact science and not really proven to work. Believe it if you like.

Toot toot.. Badges?
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#4
or; if you prefer - drugs, sex, rock and roll.


Quote:Ben Sandilands  : Plane Talking – "The old repetitive PR ansewer (like it), safety wasn’t compromised, ought never be accepted until it is tested."

But it's not just 'safety' (whatever that is) which is being interfered with though.  Risk analysis and risk mitigation has been developed to a fare thee well by this bunch at ASA.  The risk analysis – will they be caught 'at it' – the mitigation 'get out of jail leverage'.  Boy are they good 'at it'.  So good, in fact it's hard to know where, exactly one should start.

Money is always a good-un; the ASA freely admit to making 100 millions of profit for the government.  A plump goose, laying golden eggs.   Even after paying the expenses, credit cards, bonuses, holiday trips, (sorry) training course fees and inflated salaries of the top tier, the government are still very much in front and in desperate need of that revenue.  So, in reality there is little chance of that money ever being returned to the public as hip pocket cost reduction; even less chance of 'costs' going down.  This money is gouged out of the operators by the monopoly, operators in turn gouge it out the punters pockets.  It's all furry muff until the indecent profits outstrip a fair return on investment; then it becomes a rip-off or hidden tax; (whichever floats your boat) on a service which the government must provide - anyway.  When you get cynicism thrown into the pot, it all starts to smell a little rank.

Efficiencies are translated into increased profit margins (bonus); system upgrade is transmogrified into increased cost (bonus), consult fees are covered by the public eventually and just to top it all off; 'finders' fees are a carefully concealed wart on the arse of this disgusting monopoly.    

Sex is always on the agenda; don't know nor care about all the gory details, but I find it offensive that multiple corporate credit cards are used to provide five star lunches and afternoon delight in king sized beds and 'turbo tubs' at the public expense and that covering these and other 'minor' indiscretions is a source of employment for the minions and masters both, at monopoly mansion.

That brings us to Machiavellian plots, dupes and the blame game.  It's hard to find a suitable analagy for this game.  I keep playing with the notion of a third grade missionary Sunday school teacher being put in charge of a borstal. One where the kids are the devils own spawn and the crooked management, Fagin like, manage and profit from the kids nefarious activities.  Our protagonist, full of light and charity believes that a happy-clappy Sunday school atmosphere, complete with tambourines, tales from the good book and robust singing will cure the venal nature of the inmates. Everyone gets a badge or wrist strap (for courage) and the cartoon depiction of fantasy life is designed to inspire. The troops of course smile, wink and nudge each other all the while.  Little does our protagonist know of what goes on once the tambourines are stilled and put away, tidy like.  

Then there's the image of a bovine animal grazing quietly, oblivious to the Hyena eating her offspring and giggling, while sizing her up for next Sunday lunch, which creeps into the imagination.  Enough- 

'Thick as thieves' don't quite do it justice  I'm not squeamish you'll understand, but I am beginning to cringe every time ASA opens it's collective mouth, mostly to change feet.  Every time one of the laughing Hyena at the feast smiles and very neatly drops a member of another in-house gang 'right in it' used to amuse me somewhat, not any longer.  A wounded, crazed animal should be despatched, cleanly, quickly and with minimal pain; not torn to bloody rags by the tormenting pack.  I've no sympathy for ASA management or those who profit from it, but in the name of human decency, ASA needs to be put out of it's collective misery.  

All they are missing in this confection are drugs to complete the Trifecta; but wait, there is the aphrodisiac power, the intoxicant of money, the stimulant of larceny and the sedative smoke of deception.  

Not bad work, if you can get it (and) get paid to get away with it.   Riff

Selah.
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#5
Sad aint it Kharon, ASA has become just another parasite feeding off the bowels of aviation.
Well if Asia is not already aware Australia has become part of it, at least the part where endemic corruption is rampant.
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#6
Up OARs   Big Grin

[Image: sb10069628c-001.jpg?v=1&g=fs1%7C0%7CDV%7C62%7C891&s=1]

(11-17-2015, 09:51 AM)Peetwo Wrote:
(11-15-2015, 07:27 AM)P7_TOM Wrote:
Quote:SR continuum.

‘Procedural separation’ (Class E ala Dick) was a topic at a recent BRB indaba.  Thought the BRB vote may be of some interest.

