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Old 11th Dec 2014, 06:03
  #2524 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Go west young man
Posts: 1,732
BRB hypothesis - Mandarin(s) Grand Plan for GA extinction. cont/-

{Note: In reference to the Bar Room Barrister's hypothesis as put fwd in Kharon's post - Two more for the miniscule pot.}

IMO there is much merit in the BRB hypothesis especially in light of some recent events & non-events...

So going along with the hypothesis it is first worth going back in time - to around October 2011 - where with the inspired appointments of McComic and muppet Beaker it appeared the Grand Plan was going along swimmingly...

The combined M&M committed team had just successfully obfuscated - with the aid of aviation hater Albo - one lone & independent Senator's *1 attempt to shine the spotlight on the MOAS and the GWM trough...

*1{NB: With the aid of one old grumpy Laborial but dis-credited Senator..}

M&M would have also thought he had the measure of a certain group of disgruntled IOS members - who were persistently banging on about Archerfield's proposed 2011-31 Master Plan - especially when he had already pencilled in on the dotted line Albo's signature.

Little was he to know that the Archerfield Chamber of Commerce (ACC) Inc. group would continue to persist and that a certain well informed, aviation savvy Senator was about to enter the fray...

So back to the Sup Estimates 2011 which started with Senator Fawcett questioning the Aviation & Airports mob - post #1638.

Next was ASA with DF opening up with this... :
Senator FAWCETT: Gentlemen, I take it Airservices Australia is still responsible for producing aeronautical publications.

Mr Russell: Yes, indeed.

Senator FAWCETT: In the WikiLeaks revelation that the FAA audit highlighted, one of their concerns was that navigation charts produced in Australia were not compliant with international standards. Do you have any comment on that revelation?

Mr Russell: I in particular do not, but my colleagues may. Mr Harfield, do you?

Mr Harfield: There were a number of issues raised in the audit where ICAO came in and had a look. The issue was that the standards that were portrayed were recommended practices. Our order was that we met all the requirements that we had to under the ICAO auspices, and therefore the issues that were brought up were just differences. We have worked through those and we have come to what I would say is a common understanding in ensuring that our practices do meet the ICAO regulations.

Senator FAWCETT: I will ask the same question of CASA later, but it strikes me that a number of things have come to the surface as a result of this ICAO/FAA audit. Do we not have an internal process within Australia where somebody who is knowledgeable but independent audits on a regular basis the product of Airservices?

Mr Harfield: There is an audit function that is carried out by CASA. One of the deficiencies that was found in the ICAO audit was that we do not currently have regulations in place for aeronautical information services and the regulation thereof, but there is a process already underway to establish those regulations.

Senator FAWCETT: What is the timeline for that?

Mr Harfield: You will have to take that up with CASA.

Senator FAWCETT: Even though you are doing it?

Mr Harfield: We are the service provider of the publications. We have input into it but, for the regulatory time frame for the regulations to come into effect, you would have to ask CASA. I am unaware of what the actual time frame is.

Senator FAWCETT: On a slightly different topic, do you still act on behalf of CASA to develop departure approach plates as part of the AIP publications for aircrew?

Mr Harfield: We are certified under CASA regulation part 173 to actually design and produce instrument approaches.

Senator FAWCETT: If there were a building development in a capital city that pushed the floor of the PANS-OPS criteria higher, you would be then required to modify approach plates?

Mr Harfield: If that was an approved variation and the PANS-OPS was varied then we would have to go back and revalidate the instrument approach. The instrument approach would have to then be authorised by not only our chief designer but also CASA. It has to be flight tested and approved but still has to stay within the approved design criteria.

Senator FAWCETT: I am happy for you to take this on notice if you need to, but could you come back to the committee with any situations where you have had to revise your PANS-OPS criteria as a result of urban development or city development in either the Brisbane or Sydney areas in particular, or anywhere in Australia, but particularly those two?

Mr Russell: We will take that on notice. There have been some issues that I would like to make sure we get right.

Senator FAWCETT: Could you expand on that, please, Mr Russell, and tell the committee what those issues have been.

Mr Russell: It is urban encroachment on major airports. I think you are probably pointing this way. In Sydney, for instance, there are a number of high-rises around the airport that fall into this category. There are a number of infrastructure developments close to the airport, again, that fall into this category. If we could have some time to research this properly, we will come back to you on notice if we may.

Mr Harfield: I just want to provide some clarity. What we will do is provide information where there has been a redesign or a variation as a result of a change being put in. We do not have the authority to change PANS-OPS criteria. I just wanted to make that clear.

