View Full Version : SYD ATC 2nd December

2nd Dec 2012, 23:12
Anyone know what was going on with ATC on Sunday afternoon?

No weather at the airport all day. Sunday afternoon reduced traffic to begin with.
Notam goes out for 45 min traffic holding. People holding for 60mins, diversions, Min Fuel calls, departures held, all goes pear shaped.

Heard no explanation as to why such a shambolic situation occurred given that people were doing visual approaches most of the day.

Given airlines are paying for a service that performance was nowhere near acceptable.:=
The guys at the coalface do the best with what they have, but I suspect that more resources need to be spent on manpower and not building Ivory Towers.

3rd Dec 2012, 00:28
Given airlines are paying for a service that performance was nowhere near acceptable.:=Since when are Airlines and what they are paying for a consideration? It's not what ASA management can do for aviation, it's what ASA management can do for ASA management! Herr Russell is a prime robust example.

The guys at the coalface do the best with what they have, but I suspect that more resources need to be spent on manpower and not building Ivory Towers. Shhhhhh, please don't mention resources, it's a dirty word. Now if you mentioned lobster and truffles with the Minister, additional mid-level bureaucrats, international conferences, stall tactics, postulation and incompetence then you would see the Execs scuttle and race to the nearest trough! But don't worry, next years budget will no doubt include funding for an additional 1.02 Controllers!!

3rd Dec 2012, 00:53
I heard the chaos on the radio as we pushed back in Sydney. Couldn't understand the fuss. The weather was fine, windy but straight down 16. There was very little ground traffic, and we departed as soon as we called ready. Possibly the fastest departure from Sydney! Seemed awfully quiet on the ground!

Very odd.

3rd Dec 2012, 00:59
We held for 30 minutes and learnt on the bus other domestic aircraft were held or delayed on stand to take on more fuel as the requirements increased. That coupled with the traffic that amassed by 7pm going into the domestic terminal and the closure of the airport line ruined a lot of people's sunday nights :suspect:

Talk was going around it may have had somthing to do with the ongoing slow work/disputes at ASA? Or is that more tripe? If so they're not doing themselves many favours with the tax payer.

bloated goat
3rd Dec 2012, 01:13
Our Ops said staff shortages.

3rd Dec 2012, 01:33
Held for 45mins and landed on 16L and expected to see chaos on the ground. Actually it was pretty much dead in a sydney sense. Expected to also see a trail a mile long for both runways but no one else landed on 16L in the time we taxied back past B8. Listening to the company freq. we could still hear plenty of aircraft doing laps.
Not sure what the problem was. If it was a staff shortage, be good if it was advised so that we are all in the loop.

3rd Dec 2012, 01:51
Ya gotta love Australian ATC...

3rd Dec 2012, 01:53
SYD has been a mess all week for arrivals.

ASA should really get the shit in order.:ugh:

3rd Dec 2012, 02:05
From the Qantas Source (http://www.theqantassource.com/):

JetConnect Boeing 737-838 ZK-ZQA operating QF44 Auckland - Sydney diverted to Melbourne this evening due to long hold times at Sydney. The aircraft then set off for Sydney, missed curfew by seconds and returned to Melbourne.

Surely a 737 would be able to divert somewhere closer than Melbourne?

Canberra? Williamtown / Newcastle? Even Richmond comes to mind.

Capt Claret
3rd Dec 2012, 03:03
Surely a 737 would be able to divert somewhere closer than Melbourne?

Canberra? Williamtown / Newcastle? Even Richmond comes to mind.

Can one get a clearance into Richmond at very short notice late at night?

If one lobs into Richmond or Willy are there steps? Where are the pax going to be put up? Are there staff there to meet 'n greet the pax and/or aeroplane. I suspect MEL was a much easier logistical answer.

3rd Dec 2012, 03:48
It's normally a dogs dinner if you take an international flight into an aerodrome that isn't used to it. Does Jetconnect have engineers and ground staff at those other ports? Is it their company SOP to carry those ports as alternates? I doubt it but I could be mistaken.
If the delays were unforecast and as bad as how they are being reported then ASA needs a rocket. How can a safety critical outfit operate so close to the bone?

