Things that go bump in the night,
(02-08-2018, 10:45 AM)Peetwo Wrote: Also via the Oz:

Quote:Airways overhaul a futile mission


[Image: c80085cf614e5670055792c5d1f89c19]12:00amEAN HIGGINS

A leading consultant on the OneSKY air traffic control program quit when he realised it was impossible to achieve within budget.



Air traffic control overhaul ‘impossible within budget’


A former RAAF test pilot dubbed “The Million Dollar Man” for his consultancy role on the $1.5 billion OneSKY air traffic control program has revealed he quit the project when he realised it would be impossible to achieve the ­objectives of Airservices Australia and Defence within the allocated budget.

Harry Bradford has broken his silence to tell The Australian that government-owned Airservices, which runs the nation’s civilian air traffic management and navigation system, was not cut out, at least a few years ago, to manage a highly ambitious project such as OneSKY.

He said the objectives of OneSKY were “brilliantly conceived” and the government should “keep the faith”, but the project would “cost what it will cost” and politicians “will therefore have to find the funds to achieve this outcome”.

Mr Bradford’s comments follow The Australian’s exposure this week of the Australian National Audit Office’s damning review of OneSKY, which seeks to integrate civilian and military air traffic control into a single system more advanced than any in the world.

ANAO determined the project was running at least 2½ years late, might not deliver value for money, suffered from conflicting management styles and goals ­between Airservices and Defence, and would need a further cash ­injection if it were to achieve its objectives.

Mr Bradford, who was ­engaged as lead negotiator by Airservices early in the project to work towards a contract with the preferred prime contractor, French aerospace and defence system group Thales, said he and other consultants worked hard for standard commercial consulting rates of pay, and achieved some successes, but eventually realised the brief was impossible to fulfil.

“Viewed against programs of similar scale and complexity, most experienced program managers would agree that the probability of achieving the stakeholders’ cost, schedule and capability expectations was zero,” Mr Bradford said. “Defence was used to dealing with large and complex programs, and their inputs and responses were usually coherent and well-considered; Airservices was an organisation that was very good at simultaneously operating and ­incrementally developing a running air traffic control system, but it was not practiced in managing development projects of scale and complexity.”

After 18 months as lead negotiator, Mr Bradford quit in October 2015. “I had formed the view that the negotiations were frustrated,” he said. “I was not prepared to continue being paid to work on a program that I felt was unlikely to achieve Defence’s and Airservices’ required outcomes.”

Mr Bradford had a distinguished air force career, including flying 270 combat missions as a bomber pilot in Vietnam, and as an instructor and test pilot, and was awarded the Air Force Cross.

After leaving the RAAF Mr Bradford worked in a variety of senior management roles in aerospace, including for Hawker de Havilland, British Aerospace and BAE Systems Australia.

Sandy in reply... Wink

Well done Ean H for eliciting this vital information about a mismanagement of public funds. At a time when we are in deficit all the more important. Air Services, like the Commonwealth statutory body relocating to Mr. B. Joyce’s city of Armidale (not pork barrelling!) it is ‘independent’ of government and not actually part of the prescribed Australian Public Service by virtue of the fact that these bodies are not bound by the Public Service and Governance Act.

It’s surely time to question whether the proliferation of these bodies is giving value for the taxpayer dollar. From Deputy PM’s (and Minister supposedly responsible for Air Services) perspective he can say that being an independent body they can move about as they wish. Run fancy programs with no hope of success, no problem they are independent. Like CASA and ATSB a couple of other make work salary factories that between them are killing General Aviation. Alex in the Rises.


MTF...P2 Cool
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Teflon Harfwit saves his sorry arse - Big Grin

Via Oz Aviation:

Onesky final contracts signed

February 26, 2018 by australianaviation.com.au 1 Comment
 
[Image: onesky-signing-crop.jpg]Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Leo Davies, Airservices Australia CEO Jason Harfield and Thales Australia’s Chris Jenkins at the Onesky contract signing last week.

Airservices Australia, the Department of Defence and Thales have signed final contracts to build Australia’s new joint civil and military air traffic management system, known as Onesky.
The ambitious project aims to replace the currently separate civil and Defence air traffic management systems under a single program, with the final contracts, now valued at $1.2 billion, signed last week.

Parts of the new Onesky system are expected to be operating by 2018, with full operating capability expected in 2023, two years later than the original 2021 completion date.

“It’s probably the biggest development in the safe management of Australia’s skies since aviation began in this nation,” Airservices Australia chief executive Jason Harfield said on Monday.

Then federal transport minister Warren Truss named Thales as the successful supplier for Onesky at the 2015 Avalon Airshow.

Since then, Airservices Australia and Defence had been negotiating with the the company ahead of signing formal contracts, with some preliminary work undertaken via a series of advanced work orders.

Airservices said on Monday that substantial progress had already been made.

“In 2017, we commenced installation of the first phase of the new voice communication system, which will be commissioned later this year,” Harfield said.

“We have also completed the system requirements review in January, which means Airservices, Defence and Thales have a common agreed understanding of the system’s requirements.

“This has significantly reduced risks in the project prior to finalising the commercial and contractual arrangements. Reducing uncertainty in system requirements prior to finalising the contracts was a critical risk reduction strategy developed to address the challenges that other major overseas air traffic control providers experienced with their own system replacements.”

[Image: IMG_0964.jpg]Onesky will replace the existing TAAATS system. (Airservices)

A project of concern

Negotiations between Airservices Australia, Defence and the French-headquartered aerospace and defence company had become increasingly protracted, with the project placed on Defence’s Projects of Concern list in August 2017.

Defence, where Onesky is referred to as Project AIR 5431 Phase 3 Civil Military Air Traffic Management System, and Airservices Australia are jointly funding the Onesky project.

“This is a highly complex, inter-departmental project of national significance that has experienced some substantial challenges getting into contract,” Minister for Defence Senator Marise Payne and Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said in a joint statement at the time.

“The challenges revolve around issues with ensuring value for money for the taxpayer.”
However, Senator Payne said on Monday Onesky would now be taken off the list following the execution of final contracts.

“This project will replace the ageing military air traffic management systems and is essential to ensuring our ADF can continue to operate safely in Australia’s airspace,” Minister Payne said in a statement.

“As a result of reaching this important milestone, Onesky will be removed from Defence’s Projects of Concern list.”

Value for money?

The question of Onesky’s value for money had been highlighted by an Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report published in April 2017 that suggested Australia could end up paying too much for the project.

Specifically, the ANAO was critical of how the tenders were evaluated.

“It is not clearly evident that the successful tender offered the best value for money,” the ANAO report said.

Further, the ANAO said it was “not clearly evident that the successful tender is affordable in the context of the funding available to Airservices and Defence”.

However, in an interview with Australian Aviation Harfield defended the robustness of the Onesky tender evaluation process while conceding that contract negotiations had taken longer than anticipated.

“Value for money . . . is not just the price that you pay. You’ve actually got to have the thing work and operate, and there are much more greater considerations with value for money,” Harfield told Australian Aviation in May 2017.

The Airservices chief noted there were five different assessment criteria in the Onesky tender: safety, technical risk, transition arrangements, long-term relationships and financial and commercial considerations.

“With an air traffic control system, you can’t say that all of those are equal … in a ranking. You’ve got to put it all together and look at it,” Harfield said.

“So you could have somebody really strong technically but very weak on the transition between the two systems. Well, that transition is just as important as making sure that the system works.”

Airservices’ most recent five-year corporate plan noted “Onesky and its enabling projects account for $652 million” in capital expenditure over the next five financial years, through to the end of 2021-22, while Defence had previously capped its own financial commitment to the project via a “not to exceed” price of $244 million.

However, in October Rear Admiral Tony Dalton told the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committee that Defence’s share of the program could be higher than first expected.

“Our contribution to the overall Onesky program may need to increase. We have made some allowances in the revised Integrated Investment Program to accommodate for that increase.

Our negotiations with Airservices have said that there’s a finite amount of money that we’re prepared to increase,” RADM Dalton, who is general manager ships at Defence’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) but retains responsibility for Defence’s portion of the Onesky program, told the committee.

At the time RADM Dalton explained that the delay in signing contracts was one reason Onesky was added to the Projects of Concern list, and that further delays might force Defence to seek an alternative supplier to replace its existing Australian Defence Air Traffic System (or ADATS).

“Well certainly the timeframe has slipped. That’s been part of the issue and that’s why it’s been elevated to a Project of Concern,” RADM Dalton said.

[Image: 201600803raaf8165233_028.jpg]Onesky replaces Defence’s existing ADATS platform. (Defence)

Some pain, now for the gain?

While contract negotiations for Onesky have taken three years, the promise of an integrated civil and defence air traffic management system will still be “transformative”, Harfield says.
“Onesky is game-changing. It is transformative, not only for air traffic management in Australia, but worldwide there is nothing like it,” he said on Monday.

“This state-of-the-art system means for the first time, civil and military air traffic controllers will share the same integrated air traffic management system, using the same information to jointly manage 11 per cent of the world’s airspace for which Australia is responsible.”

Thales Australia chief executive Chris Jenkins said Onesky was a large and complex project that required the highest levels of safety and security.

“Both Airservices and the Air Force are to be commended for their rigorous approach, fully defining the system requirements, acceptance criteria and schedule ahead of contract signature,” Jenkins said.

