View Full Version : Skywest sets sights on push into Asia

27th Sep 2009, 22:48
From: Skywest sets sights on push into Asia - The West Australian (http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/newshome/6106132/skywest-sets-sights-on-push-into-asia/)

Managing director Hugh Davin said yesterday the airline had dusted off plans to order up to four 180-seat Airbus A320s. It is expected the A320s will be used for mining charters on peak midweek days and for international services on weekends, Fridays and Mondays.

Last month, Skywest - one of WA's biggest intrastate airlines - ordered its ninth Fokker 100 for delivery in November to meet increased demand.

The airline, which is the biggest operator of fly-in, fly out charters for the resources industry, put on hold its announced plans to add four A320s when the economic downturn hit last year.
In the past three years, the airline has trebled its fleet of Fokker 100s and increased its fleet of smaller 46-seat Fokker 50s from five to seven.


28th Sep 2009, 03:23
Another bl00dy F50???? Argh! Surely there's a few spare Bras's somewhere.... Please, anyone....

28th Sep 2009, 03:52
I think you mean another F100, no more F50's?

28th Sep 2009, 04:37
Which desert did they order it from:confused:

28th Sep 2009, 04:55
More than likey the FK100 [people please read] will be coming from EU.

BTW - I didnt think the A320 can get into LCY? GT mentions that in his article, perhaps he means the A318?

28th Sep 2009, 05:00
Oops! Sorry... This is what happens when us controllers have a day off - minds turn to mush... Don't let Greg know though or we will have to work everyday, for our own benefit of course!

Either way, it's Argh! F100s are just as bad. Get caught too easily by real jets and too quick for B146s... Pains in the backside! Surely there's a factory in Brazil they can source the jets from instead?

28th Sep 2009, 05:10

They already have a Fleet of FK100's, aircraft are fairly cheap and all ready have the expertise from the type [and keeping a fllet common]

Why? Would you want to go for a grab bag of expensive EMB type aircraft that have DOC's high up close to the B737-700's

28th Sep 2009, 07:16
The article is about XR getting A320's not F50 or F100's. You are still asleep westausatc! Do A320's make you happy?

28th Sep 2009, 07:51
Actually if you read the whole report it says that Skywest are taking onboard another FK100 in November

28th Sep 2009, 11:57

Any jet not from Seattle is [email protected] compared to Seattle's products from a controlling point of view. Being totally selfish of course but that's what I have found. Climb rates, speeds over the ground on descent, etc. they are the best. If I have the option of making a Boeing or F100/B146/A320/A330/E190 number 1, will be the Boeing product every time. Steep descent at 320 all the way down versus much shallower descent at, maybe, 310 for a F100... Will get 5-6 extra miles ahead just with that. Have had A330's going max (320KIAS) and had to slow a 73 down from 280KIAS in order to KEEP my 12 miles - not increase to it but keep what I had. And had this happen more than once!

Hence, any increase in non-Boeing traffic is a bugger when we have such a large mix of Boeing and non-Boeing types already.

So in answer to your question - no, they do not. Only consolation is the performance differential is not so great as with a F100.

Those in my group probably know who I am now... Ah well... :ok:

28th Sep 2009, 13:42

I think you have a valid pont when comparing the F100 with Boeing types or Airbus types on departure with rates of climb & departure speeds etc. It does lag behind.

However I disagree with your assumption that the F100 is a slow aircraft on arrival. Give me unrestricted to Haigh for RWY 21 or Spudo for 24, and the F100 will be happy doing 310KIAS to just before those fixes (about 12 nm).

Most of the time I find it annoying when given a speed restriction of 240 kts or 250 at FL200 or above, and then when further down the line, am asked to give 310 kts for sequencing? How does that work?

Eitherway if in XR's case if they do get A320's, they'll be chopping and changing speeds on descent just the same as the F100 to accomodate the Perth terminal area. Just like their colleges in the 737 or A330 or BAE 146.


K- Ex.

west atc
28th Sep 2009, 22:30
I know who are Westausatc! :}

You should try moving to Ireland, it is mostly A320/A319 and B738 here. The accents are a bit different though.