3rd Dec 2012, 06:17
Yep, somethins up for sure. Holding patterns and/or orbits followed by max speed descent/cancel speed below 10. It's been a shambles most of the week.

...and can someone explain why we no longer hear "behind the landing xxx, line up rwyXX"?

3rd Dec 2012, 06:47
...and can someone explain why we no longer hear "behind the landing xxx, line up rwyXX"?something about stop bars
Our Ops said staff shortages.Wonder where they heard that from? Maybe one day Airservices can be as honest as Eurocontrol (https://www.public.cfmu.eurocontrol.int/PUBPORTAL/gateway/spec/index.html) (yes, Europeans know how to spell 'staff shortages' without coughing up foie gras all over their Armani suits).

3rd Dec 2012, 07:36
Thanks Claret,

All good points. What I had in mind was more re the first diversion to Melbourne; my thinking being that if the aircraft had been closer, it could have recovered to Sydney more quickly and so made the curfew.

Unloading at any of the airfields I mentioned would've been difficult as it was an international flight and those fields don't have customs facilities. And it's also true that the JC drivers would've been more familiar with MEL than the others.

The broader point is of course the pedantic application of the curfew. :ugh:

Thanks guys

3rd Dec 2012, 10:06
Did you consider Canberra??? ATC and RFF don't close till midnight and it would have saved 80 mins flying time too.

Maybe the lights in CBR Airport were on but no QF staff were home!! ( so to speak!!! )

Then again all they need are the refueler and some steps surely?? Lob in and out quick as a flash in a 737.....

3rd Dec 2012, 11:05
A thread on RVSM contingency procedures ( nice input there Nitpicker) has a link to a website called Webtracker, I'd never seen it before, it's great. I looked up the approach in question to see how accurate the " missed out by seconds " quote was. It was pretty accurate! They got down to 1089 feet before climbing out. The interesting thing to me is that they commenced the miss at 1059:01 .
If they did maybe 700fpm for the last part of the approach that means they missed out by only about 20 seconds. Seems a bit crazy to me in that the go around would have made a lot more noise than continuing to land.

4th Dec 2012, 00:48
RIC and WLM dont have customs. I am assuming that it was just a land and refuel at MEL, so no they are not viable options.

4th Dec 2012, 00:59
CBR hasn't got Customs (yet) either.

4th Dec 2012, 03:14
Canberra is on the list of approved international airports as an alternate.

4th Dec 2012, 03:59
QF use Canberra as an alternate. Don't know why Jet Connect can't/didn't.

Why I couldn't understand about Sunday was why traffic could not be pushed through. People were holding in/around storms whilst the weather at the airport was fine.

4th Dec 2012, 09:08
The link above to "Qantas Source " shows two QF 737's diverted to Canberra at about the same time that night. I imagine if the JC aircraft had the fuel then QF may have preferred them in Melbourne because of that. At the end of the day it doesn't matter why they went there really, what matters is the cost to Australia of ASA dropping the ball and not landing aircraft when the airfield was open.
Is anyone going to stand up and say " yeah that was crap, we'll do better next month" .

4th Dec 2012, 09:27
Framer l totally agree there has gotta be some sort of exemption for an aircraft that is short final and has to go around. The noise abaitment rules seem to be far more important than the safety of the a/c and pax , not to mention the extra 3 ton of fuel burnt back to mel.. Sick of holding for 20 min Then cancell speed below ten . Turn in early to intercept and slow down Then hold speed for as long as possible while trying to be stable. My two cents..enjoy

4th Dec 2012, 11:06
Sigh... sounds like another job for Sen X. What a busy man.

4th Dec 2012, 11:09
On another note, why would anyone even think of flying into SYD without 45 minutes holding fuel?

4th Dec 2012, 12:04
As I understand it, SYD ATC is stretched for staffing resources. They ROSTER "understaffing" on Sunday to be able to use their scant staff on busier weekdays. One position they might have do do away with for periods is FLOW. When there are weather diversions the predictability of landing times is more difficult. if there is no FLOW to roll with the punches and keep optimising the sequence as a result of diversions they have to utilize a fairly loose arrival gap to give approach a fighting chance to deal with what they are dealt. Inevitably there are suddenly opportunities for delayed aircraft to fill gaps because others divert and are late for their assigned landing times. This is when we might get "Increase speed, cancel speed below Ten" etc after a holding delay. The major issue is understaffing, and overtime fatigue for those that are there and who are fed up with being called in to work on days-off to prop up the system.