The need for 24/7 blanket coverage was dismissed as not required – 100% against.  The need for a system which could be ‘on –standby’ when ‘alternates’ where required and ATC was aware of more than three aircraft scheduled to arrive within ‘alternate’ buffer periods found much support; 78% thought it ‘sound’, a further 14% thought it should be made to happen.  That naturally led to some debate.  I will try to summarise:-

The weather across the inland is for the most part benign and traffic sparse; the chances of multiple arrivals, within a narrow time frame, in IMC are slim.  There are the exceptions but in the main, ATC would not be frequently called upon to take a hand.

Along the coastal areas and over the hills, the weather can be fickle and occasionally brutal, the OCTA airports do carry a fair bit of traffic and two or three aircraft arriving within a narrow time band is probable – but not high frequency.  A busy period where the RPT is scheduled, a charter or two due about the same time – perhaps a trainer in the circuit; in reasonable weather it is not a problem – except for extended circuits or even a short hold to allow safe separation.  Inefficient? sure, and operationally costly but not a situation for risk mitigation – in the form of positive separation by ATC.

 Unless the required triggers are in place; weather at alternate minima; more than two IFR aircraft scheduled within 30 minutes of each other, i.e. within the time needed for an approach – missed approach and sort out.  Close proximity aircraft in this situation are at a higher risk level – (A) misses out and decides to head to the alternate, (B) now aware of the weather decides not to mess about and also decides to divert; depending on height, position, speed and selected alternate; without good communication, there is a chance the two could get fairly close, particularly when the same alternate is used and track height needs to be changed; this is routinely resolved by flight crew, but add a third or fourth aircraft and the risk matrix alters.    

When we look at the Hotham event – YHOT can be ignored 364 out of 365 days a year; there simply is not a traffic problem – but when an event which requires multiple arrivals and departures within a close time frame is flagged and the weather demands an alternate, even with the most meticulous planning things can and do go wrong – in fact, you could bet money on Murphy to win the race.  

So, solutions.  Given the triggers present on that day, would it have been feasible for ATC to provide a watching brief and ‘positive control’ – as the traffic piled up behind the lowest aircraft.  Stack ‘em and release ‘em when the way was clear?  They can do that, standing on their heads, they could also ask the question ‘intentions?’  On the other hand, good communication from the aircraft having difficulties would have assisted in the short term; but a helping hand from someone who had the whole picture would have been of great value.

If we put aside the costing, liability, rules and an inflexible, hidebound, draconian ATC ‘responsibility’ system; how good would it be to have a friendly voice chiming in “ABC – instrument approaches in progress, hold at 10 thousand expect 15 minute delay.  “DEF -*-*-*-*-“.  Is it worth all the trouble for a couple of hours a year?, probably not.  Except for 300 small feet – not even 92 meters, which separated two aircraft with a closing speed of about 500 kph.  Allowing for maximum tolerable instrument error, and within tolerance flying +100 for the lower aircraft; they could have been a bit further apart or, much closer.  Either way, it’s only the difference between two or three heartbeats.  

Risk analysis puts the percentile chance of a reoccurrence off the chart; but, can it be allowed to happen a second time?  It’s the same thing as the Mildura fiasco, infinitesimal chances of those holes lining up – but they did; more chance of winning the lottery, but people do.  

Aye, ‘tis a puzzle.  No blame on ATC, nor the system, which whilst not efficient, performs design function and separates aircraft.  The pilots and actions could stand some scrutiny, but that would, without all the facts, be subjective.  I guess we just got lucky – one more time.

Just a Sunday twiddle – food for thought if you will.  

Toot – I’ll be there directly dear – toot.

The BRB consensus from Tom's quoted post, led me to suggest that he should (tongue in cheek Rolleyes ) make a submission to the OAR Review: 


Quote:OAR Review – Consultation Communiqué

To significant parties with interests in the operations and functions of the Office of Airspace Regulation (OAR),

This is a request for your assistance in our consultation efforts.

In April 2015 the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development (Infrastructure) issued a Statement of Expectations (SOE) for the Board of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority as a notice under Section 12A of the Civil Aviation Act 1988 (the Act). The SOE outlines in a formal and public way, the Minister’s expectations concerning the operations and performance of CASA, from 16 April 2015 to 30 June 2017. This Statement of Expectations serves as a notice of strategic direction to CASA under section 12A of the Act and commenced on 16 April 2015.

Point 9 of the SOE states: - “implement the Government’s policy objectives in the Australian Airspace Policy Statement and review the operations and functions of the Office of Airspace Regulation (OAR) noting that the OAR commenced with the enactment of the Airspace Act 2007.”
A copy of the Australian Airspace Policy Statement 2015 (AAPS) can be viewed via this link.