The Austrian's still fly the FK100 here though but there are no FK50s! :ok:

29th Sep 2009, 02:37
That's interesting Westaus, considiering the A320 has a 10 knot higher VMO than the 737 ( 350 v 340 ), admittedly the A320 is a little harder to slow down but if you've been maintaining 340IAS instead of 330IAS for 80 odd miles ( 10kt buffer on VMO ) then I would'nt have thought it would be an issue ? Of course at the end of the day it depends on the 2 drivers and the company procedures, QF/Jet* have 250 below 5000 and 210 below 3, ( well at least they used to ).
Would'nt mind a dollar for everytime I got stuck behind a QF 737, Vapp at 10 miles ( OK, it would only be enough for a cuppa )

29th Sep 2009, 04:07

Thinking more the sandpit atm. At least there they provide a free trip home as part of the package each year. But we will see where we end up (if anywhere different to here!)


F100s may do 310KIAS all the way down but for us as enroute controllers, it is above 12-15,000 that it counts and they descend earlier than Boeings, hence lose the TAS advantage earlier and end up with a slower speed over the ground. If you were able to do 310KIAS with a similar descent profile to the Boeings, probably wouldn't be an issue.

It's the same reason Airbus aircraft are slower from top of descent to hand-off to APP and this is why I put Boeing first if I can.


Have never been told by an Airbus they can do more than 320KIAS - will try and find out why next time. Maybe that has something to do with company procedures more than the jet itself but that is all opaque to us. All we get told is max is 320. And then (as above) with Airbus descending earlier than Boeing (although to be fair, the A320 isn't too far behind - miles better than the A330!), can end up in a less advantageous sequencing position.

As for the getting stuck behind a Boeing on final - I am not one of the chosen ones who has an approach licence. I am but a poor enroute controller so I have never seen that before. Interesting point though!

What would be really good for you guys is if you were able to come in and see how we do what we do and see the difference in aircraft performance. It would also be brilliant if we could spend more time in the cockpit as well!! But given all of our staffing situations and budgetary constraints, I think we know the chances of that happening...

29th Sep 2009, 08:06
would also be brilliant if we could spend more time in the cockpit as well!!
Thanks to the brain surgeons at DOTARs, is that even possible anymore ?

Not sure what the Oz operators are up to these days regarding speed restrictions, our mob up here have'nt dumbed it down that far...yet :} But the A/C is definitely capable of .80/340, in smooth air, of course.

29th Sep 2009, 14:05
20 August 2009


('Skywest' or 'the Company')

Skywest Airlines anticipates capacity boom with new North West Shelf gas venture

Skywest, Western Australia's ('WA') premier airline is expected to benefit from a significant increase in capacity. This follows the recently announced A$50 Billion Gorgon Project - the biggest ever trade deal in Australia's history. This is expected to lead to a significant infrastructure and employment boon for WA over the coming decades and will be Australia's largest ever resources development.

Skywest Airlines already flies the bulk of employees to the region under its existing 'fly-in fly-out' charter contracts on behalf of various mining customers and is also the primary provider of reliable air travel to the North West Shelf's major service hubs such as Karratha, and Exmouth.

Anticipating that the Gorgon Project can lead to a new wave of resource industry prosperity and development in Western Australia, Skywest Chairman, Jeff Chatfield, commented:

'The Company is considering further expansion of the existing route network to towns such as Onslow. This will facilitate any future travel and support infrastructure requirements due to the Gorgon Project.'

Skywest has also recently added services between Geraldton and Carnarvon with connections to Karratha. These new service additions have been well received by the public and business alike.

Last week, the Company added another F100 jet to its Perth-based fleet of fifteen high capacity aircraft.

It is expected that these investments will in turn have many spin-off benefits for regional communities and the people of Western Australia.

New safety and tracking features will soon be introduced by the airline in an extensive fleet upgrade that sees the installation of an integrated Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) into its entire fleet of 100-seat Fokker jets. The integrated GNSS will not only deliver more accurate aircraft tracking performance, which will allow for shorter approaches at night and in bad weather, but will also save time and fuel as well as significantly enhance safety and schedule reliability. The system will allow operation at night to certain mining related airports that would be impossible in previous circumstances. Skywest understands that it will be the first operator to have such facilities in operation in Australia.

Jeff Chatfield said:

'The installation of the GNSS system will allow us to meet the demand that the Gorgon Project will create as well as the many other exciting new developments in the West Australian resources sector. GNSS will give us the enhanced capability to increase the number of overall flights per day and allows us to land at night at the remote and unattended airfields typical of the major mining operations.'

The GNSS system would ensure the Fokker 100 remains a jet suitable for the missions undertaken by Skywest for years to come.


