View Full Version : Delays at Sydney airport

peter mcgrath
13th Sep 2009, 10:31
Is there anywhere that you can find out WHY flights are delayed?

I'm watching a few planes now circling south of Sydney for 30-60 minutes and the company website just shows the flights as "delayed" but no reason.

Obviously its a problem with the airport, as the planes are within 10 minutes of the airport but not being allowed to land and there is only light traffic.

13th Sep 2009, 10:32
Pete - what can I say - welcome to the 2nd best Airport in the world:*

13th Sep 2009, 10:35
Probably due short staffed ATC.
Heard approach was 4 down. Long term poor staff planning.
Nothing to do with the troops.

13th Sep 2009, 10:45
Flights around the country are being delayed or cancelled tonight because of a shortage of air traffic controllers at Sydney airport.

Some planes are being forced to circle for at least 45 minutes before landing, while many passengers on the ground are being forced to spend an extra night in Sydney.

13th Sep 2009, 12:04
I haven't seen 120 minutes traffic holding before into Sydney either. Perhaps there were a few St George or Para supporters among the controllers this arvo?

Another Number
13th Sep 2009, 12:09
[ABC News]

Flights around the country are being delayed or cancelled tonight because of a shortage of air traffic controllers at Sydney airport.
Some planes are circling for at least 45 minutes before landing, while many passengers on the ground are being forced to spend an extra night in Sydney.
Air Services Australia (ASA) says three employees called in before their shifts this afternoon to say that they could not come to work.
A spokeswoman says it is not related to any industrial matters but is unable to say whether it is because they are sick or have had to take the day off for personal reasons.
She says replacements were unavailable.
A spokeswoman for Virgin Blue says there will be cancellations and delays, with some people having to be accommodated overnight.
She says planes are circling for at least 45 minutes before landing in Sydney.
Qantas says its flights have been delayed for up to an hour.
ASA says flights should be back to normal tomorrow.
Sydney airport officials have refused to comment, saying it is a problem for Air Services Australia.

13th Sep 2009, 22:25

YSSY Reclassified CTAF (R) 120.5 13090200 to PERM

13th Sep 2009, 23:04
CTMS 70mins and then 40mins holding!! what is going on and why do the airlines always have to be the ones who cop the passenger abuse and of course the huge costs involved. :ugh::ugh:

14th Sep 2009, 00:17
they were on the hill at Kogarah jubilee oval

Duff Man
14th Sep 2009, 05:24
trueline nails it

Chronic short staffing throughout the organisation evaporated the traditional internal sources of transfer into SYD TMA.

Middle management rewarded for reducing core staff below minimum requirements and filling on (ironically cheaper) overtime.

Years of warnings unheeded.

Inexplicable inability to recruit and train sufficient backfill.

Abysmal attempts at overseas recruitment direct to SYD TMA producing < 20% of required graduates.

It's only going to get worse chaps and chapettes. The few remaining controllers on their days off are generally too disenfranchised to bother covering roster shortfalls thanks to post-EBA reprisals from Canberra.

14th Sep 2009, 11:08
Duff man,

My understanding is most of the reprisals/reinterpretations/etc have been driven by a certain SDL manager in Melbourne who got rolled in the negotiations, not from Canberra.

Speaking to the ALMs, most realise the end effect it will have but there isn't much anyone can do when this certain SDL manager is also the de facto Centre manager. Anyone want to pitch in $20 to start a 'Bring back Hoody' fund?

14th Sep 2009, 11:15
On the topic, AsA can blame the controllers involved all they want. It doesn't change the fact that best staffing practice dictates that in aviation, you have spare people on standby to cover the shortfall when people do go sick. Sickness happens and if your only plan to cover it is to get people in on their day off, you will end up with service problems.

Why the rest of the aviation world does it as standard but our magnificent 'leaders' can't see that it is necessary is beyond me!

Mr. Hat
14th Sep 2009, 11:45
Hmmm not enough doctors, not enough judges, not enough atc, overcrowded hospitals, enormous waiting lists...


Good on VB for saying "hey that's enough!".