The review and hence our consultation focus is centred within the following principle objectives:

  • the operations and functions of the OAR
  • the legislation and its appropriateness to enable the OAR to perform its operations and functions
  • the structures and processes of the OAR
  • the effectiveness of the OAR
  • stakeholder management by the OAR
  • the OAR’s implementation of the Government’s policy objectives in the AAPS (note that this will encompass the previous AAPS and the new AAPS which has not long come into effect).
    Whilst these are the principle areas of interest, the review team welcomes any constructive input; positive, neutral or negative. The input can be stated against the objectives or in free form and will have increased persuasiveness if coupled with detail, including evidence or examples. A list of more detailed questions is attached if you wish to use some or all of these to frame your responses.

    Our preferred form of reply and interaction is for an email to be sent to OAR@CASA.GOV.AU as the volume of input can be managed and the receipt and content confirmed. Please ensure you add ‘OAR review’ in the subject line of your response.

    All emails will elicit a response from the team and contributions will be attributed: anonymity will be considered if requested. Sometimes the response may only be an acknowledgement of receipt.

    Submissions are encouraged and will be accepted from any person or organisation. Whilst late responses may be considered, in order to have a timely review, the review team request that responses are sent as early as possible, but no later than COB on Friday November 20 2015.
    Please also note that OAR as part of its continual improvement efforts seeks feedback on airspace reform and airspace detail on a periodic basis. Those efforts are separate from, but may form an input into, this review.

    Thanks in advance for your input.

    John Flannery
    Team Lead
    OAR review team

 
Whoah?? Undecided ...there is some loaded questions under this heading - What is your view on OAR’s administration in accordance with the AAPS? Does the OAR..


Quote:E.g.

..21. consider the safety of Passenger Transport Services as the first priority?..


22. respond quickly to emerging changes in risk levels for passenger transport operations?

23. seek to deliver good safety outcomes to all aviation participants?..

..29. when conducting an aeronautical risk review do so in consultation with the public, industry and other government agencies? And in particular with close consultation with Airservices ?

30. make airspace determinations s in a transparent and timely manner considering risk mitigators and forecast future traffic levels?

31.
use a risk review process that is consistent with contemporary published Australian Standards for Risk Management (eg the Common Risk Management Framework)?...

- especially when you consider the Hotham incident (above); or the seemingly numerous issues/incidents with YMML CTA; or the issues with Tassie (TASWAM) & Ballina airspace..etc.

Food for thought  Huh

Well according to Hitch in last week's weekly wrap the CASA OAR have stealthily & cynically white-anted the effective historical conduit with industry i.e the RAPACs - Angry : The Last Minute Hitch: 27 November 2015

Quote:Who's heard of RAPACs? These are the Regional Airspace Procedures and Advisory Committees, and there is one in your state. What they do is advise the Office of Airspace Regulation (OAR) on matters of airspace usage in the local areas. RAPACs are a way of getting the users heard in the OAR, but now it seems the OAR no longer wants to listen. What they've done is attempt to redefine the RAPACs to limit them to safety issues. That conveniently silences them over things like radio frequencies ... coincidentally (or not) a current topic being shuttle-cocked between Canberra and the aviation community. Happliy, CASA has announced a review of the OAR and the way it functions. Needless to say, those pesky RAPACs have made an inconvenience of themselves in their submission. If anyone in the aviation community wants to do the same, the details of the review and how to submit are on the CASA website.
Hmm..we were just talking about CASA's divide & conquer tactics in making industry submissive to Iron Ring/Fist policy... Dodgy

Q/ So Hitch will we get to actually see the RAPACs submissions?


MTF...P2 Tongue  
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#7
Very very crafty, not surprising or unexpected, but very sly and typical of high level government manipulation and silencing techniques. That's why you have people like Sir An(g)us and Dr Voodoo and Pumpkin head in their respective roles....turds
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#8
The two posts (link below), from ‘Traffic Is Er Was’, on the UP are solid gold star material; QoM worthy and unlimited Tim Tam access qualifiers. Technically, the post belongs in QoM; but, a little further research on the post revealed just how Australia operated ‘smart’ and developed from using existing technology to advantage. ‘The powers that be’ actually cared that the very best was made available for our fledgling industry.  What happened to that ‘attitude’?

‘Traffic Is Er Was’ Post #1 and Post #2: find five minutes and have a read. Thank you.
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