Senator FAWCETT: Yes, I understand that. With the issues you are working through, Mr Russell, do you feel as though there are appropriate checks and balances in place such that, if a developer does actually put forward a proposal, the operator, CASA and Air Services Australia have opportunity in a transparent way to register their opposition to something which is going to adversely affect the operational capacity of an airport and the requirements of airlines to actually fly steeper gradients during departures or approaches?
Which is where for some strange reason M&M chimed in:
Mr Mrdak: This is an area of growing concern for us, as the department acknowledged before the dinner break. Mr Russell, Mr McCormick and I, as the aviation policy group, which is the CEOs of the aviation agencies, have discussed this issue at length. We have recognised the need to improve the processes involved in judging and advising. Also in relation to the point you raised, to some degree the aviation industry has worked hard to accommodate in the past some of these breaches of services. I think we have reached the point where we believe we can no longer do that. Hence there is some work happening at the moment where we have established a group of officers from our respective departments and agencies which is now working on a much more robust approach to, firstly, identifying potential breaches. As you know there are regulations under the Airports Act which provide for protection of prescribed airspace. How do we better identify those, how do we ensure that local and state governments are aware of it and how do we as the agencies get together much more effectively to make sure that those breaches of the services are no longer accommodated in the way that they have been?

Senator FAWCETT: Do you have a time frame for that work?

Mr Mrdak: Our officers have started talking about this in some detail. I expect that the next couple of months is when we will try and provide a much better approach to how we have handled this to date.

Senator FAWCETT: Do you have any plans for industry involvement so that they can have some input as to how their perspective can be incorporated?

Mr Mrdak: We certainly will. We have not got to that stage as yet. I think the first stage is for our officers to identify exactly what the current processes are and where the weaknesses are. That will then enable us to design a better way to handle this. As Mr Doherty and Mr Stone indicated in the evidence from the department a little earlier, this is an area which we are taking up with a great deal of strength with the states and their planning agencies.

Senator FAWCETT: I am very pleased to hear that. Could you take on notice to provide to the committee how industry will be involved, particularly how feedback around an application is transparent so that, rather than just being told consultation has occurred but not knowing whether all the submissions were positive or negative, industry know whether they are a lone voice or everyone else supported their position but, for some reason, the decision has gone the other way? That would be very useful.

Mr Mrdak: Certainly.
Then back to the subject of airports with CAsA which garnered a rather predictable response from Cromarty (in bold):
Senator FAWCETT: I do not believe that they were necessarily seeking compensation for it but I am happy to take that offline with you. Moving to some separate issues, we have had a number of operators from both Bankstown and Archerfield in particular talk to us about concerns around commercial development on airfields. The secretary and I have had some discussions in previous sessions around the different agencies that are involved in this, and CASA is clearly a key player in this space. The concerns that industry are coming back to us with are that either CASA is not being listened to or CASA is not concerned about some of the developments. Would you care to comment on how you see CASA's role in the current construct and whether you feel that CASA is empowered so that if you do see a safety concern, be it something in the OLS that is affecting operations at an airport or the PANS-OPS criteria more broadly, you have the remit and the authority to say no or if at the moment all you can do is make a recommendation.

Mr McCormick: I appreciate there has been quite a bit of discussion about this already and I will allow the secretary to speak if he wishes. We have heads of power for safety issues. If there is something that affects safety, we do have some ability to do things. We do not have any role to play in the planning environment or the infrastructure environment. Perhaps Mr Mrdak will say a few words on that.

Mr Mrdak: It comes back to my earlier comments. We recognise this is an area where there is a renewed focus by the agencies. The white paper certainly set out the need to safeguard and protect aviation activity. There is a very heightened focus by the government. We are undertaking the master planning process for the leased airports in this area, and we are looking to work much more closely with CASA than we have in the past.

Senator FAWCETT: With respect, Secretary, I am comfortable with your position. I am greatly heartened by it. I am keen to hear from CASA's perspective where they would like to see their position in all of this, because in the safety role you have a key part to play in preserving the efficacy, the efficiency and the safety of particularly our secondary airports.

Mr McCormick: We do take that very seriously. I will ask Peter Cromarty, Executive Manager of Airspace and Aerodrome Regulation, to give you a few more technical points on where we are.

Mr Cromarty: I think the issue boils down to the point that the aerodrome is a piece of infrastructure which is owned by somebody, quite often the local council, and the council has to take a commercial decision between what they consider to be, in relative terms, the benefit of whatever the development is that they want to put on the aerodrome and the benefit of the aviation infrastructure. As far as CASA are concerned, we have very few powers to restrict developments of the nature you are talking about.