“This is best practice for a complex critical infrastructure project such as Onesky.”
Meanwhile, Minister for Defence Industry Pyne noted the Onesky project would support 450 specialist jobs in Melbourne. Further, about 75 per cent of the acquisition cost and 95 per cent of ongoing annual support costs would be to Australian companies.

Airports Association calls for swift implementation

The Australian Airports Association has welcomed the signing of the Onesky final contracts on Monday, but called for the “swift implementation of the new technology to support the national aviation network”.

“OneSKY will deliver significant benefits to our industry, and we look forward to following the project’s progress over the coming months,” AAA chief executive Officer Caroline Wilkie said on Monday.

“Its swift implementation is essential to support the significant investment of airports on the ground and ensure our economy is not constrained by delays and interruptions across the national network.”

Noting that several airports are investing, or planning to invest in new runway capacity, Wilkie said that Australia “must ensure our airspace infrastructure keeps pace with investment on the ground.

“Today’s announcement is a positive step forward in ensuring a strong national aviation network for the future.”

Certainly that “strong aviation network” is the promise of Onesky, as this Airservices Australia corporate video on Onesky explains:







Putting aside that vomitus picture of Harfwit smiling like the Cheshire Cat after he'd swallowed the canary, HERE is the Hansard link for Monday's ASA session and his abbreviated statement:

Quote:Senator GALLACHER: So when will this system be fully operational?

Mr Harfield : Technically the program will end in about the 2025 time frame at the latest. The reason we say that is we'll progressively bring it online from about 2020, because we've got to move across, sector by sector and airspace to airspace, and that takes time. And in setting up for the contractual arrangements and to ensure that we actually have a seamless transition between the two, we have signed up to what's called a probability 90 schedule, which is 90 per cent accurate, to make sure the risks have all been assessed. For example, during that time frame we could have a natural weather event, such as a cyclone season, that could interrupt the transition schedule, so we need that flexibility. However, we incentivise the contractual arrangements to come back to what we call a probability 50 schedule to work to bring it in sooner. To give you an example—

Senator GALLACHER: I don't need an example. I'm trying to get the answers to two very specific questions. And in answering the very specific questions, you've gone some way towards service improvements. So that will save time, fuel and is going to increase utilisation of the aircraft—is that right?

Mr Harfield : Absolutely, and it's been quantified with an approximate economic benefit of about $1 billion.

Senator GALLACHER: So when will they get that? I'm looking for an end date, not an explanation about the weather or whatever. I can point you to the Public Works Committee, where you're behind on stuff in a number of projects around Australia that you've promised and haven't delivered. We just would like to know about this huge expenditure: when is it going to come into play to allow the travelling public and the airlines to see the efficiency and the productivity and the safety benefits?


Airservices Australia

OneSky Statement
26/02/2018  PDF 601KB
 
For the Estimates FIGJAM award Harfwit takes the take and don't you get impression that Senator Gallagher would love to shove a slice of that cake down his throat just to shut him up - Big Grin



MTF...P2 Tongue
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Senate Air routes inquiry heats up - Rolleyes

Given the title, concern - via APH website: The operation, regulation and funding of air route service delivery to rural, regional and remote communities - and involvement of ASA by default (i.e. air route) I have decided to place the monitoring of this Senate Inquiry on the BITN thread.

So to begin here is an article from the ABC covering off on the latest in a series of 'top-end' and central Oz public hearings that started this week:


 International airlines should be allowed to fly domestic routes to reduce high fares, tourism body says

By Neda Vanovac

Wed 4 Apr 2018, 2:06pm

[Image: 5491492-3x2-700x467.jpg] 
Photo: "Darwin International Airport is listening," NT Airport's chief executive said in response to transparency concerns. (Facebook: Darwin International Airport)

The Federal Government should consider allowing international airlines to fly domestic routes in the Northern Territory in a bid to reduce astronomically high airfares in the region, Tourism Central Australia has suggested.

A federal Senate inquiry is being held in Alice Springs on Wednesday by the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee, which is currently travelling around Australia holding public hearings on the operation, regulation and funding of air route service delivery to rural, regional and remote communities.

Residents of Central Australia in particular have grappled with costly airfares that can be more expensive than international flights, which are often cited as a key deterrent to settling down to live in the Northern Territory.

In its submission to the inquiry, Tourism Central Australia — a not-for-profit organisation with about 330 tourism business members — urged the Government to introduce cabotage measures.

That would give foreign airlines the right to operate their services within Australia on domestic routes, rather than just to Australia on international routes.

"As it is Federal Government policy to have airlines operate commercially, yet it is also Federal Government policy to restrict cabotage, the situation remains that remote areas such as the [Red Centre] remain inadequately serviced and pay significant sums to travel," read the submission, written by CEO Stephen Schwer.

Quote:"Whilst the Federal Government has been historically reticent to introduce cabotage measures, perhaps this is a measure that needs to be considered again.

"Such measures have the potential to open remote areas to inclusion on international routes, creating domestic legs on their overall journey."

Reforming airline and shipping cabotage measures was a recommendation of the Competition Policy Review, which was handed down in 2015.

However, Chief Minister Michael Gunner said there needed to be a balance between legacy airlines and budget carriers servicing the Territory.

"We've seen this unfortunately in the Territory, the budget airlines that come in throw up the cheap prices and then abandon that route, so the legacy airlines are actually consistent — in and out on a regular timeframe and you can actually plan to that, from a business point of view that's important," he said.

He said the Federal Government had been resistant to changing cabotage regulations, and Qantas had already indicated it would not pull its punches.

"[Qantas CEO] Alan Joyce has grounded the entire fleet in response to a union issue, I think Qantas have shown they're very prepared to play hardball, and we've got to be extremely careful we don't lose Qantas seats into and out of the Territory," he said.

"The pricing's an issue, we've got to keep fighting Qantas on the pricing and get that pricing down, but Qantas is also the best friend to the Territory as well when we look at the number of seats."

Government could subsidise flights: TCA

Mr Schwer said the Yulara Airport at Uluru is serviced by budget carrier Jetstar and consistently offers lower-priced airfares than Alice Springs, although Alice Springs receives almost double the number of passengers.

"It is common for Alice Springs residents to drive to Yulara then fly to their destination from there," Mr Schwer said.

"Even though it's a five-hour drive each way, the airfares available from Yulara are significantly cheaper than those from Alice Springs."

Fact Check: Alice Springs flights

[Image: fact-check-airfare-data.jpg]

Is it really cheaper to fly overseas than to get to another Australian city from Alice Springs?

He said that finding a solution to the current airfares and routes stalemate was essential if the Federal Government was serious about populating remote areas and growing the economy.

"Lack of access to direct flight destinations and affordable airfares fosters a transient population in remote areas," he said.

Quote:"A population that enjoys the lifestyle of the remote area for a time, however eventually moves to be closer to family given the significant cost and difficulty of visiting."

Tourism Central Australia (TCA) also proposed that the Government consider significantly increasing its subsidy funding for airlines opening domestic routes if it did not want to loosen cabotage restrictions.

"Such funding needs to be not only significant in value, but long term in commitment as it is the experience of TCA that once subsidies are removed from a route, the airline soon removes its service," Mr Schwer wrote.

"It is certain though that without focus on airfares from the Federal Government to drive rural, regional and remote population and economic growth, the frustrations and negative business impact experienced in [Central Australia] will continue."

Mr Gunner said his Labor Government was struggling to get money out of the Coalition Federal Government, and said his focus was on investing in tourism.

He said a lot of policy work was going into creating Alice Springs and Darwin as "proper holiday spots in their own right and not just gateways out".

'Vicious circle' driving people away

Alice Springs is located about 1,500km from both Adelaide and Darwin, and is between 2,300km and 2,800km away from Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Sydney.

Flying was often the only reasonable transport option for residents needing to travel, said the Alice Springs Town Council in its submission.

About 27,000 people live in the outback town, with another 18,000 within a 500km radius, and it is a service hub for many disadvantaged communities.

[Image: 8840532-3x2-700x467.jpg] 
Photo: Residents are leaving Alice Springs due to a lack of affordable, quality housing. (ABC News: Neda Vanovac)

"The high cost of airfares compounds the disadvantage that the people of Alice Springs, and the wider Central Australia region, experience," wrote council CEO Rex Mooney.

"People who are forced to travel on short notice (for medical or legal reasons, to visit sick relatives, or to attend important family events, including funerals) are forced to pay exorbitant prices, often in excess of $1,000 for a single return trip."

He said Alice Springs's population had been in decline since 2011 and that the high cost of airfares was a key driver of the exodus.

Quote:"Not only do people in Alice Springs have to pay a higher price for flights, it also negatively impacts local businesses, resulting in low wage growth and a lack of employment opportunities," Mr Mooney said.

"Local businesses need people to spend money, however, the reality is that there are fewer people in Alice Springs, and the combination of high cost of living and high cost of airfares forces people to hold onto their money in case of an emergency."

A reduction in the cost of airfares would be a way to mitigate the "vicious circle" the town faced, he said.

The inquiry continues.      