14th Sep 2009, 11:58
Ben Sandilands (http://redirect.cmailer.com.au/LinkRedirector.aspx?clid=837ef434-da1c-4c01-831c-3dd10901dec7&rid=bb61a7ce-86b6-4889-8cb5-1561bc272a6a) writes:
Sydney had a jet jam involving thousands of delayed travellers yesterday, both in the ground and in the terminals, just over a year after AirServices Australia promised to fix an air traffic staffing shortfall by the end of September 2008.
The essential figures are that Sydney Airport was supposed to operate on a roster of 10 air traffic controllers, but only three were available yesterday.
AirServices boasts a payroll of over 3000 staff. Why a mere six of them are considered all that are necessary for approach and departure control at such a critically important airport is almost as much a mystery as to what a large part of the staff actually do in terms of productive work.
There appear to be more media managers and image massagers than Sydney controllers on the ASA payroll. Questions asked of AirServices went unanswered this morning.
It is also a mystery why the Minister for Infrastructure, Anthony Albanese, believes anything AirServices says, including its claims last year that air traffic manning issues were really part of an industrial campaign.
There has been industrial peace in the skies since May. But the services remains undermanned according to the union, Civil Air, which has also been critical of AirServices failure to adequately train controllers for both replacement and expansion.
Nor does it represent all controllers. In the last year, air traffic control disruptions have continued across Australia because of shortages of union and non-union staff.
The president of the Civil Air union, Robert Mason, said "four out of ten of 796 controllers will retire in the next five years, and we are 100 short of the minimum needed for certainty of service today."
The inescapable truth about AirServices is that it has botched the resourcing of the service, and Albanese has been unable to find either the time or inclination within the Infrastructure super-ministry to engage with and resolve the situation.
In the delays near Sydney yesterday, airliners were assigned positions in wide ranging holding patterns to ensure they lined up in a safe order for arrivals, while departures were spaced out along routes intended to give a wide berth to the squadron of circling jets.
None of which would have been necessary when route control is handed over to approach and departure control at busy airports.
Air traffic control was invented because of the uncertainties of self separation. It is a no brainer, just like the administration of air traffic control in this country.

Capt Fathom
14th Sep 2009, 12:20
World's Best Practice ?

man on the ground
14th Sep 2009, 12:47
Anyone want to pitch in $20 to start a 'Bring back Hoody' fund?


14th Sep 2009, 22:24
I would love to see stats on how many times delays like last Sunday's were avoided because ATCs gave up their days off to fill in. Personal experience leads me to believe there would be close to one a week (not just at SYD).

So for every time you experience delays - have a think about how many other times delays were avoided due to ridiculous amounts of overtime. If ATCs only worked their rostered 72 hour week, the massive holes in the system would soon be obvious to those outside ASA as well.

To hear idiots say that "we only need 889 ATCs and we have 960 on the books" just makes me spit. Like several years ago when the RAAF, realising that the category was almost 100 controllers under strength fixed it by simply "drawing down" CE at each base - voila, now we're fully manned! :ugh:

15th Sep 2009, 00:40
well said..........

Perhaps the Minister might be advised to do a bit of plane watching at YSSY rather than filling up my inbox with media releases about new signs that are [quote] "almost ready to be installed" on the
[quote] "almost completed Bruce Highway Improvements"

Might be a good time for Messrs Creedy, Sandilands & Co to scrum down and design a strategic barrage of FOI requests to ASA & the Minister's Office.

Speaking of airport pain - well done to the Qlink Dash drivers negotiating GLT approach which looks more like a links golf course. -

15th Sep 2009, 02:12
If they successfully get sued by the airlines, do you think there will be an increase in service fees and more political legal red tape? If they don't manage to recover the costs, do we suffer due to lack of improved technology and extra training for staff to keep up to date with world standards?

Who will win in a situation like that?

15th Sep 2009, 03:11
My personal belief for any of this to work is for the government to intervene immediately. The airlines should drop their legal action against ASA and focus on the government providing a suitable immediate outcome in the interest of safety, efficiency ( I hear Rudd talking about carbon offset?? WTF happens when you have twenty jets circling for twenty min unnecessarily) and hence maximization of revenue.

It was the government that privatized most of its sectors to gain revenue and avoid any legal retribution. They are largely to blame due to lack of regulation after privatization.

The public, the tax payers (Taxes more than airfare tickets), the airport, the airlines, the staff, should not have to suffer the fate of one immoral company for the greater good of itself.

Do you agree?.. Or am I missing something substantial in this?

le Pingouin
15th Sep 2009, 07:11
Wang, the stumbling block to any solution is sourcing more controllers - there is no instant solution no matter who runs ATC. Certainly focusing on core "business" instead of playing silly management games would be a good start.

15th Sep 2009, 09:18
Le P, before you source more controllers, there has to be the will to do so. Do you see ANY EVIDENCE whatsoever, that AsA is interested in increasing staff numbers? From the outside, it looks suspiciously like an organisation desperately hoping that technological advances will do away with the need for staff.
Their spin doctors tell the media, right up til today (see article mentioned in this thread) that there is no staff shortage. AsA management tell their bosses (senate estimates etc.) that, alternately, there is no staff shortage and that delays are an industrial campaign/there is a staff shortage but it will be fixed by last August/that there is an 'over-reliance on overtime'!
Now, either their political masters are in on the game and couldn't care less how they spin it, or should be sacking the lying pieces of $hit.

As for Virgin taking legal action- I have been saying for ages that AsA has been cost-shifting onto the airlines for a good while with this under-staffing BS, and now they are finally waking up.

15th Sep 2009, 09:24
The interesting thing is that staffing in the Tower is pretty good and APP/DEP is short, yet the Tower has had (or will have) 6 trainees this year, whilst only 2 or 3 have gone to APP/DEP.
Go figure - I am sure it makes sense to someone.

15th Sep 2009, 09:34
"The interesting thing is that staffing in the Tower is pretty good and APP/DEP is short, yet the Tower has had (or will have) 6 trainees this year, whilst only 2 or 3 have gone to APP/DEP.
Go figure - I am sure it makes sense to someone."

