View Full Version : 20 air-safety breaches

1st Dec 2003, 03:39
Air controllers report more than 20 air-safety breaches

Air-traffic controllers have reported more than 20 air safety breaches involving Australia's downgraded airspace since the new system was introduced, their union said today.

Under the new airspace rules, which came into effect on Thursday, light planes are allowed into areas used by commercial airliners.

Light aircraft operating above 3000 metres must now use transponders - radar devices which make aircraft visible to air-traffic controllers and commercial craft.

But air-traffic controllers say many light aircraft, operating without working transponders, are straying into tightly-controlled international and domestic capital city flight paths.

Ted Lang, president of the air traffic controller's union Civil Air, said controllers in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne were reporting about four transponder failures an hour.

This is despite a marked drop in the number of aircraft movements nationally since the airspace was downgraded on Thursday, he said.

"[These incidents] are a breach of air safety," Mr Lang told AAP.

"There have been a number of violations of controlled airspace where people have operated without an airways clearance."

Mr Lang said one of the major causes of concern was when light aircraft operated with faulty transponders.

"The chief mitigator in this was the use of transponders for aircraft and we're finding that although aircraft may have them turned on, they may not be providing a height read-out, so we don't know [where] the aircraft is," he said.

"We are basically having to triple our workload in trying to broadcast this travelling information to aircraft that might be interested in it."

Mr Lang said the new air traffic rules increased the likelihood of mid-air collision.

"It has become a serious operational problem for the controllers and a serious worry for commercial aircraft," he said.

"It appears some light aircraft pilots are confused about where the downgraded airspace starts and stops and the procedures."

The Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP) said the new airspace rules meant pilots were "flying into uncertainty".

Captain Robin Beville-Anderson, of the AFAP, said the solution was to "kill off" the new system and reinstate the previous airspace rules.

"They've introduced a concept that is fundamentally unsafe," he said.

A spokesman for federal Transport Minister John Anderson said he was not surprised by the number of incidents reported by air-traffic controllers.

The National Airspace System Implementation Group had asked pilots and controllers to report all incidents no matter how minor, he said.

The spokesman said Civil Air was running a political campaign.

"They're trying to get us to either delay or preferably throw out the new system when they know in their heart of hearts that it's safer and more efficient," he said.


1st Dec 2003, 04:40
when they know in their heart of hearts that it's safer and more efficient

I've had a bit to say about this in other threads, trying to make reasoned argument against this dangerous and unnecessary situation we now find ourselves in. But when you are dealing with the unreasonable, utter frustration is the only possible result.

I'm begining to wonder if we are now past the point of simply discussing it amongst ourselves on this esoteric BB, and sending emails to the blind eyes of those who have the power to address our concerns.


1st Dec 2003, 05:03


"I can confirm KAPTAIN KREMIN's post about the 2 Metros. The one that was asked to turn 30 degrees was actually flying VFR (non RPT) at Flight Levels and being IFR trained they where on the ATC frequency, otherwise the instruction would have been missed and the inevitable happened.

Also lucky it was in Radar coverage!

Now we have High Peformance Turbo Props flying VFR to save costs! How is this safer?"

This was not the risk of transponder switching or lines on charts or frequencies or any of the other hypotheticals you have discussed.

This was about 25 people very close to dead. This was directly attributable to an E airspace change effective 26NOV03. What if this happened at E into D with no RADAR coverage?

It proved, in one near miss, that all of this appealing at NAS forums, by care minded specialists - that you were right. The whole thing is not worth the risk of even that one near miss.

Just imagine the cost of rcompense and litigation. I really want to hear people put their wallet where their big stupid mouth is and guarantee to support the litigation and compensation where death or injury is directly the result of NAS.

This will not happen purely because the people we are talking about are only concerned at one thing - their wallet- what other motive could their be with such damning argument against the changes.

Ask yourself this - What will his or her honour find the preponderance of evidence supporting?

Chief galah
1st Dec 2003, 08:44
(ATC) You're in C airspace.

(Pilot, VFR) I thought it was E airspace.


(ATC) You're in E airspace.

(Pilot, IFR) I thought it was G airspace.

ICAO silent of course!

Didn't I post this months ago?


Mooney Operator
1st Dec 2003, 09:10
Maybe we should go back to the days of the “Horse and Cart” Airspace to fix our problems?

Col. Walter E. Kurtz
1st Dec 2003, 09:16
Good one Mooney driver.

Mooney driver, let me rephrase this question from another post:

How does the new NAS NOT degrade the safety of our airspace?

1st Dec 2003, 09:28
"See and avoid" the horse and cart.

I can see that concept has (or should I say had) merrit.

It looks like we have gone back to those good ol' days Mooney!

1st Dec 2003, 15:27
I would like to share a realisation with you all.

I have looked deep into my "heart of hearts" and discovered that I do after all believe that NAS is a safer more efficient and just plain better way of doing things. It turns out that all my concerns were really just self delusions brought about by my inability to learn to love myself. I had foolishly thought that I was motivated by a concern for the safety of the pilots and travelling public that pay my wage.

I have now attained a deep sense of inner peace and closure and would like to thank the spokesman for John Anderson for his brilliantly perceptive advice. Had it not been for his sage words I may not have found the courage to look deep within myself and this startling epiphany may have remained out of my reach.

I encourage you all to likewise seek the truth that lies in your "heart of hearts".

For those who are experiencing some difficulty in gaining a clear view of the NASophile that dwells within, try inserting your head into your rectum, I assure you once the correct posture has been attained it will all become clear.

Gerry Hattrick
1st Dec 2003, 17:27
Can someone please tell me what breaches within the major airport control zones has to do with the NAS? Ted Lang from civil air on talkback radio today was having a rant about a light a/c and regional RPT coming within 20 seconds of each other at CB today. How does the NAS affect CB air space? Try and be nice,these are serious questions. I think we would be better off focusing on things like E over D air space. Thats where the problem will be.:confused: :confused:

SM4 Pirate
2nd Dec 2003, 05:47

I think that this incident involves an aircraft that overflew CB, thinking it was E at 4500 above CB, the departing aircraft got a fright with an aircraft that had VCA'd the CB zone.

I saw Bernie saying it was only 5 NAS incidents not 20; I guess the 15 VCA's don't count as incidents associated with NAS.

Mike Smith said last Wednesday that VCAs would be fixed and that we were running in the order of 1000 per year; so NAS would fix it, but then these aren't NAS related, go figure.

Bottle of Rum.

PS WWT, well said, glad to see you on board. Just like the B767 at FL110 on descent into SY that I gave traffic to on the 1200 paint climbing through 100 on his nose at 50 SY... (landing RWY 07); "get me out of here, request LOT... approved, turn left heading 360, I have never seen a harder turn at such speed. (it looked like the Sim). See the system works well, B767 two minutes late, the ripple effect caused 15 minute delays within 30 minutes...

Capt Claret
2nd Dec 2003, 07:10
missing my book of acronyms ....


2nd Dec 2003, 07:17



You take my breath away

no report I guess - OPS NORMAL

counting down!!!!!!!

Northern Chique
2nd Dec 2003, 09:42
See and avoid.... at least in horse and cart days you could hear the horse!