As the inquiry continues I will monitor when Hansard, tabled docs, additional information etc. is posted on the applicable RRAT committee webpages. In the meantime I'd like to draw attention to an informative but distressing (for the future of smaller RPT/GA operators) submission from Airlines of Tasmania Managing Director Shannon Wells: (PDF 2367 KB) 

Some extracts... Wink



[Image: AoT-1.jpg]

[Image: AoT-2.jpg]

[Image: AoT-3.jpg]

[Image: AoT-4.jpg]

[Image: AoT-5.jpg]



Excellent stuff Shannon, let's hope your submission gets the coverage it deserves... Wink

Back on the RRAT committee top-end etc. public hearings I note that yesterday Barry O had this to say on Facebook:


Barry O’Sullivan added 4 new photos.
Yesterday at 8:47am · [/url]


We are continuing our Senate committee investigation into air services across rural, regional and remote Australia. The committee is in Darwin today hearing from major voices in the NT. This inquiry continues to draw strong interest and debate among many many people outside the big population centres. We all want the best people to be attracted to living outside the major cities. This is a truly non-partisan issue - it is about finding the best solution to improving liveability across provincial communities. Our inquiry has made a strong start towards this effort.

[Image: 29598230_1646745888695124_82610403481964...e=5B6CA53F]
[Image: 29790857_1646745875361792_41138322221831...e=5B64BA3A]
[Image: 29793181_1646745892028457_31323826638237...e=5B6D20BB]
[Image: 29790980_1646745895361790_22412448940824...e=5B2D850F]


All well and good Bazza but what about the other elephant in the room CASA and it's strangulation of the true roots of regional aviation (read Air Tassie's submission for example). Please consider and throw your support behind another apparent non-partisan issue that of amending the Civil Aviation Act. References:

Quote:Dick Smith - so close but no cigar...[Image: confused.gif] ( http://www.auntypru.com/forum/showthread...36#pid8436 )


Talking about politicians and government aversion to tackling anything to do with [url=http://www.auntypru.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=77&pid=8424#pid8424]aviation safety regulatory reform and a seemingly untouchable Big "R"-regulator - the following article courtesy of the Oz shines a light on just how close we were to getting a legislative change to the Act [Image: undecided.gif] before BJ was politically nullified:

Quote: Wrote:Joyce saga sank aviation reform


[Image: cd7c00aa7b8af387b7f48c116a6c8b56]12:00amANDREW BURRELL

Dick Smith won approval for slashing crippling aviation costs, but the deal crashed with Barnaby Joyce’s resignation.

&..

New DPM/miniscule finally mentions the A-word - [Image: dodgy.gif]

From off the UP thread: Dick Smith initiated change to the Civil Aviation Act


Dick Smith

I met the new Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport yesterday at Parliament House. I will say right at the start I think he is going to be a very good Minister.

Yes, there is a problem. That is, most people who read this forum have had 10, 20 or 30 years involvement in the aviation catastrophe and non-reform in this country. Our new Minister, Michael McCormack, has now been involved with the Transport portfolio for just over 2 weeks.

The most important discussion we had was about changing the Act. I asked him if he would support the Barnaby Joyce decision to go ahead with the changes as amended by Anthony Albanese. It became clear that the Deputy Prime Minister was not going to proceed that fast. He rightly said that he wanted to come up to speed on the issue, but would be making a decision promptly. We can’t expect more than that.

We in the industry – especially the general aviation industry – will just have to wait and hope that these important legislative changes to the Act will go through. As other posters on this thread have stated, it is really the key to being able to move forward and get our aviation industry thriving again.

I’m more positive than I have been for a long time. We will see what happens.

Enuff said - get on with it Barry O' & CO... Dodgy


MTF...P2 Cool
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SECURITY COSTS FURTHER STRANGLING OUR INDUSTRY

E.T lookalike and never smiling Minister Peter Mutton isn’t helping our cause. Draconian security measures are about to be unloaded upon Regional Airports who will have no choice but to increase fees and charges to compensate. In turn the airlines will have to jack up fares to absorb these costs and they will have to do this in an already extremely price sensitive fare market.

Potential body screening equipment in some large regional airports! WTF? Are these dickheads in Spamberra serious? Fucking politicians sitting in their fairyland with no idea what is happening external to their lavish restaurant lifestyle. There are already enough unmanageable and impossible compliance and regulation standards that need to be met, and now these muppets increase the burden. How long is it until the weekend recreational flyer or the kid flying freight to outback nowhere have to start wear electronic bracelets, be strip searched and digitally inspected plus undergo a full hazmat chemical wash and a federal police check just to fly one sector?????

TICK TOCK
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Air routes inquiry update & RAAA backs SBAS - Rolleyes

Via the ABC yesterday:

Quote:Outback residents slam regional air travel costs in Senate inquiry
By Harriet Tatham

Thu 12 Apr 2018, 11:34am

[Image: 9640646-3x2-700x467.jpg]

Photo:
Danielle Doyle and her family, including oldest son Tom (centre) who goes to school in Brisbane. (Supplied: Danielle Doyle)


Regional Queenslanders are demanding a Senate inquiry take action to reduce the cost of airfares, arguing it is more costly to fly across the state than to many international destinations.

[Image: 9642016-3x4-340x453.jpg]

Photo:
Tom Doyle walking on the plane, taken when Tom was leaving for school in 2017 from Mount Isa airport, headed for Brisbane.


As a public hearing for the Senate inquiry into flight services begins in the north-west Queensland town of Cloncurry, Australians living in remote regions are resorting to extraordinary lengths to be heard.

Danielle Doyle is on a 13-hour return road trip from her Northern Territory cattle station to speak at the Cloncurry hearing, intent on venting her frustration at the $2,500 she pays for her son's commute to and from school.

Quote:"The return airfares vary depending on if there's a sale or not, so it can be anywhere from $460 up to around $700 or $800 return," Ms Doyle said.

The Doyles live on Mittiebah Station, a 1.7-million-acre property five hours' drive north-west of Mount Isa.

Getting her son, Tom, to school is Brisbane is not an easy venture.

"We have to firstly drive him into Mt Isa so that's a five-hour drive. Half of that's on dirt roads with about 12 gates, so then we pop him on a plane which is a two-and-a-half hour trip down to Brisbane," she said.

[Image: 9642968-3x2-700x467.jpg]

Photo:
The journey from Mittiebah Station to Brisbane is way too far to drive. (Google Maps)


Even with the long drive, Ms Doyle believes it is the cost of airfares that are giving her a raw deal.

"We would love to be able to get down there each term to see him, but sometimes it just doesn't work out that way," she said.

Quote:"It is really hard because on top of the airfares, you've got your trip to town, accommodation, hire car when you get to Brisbane and it's just thousands upon thousands of dollars just to go down for one visit."

The Senate inquiry, hosted by the rural and regional affairs and transport committee, has travelled across Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland to hold public hearings on the operation, regulation and funding of air route service delivery to rural, regional and remote communities.

The inquiry received more than 160 submissions of first-hand experiences, and has heard from hundreds at the public hearings.

Queensland Labor senator Anthony Chisholm, who has travelled to the public hearings across Queensland, said they had been an emotional experience.

"Some people giving evidence have been really emotional," he said.

"It's been a real eye opener for me about the social impacts from the inability for people to travel for family, and also the impact on parents who have to travel to visit their kids at boarding school."

[Image: 1167182-3x2-700x467.jpg]

Photo:
Qantas said booking early was the best way to cut airfare costs. (Gladstone Regional Council: Supplied)


'People have to live out here'

Many submissions detail frustration at commercial airlines for high prices.

Fly-in, fly-out worker Deslie Anderson said she stayed with family in Cloncurry rather than flying back to Brisbane.

"I think it's wrong — people have to live out here," she said.

"That's where jobs are and they shouldn't have to suffer because they chose to live here or they have to be here for work."

[Image: 9642940-3x2-700x467.jpg]

Photo:
Deslie Anderson said many people had to be in remote areas because of work. (ABC News: Harriet Tatham)


Former Cloncurry resident Colin Todd agreed.

Quote:"I lived here for four years and it cost me more to fly Brisbane return than it did to fly to Japan return."

When previously accused of increasing flight prices during a flood event, both Qantas and Virgin Australia said in statements that the later people book, the more expensive flights can get.

In a statement, Qantas suggested the solution was booking early.

"The closer to the date of travel, the more expensive the fare is, likely because of demand," the airline said.

"Less expensive seats will be purchased first, usually well in advance."

But Ms Doyle, who booked all of her son's school flights a year in advance, said that explanation did not fly.

"I've booked all of them, up to when he flies home for the last time in November," she said.

"I did save a few hundred dollars — but all in all, it wasn't much. And then if I have to change them it's going to cost me money, so I don't know."

Senators confident change will come

Senator Chisholm said while the committee would speak to the carriers after all public hearings had concluded, he was confident the inquiry would make a change.

"I'm confident that you will see concrete proposals for this committee that local residents will be able to identify with and see that their effort in turning up and giving evidence was worthwhile," Senator Chisholm said.

[Image: 9642938-3x2-700x467.jpg]

Photo:
The Senate inquiry into flight services is holding a public hearing in Cloncurry today. (ABC News: Harriet Tatham)


Regional air services inquiry co-chair Senator Barry O'Sullivan said he was likewise optimistic and proposals had already become obvious, such as investigating resident fares and working out a system to relieve struggling remote councils.

"It remains a mystery to everybody as to how many fares there are and how they're accessed, so unravelling that mystery is one of the first things," he said.

"There was some evidence given about some of our rural councils are having to spend a third or a quarter of their rates base to maintain an airstrip.

Quote:"Can you imagine going to the good people of Sydney or Melbourne and saying, 'we're going to pump your rates up because you've got the pay for the airport here?' We'd have a civil unrest.