Keepemseparated - is it an aptitude thing? Not saying that APP is harder than TWR or vice versa. Having been multi-rated in the RAAF I believe some people are better suited to the TWR environment, and others to APP. Some are good at both and some of course, well, I try not to fly on those days...;)

Or is it giving ASA too much credit to think that they would assign people to the environment for which they are most suited ... given that they are quite happy to take RAAFies with 10+years of TMA experience (radar environment), put 'em through an enroute short course and then stick them on procedural enroute sectors. :confused:

my oleo is extended
15th Sep 2009, 11:18
HOODY won`t come back !
Too clever.He has carved out a niche now, fixing poorly run Aviation entities , doing the bolt and then fixing another then another !! And good on him, at least one individual actually has some managerial skill !

Like its been stated previously, the frontline personel who experience the deficiencies are ignored completely until everything turns to crap. Then the Spin Doctors arrive, juggle the figures and paint a rosey little picture for the Minister and the Media, then months later all the deceptions unravel and it turns to crap once again...
As M.Latham would once have said - 'They are a conga line of suckholes' !

le Pingouin
15th Sep 2009, 12:36
Length of training required would be a large consideration - it probably takes twice as long to train on TMA than TWR. You simply can't have the same throughput.

Plus when numbers are tight it's difficult to release someone to update & run sim courses.

le Pingouin
15th Sep 2009, 12:57
I don't know Ferris. It's very hard to tell from the coal face through all the obscuring spin. We're getting a number of ab initios coming through but that's barely keeping up with losses. We're still running on overtime.

You're right - management hope is pinned on assorted measures such as light traffic endorsements. And as you well know such things don't just fall from the sky, miraculously endorsing our licences. Management is more concerned with insisting we all do the "Leaders leading" presentation than providing any training.

16th Sep 2009, 05:27
RAAFASA, a couple of the guys are newbies and streamed for radar towers, so they could only go the tower, but the others are either experienced locals (BK) or imports (not sure of the backgrounds, but they could have been trained for either).
I think at the end of the day its about bums on seats, and to train someone in the tower you only lose a rated controller off the roster for a week or so (classroom days/visit to visual Sim in ML), whilst the app/dep training involves a much longer run in the Sim, these lessons work best with 2 trainees, therefore two app or dep controllers off the roster at the same time, which they cannot afford. Short sighted - yep.
It will get worse before it gets better, as a few of the Traffic Managers are leaving by years end and that means getting guys off of the tools to train on the SYTM role - without them the whole show stops - no app or dep!!

16th Sep 2009, 11:01
SY controllers have just had rec leave cancelled for the next three months 'to protect service continuity'.
They must be fully staffed.:ugh:
Wonder how they will be feeling about giving up their days off to cover the holes in the roster now?
When you know there is a 'holiday light at the end of the tunnel' you can push through. When even that is taken away to cover up years of a lack of workforce planning it gets very hard.
When will ASA management admit they have made a right royal stuff up of the last few years, and try and get the controllers onside rather than trot out spin doctors to imply that staffing is fine and it is the fault of a couple of controllers? I'm not holding my breath.
These are the games 'Corporate Relations' and ASA mangement play in the media. Controllers are too busy trying to move planes against a backdrop of artificial landing caps and a lack of staff.

16th Sep 2009, 12:47
Maybe they need to go on strike to prove their point(s)! It is pretty much a standard practice nowadays to get management to "do something" that they were suppose to do.

Nautilus Blue
16th Sep 2009, 15:28
I can't decide if its petty revenge for making the manager concerned look bad, or trying to send a message to controllers in general; "do the overtime and keep things working or loose your rec leave".

This, in the same week we find out the agreed pay rise will be delayed a month, and we all have to attend a briefing on A$A's leadership program :ugh:


16th Sep 2009, 20:55
Germany is still taking controllers. 36 shifts of holiday a year.

16th Sep 2009, 21:05
No leave for SY APP from Sept 19 to Dec 18. I see trouble brewing.
How do they expect to attract people to Sydney if the leave you had to apply for 14 months can be canned with 3 days notice - that is sh!t.

16th Sep 2009, 21:33
Staffing crisis? What staffing crisis?

Cancel recreation leave and while we`re at it cancel days off. Get some cheap demountables in the carpark so nobody need to go home. Lets face it they waste so much time travelling to and from work when they could be sleeping between shifts in the carpark.

What staffing crisis?

Next weeks agenda....toilet breaks, meal breaks, less than 4 hours at the console, leg irons.....:ugh:

16th Sep 2009, 23:53
"A great place to work"

17th Sep 2009, 00:35
ASA don't pay enough for Sydney.

17th Sep 2009, 00:48
Pera, for most of the guys and girls it is not about the money. It's about having to put up with the same BS all of the time and ASA having no respect for the staff.
Being blamed for airspace closures because you wanted to enjoy your day off - what a day off.
There are plenty of people who have worked more than 20 extra shifts in the last 12 months, and as a reward they don't get any leave.
Well done, what a disgrace.

le Pingouin
17th Sep 2009, 06:19
And what are they going to do at the end of the 3 months when things are no different?