For further information, please contact:

Skywest Airlines Ltd
Jeff Chatfield, Executive Chairman 07783 942 553

29th Sep 2009, 15:38
So pick a "standard" speed for Boeings to descend at and another faster "standard" speed for Airbus/F100's to descend at and .....................:ok:

Maybe 290 for the Boeing and 310 for the Airbus/F100 types.

That might even out the speed difference caused by the different TOD points?

Then you'd start from a more level playing field wouldn't you?

Section28- BE
30th Sep 2009, 01:14
Anybody expand on:

New safety and tracking features will soon be introduced by the airline in an extensive fleet upgrade that sees the installation of an integrated Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) into its entire fleet of 100-seat Fokker jets.Are we talking Honeywell here.............?????

S28- BE

My Bolding/Italics & Underline.....

30th Sep 2009, 01:38
Doesn't Cobham (National Jet) fly to Barrow? - Won't they be the ones getting the increased flights?

30th Sep 2009, 09:27
Section 28- BE:
Fokker Services designed system in cooperation with FreeFlight Systems.

No FMS or autopilot component upgrades required.

Section28- BE
30th Sep 2009, 11:26
Giday "IAW"

To shoot the breeze a bit (only play/lock & load when asked or required) been out of this silly game for awhile and am not familiar with the WA environment and nav aids installed, but- in the interests of being open & without prosecuting any cryptic angle, have had a read of (ex Google) the below Reuters Release of Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:32am EDT:

FreeFlight Systems and Fokker Services Announce Partnership | Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS89571+15-Jun-2009+PRN20090615)

and do note Free Flight is ex Waco TX @ 2001 and derived ex Trimble. And state that I'm not aware or familiar with this evolution of the technology or this particular concept.

Given the press release date and the words therein- has this System been flown/certified and approved in a Jurisdiction yet...........????/ as a Primary Aid...........

Having said that- a powerful tool/augmentation to the F100 and Skywest's position in the Mining Charter market as a primary aid, given the operational enhancement- as you own the bugger and if someone wants to play & mess with you, spend the brass and step-up, or carry the fuel and alternate. Bit like putting the runway/fuel in for a site, under the appropriate Contractual Conditions in Perpetuity.

As we all know most "remote" mines once they moved the project beyond the "Dirt Stage" were sold a GPS NPA (and the resulting operational limitations) with their site runway at inception (as it "would be approved" as a Primary Aid by the Authority "eventually", to save and make the system more efficient by reducing/removing NDB's and the resulting maintenance/certification, remember that time.........). Where pavement was involved/and a Mining Company was prepared to pay for it- it usually ran to a Bae146-100 PCN-wise - and why wouldn't you if you/& the "Advisors" could swing it.

For what it is/isn't worth- If, per chance "they"/you?? are engaged and/or acquiring the system (with the appropriate incentives) as part of the work-up & Certification:

1. Airframe Antenna/Sensor Location

2. System Strength and Stability

3. The above (2.) in varying conditions (precipitation, dust etc and shadowing in particular)

4. Operationally- "need a few more hours"............. there goes another 40tn of gas + Overhead.

5. Resulting and derived ex # 1.- 'here is the CAR 35 drawing' for approval application for the next hole through "your" Pressure Hull...................

Good luck to them with that installation. trust it goes well.

S28- BE

30th Sep 2009, 15:03
Nothing like some vigorous self promotion from Jeff and his mates Hugh and Geoff.

Skywest Airlines already flies the bulk of employees to the region under its existing 'fly-in fly-out' charter contracts on behalf of various mining customers and is also the primary provider of reliable air travel to the North West Shelf's major service hubs such as Karratha, and Exmouth.

1. The bulk...debatable

2. Primary provider...a marketing term, pure fantasy

3. Karratha...Qantas and Virgin may carry three or four people up there too

4. Exmouth...they do not even fly there. Learmonth is the name of the place

Now. These advanced GNSS units, are they like the ones I had installed in a C172 I flew about ten years ago?

Skywest won the Barimunya contract from National Jet but managed to not reveal the fact that their aircraft could not fly the existing GNSS RNAV approaches there because they did not have a receiver installed. Nice work if you can get away with it. The client naturally assumed that being a modern aircraft operated by a "primary provider of reliable travel" their aircraft would have a GPS in it. Well they didn't. To say the client was unhappy would be an understatement.

So now they market their catch up to industry standard as an advanced leap of technology. A brilliant strategy but smoke and mirrors I am afraid. Well done though guys, you got away with it.