Senator FAWCETT: I accept that from a development perspective, but MOS 139 and other regulations point to the fact that the primary concern is the safety and the ongoing utility of the airport as an air operating environment, both the airspace and the surface, to make sure there is continuing access. And the lease that the Commonwealth has signed with airports such as Bankstown and Archerfield, as the two that are in question at the moment, go to the fact that we need to preserve that safe operating environment. What people come back to us with frequently is: 'If CASA has not objected then we are good to go.' What we do not see in the public space is a transparent record of what CASA's position has been. For example, with runway 28R at Archerfield, when people have had concerns about the new corporate hangars and the Warbird hangars, what has CASA's position been? Do you have concerns about the IFR take-offs, the restricted runway length and the potential impact of someone doing an overshoot off the 28 RNAV?

Mr Cromarty: As I understand it, the situation at Archerfield was that the hangar was in a position where it was at the precise point where there was an anomaly between the obstacle limitation surfaces and the PANS-OPS surfaces. Now, when I was watching the committee broadcast earlier, I heard there was some question about the diligence we had put into this. I can assure you we spent a huge amount of time trying to come to a compromise position which would allow the airport to continue to operate as it had done and comply with the regulations that we could comply with. In the end, Airservices and CASA came to a compromise position, a conservative position, which facilitated the airport's operations yet also enabled us to comply as we could with the contradictory requirements of the ICAO standards.

As far as Bankstown is concerned, the withdrawal of a runway, as I said before, is a commercial decision for the airport; and, provided the airport in all considerations complies with MOS part 139, then CASA is satisfied.

Senator FAWCETT: So you are satisfied that there are suitable options for a student pilot flying a Cessna with a 10 knot cross-wind limit to land in adverse wind conditions, in a north-southerly or a northerly wind in the Sydney Basin?

Mr Cromarty: I would say flying ops is not my area. However, having been a flying instructor I would say that it is the instructor's responsibility to make sure that the student can fly in the conditions they are flying in.

Senator FAWCETT: Conditions do vary, so that is not necessarily a fail-safe. Coming back to runway 28 at Archerfield, you talked about that overlap between the two points. It does not take away from the fact, though, that the information that is provided, for example into the en-route sub—because it is only a registered airfield as opposed to a certified airfield—comes from the operator and the description of 150 used in that equation, as opposed to the 180 from my readings of the MOS and the tables in there, particularly 7.1-2, appears to be an error. Yet that appears to be the basis of the take-off requirement. Is there any other circumstance in Australia where the compromise you have referred to of having to keep that obstacle visual during an IFR take-off has been applied, or is that unique to Archerfield?

Mr Cromarty: Not that I am aware of, no.

Senator FAWCETT: So it is unique, it is unusual, but it maybe accounts for the take-off. But what about the overshoot case, where somebody has come off the 28 RNAV, is forced to do an overshoot because of heavy rain and so does not have visual contact with what is now quite a large obstacle that intrudes into the airspace?

Mr Cromarty: May I take that on notice and get the definitive answer for you?

Senator FAWCETT: Please do, but it just highlights the fact that the system of oversight—putting safety ahead of the commercial interest—has broken down and there are operators who are at risk because of that breakdown in the system.

Mr McCormick: I do not think that is correct. I am not sure that that is the case and that we necessarily agree with that.

Senator FAWCETT: I will be happy to see your answer on notice because, as I read the various publications, that is the situation I am led to understand to be the case. That is certainly also the contention of the operating fraternity at Archerfield.

Mr McCormick: If the question on notice has some specificity about what you want addressed, we will certainly get you the answer.

Senator FAWCETT: I will also be placing some questions on notice about the runway and safety area on 28 right about the culvert and the development of the auction site within the public safety area as defined by the Queensland government and the fact that that is not as advertised originally. There are significant obstacles, large plant, in that area.
Finally we have Beaker who also essentially obfuscates responsibility for safety risk mitigation at secondary airports...:
Senator FAWCETT: Undoubtedly, you have been following the proceedings for the last couple of hours—

Mr Dolan: I have.

Senator FAWCETT: so you probably know exactly where I am heading. Your name has been taken in vain around Archerfield and the concern around runway 28 right there. With your report 38 of 2008 you did great work in identifying discrepancies in needing to move forward. I have a few questions to try to get some details on the table. Your report has been used to essentially say there was a discrepancy and that is being addressed but there is no safety issue. NOTAM C250/07, which was mentioned in your report, requires a reduction in the TORA and TODA for runway 28 right for IFR departures from 1,400 to 1,095 metres. If there was only a discrepancy and there was no issue, why was a NOTAM necessary?