4th Dec 2012, 12:22
Noted. Increasing my standard fuel order to SYD to 60 mins holding.

5th Dec 2012, 00:19

:D :D: :D

5th Dec 2012, 05:01
Its all about staff shortages, i also understand the traffic holding from ATC exceeded what was required via the notam for awhile...
maybe the airlines should sue ASA for their increased costs :ugh:

Jack Ranga
5th Dec 2012, 09:23
'Request direct Honey, happy to descend octa'

'Track direct to CB, expect visual approach RWY 35, cancel all speed restrictions'

Gold, took me back to the 'good ole days' :cool:

5th Dec 2012, 23:10
And then there was yesterday.:ugh:

6th Dec 2012, 05:56
What happened yesterday?

6th Dec 2012, 09:28
Another boat of Sri Lankans arrived

Nautilus Blue
6th Dec 2012, 23:25
ASA's new CEO speaking in this months Australian Aviation about similar snafu at SY on 21st Oct.

"I'm confident that what occurred in this instance was the exception rather than the rule."

Plus ça change... :ugh:

Jack Ranga
6th Dec 2012, 23:33
I reproduce from another site one of the best summations of the appointment of another CEO cut from the same cloth:

'Brief moment of cautious optimism squashed, back to cynical disengagement. Thanks Gregaret.'

Absolute gold mate :ok::D

7th Dec 2012, 01:05
That is GOLD
:D :D

7th Dec 2012, 01:56
I was going to play 'buzz word bingo' on that piece in Aus Aviation with the ASA CEO but it wasn't even a challenge. It lasted about two paragraphs. Talk about using all the fancy words to say bugger all. I hope she's better at her job than she is at making the spin sound believable.

7th Dec 2012, 03:52
Not sure of another industry where such poor performance by suppliers would be tolerated. Joys of being a monopoly I guess

Oxyoxyoxy oi oi oi
7th Dec 2012, 08:07
As one of those doling out the holding during the rebacles™ of the last week, I would like to say kudos to the crews involved.

I have had nothing but ultra professional responses.

There have been diversions to alternates, emergency fuel declarations, exteeeended holding, and it has all been conducted without a hint of the frustration that the crews must be feeling.


Mstr Caution
7th Dec 2012, 09:51
As instructed by the company you can delay APU start till approaching the gate, shutdown the APU during a 40 minute transit, stay on ground power till 5 minutes to push, meet the COBT for departure to Sydney then fly an efficient altitude and speed schedule.

Then blow 3 ton of fuel out the tailpipe holding at CULIN for 45 minutes on a CAVOK day.

Passengers miss connecting flights, crew & airframes are under utilised.

I would say Sydney airport is a joke 24/7, but it's closed 7 hours a day.

8th Dec 2012, 07:58
I wonder what sort of timeframe you expect a new CEO to be able to see through the crap and abandon the advice of the managers and PR people who were trained to a reportedly Hitleresque regime standard? You complain about the amount of time that the rot has been going on but somehow expect instant excision and attitude change - best of luck!

8th Dec 2012, 09:41
Oxyoxyoxy I'd like to claim it is professionalism but it's actually resignation .

Nautilus Blue
8th Dec 2012, 10:32
scrubba - its not that we expected quick miracles, but we expected at this stage she would be saying "I'm looking into it" or god forbid "I don't know yet". What was was crushing was that she has already accepted the company line, blamed her coal face staff and nailed her colours to the mast.

"I'm confident that what occurred in this instance was the exception rather than the rule."

NOT -I've been told, I've been reliably informed, my GM told me, but I AM CONFIDENT ... She has looked as hard as she is going to, made up her mind and moved on.

4th Mar 2013, 20:58
Don't forget she is ex-Military and is used to following orders. Someone else has to be giving them, don't they?