"They're the sorts of things that should be able to be fixed pretty readily."

Senator O'Sullivan said aside from specific changes, it was clear the bush needed more money.

"We spent billions of dollars in this country every year subsidising public transport in the cities, so I think we may just have to dig a bit deeper to support those people I what I can the provinces."

The Senate committee is due to report back to Federal Parliament in September.

Via the Oz:

Quote:Satellite system hailed for safety

[Image: 5bf22e88b01983aaff4a57e693a26d37]12:00amANNABEL HEPWORTH

Used throughout the world, the SBAS satellite system is essential for Australia, argues the Regional Aviation Association.


Satellite-based augmentation system backed by aviation group


Regional airlines have ramped up their push for the adoption of satellite positioning technology already used in the US, Russia, India, Japan and many parts of Europe.

The Australian can reveal that the Regional Aviation Association of Australia has thrown its support behind a position paper produced by the Australian Airline Pilots’ Association that argues the benefits of a satellite-based augmentation system.

The paper makes a safety case for an SBAS service in Australia and says there are operational benefits including certain aircraft being able to land at regional and remote airports in poor weather instead of having to divert to an alternate airport.

An SBAS can allow highly accurate approaches to airports.

Regional Aviation Association of Australia chief Mike Higgins said an SBAS “in its simplest terms provides a significant safety case for the aviation industry”.

“The ability to provide operators the technology to facilitate more accurate and precise runway approaches, particularly at regional and remote aerodromes, ensures operators such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service can continue to provide a reliable and critical community service,” Mr Higgins said.

“The SBAS technology removes the necessity of expensive installation and maintenance of ground-based infrastructure that is not currently available at many regional and remote airports across the country.”

The push comes as the government has invested $12 million in a two-year trial of an SBAS that will test the potential of the technology in aviation, as well as for other industry sectors. The New Zealand government has contributed $2m to the project.

Airservices Australia is testing the technology in the aviation sector as part of the trial project. On Monday, officials from Airservices Australia and Geoscience Australia will be involved in a display of SBAS technology.

Starting in coming weeks, there will be tests of approach procedures us­ing an SBAS at Canberra, Wagga Wagga, Benalla and Mount Hotham to prove its accur­acy.

Mr Higgins said his outfit supported the SBAS trial “and ongoing government commitment to the program”.

A spokesman for Infrastructure and Transport Minister Michael McCormack said an SBAS had “the potential to transform air transport in remote and regional Australia”.

Australian and International Pilots Association vice-president and safety and technical director Shane Loney said the objective of the position paper was “to encourage government to recognise the safety and financial benefits of satellite-based systems and to encourage and to look at funding for a continuous satellite-based service”.

The position paper noted that the International Civil Aviation Organisation backed the adoption of vertically guided approaches as a way to prevent controlled flight into terrain.

Technology to provide vertical guidance is via GPS with an SBAS or through barometric vertical navigation (Baro-VNAV) avionics in aerodromes with barometric pressure readings and temperature available.

An SBAS works by essentially enriching and correcting positioning signals transmitted by existing constellations of satellites such as the US Air Force-operated global positioning system.

“The amount of infrastructure that’s got to sit on the ground is very limited … this is one of the things that makes it really appealing,” Airservices executive general manager for air navigation ser­vices Stephen Angus said.

Australia has rolled out Baro-VNAV procedures at some airports, where they can be used by certain airframes and operators.

Most domestic and regional regular public transport aircraft are fitted with the avionics for Baro-VNAV approaches, but some aircraft in the general aviation fleet are not fitted or are not capable of it.

The AusALPA paper argues that an SBAS will provide “a safer and more operational efficiency for a considerable number of aircraft”, including smaller regular public transport aircraft and charter and general aviation aircraft.

A 2011 report into the SBAS, produced after the 2009 aviation policy white paper, supported the greater use of approach with vertical guidance but concluded that Baro-VNAV was more affordable.

"I'm confident that you will see concrete proposals for this committee that local residents will be able to identify with and see that their effort in turning up and giving evidence was worthwhile,"  - Dodgy  Hmm...hate to burst the bubble of Senator Chisolm but unfortunately the track record of this Senate Committee achieving any real reform, in matters aviation, is abysmal - reference this post off the SBG thread: The invisible DPM & changing the Act cont/-


MTF...P2 Cool
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DIRTY WATER FOR BUNDABERG RESIDENTS
There you go Minister McDo’nothing and Electric Blue, another day and another water source contaminated with PFAS.
As reported by the GayBC;

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-13...fmredir=sm

Tick Tock
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Glimpse into the future under a Shorten led Labor government -  Confused

Unless something really drastic happens, in the current paralysed and mediocre world of Oz politics, we could be looking down the barrel of another minority Federal government for at least one parliament.

Under a Shorten led Labor government,  in order for there to be effective passage of legislation through the Senate, this will inevitably mean there will need to be yet another unholy alliance with the Greens.

From past experience we all know that this will mean from time to time a Labor government will have to compromise on some of the more wacky Green legislative agenda items.

Although it has (I believe) very little chance of getting up, there is currently a Greens backed private members amendment bill before the Senate RRAT committee for inquiry - Information about the bill - that I believe would have the potential (under a Shorten government) of putting the final stake through the heart of the GA industry... Confused     

Here is the Senator Rice 2nd reading speech with the introduction of that bill:  

Quote:Senator RICE (Victoria) (16:04): I move:
That this bill be now read a second time.

I seek leave to table an explanatory memorandum relating to the bill.

Leave granted.

Senator RICE: I table an explanatory memorandum and I seek leave to have the second reading speech incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.
The speech read as follows—

I introduce this bill to the Senate in response to community voices across Australia who seek to protect the liveability of their neighbourhoods from the detrimental effects of aircraft noise.

In my work on transport issues in this place, I have heard from a range of communities living both near airports and also further away under flight paths, who are experiencing significant aircraft noise which is impacting their quality of life.

In their efforts to gain action in response to problematic aircraft noise, community members and groups have raised with me their frustration at the lack of clarity when it comes to which authority (or authorities) is responsible for response and action.

The rules that govern flight paths and community consultation are written for businesses and operators, not for the communities that live with aircraft noise every day.

Communities currently have very limited recourse beyond seeking voluntary agreements with aircraft operators known as 'Fly Neighbourly Agreements', which have proven effective in some, but not all, situations.

This bill reflects a similar piece of legislation introduced to the other place by the Member for Melbourne, in response to issues his constituents have faced over many years with concentrated aircraft noise over residential areas.

As the Member for Melbourne noted when introducing that bill, his constituents had attempted to work within the current law over a long period to seek responses and action to resolve the significant disruptions to their amenity.

This bill echoes some specific provisions of the bill introduced in the other place, that are included in response to the particular issues faced by residents of Melbourne in my home state, who reside in areas which are particularly affected by the noise arising from acute circumstances of high intensity flights of small aircraft in uncontrolled airspace.

I have regularly raised a range of noise and amenity issues in Senate Estimates to attempt to get answers on how issues can be resolved and how communities can secure meaningful responses to their concerns.

What is clear is that we need legislative change to clarify responsibility and affirm meaningful community consultation and involvement in the processes that lead to aircraft noise impacts on residents.

In introducing this bill, I seek to clarify the responsibilities of federal agencies so that when it comes to aircraft noise, communities have a voice.

This bill amends the Air Services Act 1995 to do a number of things. It will include in the functions of Airservices Australia (AA), the protection of community amenity and residential areas from the effects of the operation and use of aircraft.

It will also require AA to consult and cooperate with communities when modifying or creating flight paths.

It will require AA to provide a mechanism for complaints during the consultation process and require that AA publish details of consultations.

The bill also provides for the establishment of an independent Aircraft Noise Ombudsman; to receive, examine, resolve and report on complaints and issues that arise from flight paths and aircraft noise related matters.

The bill also amends the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 to require the minister to appoint a Community Aviation Advocate when changes in the management of aircraft noise or airspace have, or would be likely to have, a significant impact on the human or natural environment, community amenity or residential areas.

As was noted by the member for Melbourne when introducing his similar bill, this bill includes several aspects of a previous private member's bill, introduced to the other place in 2011 by the then Member for Pearce, the Hon. Judi Moylan MP. I also want to acknowledge the former member for her work.

I also acknowledge that other senators have raised aircraft noise and amenity matters on behalf of their constituencies during Estimates and in other fora. I seek their support, and the support of the Senate, for this bill.

Senator RICE: I seek leave to continue my remarks later.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.
      
Quote from the explanatory memorandum:
Quote:AIR SERVICES AMENDMENT BILL 2018
 
OUTLINE
 
The Air Services Amendment Bill 2018 is being introduced to create greater protections for communities affected by aircraft noise.
 
Communities affected by aircraft noise or changed flight paths above residential areas currently enjoy limited recourse beyond seeking voluntary agreements with aircraft operators known as ‘Fly Neighbourly Agreements’. Legislation is unclear as to the accountability of government agencies to respond to resident concerns.
 
This bill will set clear requirements for consultation and reporting on the part of Airservices Australia (AA). The bill will require AA to minimise impact of aircraft operations on the human and natural environment, community amenity and residential areas. The bill will also ensure that communities affected by aircraft noise are adequately consulted and have stronger representation in these consultations. It will do this by establishing an independent Aircraft Noise Ombudsman and an independent Community Aviation Advocate.
 