Mr Dolan: There was a potential safety issue in terms of the location of the hangar which led to the intervention in terms of the shortening of the usable runway. Perhaps it is worth taking a step back. You have clearly read the report. The terms of reference that were set were limited. The questions we were trying to address were: first of all, was there a problem with the obstacle limitation surface as it was in place following adjustments in the light of the construction of the hangar? Secondly, there was the problem of the actual design of the departure. We still take the view that at the time we were looking at it, the obstacle limitations surfaces and how they operated for the airport were safe. If one were doing this from zero, one would probably not have constructed the hangar where it is, but we were satisfied that the steps that had been taken to ensure safety operated well and that the instrument departure design was sound in itself but did very much highlight a problem with the ICAO standards and a need for clarification.

The reason we limited it to that was that we have received through our confidential reporting system some quite specific concerns about those issues. I want to make clear, the limits were placed for good reasons on what was available to us at the time. I understand that other issues have been raised since, but they had not been raised with us.

Senator FAWCETT: So noting the limited terms of reference and constraints put on you and just coming to the actual report then, one of the mitigating circumstances was obviously a reduction in the length of the runway. That NOTAM has subsequently been rescinded and the notes that were on the airfield charts have been removed. Other than the ERSA supplement which still identifies that restriction, a lot of the other things that would normally be required under the MOS, such as 'distance to run available' type signage, are not present at Archerfield. Do you consider that is still a safety issue?

Mr Dolan: I would have to say that since the completion of that report we have not done any further review. This sort of investigation is at the margins of what we would normally do. The issues in play here are essentially regulatory. We have not had any occurrences reported to us that I am aware of—and Mr Walsh may correct me on that. We have got no basis in terms of our normal system of getting information about safety occurrences in the system to say that something needs another look.

Senator FAWCETT: I understand and accept that. The problem that we are facing is that it is a case of following the bouncing ball, and the bouncing ball tends to rest with the ATSB report, and people say that there is no problem because ATSB said so. I guess I am just trying to extract all the information I can about the basis of your report limitations if you report perceptions of people who may have contributed to the report, because that informs us where we perhaps need to look elsewhere.

The mitigation that was put in place in terms of CASA's compromise, as they called it, to say that as long as the hangar was visible during the first part of a takeoff that was acceptable, clearly does not apply to somebody who is on approach to land and has a bolt landing perhaps due to a heavy rain shower such that the pilot is low-level. If you actually look at the IFR flyover clearance requirements, we are talking very flat, clear requirements in that scenario and the hangar is clearly in the space where that is going to become an issue. From the ATSB's perspective, did you consider that as part of your report?

Mr Dolan: No, we did not, Senator. As I say, the information available to us at the time was focused on departure not on approach. There is nothing in our report that would cast light on that issue you have raised.

Senator FAWCETT: My last question before the chair moves me on is talking around departures. I notice on page 3 of your report, where you talk about the turn initiation area, you describe in the PANS-OPS terms things like the obstacle identification surface and 150 metres which is normally the inner edge running along. Under the old MOS 139 it was table 7-1 and under the new one it is table 10-1. Table 10-2 applies to take-offs whereas table 10-1 applies to landings. The figure of 150 is relevant for approach runway considerations for a code 3 runway. For a code 3 runway for departures it is actually 180 metres. Would you care to comment on that discrepancy, given that, as you said, your investigation focused on departures as opposed to arrivals?

Mr Dolan: On the basis of what I have in front of me, I do not think I am in a position to comment.

Senator FAWCETT: Please take that on notice and whether whoever worked on that area of the report could explain the different numbers between the various versions of MOS. He could explain whichever one he wishes to use.

Mr Dolan: I would be very happy to take that on notice. There are two things to come back to this committee based on the view we come to on that consideration. It is always open to us, if additional information comes to light, to reopen one of our investigations if that is necessary. I am not undertaking to do that, but I am certainly undertaking to consider it if necessary.

Senator FAWCETT: Thank you.
Hmm..and with Beaker's former association with the Department's Airports Division in the drawing up of secondary airport lease agreements - in particular Hoxton Park - you begin to see that there is definitely a lot to like about the BRB hypothesis...

And therefore much..much MTF...

Last edited by Sarcs; 11th Dec 2014 at 06:19.
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