Geez, that went so well last time let's do it again :ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh:

17th Sep 2009, 08:01
And what are they going to do at the end of the 3 months when things are no different? exactly. Exhibit absolutely no will to change anything. Not even a plan (anymore). Spin doctor empire growing rapidly, though.

And they wonder why people don't want to work for them. (note the person on another pprune forum with minimal experience seeking advice whether after 4 yrs with AsA, they have enough experience to be hired overseas?)

17th Sep 2009, 09:53
from the AsA career in ATC webpage:

Airservices Australia - Careers - Air Traffic Controller (http://www.airservicesaustralia.com/careers/atc/atc_how_demanding.asp)

note the last point:

How Demanding is the Job of Air Traffic Control?

The nature of the job demands that Air Traffic Controllers be able to make quick and accurate decisions based on information regarding an aircraft's position. To this end, you must:

be confident and able to work with modern computer-based equipment;
be self-motivated and independent, yet work within a team environment;
be dedicated, professional, conscientious, confident and able to accept highlevels of personal responsibility;
possess a good understanding and a clear application of the English language; and
be prepared to work shifts on any day of the year.

says nothing about recreation leave, family life, work/life balance.....

17th Sep 2009, 10:36
(note the person on another PPRuNe forum with minimal experience seeking advice whether after 4 yrs with AsA, they have enough experience to be hired overseas?)

Yes they should. 4 years is enough for Germany. I left with 2 years.

Start (http://www.dfs.de/dfs/internet_2008/portal/english/start/index.html)

These people actually want you to work for them.

my oleo is extended
17th Sep 2009, 12:00
Smartest post yet !!

Once you gain all the necessary paperwork, then go back to your Doctor and have a 'breakdown' in the surgery. Its worth shedding a few tears to gain stress leave.3 Months is a good strating point. Make sure you also advise the Doctor that you are being harrassed,coerced,pressured and treated unfairly !
It doesnt finish there. Time to visit the best Lawyer you can find, as a group of course, and launch a case against the buffoons,beancounters and incompetent footstools putting Controllers and the Publlics lives at risk..........

17th Sep 2009, 16:28
for most of the guys and girls it is not about the money.

Sydney is expensive. Less people are going to work there if they can earn the same money elsewhere.

17th Sep 2009, 23:10
Airservices, staff on collision course | The Australian (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/business/story/0,28124,26089399-23349,00.html)

The article is more "pro-controllers" at least (despite the claims at the end that you've got enough controllers).


18th Sep 2009, 02:08
Just over 10 years ago we had 2 (two) people in the PR department. See Annnual Reports , we now have @ 50 in Corporate Relations.
We have around 30 Approach controllers in Sydney.
More spin doctors than SY approach controllers.
You know it makes sense!

Airlines carry staff on reserve, ASA don't. Why? Because we don't have them and never have. ASA and its predecessors have always relied on controllers giving up THEIR rostered days off (RDOs) to fill holes . These holes used to be due to illness. Increasingly over the last few years, rosters are written with the holes already in them due to lack of staff.

The Sunday in question was an occurence when ASA were unable to fill the holes. There would have been alot more days like these, if controllers weren't continually giving up THEIR DAYS OFF to cover for a chronic lack of workforce planning.

What does ASA do when the 'holes in the cheese line up'.

You must get some value out of the huge PR machine that they have created over the years,so they insinuate that it was somehow the fault of the controllers.

ASA don't have enough controllers, they can spin it anyway they like (and they do) but the fact remains.

18th Sep 2009, 02:59
I'd find it very stressful being told planned holidays with my family had just been cancelled because the company I worked for was incompetent.
So stressful I might see a doctor about it.... right now as it would already being affecting me.
I'll do as many holding patterns as it takes for you guys to stick it to ASA for this method they are employing. It shows the thought patterns of the @##$%^ running ASA.
A Labor party should be appalled at this intimidation.

18th Sep 2009, 03:53

The floggings will continue until morale improves!:}

18th Sep 2009, 04:20
blow.n.gasket: MEMO TO STAFF: The floggings will continue until morale improves!http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/badteeth.gif

Should be funny....but far too true

ozbiggles: I'd fined it very stressful being told planned holidays with my family had just been cancelled because the company I worked for was incompetent.

It's not just the stress of losing a much needed break from shiftwork, imagine the stress (whether anger or disappointment) from the family. Regardless of whether they kick and scream with anger/frustration or just sadly try to say "that's ok Mum/Dad" it's still a horrible thing to have to go home to tell your partner/kids (ask the Willy controllers who had their Christmas leave cancelled with only days' notice last year). I don't have stats in front of me, but, anecdotally, the divorce/relationship breakdown rate for ASA and RAAF ATCs seems huge. Way above the 50% nat average.