Due to the fact that, under the current legislation, Airservices Australia is not responsible for carrying out activities to protect community amenity and residential areas from the effects of aircraft noise, it does not control airspace at low altitudes over many residential areas. As such, in some residential areas, AA is unable to control the impact of low-flying small aircraft. In inner Melbourne, there are now specific and acute circumstances of high intensity flights of small aircraft in uncontrolled airspace. The bill will require Airservices Australia to prepare a plan for management of flight paths and air space in central Melbourne, including by prohibiting flights of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft below 2,000m above sea level within 5km of central Melbourne, with clear exemptions in the public interest for emergency services, hospitals, defence, and other like aircraft.
 
FINANCIAL IMPACT
 
The bill will have no financial impact.


"..The bill will have no financial impact..."  - UDB!! Dodgy

The clock is ticking:

[Image: Gereral-Aviation-tombstone-1903.jpg]

MTF...P2 Cool
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A GLASS OF PFAS A DAY KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY!

“PFAS chemicals not linked to disease but health effects 'cannot be ruled out', expert panel finds”.

Well there you have it friends, the RAAF and Electric Blue are off the hook. Skull that PFAS contaminated ground water cos it has no bad side effects. How convenient that our illustrious government appointed panel of experts have come to that conclusion. You bunch of Asswipes. Let’s just hope the public never see the toxic crap buried beneath Bankstown airport!!!

As Judge Judy would say; BALONEY!


http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-07...fmredir=sm
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Folks,

From The Australian today.
 
Another example of Can’tberra operating with it usual efficiency, all in an atmosphere of genuine cooperation and goodwill, with the best interests of the, in this case, the travelling public and the taxpayers of Australia, at heart.
 
Or, in other words, another SeaSprite/ CASA Regulatory Reform program/ Energy Policy/ Climate Policy/ subject of choice.
 
Along with GNP, GDP and all the other measures, we need a new benchmark index: GNS --- Gross National Stupidity.
 
Cheers - BRB Founding member.


Quote:The Australian

·       12:00AM May 9, 2018


[Image: ean_higgins.png]
·       [img] https://media.theaustralian.com.au/autho...iggins.png[/img]



Sydney

@EanHiggins

Airservices Australia will hit Top End regional air service operators with higher charges to subsidise the cost of hosting military air-traffic controllers in Brisbane to guide pilots flying into Darwin and Townsville.

The bizarre measure was part of a desperate bid by government-owned Airservices, which runs civilian air-traffic control, to keep Defence from dropping out of the troubled $1.5 billion OneSKY project to integrate the civilian and military airspace management systems with state-of-the-art technology by 2025.

Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick said Airservices would likely be grilled on the price increase when its officers next come before Senate estimates, including whether it breaches competition law about cross-subsidisation.

As revealed by The Australian last week, documents obtained by Senator Patrick under Freedom of Information law show last year Defence threatened to put no more money into OneSKY until it was convinced it was still affordable, something military chiefs doubted.

A massive blow-out in costs of the project, which has suffered a series of budget over-runs, disagreements, delays and questions about probity meant Defence could no longer get all the original benefits from OneSKY that had been agreed under the original deal with Airservices.

To keep Defence’s contribution to the budgeted $521 million, Airservices chief executive Jason Harfield proposed a series of “down-scoping” measures worth up to $250m.

These included not installing OneSKY approach services in Darwin and Townsville for military air-traffic controllers who now direct both civilian and ­military traffic at those airports, contrary to what had originally been agreed.

Rather, the Darwin and Townsville approach services would be “consolidated” in Brisbane, Mr Harfield proposed, and Airservices would host military controllers in its Brisbane centre for that purpose. Defence recoiled from the proposal, and Mr Harfield offered a sweetener: free office accommodation.

In September, he wrote to Chief of Air Force Gavin Davies: “I would like to reassure you that Airservices will provide, at no cost to Defence, the facility and equipment necessary in Brisbane.”

Eventually, Defence buckled and agreed to the consolidation to keep to the $521m budget, but subsequently, the federal government nonetheless agreed to give a further $243m to Defence for its side of the project, amounting to a half-billion-dollar loss of value for taxpayers.

Airservices funds its budget by charges on the aviation industry, and in the letter to Air Marshal Davies, Mr Harfield wrote: “We would intend to recover these costs (of hosting military controllers in Brisbane) by extending our existing charging regime at Darwin and Townsville for civilian aircraft.”

Senator Patrick said: “This somewhat flippant remark from the head of Airservices is very disturbing and indicates the organisation is out of touch with community expectation.”

Airservices spokesman Tim de Raadt refused to answer questions about the price-hike plans, including how much extra Airservices would charge air operators, whether the industry had been told, how the organisation justified charging the private air sector more, and whether it was sure this did not raise competition law.
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But but but Goldman Sachs Turnbull is spending hundreds of billions of our money on foreign aid, on hydro schemes, on military hardware and on troops and bombs overseas, so why can’t Electric Blue have a few million more? C’mon Malcolm, add to our national debt mate, it’s only printed money...dickheads
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The OneSky Great White Elephant emerges from the clouds Confused

[Image: white-elephant-in-the-sky2.jpg?w=800]


Via the Oz:

Quote:OneSky deal: Defence ‘pays more to get less’


[Image: 580ee70a608bc3186a7e024b4fe19edb?width=650]
The joint OneSKY project was saved only when Defence yielded to down-scoping it had previously rejected. Picture: Alex Coppel.
  • The Australian

  • 12:00AM May 7, 2018
  • [size=undefined]3[/size]EAN HIGGINS
  • [size=undefined][Image: ean_higgins.png]
    Reporter
    Sydney
    @EanHiggins
    [img=0x0]https://i1.wp.com/pixel.tcog.cp1.news.com.au/track/component/author/0573acb566bb47c45e64e4c55a998aba/?esi=true&t_product=the-australian&t_template=s3/austemp-article_common/vertical/author/widget&td_bio=false[/img]
    [/size]

The $1.5 billion plan to integrate Australia’s military and civilian air traffic control and navigation systems nearly fell over when Defence refused to accept massive downgradings of the services the RAAF was to receive to keep its fin­ancial contribution within budget.

The joint OneSky project was saved only when Defence yielded to down-scoping it had previously rejected, including abandoning the original agreement with Airservices Australia to introduce new approach systems for Darwin and Townsville. Rather than have Defence air traffic controllers guide approaches to those two airfields with new OneSky technology installed at each of them, pilots will now be talked down by controllers in Brisbane.

While the scope of the equipment and services Defence will get out of OneSky will be sharply cut by up to $250 million, the total cost of Defence’s contribution has nonetheless blown out from $521m to $764m.

As late as February 18, documents released under Freedom of Information show Defence and Airservices Australia were in fierce disagreement.

That afternoon, one of Airservices Australia’s point men on OneSky, Paul Logan, wrote to Rear Admiral Anthony Dalton at Defence saying Airservices had “rejected the changes that are unacceptable” and it was necessary to consider whether “we need to meet tonight to determine whether this sidelines the agreement”.

Government-owned but aviation industry-funded Airservices runs the country’s civilian air traffic control and navigation system, which is separate from the RAAF’s systems.

OneSky, scheduled for introduction by 2025, is designed to integrate them with new state of the art technology.

The documents show testy exchanges, with one of Defence’s senior officers on the project, Group Captain Richard Haines, in August telling Airservices that Defence would not put any more money into OneSky unless convinced it was affordable which, he said, he did not think likely.

In another exchange, Captain Haines said one of Airservices’s down-scoping proposals was “completely at odds with the undertaking that Paul Logan has given”.

Six weeks after he first proposed the cuts, in November Airservices chief executive Jason Harfield wrote to Chief of Air Force Gavin Davies acknowledging that Defence “does not support the consolidation of Darwin and Townsville approach services into Airservices’ Brisbane facility”.

Mr Harfield warned Air Marshal Davies that without those cuts, “our assessment is that the remaining cost reductions will not achieve this outcome”, being to keep Defence’s contribution to its budgeted $521m.

A Defence spokesman yesterday said “consolidation of these approach services ensures the Defence component of the (One­Sky) project remains affordable, without compromising the integrity or safety of Defence air traffic services”.

The FOI documents were obtained by Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick, who said they showed the government was going to “get less for more”.

“Defence seems, on the evidence, to have paid $243m more for up to $250m less equipment,” Senator Patrick said.

“This equates to a half-billion dollar shift in price from the original program costs.

“We see government cutting health, education and aged-care spending, which is under intense scrutiny in the Senate, but Defence can wipe a quarter of a billion dollars from taxpayers’ ledger in the secret stroke of a pen.

“They were not forthcoming with this information under questioning at estimates — indeed they misled through omission.”

Despite leaks coming out of Defence and Airservices that the project was not going well, Mr Harfield repeatedly told senators, and The Australian, that the project was going to plan.

An Australian National Audit Office report in February found OneSky was running more than two years behind schedule, saying “delivery of (OneSky) may be impacted by dependent Airservices and Defence organisational in­efficiencies, driven by divergent goals, or lack of oversight and control”.

An Airservices spokeswoman said the organisation had been “completely transparent”.

And today also from 'that man' Higgins, via the Oz: 

Quote:Regionals to subsidise Defence bill

[Image: b207ed198b8eb8806a8cff80dca57fa6]EAN HIGGINS
Airservices Australia will hit regional air service operators to help subsidise the cost of hosting military air traffic controllers.


