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Old 27th Oct 2011, 01:34   #1 (permalink)
 
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Fly-in, fly-out culture stretching air traffic

From the ABC's AM:

Quote:
Posted October 27, 2011 11:51:38

The fly-in, fly-out mining culture in Western Australia is being blamed for stretching the capacity of air services, with some routes predicted to double in volume in the next few years.

On any given day in Australia's north-west, airline lounges are full of young men in safety gear making their way to and from their east coast homes to Western Australia's mines.

The resources boom is already blamed for the lack of community spirit in many towns, but now Air Services Australia, which provides air traffic controllers to airports, says it is almost at capacity dealing with the sheer volume of flights.

It says some routes are predicted to double in volume in the next few years.

Air Services Australia chief executive Greg Russell says the explosion of fly-in, fly-out traffic between Perth and the state's north-west is already straining air traffic control systems.

He is calling for mining companies to more evenly spread out their rosters to help deal with the traffic spike on certain days.

"With respect to Perth Airport, the operations there in the mornings on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are all built around the practices of the mining and resource companies," he said.

"What we're asking them to do is if possible can they help us spread that peak by changing some of the start times for their rosters."

"Overnight at Perth Airport at the moment there are 90 aeroplanes that are based and most of them want to leave in that first 90 minutes of the operational morning.

"It's creating, at the moment, long delays."

Mr Russell says the airport should be able to handle the demand if rostering spreads the peak onto more days.

"We're asking [miners] to have a look at this issue because it's creating such a peak in demand in the mornings that can be avoided and long congestion," he said.

"I don't think that's in anyone's interest in terms of the passengers on board the aircraft or in fact the mining and resource companies, or for that matter the airline industry and the charter operators."

Mr Russell says a change in rostering will not only help out Perth airport but all other flights flying into Western Australia's north-west.

"Smoothing that will help us manage the overall air traffic system in Western Australia," he said.

Mr Russell is also calling on airline operators to invest in new technology.

"We need to encourage more of the operators to equip their aircraft with satellite-based equipment, called ADSB," he said.

He says the equipment would allow traffic controllers to see aircraft much more precisely and be able to to handle a rise in air-travel demand.
It's a pity that Greg didn't mention the waste of fuel used in ground and air holding as one of the jusitfications for a re-schedule of mining rosters.

I'm not sure how ADSB would make a big difference to the current situation...
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 01:37   #2 (permalink)
 
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So ATC want the mines to rewrite rosters just to suit them and account for their lack of service delivery. Maybe we should get a decent ATC system/rules/airports. Maybe that might help the issue. And it's not like they haven't seen this coming. WA air traffic growth has been predicted for years, yet noone in power wants to change anything.

Meanwhile Gatwick airport moved double the airport movements of Perth with one runway. Places like Van Nuys, Boston which have old airport setup with close runways etc managed to move 2-3 times the traffic of Perth.

Maybe Greg should own the problem and start solving our aviation infrastructure problems rather then getting on the ABC and telling his customers that they have to change their travel plans that they pay for because his systems aren't good enough.
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 02:19   #3 (permalink)
 
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Just another case of the boringocrats blame shifting

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Old 27th Oct 2011, 02:33   #4 (permalink)
 
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Bloggs said;


I'm not sure how ADSB would make a big difference to the current situation...


Quite alot actually. Radar separation standards are NOWHERE near as prohibitive as Procedural/Non-Radar standards. So in effect you could have 3 times the volume of traffic on a designated route AT THE SAME LEVEL within @ 30 miles of each other, than we currently have. Feeder fix management can be coordinated from departure 800nm from Perth and sequenced much more efficiently.

Requests in Flight Level change could be instantaneous as opposed to waiting for what seems like ages; crossing a/c could be instantaneously separated without the need to coordinate through next sector etc etc. Need I go on.

It would make an enormous difference.

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Old 27th Oct 2011, 02:40   #5 (permalink)
Keg

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Quote:
Meanwhile Gatwick airport moved double the airport movements of Perth with one runway.
The difference is that when aircraft leave Gatwick they're heading to the four points of the compass. When aircraft leave Perth they're generally heading in one. I suspect that it's not runway capacity that is the issue but airspace capacity.
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 02:49   #6 (permalink)
 
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1. It's about the runways stupid.

2. It's about ADSB ground stations placed to ensure full coverage to these fly-in, fly-out sites.

3. It's about an investment in infrastructure that benefits all but is paid for by a few.

4. It's about a mining tax that will go into consolidated revenue to be blown on burning peoples houses down etc rather than building another runway in Perth or siting ADSB stations.

5. It's about buck passing, bitching and moaning about whos' responsibilty it all is, meanwhile Aisle 3 gets on with it (and you should see what they get on with, most of us are too scared to even walk past that aisle )
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 03:42   #7 (permalink)
 
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So, essentially what Greg Russell wants to do is to shift the blame of inadequate planning and expenditure on infrastructure onto the mining companies chartering the aircraft...... Spare me the tears!