And as Le Pinguoin pointed out - at the end of the 3 months what will have changed? The only guarantee is that there will be a more fatigued work force and a huge leave debt on their cards - which they still will have difficulty taking! :ugh:

Last Christmas (literally, even on Christmas Eve) RAAFies were getting phone calls left, right and centre saying "come to Syd - your choice of TWR or APP, just need you in Syd ASAP" - some had already been offered enroute short courses (one I know of was due to start on Jan 6 and on Dec 24 they're calling not once, but 5, say again 5 times to push SYD.

Some, who hadn't even been made an offer yet (which meant, of course, that they hadn't resigned) received the same SYD offer in the week leading up to Christmas - even though it would have been impossible to resign over the reduced activity period with 13 days notice!

So it was obvious that they were desperate to recruit experienced ATCOs to Syd. Lots of pressure from recruiting - but no sweetner of course! :ugh: Laws of supply and demand ASA - make a better offer, whether it's more money, extra leave (not that you'd get to take it), housing allowance, free lap dances in the crew room whatever!

Arthur Boy
18th Sep 2009, 08:12
Spotted this on seek.com, posted today;

SEEK jobs database and employment advice (http://www.seek.com.au/job/master-roster-developers-canberra/act/16031653/102/1/)

Not only but also;

SEEK jobs database and employment advice (http://www.seek.com.au/job/team-leader-rostering-canberra/act/16031652/106/1/)

Does this mean someone has awoken from their slumber?

I am not involved in your side of the industry, but I certainly support your attempts for fairer rostering, increased staffing, etc, etc. Your work is just a tad important!! I want a controller who is, a) professional and, b) awake when I fly.

And as for sitting in holding patterns ad-nauseum, I hope Virgin can also help crack the whip to those at ASA in regard to the true $$ cost and disruption these shortages cause to the airlines and travelling public.

We all deserve better!

18th Sep 2009, 08:33
Does this mean someone has awoken from their slumber? Nope this means that rosters are about to be centralised, and taken out of the hands of the front line staff that currently create them... This will provide countless efficiencies of course and solve the staffing crisis; it will further prove that Oz ATC is way 'overstaffed' and inefficient rostering is the root cause...

le Pingouin
18th Sep 2009, 11:49
10 to 1 they won't want to deal with those smelly controllers & will just want to present their solution, take it or leave it.

Here to Help
18th Sep 2009, 12:53
recreation leave had been cancelled for all staff from Saturday to "enhance our service continuity capability and allow time for Airservices to investigate other options".

Looks like they have come up with another cunning plan...


Sadly just as relevant today as it was last year and the year before and the year before that.

An Interested Party
22nd Sep 2009, 01:17
Strong rumour has it that RL's 'request' to be tranferred to Perth has been fast-tracked, and that the new Sydney manager will be expedited from the UK - starting within weeks. That will be interesting - UK manager versus entrenched Sydney controllers!

22nd Sep 2009, 05:36
does anyone really believe that the situation
A) was created by the immediate manger
B) can be solved by aforemention manager??

As I've been saying for ages - it's all about the decreasing number of ATC's and the increasing reliance on overtime - AsA needs to fix one of these problems, and preferably BOTH.

peter mcgrath
22nd Sep 2009, 10:43
If its not one thing its another!

ACARS mode: S Aircraft reg: .VH-VWU
Message label: 1L Block id: 1 Msg. no: M09A
Flight id: JQ0420
Message content:-
-------------------------------------[22/09/2009 20:41]

22nd Sep 2009, 11:11
got mate said b737 from nz QF went to wlm due turb and also qf 737 to cfs due CBS

22nd Sep 2009, 12:23
Let's stay on topic - storms are hardly ATC management's fault! There'll be more news following tomorrow's union meeting.

Although it was nice to see the $$$$NOC helping out our customers by forcing them into bad weather instead of coordinating release of Nowra airspace for diversions.

peter mcgrath
23rd Sep 2009, 07:23
LOL - as the original poster I can assure you I had no knowledge of the cause of the original delays when I posted the thread, so "ATC management" was certainly not the topic of the thread, although it may have developed along those lines.

I ill of course be interested to hear developments along those lines as well though :)

23rd Sep 2009, 08:45
Peter, to my knowledge there is no where to go to find out why there are delays. Usually, it will be staff shortages, weather, or emergency traffic. This forum is probably the place to ask. As you've seen, on the day in question, it was staff. Something which is happening far too often in this country.

Not only is AsA struggling to get controllers through the door, it has failed to appropriately resource and prioritise its training. In my opinion the training is a game of 'come on, we dare you get through it' cleverly disguised as adult training. SoAsA may well have an excess of controllers (which I doubt) but they sure as goodness are not endorsed appropriately to actually work. The inefficiences of the organisation are astounding.

23rd Sep 2009, 14:31
Although it was nice to see the $$$$NOC helping out our customers by forcing them into bad weather instead of coordinating release of Nowra airspace for diversions.

When you refer to the Nowra airspace, do you actually mean R420, or R453 & R495 ?

My point being that R420 is controlled by Nowra ATC and diversions are never a problem but R453 & R495 (East Aus. Exercise Area) are owned and controlled by Maritime HQ in Sydney (Navy) and not by Nowra ATC.