Regional airlines to subsidise Defence bill

Airservices Australia will hit Top End regional air service operators with higher charges to subsidise the cost of hosting military air-traffic controllers in Brisbane to guide pilots flying into Darwin and Townsville.

The bizarre measure was part of a desperate bid by government-owned Airservices, which runs civilian air-traffic control, to keep Defence from dropping out of the troubled $1.5 billion OneSKY project to integrate the civilian and military airspace management systems with state-of-the-art technology by 2025.

Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick said Airservices would likely be grilled on the price increase when its officers next come before Senate estimates, including whether it breaches competition law about cross-subsidisation.

As revealed by The Australian last week, documents obtained by Senator Patrick under Freedom of Information law show last year Defence threatened to put no more money into OneSKY until it was convinced it was still affordable, something military chiefs doubted.

A massive blow-out in costs of the project, which has suffered a series of budget over-runs, disagreements, delays and questions about probity meant Defence could no longer get all the original benefits from OneSKY that had been agreed under the original deal with Airservices.

To keep Defence’s contribution to the budgeted $521 million, Airservices chief executive Jason Harfield proposed a series of “down-scoping” measures worth up to $250m.

These included not installing OneSKY approach services in Darwin and Townsville for military air-traffic controllers who now direct both civilian and ­military traffic at those airports, contrary to what had originally been agreed.

Rather, the Darwin and Townsville approach services would be “consolidated” in Brisbane, Mr Harfield proposed, and Airservices would host military controllers in its Brisbane centre for that purpose. Defence recoiled from the proposal, and Mr Harfield offered a sweetener: free office accommodation.

In September, he wrote to Chief of Air Force Gavin Davies: “I would like to reassure you that Airservices will provide, at no cost to Defence, the facility and equipment necessary in Brisbane.”

Eventually, Defence buckled and agreed to the consolidation to keep to the $521m budget, but subsequently, the federal government nonetheless agreed to give a further $243m to Defence for its side of the project, amounting to a half-billion-dollar loss of value for taxpayers.

Airservices funds its budget by charges on the aviation industry, and in the letter to Air Marshal Davies, Mr Harfield wrote: “We would intend to recover these costs (of hosting military controllers in Brisbane) by extending our existing charging regime at Darwin and Townsville for civilian aircraft.”

Senator Patrick said: “This somewhat flippant remark from the head of Airservices is very disturbing and indicates the organisation is out of touch with community expectation.”

Airservices spokesman Tim de Raadt refused to answer questions about the price-hike plans, including how much extra Airservices would charge air operators, whether the industry had been told, how the organisation justified charging the private air sector more, and whether it was sure this did not raise competition law issues.

Hmm...no comment -  Dodgy


MTF...P2  Cool
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P2 – “Hmm...no comment –“

Well I have one. That Senate committee has just spent a short while (and a great deal of public money) poncing about in FNQ; listening to real folk who really suffer from the tyranny of distance. Those who must  rely heavily on ‘air services’ and would, very much like to have affordable air services. The country folk, who live, work, spend and vote in FNQ will really love having their hopes dashed, particularly when they have gone to the trouble and expense of ‘talking’ to the very politicians who can stop the One Pie in the Sky project, but won’t, or will  find plausible excuses to avoid saying they can’t; which neatly disguises the true fact that they dare not. Who needs ‘em. Just boycott the airlines for a year – watch the changes happen then, quick smart.

Oh, my comment – Committees -  they’re bloody useless, an ineffective and expensive waste of time, money and energy.

Nah - sit still - I’ll get ‘em in – I need some fresh air.
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MATCH FIT OR MATCH SHIT?

Shock horror, Electric Blue’s white elephant has blown the budget by a quarter of a billion dollars and the ‘game’ isn’t finished yet. Oh well, I do recall some people advising that other useless piece of crap Houstoblame and the Government that Electic Blue was all piss and wind. It would seem the chickenshit has come home to roost. I mean let’s face it; only a Government could own and manage a monopoly business and totally fuck it up. So am I surprised? Nah, not really.

“Australian Government; another day, another clusterfuck”.
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Meanwhile; back at the Carnival.

I reckon Old mate Rex and the tax paying, voting, air travelling public are about to get a lesson on ‘the way things are’. They are about to discover just how little power they have and enter the realms of aviation frustration.

Sen. Gallacher and a couple of others have been smelling the rot growing for a while now and trying to get to the bottom of this colossal scam. The clown in the electric blue suit is only the ‘barker’, a tout; or a pimp (if you prefer) brainless, verbose, disingenuous, stuffed full of his own sense of worth. The sort who would, in less PC days, have been standing out the front of the tent which housed the Elephant man and the bearded lady copulating, flogging the tickets and touting the ‘entertainment’. But, he don’t own the circus; no Sir.

[Image: article-2185060-146E5EF6000005DC-1000_964x865.jpg]

That is owned and managed by others, who wouldn’t be seen dead attending their nasty little money making side show and take great pains to ensure they cannot be directly connected. Even a good, strong, well informed Senate committee couldn’t lay a glove on ‘em – even if it wanted to; which seems, on past form, unlikely.

The Senate committee have repeatedly proven, beyond a reasonable mans doubt, that they are essentially useless. Huff, Puff and theatre; but when the chips are down and important things, particularly things related aviation need to be changed – they get rolled by the agencies – every time – and they keep falling for it. What we would save by-passing the committee’s would just about pay for the inevitable One-Sky scam and probably leave enough change to buy the Harbour bridge (again).  

Thank you – keep the change.

It’s about time the airlines weighed in to this One Big Pie debacle. It is going to cost a bomb and, for this class of money, they would be entitled to demand guaranteed time savings and iron clad reduction of delay; to a standard which would support litigation.  Of course if that happened, ASA would simply guarantee to not exceed the promulgated ‘holding’ or slot times; then expand it to one hour holding and a 30 minutes either side of a slot – same service for a lot more money. Of course the dear old travelling public will still get shovelled into smaller seats, longer queues and even more degrading security (at a cost) and have to stump up the same inflated fare – or; fee for service if you will. For they most certainly are getting a jolly good ‘servicing’.

Toot - toot.
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Update - Via 'that man':

Quote:Anger at Airservices charges
[Image: 56e8b9c45e88b6d16e07914a6101b93b]12:00amEAN HIGGINS
The commercial aviation industry has expressed outrage over the latest cost blowout in the OneSKY project. 


The commercial aviation industry has expressed outrage that Airservices Australia will be “extending” charges on operators flying to Darwin and Townsville to fund a deal it has struck to keep Defence in the troubled OneSKY air traffic control project.

Questions have been raised about whether the move complies with competition law, after confidential documents showed Airservices chief executive Jason Harfield warned that a new agreement with Defence would have to satisfy the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission that “the allocation of costs does not include any form of cross subsidisation”.

As revealed by The Australian this week, documents obtained by Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick under Freedom of Information laws show Defence considered pulling out of the $1.5 billion OneSKY project, which seeks to integrate the civilian and military air traffic control systems into a new, state-of-the-art network by 2025.

Delays and cost blowouts led to arguments between the two government organisations.

When Defence insisted Airservices keep its commitment that Defence would pay no more than its budgeted $521 million share, Mr Harfield proposed a range of down-scoping measures to cut $250m out of the military side of the project.

This included abandoning the original plan to install OneSKY technology at Darwin and Townsville, airports where RAAF air traffic controllers provide approach services for both civilian and military traffic.

Instead, Mr Harfield proposed the military controllers would be “consolidated” at Airservices’ facility in Brisbane, to guide down pilots into Darwin and Townsville from there.

Defence initially rejected the plan, but reluctantly agreed after a warning from Mr Harfield that without that measure, the Defence budget for the project would have to rise.

To make it more palatable, Mr Harfield said they would be hosted in Airservices’ Brisbane air traffic facility at no cost.

In September, he wrote to Chief of Air Force Gavin Davies: “I would like to reassure you that Airservices will provide, at no cost to Defence, the facility and equipment necessary in Brisbane.

“We would intend to recover these costs by extending our existing charging regime at Darwin and Townsville for civilian aircraft.”

Mr Harfield told The Australian “there will be no increase in charges to customers to deliver OneSKY”.

“The consolidation of Darwin and Townsville approach services to Brisbane saves the Australian taxpayer while not impacting on Defence service provision and capability,” Mr Harfield said. “In fact, this option aligns Darwin and Townsville approach service provision with Airservices and Defence broader practice of remotely providing approach services.”

Mr Harfield pointed to Airservices’ recent consolidation of its Cairns and Adelaide approach services to Brisbane and Melbourne respectively.

But Mr Harfield did not explain what “extending our existing charging regime” at Darwin and Townsville meant, and this question to Airservices spokeswoman Leah Slattery went unanswered.

Senator Patrick said “high airfares are having a devastating effect on attracting and retaining people in these communities”.

The executive director of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Benjamin Morgan, warned: “It can’t be seen as reasonable that commercial operators are going to have to pay more in charges just because Defence doesn’t want to put its hand in its pocket.”

In a letter to Defence in August about renegotiating the OneSKY deal, Mr Harfield said “we must satisfy ourselves and … the ACCC, that the allocation of costs does not include any form of cross-subsidisation”.