FIFO is nothing new... The signs have been there since the late 1980s, and more so in the past ten years.....Why has it taken this long for the penny to drop over there in the oxygen depleted upper echelons of Airservices, and for more pennies to drop from the pockets of WAC and the WA Government?

I would have thought ADSB would have been widespread on the old Perth Sectors by now...God knows they've needed it for a bloody long time. I've only been out of the industry for 12 years and they were talking about implementation pathways then... Why so long to give the controllers and the pilots the tools they need?

Why should mining companies be at fault here? Essentially, any company who changes from a Tuesday or Wednesday morning shift change over is putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage compared to their peers.

<edit>
Making the start times later on the Initial shift won't work, as the first day is generally the handover day between shifts - to give you some idea for a large open pit, think WARRP occurring once a week, and you get some feel on the changes on some pit layouts that need to communicated. The large complex nickel or gold plants aren't any better. The entire shift is generally spent getting up to speed on what has happened in the previous swing and planning for the week ahead, before the previous guy gets on the plane and flies off for R&R.
<end edit>

The race between the mining companies has always been to employ the best people onsite, and changing to a Monday or Friday would be HR suicide for those companies. They are deadly serious about keeping their workers happy and on the payroll at present - those that aren't get their people poached.

By the sounds of it, Greg Russell could take a leaf out of the mining companies books on how to retain people instead of losing them to ANSPs around the world. By the threads seen here and elsewhere, it doesn't sound as if Airservices has been an employer of choice for a while.

Last edited by Gunnadothat; 27th Oct 2011 at 06:15.
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 04:10   #8 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
The difference is that when aircraft leave Gatwick they're heading to the four points of the compass. When aircraft leave Perth they're generally heading in one. I suspect that it's not runway capacity that is the issue but airspace capacity.
Yeah I don't doubt that Perth ATC and airport have its problems, but it's about owning the problem and providing a solution. Australia needs to solve it's aviation infrastructure problems and it has to come from people at the top. If he needs new rules he should get onto it. If he needs bigger airports he needs to sort it out. That what a CEO does. If you get hamstrung by the government or private airport owners you need to put the heat on them.

I can't think of to many industry leaders who would go onto the ABC and say that his customers need to change their entire business setup (which is what a roster rewrite would mean) because we can't be bother to fix our systems or attempt to do anything about it.

Another example of why we need an Australian Aviation Lobby or political party.
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 05:14   #9 (permalink)
 
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so, let me get this straight, there will be more flights from Perth to the mining sites than there is currently between Sydney and Melbourne.. following the logic that the flights will be going the same direction. and because of this, and lack of infrastructure/staff/investment from Airservices, its all the mining companies fault?
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 05:45   #10 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
rather than building another runway in Perth
The original expansion plan for Perth airport went out the window when WAC took over. To make a parallel runway where it was orginally intended you would have to bulldoze the Coles and Woolworth's distribution centres (and others). NOT GOING TO HAPPEN - WAC loves the rent money!
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 06:01   #11 (permalink)
 
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Got it in one, ultralights.... Except for the difference that Mr. Russell is saying it without the question mark at the end, and from the last paragraph in the media blurb that some of the blame is on the aircraft operators for not equipping some of the aircraft accordingly.

Last edited by Gunnadothat; 27th Oct 2011 at 06:29.
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 06:30   #12 (permalink)
 
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And lets not forget that AsA get increased revenue from the increased traffic. They are not without additional resource to do something.
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 07:16   #13 (permalink)
 
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Spin spin spin

And Mr Russell's claim to fame? A government bureaucrat and that is about it. Here is a novel approach. Make the fc#king mining giants pay for it! You got it, the additional airspace management, towers, controllers, technology, ground infrastructure, extensions to sh#t airports like Perth. They (the mining companies) are the ones raping our Australian earth, flogging our assets overseas and paying a minimum cost for the priveledge. Make Gina, Big Clive and any other mining comglomerate fund the lot.
But no, our bureaucrats will dither, they will tax the mining companies disproportionately (not enough) and either make the fuc#king taxpayer kick the tin or simply piss away the mining royalties like they have done for years. They will bend over and grab their ankles for big business as usual. Government is good at extracting money but useles at re-investing it. And the current government made up of inept nupties couldn't manage the sale of pink cupcakes at a church fundrasier let alone have the balls to make the responsible big businesses pay for the infrastructure.

But don't hold your breath, Russell will go public yet again, quoting some bureaucratic wankery like: 'We have employed an extra 2.38 controllers in the western corridor, and 'we have implemented some robust systems to counteract the negative effects of the rapid growth', and 'we are consulting with industry and the affected regions to seek a robust solution', yada yada yada. Spin spin spin.
What is this blokes solution, well he says 'please Mr Mining Company, adjust your rosters'! How funny is that shite, and he gets paid how much of our taxpayer money per year??
Imagine the look on these bureaucrats faces in let's say 2 years time when they wake up from their afternoon slumber (that was induced by another pig out from the overflowing trough) and they realize that Queensland and selected corridor's around its SE, north and west are becoming overcrowded and under resourced infrastructure wise due to mining growth?
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 08:25   #14 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
"Smoothing that will help us manage the overall air traffic system in Western Australia,"
I think this is common-sense, any new contracts should use be "encouraged" to use Friday to Monday for their FIFO days.

Although outside the current funding model, use a small % of the mining taxes to pay for the necessary infrastructure, more ADSB and/or radar sites.

Quote:
you know it makes sense...
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 10:29   #15 (permalink)
 
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While Perth has been the leading airport in this current capacity crisis there is an infrastructure problem. For whatever reasons Federal Governments have decided that Airports, airspace and airlines can operate independently of each other and that market forces will keep them aligned. This is not happening.

For reasons everyone will recognise the three have been tasked with making money for their shareholders (it's the law) while not being able to control the assets they need to control to make their businesses efficient.

The infrastructure distortions that this creates cannot be fixed by CEOs working independently, only by governments creating policy that the CEOs can then work with. At present my opinion is that they have an impossible task.

Imagine a railway system where the stations, the tracks and the trains are all owned by separate corporations and you have the Australian aviation scene.

The station owner cannot build another platform (runway) without consulting with the train owners. The train owners that run the mainline trains do not want to fund a platform that they will rarely use because the Government has allowed everyone and their dog to compete with them cutting their margins to the bone. They are happy with the number of platforms that are already built and in fact have a long term plan with the station owners to increase the number of platforms as capacity rises.

However a group of small train owners want to depart between 7:00 and 7:30 am to meet contracts they signed without any conversations about whether there was an available platform at that time of the morning. Naturally those contracts did not contain clauses about building new platforms, the train owner who did was undercut by those that did not!

Meanwhile the track owner has rules imposed by Government about how the platforms owned by the stations must be utilised which allows the small train owners to occupy platforms built with taxpayers money but leased to the station owners. This is a major problem for the track owner which is exacerbated by the fact that the track owner must also build multiple track loops between the two small stations where the trains can wait until a platform becomes available. (The track owner did ask the rail regulator if they would get all the small train operators to fit as new-fangled device that would allow more trains to use the available tracks, but the rail regulator declined because it would put all of the small train owners out of business. They did however tell all the big train owners that they must fit the new-fangled device, however made it impossible for the track owner to use amongst the small trains)

Naturally all of this is the fault of the track owner?? Give me a break....
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 10:47   #16 (permalink)
 
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Absolutely, Mr. Fairless.

It is a failure of GOVERNMENT.
- they have failed to direct AsA to provide proper resourcing, and would rather that entity provides cash. It's bosses do what they are tasked with.
- they fail to apply the revenues obtained from mining appropriately (already mentioned and done to death- EVERYBODY knows it)
- they fail to make policy (in general) that serves the long term interest of Australians with regard to mining

As far as the thread topic; AsA has been cost-shifting for ages. It's nothing new, it just takes the odd new form. See the point above about effective direction.
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 11:40   #17 (permalink)
 
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Here's the ABC report in full.

AM - Mining fly-in, fly-out culture strains air traffic control 27/10/2011
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 11:47   #18 (permalink)
 
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Baxter, re ADSB:

- the last thing the system ie the runway that gets landed-on, needs is three times the enroute traffic.

- Feeder Fix times may be more "efficient", but given that an aircraft lands at Perth every 2 minutes for 2 hours in peak times, generally after holding, how those aeroplanes get to the FF is irrelevant. ADSB will not make a big change here, apart from perhaps enabling slowups earlier on in the flight, saving a bit of fuel (although the Flow is issuing FF times quite early, eg in the climb, on some occasions).

- I wholeheartedly agree that ADSB will improve fuel efficiency with better level assignments and improve safety reduced radio chatter/congestion; roll on 2013.
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 12:26   #19 (permalink)
 
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I'm sorry, I just can't believe any of this unless it's come directly from Geoffrey Thomas.
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 17:17   #20 (permalink)
 
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I am no fan of WAC but...
Quote:
The original expansion plan for Perth airport went out the window when WAC took over. To make a parallel runway where it was orginally intended you would have to bulldoze the Coles and Woolworth's distribution centres (and others).
is not quite correct. A large area of land has been left for a "short" runway parallel to 21/03. At present it is sealed with cars on it but no buildings as yet.

Quote:
The difference is that when aircraft leave Gatwick they're heading to the four points of the compass. When aircraft leave Perth they're generally heading in one. I suspect that it's not runway capacity that is the issue but airspace capacity.
This is simply not true. Aircraft leave Perth to track out through an arc of about 200 degrees. I think Gatwick would also have about four main departure tracks.

Part of the issue is that 24 is not used for departures in a morning due to noise abatement. So a perfectly useable runway is left mostly idle during the morning departures because a couple of suburbs (South Perth, Como?) might hear an aeroplane.

The fix is turn Pearce into a multi user facility the same as Darwin and Townsville and extend the Midland rail line through Ellenbrook to Pearce. It will never happen.

How far along is Terminal WA now?
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