23rd Sep 2009, 19:41
These may sound like dumb questions- In an ideal world, what numbers of staffing needed for SY TMA APP/DEP? What is an ideal roster? And what actual numbers do we have now? AND, what roster is actually running now?

Was there EVER a time within AirServices or even CAA when the rosters were safely manned?

Sorry, it may help us plebs understand where the issue started...I am having a hard time justifying the extraordinary number of dead weight to actual revenue earning staff. 3000 total with about 800 at the coalface:eek: And you return how much every year to the shareholder??????

23rd Sep 2009, 23:10
Dead weight? Have a looksie at this..........

Manager ATM Planning & Capability
Manager, Ernst & Young
ATM Capability Manager - National ATC
NOC Optimisation Manager
Business Support Manager
Resource Planning and Rostering Manager
Manager, Business Support
National Operations Centre and CTMS Manager
Program Manager, National Operations Centre (NOC)
Manager, Upper Air Weather Service
NTMP Project Manager
Regional AIM Manager
Manager, Operations Support
National Manager AIS
ATC Projects Implementation Manager
Tower ATC Support and Procedures Manager
National ATC Systems Manager
Operations Manager Systems
Manager AusFIC
Standards Improvement Manager, ECS
Standards Improvement Manager UAS/RS
Manager, Regional Airports
Relationship Manager
Manager ASEAN Relations
Manager, Contract Management & OCR Accounts
Contracts Manager
Group Operations Manager
Business Services Manager
Manager - Marketing & Relationship Development
Bids and Analysis Manager
Northern Asia / GNSS Sales Manager
National / Defence Sales Manager
PNG Country Program Manager
ITSAP Project Manager
Manager Neighbourhood Capability Development
Project Management & Aviation Solutions Manager
Manager Project Delivery and Aviation Solutions
GBAS Project Manager
Minor Projects Service Delivery Manager
Defence Technical Contract Manager
Product Commercialisation & Aviation Solutions Manager
Enterprise Risk Integration Manager
Manager, Compliance
Manager, National Property
Property and Infrastructure Manager
Facilities Manager
Manager, Property Management
Manager Property Operations
Property Manager
Manager, Security
Manager, Shared Services
Credit Manager
Manager, Operations and Initiatives
Records Management Unit Manager
Manager Airline Relations
Manager, Airport Relations
Defence Relationship and Planning Manager
Defence Relationship Manager
Manager - Environment and Climate Change
Manager Public Affairs
Manager for Regulatory Reform and Business Information
Environment Manager
Manager Business Integration
Accounting Operations Manager
Business Performance Manager
Manager Corporate Accounting & Policy
Accounting Operations Manager
Financial Accounting & Policy Manager
Manager, Treasury
Manager Taxation
Treasury Operations Manager
Manager Financial Strategy
Strategic Support Manager
Corporate Planning Manager
Business Analysis Manager
Business Planning Manager
Manager Pricing and Revenue
Manager Group Finance
Finance Manager - Corporate Initiatives
Finance Manager ARFF
Finance Manager ATC
Finance Manager - Head Office
Finance Manager - Performance Improvement
Finance Manager TAS
Manager, Procurement & Corporate Efficiency
Advisory Team Manager
Manager, Change Management
Manager Training
Delivery Manager
Design Manager
Planning & Forecasting Manager
Simulator and Support Manager
Manager, People Services
Manager, People Strategy
Human Factors Manager, Operations
Manager Human Factors and Analysis
Human Factors Manager - Research and Design
Manager, Crisis and Continuity Planning
Manager Safety Enhancement and Development
Safety System Manager
Operational Risk System Manager
Workplace System Manager
Manager Safety Programs / CEO Airservices Pacific
Safety Analysis Manager
Northern Safety Programs Manager
Safety Program Identification & Development Manager
Safety Promotions Manager
Southern Safety Programs Manager
Manager, Safety Services
Documentation Services Manager
Northern Safety Services Manager
Southern Safety Manager
Branch Manager, Service Integrity
Engineering Integrity Manager
National Document Manager
Operational Integrity Manager
Regulatory Services Manager
Regulatory Compliance Manager
National Licensing Manager
Manager Strategic Planning
Manager, Intellectual Property
Manager Priority and Coordination
Manager, Business Strategy
Manager Strategy
Branch Manager - Aviation Business Systems
Airways Information Technology Manager
Business Systems Manager
Eurocat Manager ABS
Infrastructure Services Manager
Test Manager
Manager, Facilities Management Services
Manager, Adelaide FMS
FMS Manager Brisbane Region
Manager, Canberra FMS
FMS Regional Manager Cairns
Manager, Melbourne FMS
Manager, Perth FMS
Manager, Sydney FMS
Technical Manager
Manager, Technical Support FMS
Branch Manager, Planning and Integration
Manager, Asset Lifecycle
Manager, Communications PI
Frequency Spectrum Manager
Manager Information Technology
Manager, Infrastructure
Manager Navigation & Surveillance
Operations Manager, Planning and Integration
Manager, Planning PI
Manager: Information Communication Technology (ICT) Planning
Installation Manager
Procurement and Contracts Manager
Engineering Manager Electronics & Communication
Manager, Project Delivery
Project Manager NTP
Program Manager, Airports and Surveillance
Contracts Project Manager
Project Manager TEDP
Senior Project Manager - NationalTowers Program
Manager, Resourcing Capability and Asset Services
Laboratory Manager
NTP - Tower Technology Project Manager
Manager, Contract Support
Manager, Contracts
Project Manager, Software and DDID Services
Project Manager Communications
Business Analyst/Project Manager
Project Manager - TINR Satellite Project
Project Manager TiNR Pilot Network
Manager, TAS Support
Branch Manager, System Operations
Quality Systems Manager
Business Engagement Manager
SO Operations Manager
Service Desk Manager
Manager, Project Performance and Review

176 non operational 'Managers'. That is nearly 1 per 4 controllers and this list does not include anything even remotely operational wheere we have another 200 odd managers across ALMs, Level 3s and supervisor types, all unrated of course.


Worrals in the wilds
24th Sep 2009, 05:48
Holy f:eek::eek:k! Even the goverment's not that top heavy. And they reckon Qantas has too many chiefs. No wonder there's no money for new controllers.

Manager, National Property
Property and Infrastructure Manager
Facilities Manager
Manager, Property Management
Manager Property Operations
Property Manager

Do these guys all share the one desk? It sounds like they do the same thing...
Relationship Manager
Wouldn't you love to have that on your business card? :}

24th Sep 2009, 06:37
Heard a good one the other day:

Senior Advisor Corporate Effectiveness

I suppose there's a Junior Advisor as well?!

24th Sep 2009, 11:24
Far Canal mate.....I had to pause for oxygen several times scrolling through that list. WTF do they do all day? Email each other to create an impression of "work".......

I couldn`t find a manager for silly ideas though. You know, the one that came up with the idea to cancel leave even though the 'spin' department would have us belive we`re fully staffed. GOODWILL now equals NIL...:ugh:

24th Sep 2009, 13:41
Now if they could only get rid of those pesky controllers, the system would run seamlessly (and perpetually)!

24th Sep 2009, 21:56
I loved this one

Manager, Upper Air Weather Service

An Interested Party
25th Sep 2009, 01:46
Most of that admittedly vast list of managers have 'manager' in their title as a result of the contract versus EBA process established some years back. Before that most of them would have been ops support specialists, or some other appropriately demure title, and most would have been paid as part of the relevant ATC or engineering awards.

Having said that, I'd have to agree that the number of support staff or managers is disproportionate to what the organisation actually does (air traffic control for those who've forgotten) and apparently and obviously repetitive if the titles actually represent what the occupants of those positions do for a living.

You'd have to ask the question - if you outsourced the management of the primary function of Airservices Australia - that is, air traffic control and managing the equipment that lets those controllers do their job - how many managers would be employed? I suspect no more than twenty.

Good luck to the new guy at Sydney - all alone from a foreign environment with no support and 150 miles from that wealth of management talent in Canberra.

25th Sep 2009, 02:26
Don't forget the firies, Ausfic, and techs.
I think most of us are flabbergasted at the amount of management concentrated in Canberra doing FIFO to the centres.
The boss of Royal Dutch Shell said some months ago that their organisation had too many managers doing business with each other.
I'm not holding my breath for TFN to say something similar and act.
There is something wrong when you have more spin doctors based in Canberra than you do Approach controllers at our major airport.

An Interested Party
25th Sep 2009, 05:55
Yeah, sorry Max 1, I meant to include all the operational folk.

It would still be interesting to ask a service company like Serco how many managers they'd employ to look after 900 controllers, and 900 other operational or tecnical staff. A lot less than Airservices, I'd reckon.

25th Sep 2009, 08:48
Didn't Qantas come out a few months back and state they had too many chiefs per indian?

Maybe AsA can learn something here?

25th Sep 2009, 14:08
another question is, why don't Sydney have runway aligned star? all these director / circuit just make things busier and waste more time and fuel.

25th Sep 2009, 15:07
Why do we still have approach controllers in Sydney anyway? Is it not operationally realistic that the function be performed out of ML/BN?The numbers didn't stack-up. Redundancy costs, relocation costs, training costs etc were higher than 15 years of savings generated by closing the TCU in Sydney; same is true of AD, PH and CS. Also having 30 APP (or so) rated controllers in Melbourne won't solve the staffing issues anymore than having 30 in Sydney does... having 34 or 36 would be a start...

It would be different (cost wise) if starting from 'green fields' but you're not...

another question is, why don't Sydney have runway aligned star? all these director / circuit just make things busier and waste more time and fuel. You won't find too many airports anywhere in the world with parallel approaches with an aligned STAR... Whilst you feel like it costs you money/time/fuel, try flying a full STAR every time if they do come in... I recall seeing a draft solution which was submitted to industry some time back, and extra 5 minutes from the Feeder point on average to 'minimise the risks'... Mostly due to establishing on the LOCs at different heights etc on the parallels... Then there's that pesky political/noise can of worms... try getting any real change through that process....

I believe the reason not to have an aligned STAR for 07/25 is due to all the different "noise modes", there is no 'one solution' option due to the different DEP SID combinations... again a parallel runway issue...

There is a STAR which ends mid-downwind RWY34L is there not?

25th Sep 2009, 15:07
Serco, in Dubai has just got its first (and only) HR person. I fear it is the thin edge of the wedge and expect nothing good to come of it. :hmm:

26th Sep 2009, 06:08
These may sound like dumb questions- In an ideal world, what numbers of staffing needed for SY TMA APP/DEP? What is an ideal roster? And what actual numbers do we have now? AND, what roster is actually running now?

Was there EVER a time within AirServices or even CAA when the rosters were safely manned?

Sorry, it may help us plebs understand where the issue started...I am having a hard time justifying the extraordinary number of dead weight to actual revenue earning staff. 3000 total with about 800 at the coalfacehttp://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/eek.gif And you return how much every year to the shareholder??????

Not dumb questions at all, Busman. In fact you've probably hit on the heart of the issue and I wonder why no-one else is asking these questions. A big thank you to the person who produced the following figures:


So we've seen coalface controller numbers drop every single year from 70 to 48 while traffic numbers have increased 20%. Draw you own conclusions as to why airlines are getting these delays.

27th Sep 2009, 01:28
One in three gone without replacement. Now it's all starting to make sense.

27th Sep 2009, 08:31
On almost 200 days since the 1st of January 2008, Sydney has been one or more controllers below minimum staff. What has that cost the customers?

27th Sep 2009, 16:52
Those figures are indeed damning! It is not isolated to the SY TCU either.

70 Operational ATCs reduced to 48 over 7 years, no wonder profits have gone from circa $30M pa to $120M pa in that period.

The airlines really should be questioning the value they get for 'reduced airways charges'. Less in airways bills, huge increases in fuel burn and scheduling delays... I would guess the balance is very very wrong at the moment. Each SY-ML flight is now $25 less per flight in Airways but $150 less efficient...? The only real benefit is to the manager with the bonus related to reduction in airways charges...

The staffing formulas used to be included in an ancient document called CATSOAM, now defunct... These figures clearly established minimum staffing; even though IMHO that formula produced a figure which was too low as it didn't include provision for long service leave or maternity leave. Now there is no guidance about minimum staffing... Hence really there is no such thing as 'minimum staffing' for a unit/group.

There is a concept of minimum staffing for a shift or day; ie minimum bums on seats for a given time. It is historically derived and amended from 'positions opened data'. When you have shortages for a given day, it impacts the minimum staffing establishment; ie "you only have 3.6 positions opened on Friday afternoons", so minimum staffing becomes 4 for Friday afternoons.

Despite the fact that you 'needed' 5 positions open and you only had 4 staff available. Staffing minimum's get less and less until you cannot provide service continuity...

Then the PR merchants get to spin that we have enough staff available, just not on that day etc... It's not our fault that 3 people called in sick with short notice... Despite the fact that it was 1 etc...

To all my friends in ASA management, "hello" from Ireland! Perhaps some of you could get a junket and see how staffing numbers should be managed... Sure the troops whinge about management here too, but it's an amazingly different attitude to staffing numbers and rostering. I know what I'm working in 2011 already; it will only be broken by training requirements or leave.

When was the last time Ireland had TIBA or traffic management because of unavailability of staff ask yourself, "why?".

Where is the real benefit to industry by running on the bones of your arse? It doesn't make sense; it's false economics always has been and always will be.

27th Sep 2009, 21:23
That post should be printed out and posted directly to both the management of AsA (you'd need a lot of paper, granted...), and the managers AND commercial departments of the airlines.

Maybe even a decent journalist? (sic)

28th Sep 2009, 09:50
Lest you gentle readers think that this is just a big smoke problem....

If ONE ...(1) Cairns controller.... gets hit by a bus/falls pregnant/ is sent to the funny farm etc... in the next 9 months.

Its all leave canceled lad/laddies ....and youŕe all chained H24 to the console... pass the slops bucket I need to pee!!!

The excreta will hit the rotating oscillator.. and be spread far and wide!

Duck and Cover!


Nautilus Blue
28th Sep 2009, 14:13
We look at those figures and see dangerous mismanagement. A manager would look at those and see a massive improvement is efficiency, obviously the result of excellent management, and conclude that in 2010 you will only need 54 controllers :rolleyes:.

Mr. Hat
29th Sep 2009, 00:58
Was that list of "managers" for real?

This type of problem seems to be in every facet of Australian life nowadays. Everthing is run at bare bones with no back up plan. Have a look at aged health or hospitals - its the same story over and over. Doesn't sound like the "managers" are "managing" anything at all.

Things will change when the beancounters of the respective QF and VB start working out that the Airservices "savings" are coming out of the ailines bottom line. Sounds like the penny is dropping over in VB land.

And they want a reduction in emissions. Yearright.