MTF...P2  Cool
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ELECTRIC BLUE - THE AVIATION GRINCH

Ultimately the Australian taxpayer and fare paying public will pay (financially) for this foolishness.

Ultimately Australian Regional locations and local businesses will suffer for this foolishness.

As for Defence having a whinge, well when they (the Guv’mint) spend hundreds of billions each year fighting in wars that aren’t ours, funded by taxpayer dollars, they can hardly moan about Electric Blues proposal.

Qantas and Virgin will have their standard sook, big deal, the additional costs will be lumped onto the passengers (us). The grubs already gouge regional areas so they will just gouge those areas a little more. There will, as always, only be one loser, us. Life will go on, Politicians will still fly for free in business class, Electric Blue and his giant buccular will still receive his disgusting annual bonus, and Australia’s demise into a third world aviation cluaterf#ck will continue unabated..

TICK TOCK MOST DEFINITELY
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On the A4ANZ cartel & Harfwit's buccular -  Rolleyes

GD: "..Qantas and Virgin will have their standard sook, big deal, the additional costs will be lumped onto the passengers (us). The grubs already gouge regional areas so they will just gouge those areas a little more. There will, as always, only be one loser, us..." 

But Gobbles the Red Rat is just so charitable to us country folk - just look at what QF contributed to regional economies in the last financial year... Dodgy 

Via the Oz:


Quote:Qantas operations delivered $5bn to regional economy

Qantas’s operations delivered more than $5 billion to the economy in regional Australia in the last financial year, according to a report.

The report comes as the cost of regional airfares has become a political issue, with outback residents airing their frustration at a Senate ­inquiry.

The report, which Qantas commissioned from Deloitte ­Access Economics, finds that $3.7bn in value was added from tourism spending in the regions. This in turn supported 36,000 jobs. Spending by tourists carried by the Qantas group airlines added $1.7bn in value to regional Queensland and $630 million in Western Australia.

The report estimates that the group makes $884m in direct contributions to the economy from the regional operations of the Qantas Group.

On top of this, there was more than $706m in indirect contributions to suppliers in the bush.

QantasLink chief executive John Gissing said that each year the carrier worked with more than 1200 suppliers from around the country “for everything from sourcing fresh barramundi on the north coast of WA, beef from country NSW or having our aircraft painted by a family-owned business in Townsville”.

The research also shows that Qantas directly provided 1034 jobs in regional Australia in roles such as cabin crew and pilots. ­Indirectly, it supports an extra 4599 jobs through areas such as catering.

Mr Gissing has recently been quoted in Qantas advertisements that have appeared in Mount Isa and Cloncurry, as well as Longreach, explaining the drivers ­behind airfares in the bush and ­acknowledging “frustration that the fares you pay are often higher than fares between capital cities”.

“Some of our regional routes actually run at a loss,” the ad says.

“Others are close to break-even. Busy flights and higher last-minute fares do not equal super profits.”

The carrier says in the ad that it has suspended its most expensive fares in key regional markets.

Here is the QF bollocks AD which was tabled at the Senate Inquiry public hearing at Cloncurry:

[Image: pdf.png]
Qantas advertisement, ‘Mount Isa and Cloncurry, we are listening’, tabled by the Cloncurry Shire Council at a public hearing in Cloncurry, Queensland on 12 April 2018.



Quote:[Image: QF-bollocks.jpg]

 As a counterpoint to that I notice that finally the Hamish Griffin essay exhibit has also been tabled -  Rolleyes :

Quote:[Image: pdf.png] Additional information provided by Mr Hamish Griffin. Examples of fares and other information.

A4ANZ

Mr Robbie Katter; State Member for Traeger made mention in his submission to the Senate enquiry that on the 9th March 2017 airlines in Australia and New Zealand announced the formation of a lobby group they say was formed to fight infrastructure constraints, high taxes and other matters of aviation policy (called A4ANZ) .

This group includes Regional Express (Rex), Qantas and Virgin Australia - the 3 airlines that service the Mount Isa Routes. It also includes Air New Zealand who have recently
announced a severing of their code sharing partnership with Virgin for what one would
assume is because of irregularities in air fare profit sharing which I will demonstrate lat er.

Former Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chairman Graeme
Samuel wasnamed asthe inaugural chair ofA4ANZ.

Mr Katter goes on to say that given that there appears to be a lack of competition in
regional areas that are serviced by members of A4ANZ it would be prudent for the inquiry to make comment on whether it believes the existence of the group increases the risk of anticompetitive behaviour in regional Australian markets. Additionally, it is recommended that the group's activities are reviewed as part of a broader investigation into airline conduct in regional markets...

...Examples fares and ridiculousness Comparisons

A4ANZ stated in their submission to this enquiry, that publicly available data collected by
the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities demonstrate that
domestic airfare prices are in fact lower, in real terms, than a decade ago. Despite this,
airlines have been accused of "ripping off" consumers living in regional, rural and remote
communities in Australia, with no evidence to support this proposition.

...Landing fees

A4ANZ stated in their Submission, Airport charges represent a significant proportion of
airfares - particularly on regional and rural routes. In some cases the charges add more than 30% to the base ticket price. Indeed, one of biggest roadblocks to the airlines' ability to introduce new and grow existing routes is high airport charges. In stark contrast to the reducing airfares offered by domestic airlines, Australian airports are now collecting more revenue per passenger and generating significantly higher profits than their international benchmarks. And whilst they may not be as profitable as the major airports, the majority of the most expensive airports in Australia are in northern regional Australia. In some ports, the costs are more than five times those of the major airports in southern states Cloncurry Shire Council in an act of transparency clearly demonstrated in their submission that Council has subsidised fees to encourage airlines to offer lower prices for our residents but we are yet to see any benefits to the consumer.

Landing taxes levied by Cloncurry Shire Council equate to less than 5% of the fare. What
airlines often fail to acknowledge is that every cent collected at Cloncurry Airport through
these fees is injected back into the local community to offset the lack of royalties and
government assistance being provided to an area that produces a significant amount of
wealth for the nation...

...Cabotage

A4ANZ in their Submission to this enquiry on behalf of their members states that in two
recent parliamentary inquires, the Western Australian Government's Inquiry into Regional Airfares in Western Australia and the Federal Government's Inquiry into Opportunities for and Methods for Stimulating the Tourism Industry in Northern Australia, Committee members raised the concept of allowing foreign airlines to operate domestic routes - or Cabotage - as a potential means for increasing competition and improving pricing on regional routes in Australia. However, there is no business case for making changes to the current cabotage restrictions and no international precedent for doing so. However at the time of writing this, I have once again checked Air New Zealand's booking website and found a on way flight from Cloncurry to Christchurch for $568 and the same flight on the Virgin web site for $1000.71. Virgin and Air NZ code share the same flights.

And yet A4ANZ still maintain in their submission that Productivity Commission research has shown that allowing international entrants to operate domestic routes would be unlikely to lead to efficiency gains. Moreover, the results of lifting the restrictions in terms of the impact on Australia's aviation network have been outlined previously and would be widespread, with negative effects on investment, employment and safety standards.

Furthermore, A4ANZ's members have cautioned that implementing a varied policy for one region could create the opportunity to expand this to other regions and cause material damage to domestic airlines. A4ANZ would like to reiterate that it is unequivocally opposed to any changes to the current cabotage restrictions in place in Australia. I bet they are!!

Well done HG, the chocfrog is in the mail -  Wink

Unfortunately HG I am not sure you're going to like the answers to your QON and definitely don't hold your breath for the answers. If BO has anything to say about this inquiry it could be a long time before it is completed -  Undecided

Quote:Questions for the committee.
• What power does the federal government have to force the airlines to be fair and equitable and make changes to their pricing structure and the deliverables that they sell and we as customers pay for?
• What outcomes are you hoping for as a result of the enquiry?
• Does the committee believe that some type of governing regulation of air routes would
bring improvement in service and fair pricing?
• Is the committee able to obtain stats on the number of complaints received by the ACCC
relating to airline service delivery and/or price gouging?


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VOMITUS EXTREMEUS

Oh what a robust laugh!! Thank you Mr Gissing for your feeble attempt at spinning the fare gouging saga and making sure that your airlines ‘good will and concern for the community’ is backed by a crappy Deloitte paper. Remember John, those ‘reports’ are only as accurate as the information put into them. I myself have had the pleasure of bullshitting to Deloitte’s to get the outcome I had preconceived! And what a report that it was!

What a load of Rat inspired bullshit. Doesn’t explain the $2k return airfares Moranbah/Brisbane/Moranbah John? Didn’t one of your executives say (off the record but was overheard) that ‘Qantas aims to charge top dollar fares to mining communities because Miners can afford to pay the fares’? Interesting summation you arrogant asswipe considering mining towns are normally only half populated by Miners, and the rest of the town is full of elderly, battlers, farmers, small struggling businesses and the sick who need to fly for health care. Plus you offer the oldest and shittiest planes in your fleet and terrible schedules that don’t meet the towns best needs. Oh, and don’t forget you often don’t purchase fuel in those towns and you pay small understaffed ground handlers a handful of sheckles to turn the aircraft around, while you whinge and complain about passenger head taxes and landing fees while pulling in a billion dollar profit you pathetic grub.

P.S As for that pathetically useless, spineless and testicle lacking ACCC, they are about as useful as an enema kit fillled with Turpentine..

‘Safe, profitable and gouged airfares for all’
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Oh, dear, what can the matter be.





I may yet need to reach for the tin hat and Kevlar jacket – hope not – but I think its time to bring a little perspective to the table regarding air fares to ‘remote’ towns and cities. Lets take Mt Isa as a test case. There are aircraft operators there and it’s a big enough place to give a fair spread of the population variants. There is a mine, agriculture and the associated infrastructure required of a large regional town – city, if you insist.

Suppose a few of the big interests got together and decided to kick off their own air services, as a non profit outfit, to service the community needs in a philanthropic manner.

I won’t bore you with the thirty odd spread sheets required to analyse the best service and anyway there is no such animal. Whichever way you cut it up – there is no way a local airline can supply all the people, all the time, with there hearts desire. So from the kick off there must be compromises; commercially democratic ones. For example would your primary service be to Brisbane or Townsville? Pick one or buy two aircraft. That ain’t going please everyone as whichever way you jump, there will be a transfer to a flight to the ultimate destination. Brisbane has a wider selection of direct flights so, lets go there. Ok, so that’s the primary route, now what about a milk run for passengers in the larger towns? That means another aircraft; schedule simple enough – out AM – back PM.

In theory – you’d think a jet for the long haul and a big propeller turbine should do the job nicely. Well it won’t do, not at all, not sensible. Take the jet for example – Isa to Bris every morning, 60% load factor - then back again every evening – financial suicide. Ok so lets up the ante and do Isa, Townsville, Bris, Sydney, you are now entering a world of hurt. The aircraft must have a 60% (ish) load to break even on every sector; Isa – Townsville may be a break even run but once the TL passengers are off – if no one gets on to go the Bris – you’re buggered again and no matter what price you offer a ticket at – the competition is there with more to offer and deeper pockets and an averaged load factor across a network to smooth out the wins (full aircraft) and losses (half full aircraft). By the time you’ve done the maths and explained it to your potential investors, the atmosphere in the board room is grim. If you are brave and determined you will need to field the next line of questions.

So what class of money are we looking at here to get started?
Minimum fare structure to stay in the game?
Direct operating costs?
Operating budgets?

To name but a few of the ever upwardly spirally money numbers needed just to get the game kicked off. All up it is a massive investment, huge, to perhaps break even – with luck.  

Perhaps the philanthropists are determined and waive the massive start up operational costs aside – quite prepared to write that money off. The next question will be along the lines of – “when can we get going?”. If you are honest – you’d perhaps point out the costs and hurdles associated with getting an aircraft into the air – and keeping it there. The direct cost of obtaining Australian Air Operators Certification (AOC) borders on lunacy, maintaining ‘compliance’ with the regulations is truly scary and the attempt to do so can land you in jail – quick as a wink, even if you tread carefully. All of this before the competition gets the ‘irrits’ and simply price you out of the market.

I have a great deal of sympathy with those who dwell in FNQ or indeed any of the remote centres. The commercial realities of air operations, as applied to the cost of providing any air service is a very real number ; the investments significant and outfits, like Qantas, are expected, despite all the problems (challenges; if you must) to make a return on that investment. The big ‘bad’ is that even if the ‘cost of providing service’ was reduced, fares will not become appreciably cheaper, the profits will simply be higher. In the USA and Europe there is competition which keeps fares down a little – but there are a hell of a lot more people there:- 8.77 million in London alone: 8.53 million in New York: 3.97 in LA: 3.5 million in Berlin: Mount Isa - 21 thousand, nine hundred and ninety eight 21, 998 including the town drunk and his dog. When you work out the numbers in terms of how many passengers can I expect on any given day to use my air service, you’ll admit it’s the skinny end of break even, two bad days a month and you’re on the brink of extinction. Even if you doubled that number with itinerant visitors – its still a bleak financial prospect.

They say supply and demand is a key element of a free market, that and competition. Although what folk expect the government to do about that is beyond thinking. Even if the government demanded to know the true cost of the daily services provided to rural and regional destinations they would probably end up providing supplementary money to the airlines – just to keep the service running.

It costs a whole boatload of real money to get an aircraft into the air; perhaps the government could think about doing their bit and reducing the fiscal burden of compliance with ‘the law’ by reforming the rule set to relieve that burden. It is the least they could do; and the best they could do. Will they do it? Unless you can hold your breath for another thirty years don’t bet on them doing it.

My apologies to the purists – and those with axes to grind queuing at the grindstone – but we have just invested enough money in a Senate tour of FNQ to define the air service problems and I, for one, would like to see a return on that investment – soon. Hence my little Monday ramble. Now, where did I leave my knitting?

Toot toot.
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REX treads the light fantastic on regional air route bullshit-itis... Dodgy   

Via the INDAILY:

Quote:ADELAIDE Tuesday May 15, 2018
Govt scrambles for answers after defiant Rex cuts SA flights

The Marshall Government is seeking an urgent explanation from Rex Airlines, the provider of the state’s only air service between Adelaide and Mount Gambier, after its extraordinary move to scale back flights after "unfair" complaints about the service.

[Image: tom-160x160.jpg]Tom Richardson

[Image: 20150828001170988110-original-850x455.jpg]


South-East locals have long griped about scheduling disruptions and high prices for flights to and from Adelaide, with recent submissions to a Senate inquiry into the operation, regulation and funding of air services to rural, regional and remote communities highlighting concerns over delays to medical treatment, including late diagnoses of possibly life-threatening medical conditions.

But Rex responded in extraordinary fashion last night, issuing a lengthy statement to local media outlets highlighting ongoing issues with a “crippling pilot shortage” and defending the monopoly model for regional routes, before declaring: “Given the amount of unfair criticisms levelled at Rex by local officials, Rex has decided to scale back its services between Mt Gambier and Adelaide to better utilise the very scarce resources.”

It said details of the changes “will be announced shortly”.

State Regional Development Minister Tim Whetstone said this morning the statement appeared “odd” and that he was “trying to put a call in to their government relations people to find out exactly what they’re basing this on”.

“I want to know what the justification is to reduce any regional airline service,” he told InDaily.
“If it’s for the sake of spitting the dummy, that’s hardly acceptable.

“I don’t know whether it comes off the back of the Senate inquiry… is it a commercial decision or is it an agenda item that will streamline regional operations? I guess that’s the first thing I’d want to be asking.”

Independent Mount Gambier MP Troy Bell said it was “disappointing Rex have made this decision in the manner that they have”.

Bell’s ongoing differences with Rex saw the airline effectively ban him from all its flights last year with a corporate communications executive writing to him in December in response to a meeting request.

“As you had already taken the prior decision to boycott our services without first finding all the facts from us, we do not believe that a meeting now would be useful under these circumstances,” the email said.

“We have under separate mail written to you to inform you that your desire to boycott the airline has now been registered in our system.”

However, Bell was diplomatic today, as locals fear further cutbacks of air services in and out of the state’s second biggest city.

“I want to work with Rex and their team to look at the issues that are being raised and what avenues we have to address those,” Bell said.

He argued there were ongoing issues over the services’ reliability and price “and I think there are ways we can address that and work with the community”.

“It would be a tragedy for our community if we lost our airline service,” he said.

Federal MP for Barker Tony Pasin said he had “reached out to Regional Express” whose board includes former Nationals MP John Sharp.

“I’m going to go to Sydney and meet with their board in June to talk to them about the predicament our community is in and the need to have improvement in the relationship between the community and the company,” Pasin said.


A submission to the Senate inquiry from the Mount Gambier and District Health Advisory Council and subsequent reporting in local media appear to have instigated the company’s response.
The submission noted ongoing concerns around “the unreliability of flight schedules and the high cost of fares and how these factors contributed to the attraction and retention of staff at Mount Gambier & Districts Health Service”.

“There have been medical doctor staffing problems at MGDHS associated with disruption to flight schedules on a number of occasions with changing of flight times and cancellation of flights to Mount Gambier,” the submission said.

“There has been ongoing discussion for a number of years between local media, politicians, local councils and community members relating to the problems that people have experienced when they have had rescheduling or cancellation of flights from Mt Gambier to Adelaide and Melbourne and the return flights to Mt Gambier.

“It is well known that the price of fares has risen considerably since Rex has been the sole airline servicing the Mt Gambier population.”

The council’s presiding member, Maureen Klintberg, said today the inquiry “gave us the opportunity to note concerns and issues that relate to the provision of health care and outcomes in the region”.

“It’s a disappointing response from the airline,” she said.

Rex’s statement said that “as an airline solely dedicated to the provision of regional air services to 60 ports across all states of Australia, Rex understands that it is never pleasant to have travel plans disrupted”.

“However [the] local Mt Gambier community needs to understand that Mt Gambier cannot be sheltered from a phenomenon that affects all regional ports in Australia… we believe that we have been very unfairly criticised for an outcome that has been caused by the lack of foresight and commitment by both Qantas and Virgin Australia to responsibly manage the pilot demand.

“They simply resort to pillaging the stock of regional pilots whenever they face a crunch and Rex gets the brunt of it as our pilots are one of the best trained.”

The airline said it was “undeniably the best regional carrier in Australia with its network average fare rising by only 1.1 per cent per year over the past 15 years and with its reliability being consistently one of the best – even during challenging periods like what we are experiencing right now”.

“In spite of this, local officials continue to target Rex whenever they feel the need for political grandstanding,” it said.

InDaily has sought further comment from the airline about the exact nature of its threatened service cuts.



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