Gorgon will mean lots of work for one operator to Barrow Island and flow on work to Karratha for other operators QF, DJ and XR. National Jet start Barrow-Karratha shuttle flights soon I hear and they will move pax from Q terminal to their own facility. Join the dots.

Onslow. The strip is 1600 metres long. How many pax will an F100 carry at 35 degrees off 1600 metres?

Section28- BE
30th Sep 2009, 21:16

For those uneducated (& lazy) among us (me), is Barimunya a GPS NPA or a GPS NPA with NDB and approved radial approach or is everybody running stand alone GNSS systems (if I understand what Skywest are on about correctly??) over there.........?????

Skywest won the Barimunya contract from National Jet but managed to not reveal the fact that their aircraft could not fly the existing GNSS RNAV approachesMight be cheaper to drop the NDB's in (if they aren't there- and fix it for once and for all).........., and will now go and educate myself so as not to fumble about here in the dark.........., cheers.

Ta/ Rgds

30th Sep 2009, 22:32
At a recent industry meeting in Perth (to discuss a unrelated topic) our guys were told that the charter industry was expecting about 500 people a day doing FIFO into Barrow. If you are going to upgrade the runway to take a F100 at YBWX (not sure if that's needed), why wouldn't you make it capable of larger aircraft and fly in a 76 twice a day?

This is going to be a decades long project and the extra cost of runway upgrade will eventually be paid for but the increased cost of 5 flights a day as opposed to 2 will be with you forever...

As to the nav capability, if the Skywest F100s are going to be getting GPSRNAV approved, almost everything we get flying to the north will be 7nm cross track (not sure about the Alliance F100s). We will probably be able to facilitate quite a few more level requests (especially following on same track) since we will be able to us 20nm rather than 30nm. Should be good for everyone.


Sounds good in theory but we aren't allowed to speed them up past their profile and most profile speeds are 280 these days (F100s normally round 270). Something I didn't mention previously.... As a basic rule, we work on 10kts less for the second being enough to keep the distance we have, ie. if I have 10nm between two (B738 followed by B712) and I want to keep it, if the B738 is going down at 270kts, I would assign 260kts to the B712 and expect to not have to change it, maybe 10kts if anything.

For my own curiosity, is it preferable for you jet jockeys to be sped up or slowed down? Would you prefer me to assign a slower speed and speed you up if I need to in order to keep my sequence, or would you prefer to be given a faster speed and then slowed down if there is too much closing? How about the props?

30th Sep 2009, 22:42
The runway at BWX is not getting an upgrade at all. That has been knocked on the head, partly I believe due to the environmental restrictions. So, it's more 146's from Cobham out of Perth, and as Icarus pointed out, next week a KTA-BWX shuttle run using a KTA-based 146 kicks off.

30th Sep 2009, 23:27
If the runway isn't getting upgraded, any other jets able to get in and out of there?

From memory, about 80 seats on a 146 (been a while since I was on one!) so looking at 7 or so flights a day up and back to move 500 bodies! How many 146s will NJS be able to get their hands on? Will it be enough?

1st Oct 2009, 01:00
why wouldn't you make it capable of larger aircraft and fly in a 76 twice a day?
Good question. My information that it is due to the handling of pax at Bwx. How many they can handle at one time and how quickly helicopters can shuttle them out to rigs. A 99 seat 146 three times is preferable to a 767 once. The other obvious issue is that if you lose the 767 the whole show stops whereas another 146 can take up the slack.

NDB Issues. Very expensive to put in for airport whereas the RNAV approach is not. No maintenance etc. Barimunya only has RNAV, same as Coondewanna.

Mach E Avelli
1st Oct 2009, 02:38
Westausatc, speaking for myself, I prefer to go fast in the early stage of the descent where the air is usually smooth and it can be planned to start down later than usual. By staying high then going to idle, it saves fuel. Lower down where there is more likelihood of turbulence, being asked to then slow down is often doing us a favour. Jets have speed brakes and the props are really good at slowing down anyway, so washing off 50-80 knots over 5 NM or so should not be a problem - with one caveat. If there are maximum crossing altitudes on the STAR, slowing down while continuing descent is a problem in the heavier types, so they may need to reduce rate of descent or even level off momentarily if you ask for a large speed reduction over a short distance or close to the crossing limit.

A slow descent must be commenced earlier, ie further out. Having to stoke the thrust up again low down to speed up eats fuel, so I would rather avoid having to plan for a slow descent then half way through it or later being asked for maximum speed to the outer marker.

1st Oct 2009, 04:11
A heavy 320 will lose approx 10kts/NM level with full speedbrake, any rate of descent will increase this figure ( NMs ) markedly. If you require France's finest to slow down/go down, this is as about as easy as stopping a road train with a toothpick, speedbrake markedly increases min speed, in some cases ( MLW ) nearly up to Flap 1 speed, becomes a bit of a juggling act.

1st Oct 2009, 17:29
Westausatc, in a perfect world:

TOD = 3 x Altitude plus 10 miles @ .78/300KIAS

30NM - 8000FT

20NM - 5000FT @ 250Kts

Just a walk in the park kazansky!! (mind you, the little ripper that is the 717 will do what ever you want it to) :}

1st Oct 2009, 22:48

Thanks for that! Will keep it in mind when trying to work out what to give.


Sounds like it's the opposite for Airbus (why am I not surprised? :} ) in that it is easier to speed up rather than slow down. Am I getting the right picture.


Ah the 71! Love them! But if it's not a perfect world (and sequencing into Perth is about as 'unperfect' as you can get!), which would you prefer?

Capn Bloggs
2nd Oct 2009, 08:22
20NM - 5000FT @ 250Kts
Pussy. How about 320 until 15? :}

Woops, I forgot. The woosees have just taken over. Make that 320 until 18nm. :E

2nd Oct 2009, 13:08

Skywest have just signed a memorandum of understanding (early Sep) which will see you ATC people coming for a burn with us and us coming to have a look at what you guys/gals do.

As yet no ones taken up the offer so now its out there we may see you sooner rather than later. Maybe a query with your manager might do the trick.

C U Soon

P.S. To all the sceptics its been approved by DOTARS and CASA.

2nd Oct 2009, 23:20

That's great! Exactly what we need! Unfortunately, unless you guys start your KG-ML flying again, I won't get to participate. :{ But it will be excellent for the approach/tower guys and you pilot types too.

If any of you are in ML, please speak up and can try to organise a visit to the centre to see how we do things on West Radar. It is different to approach. Likewise, I am more than happy to jump at a famil flight if it can be organised! :ok:

Captain Klink
3rd Oct 2009, 00:21
ASA and BoM have signed memoranda with several operators for famil flights for ATC and Met staff, but AIPA, Senator Xenophon and OTS are rewriting the jump seat rules.

13th Oct 2009, 00:23
We typically drive our Dash 8's at maximum cruise power. Once we're at top of climb we can get a pretty reliable estimate for CONNI or GRENE on the way into Perth. The only option for us is to slow down. Cruise TAS is around 240 to 255 kts for a -100 and 250 to 265ish in the -300 depending on the temperature, weight and altitude. That's about 165-175 kts indicated.

The GPS predicts our ETA's at subsequent waypoints based on our current G/S so we have to consider whether turning at the waypoint before GRENE will give more or less of a headwind component which could change the ETA there by a minute. We can slow down to around 150KIAS or less depending on weight, which will typically reduce our G/S by about 30 knots.If ice is not an issue, we could go slower, but a heavy -300 will start to wallow a bit with a higher-than-comfortable deck angle.

On descent, we can indicate about 210 initially from say FL200, increasing to 230 by the mid teens. I'm interested in the plan to have a requirement for aircraft to maintain 180 kts to about 10 miles, then 160 kts to 4nm on visual approaches. The Dash is pretty versatile like that. For instrument approaches we are compelled to be at 140kts (Cat B) at glideslope intercept when doing the ILS for real. That's approach's domain but I thought you might be interested. We love it when you tell us to keep our speed up as long as possible.

Kelly Slater
13th Oct 2009, 02:24
Westausatc, listen o the tone of voice in the reply when you ask someone for max speed or to slow down. Pilots want to go fast, even when it is eating into their own overtime and even though there is no sensation of speed unless you are near the ground. I dare say that most pilots would want to go fast even if it makes their job more difficult.

13th Oct 2009, 06:06
Gday westausatc.

In question to Alliance's F100's being GPSRNAV. I believe they all are GPSRNAV approved. The only difference been, that it is not coupled to the IRS/FMS. It is a stand alone installation.

Alliance have been doing GPSRNAV approaches since they won the Nickel West contract for Mt Kieth and Leinster.



13th Oct 2009, 08:27
I dare say that most pilots would want to go fast even if it makes their job more difficult.

No Kelly No! Don't go there!

13th Oct 2009, 11:44
What has any of this got to do with the thead topic? Start a new one or let this one die. :confused: