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Legal threat over reform wind-back

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Legal threat over reform wind-back

Old 2nd Sep 2004, 15:59
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Legal threat over reform wind-back

Fri "The Australian"

Legal threat over reform wind-back
Steve Creedy
September 03, 2004

GROUPS representing private and sports pilots are establishing a fighting fund to take legal action against Airservices Australia's decision to wind back the federal Government's airspace reforms.

Airservices last night confirmed it had already received three lawyer's letters on the issue but said it was unable, for legal reasons, to identify who sent them.

However, a source close to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and the Australian Sports Aviation Confederation said that "stern letters" had been sent by general aviation interests.

The letters are understood to relate to last-minute directives issued this week by Transport Minister John Anderson and legislative requirements on Airservices.

"Airservices thinks it's a bit of shadow boxing but it isn't really. These people are very determined and they will run a levy if necessary," the source said.

The move was the latest in a week of high drama and political brinkmanship after the Airservices board voted 5-1 last Friday to proceed with an option to wind back some airspace reforms.

Transport Minister John Anderson weighed in on the debate on Tuesday with last-minute directives, including a requirement that Airservices introduce approach radar at up to 10 regional airports at an estimated cost of $150 million.

He also directed that Airservices complete a full design and implementation safety case on its roll-back option, make that publicly available and check it with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

In a memo to staff yesterday, Airservices chief executive Bernie Smith said the air traffic control agency believed it had completed its safety cases and these were being made publicly available on an Airservices website yesterday.

He said the corporation would urgently seek CASA advice but the board decision stood and Airservices would proceed with the airspace changes on November 25.

"Distribution of training and education material started earlier this week," he said. "We are getting on with the job."

Mr Smith said the authority was closely examining the radar directive, which early estimates suggested would involve up to 10 airports at a cost of about $150 million.

He said considerations included what implications the directive had on other Airservices activities including the planned rollout of new global positioning system-based technology known as ADS-B, air traffic control training programs and radio improvements.

The radar directive has alarmed airlines, particularly the nation's biggest regional carrier.

Regional Express chief executive Geoff Breust said the proposal was totally out of the blue and the industry had not been consulted. "From where we sit in regional Australia, we have major concerns about what's being proposed," he said.

"At first consideration, we believe there could well be a substantial cost to get in place a system which is not necessarily appropriate for Australia.

"And at the end of the day, there is whole lot of new technology coming down the track that could revolutionise airspace management and we seem to be going back to the 1950s."

Another airline source said: "The NAS 2(b) was promoted on the basis that it would reduce costs and improve safety. It appears to be having the opposite effect."

Arguments continued to rage yesterday over the veracity of Airservices studies used as the basis for the Airservices board's decision.

Dissenting board member Kevin Gale, whose term was renewed by Mr Anderson for another three months, said he voted against the proposal because he believed the internal Airservices studies were flawed.

Mr Gale said his view was the board had needed more time to consider the issue and dissenting reports from other experts.

He believed none of the members was happy with the final decision and that they accepted it because they were told it was legally defensible.

An air traffic controller for 35 years, Mr Gale said he did not believe the terminal radar was necessary.

But he said Airservices had to install the radar under the national Airspace System if it went ahead with the decision to change class E airspace over regional terminals with towers to Class C.

Wirraway is offline  
Old 2nd Sep 2004, 16:43
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Grandpa Aerotart
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This is one of two things:

JA crash or crash through,

DS crash or crash through,

Tell me that more money won't be wasted on endless risk annalysis until they get the answer they want....NAS2b.

I've seen it before....really bad idea is proven to be fundamentally flawed in basic logic but just do it anyway.

It's like standing at the fridge opening and shuting the door to see if the light comes on...the light eventually not illuminating being the indication that the idea was sound after all.
Chimbu chuckles is offline  
Old 2nd Sep 2004, 17:17
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What TF are you talking about........??
air-hag is offline  
Old 2nd Sep 2004, 18:43
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How will AOPA manage to fund a legal challenge? I nearly choked on my beer over that one. Dick might be able to claim a tax deduction on a large donation.
Lodown is offline  
Old 2nd Sep 2004, 23:03
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Read between the lines.

The directive for Airservices stated that the approach radar service was to be established when practicable. I'm sure this is political speak for "when you get around to it".

To put in a new radar is not a simple process. There will have to be a public tender process, a government requirement for such a large project. This will take the best part of a year.

Then there have to be suitable sites found for the radar heads. This requires community consultation, environmental impact studies, etc. Imagine the court battles with conservation groups looming. This process could conservatively take 2-3 years.

Once all this is done, the radar heads have to cemented in place, alligned, connected to the TCUs. Training for technicians and controllers has to be completed. This will take up to a year.

The whole process can take up to 5 years.

Now between you, me and the gatepost, this sounds like they are keeping Dicko happy, while giving Airservices an out. Hence the statement from Bernie;

He said the corporation would urgently seek CASA advice but the board decision stood and Airservices would proceed with the airspace changes on November 25.

"Distribution of training and education material started earlier this week," he said. "We are getting on with the job."
Bit of "Yes Minister" here. Keep the squeaky wheel happy, but let the professionals get on with the job. Given that ADS-B trials are continuing, and likely implementation of ADS-B separation standards will be published in the very near future, the radar approach at outstation towers debate will be moot by the end of the 2004.
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Old 2nd Sep 2004, 23:29
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Can anyone enlighten me as to the basis of the legal action?

Atlas Shrugged is offline  
Old 3rd Sep 2004, 00:10
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Sure can Atlas
Its a dummy spit from people who didn't get what they want. Which I understand was cheaper flying with less safety. Now all the money they thought they would save can now be spent on lawyers rather than flying instead of coming up with a rational well researched model.
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Old 3rd Sep 2004, 00:21
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Imagine if every part of Government had a Dick Smith nemesis. Making illogic become policy.

Oh Shiit - what if it does!? Would sure explain a lot.
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Old 3rd Sep 2004, 02:15
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That's what I thought although I can't see how such an action could possibly succeed. In any event, the government is protected by legislation.

If anything, I would have thought civil actions against the individual members of the ARG/NASIG who screwed it up in the first place would have been the next likely step.

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Old 3rd Sep 2004, 04:56
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These fools who persist in trying to keep NAS just won't stop at anything. To highlight their intelligence and willingness to participate in aviation they are prepared to go to dangerous, childish and immature lengths.

The Australian 3/8/2004

Off Idea
AIRSERVICES Australia will raise security and safety concerns with CASA and other authorities about a proposed protest against plans to roll back airspace. The protest calls for aircraft to fly with radios and transponders turned off. A spokesman said CASA was looking at the proposals but thought pilots had too much common sense to heed it.
Just highlights really the divide between sensible professionals who use the airspace every day as part of their work place, understand the risks and recognise the elements required to operate safely and weekend warriors who are willing to risk lives in childish protests.


If any of you fools carry out such a threat, my god you should be BANNED FOR LIFE from ever getting anywhere near an aircraft.

Ibex is offline  
Old 3rd Sep 2004, 06:07
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You might well ask, from one who has been there and along with 3 others resigned because of the financial state of the company and the direction the other Directors wished to take it, I find the idea of them joining a legal action or even having the funds to do so, unless they are being "subsidised" by some person or persons . quite bizarre.

They are hardly representative of the GA community and continue to drive themselves into irrelevancy.

Elections Australia have kindly provided the following certified AOPA Election Results:

Ballot closed: ….... 5.00 pm (AEST), Friday, May 7, 2004.

Votes Lodged: …... 497 Ballot Papers

Name ……………………….. Votes
HERRMANN, John ………... 143
GAUNT, Gary ……………….. 143
BERTRAM, Ronald ………... 382 ….. Elected
WILLIAMS, Adrienne …... 169 ..... See Note Below
LYON, John ………………..… 278 ….. Elected
LOVELL, Kris …………..……. 227
RODGERS, Colin …………... 259 ….. Elected
MURPHIE, Robert …………. 249 ….. Elected
RAYNOR, Jon ……………….. 160
WILLIAMS, Peter …………. 141
NASH, Robert ………………. 240 ….. Elected

Total Votes ………………… 2,391

Informal …………………...........4

Adrienne Williams advises that at the time she resigned from the AOPA Board, she also advised the AOPA President of her withdrawal as a candidate for the election, although her name remained on Ballot paper.
This is the "voice of GA" ??

It is worth noting that NOT ONE of the new and relected Directors would have made it onto the 2003 Board at the voting level, with the current President being elected for the first time this year.
And they bring an unelected ex staff member mate of the new Presidents on to the board, to "help" the existing and very very capable "staff".
The best light that can be thrown on it is that the members have just walked away after their disgraceful behaviour last year.

All still being the orchestrated by the same ex Presidents who took a then respected organisation from a strong membership of around 11,000 in 1995, $750,000 1995 dollars in the bank, freehold Canberra building with the NFF as tenants, their own aircraft to maybe less than 4,000 now in rented Bankstown premises and no aircraft.

More adventures by Smith and his cronies.

The same crew who spent at least $250,000, that we know about suing their US counterpart AOPA and pulped $30,000 worth of brochures.

My question is, why aren't they asking the two parties what are their aviation policies specifically in regard to GA.
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Old 3rd Sep 2004, 08:15
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With a record like that no wonder they think like 'the monkey'.
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Old 3rd Sep 2004, 09:49
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AOPA and the others are not doing themselves any favours in the eyes of the general public, who (if my non-aviation involved family, friends and contacts are any guide) see the whole thing driven by Dick & them to "let light aircraft get in the way of the big jets" and as a result, view it as a reduction in safety. But then AOPA probably don't care what the public think.
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Old 3rd Sep 2004, 15:11
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Is this right, only 497 voting papers were lodged from 4,000 members?

That means that the current directors were elected by about 10% of the membership.

This poses two questions;

1. Is a ballot where only 10% of the membership were involved, indicate that the directors truly represent the general membership?

2. If only 497 out of 4000 could be bothered to vote, what does this say about the general membership attitude? Do they give a stuff?
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Old 4th Sep 2004, 10:24
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Haven’t posted for a while, but obviously from this thread hell hath no fury like a gaunt scorned.

Fair suck of the sav., Gaunty, you were removed from all AOPA Executive Committee positions by the Board, after what you did to then President Pagani, and not returned at the elections, there was no great “silent majority” supporting you. There still ain’t.

Gaunty, in view of your support for rolling back any or all of the airspace reforms of recent years,( and a few CASA ones) I have a quick multi-choice question for you:

I know how dangerous E airspace is because:

(a) I haven’t flown since CorpAir went bust.
(b) I haven’t flown since pre AMATS in November 1991.
(c) I haven’t flown for ten years.

Corpair went broke because:

(a) That dreadful interfering amateur Dick Smith
(b) If you have to ask the cost, you can’t afford to fly, aka “unaffordable safety”
(c) CorpAir couldn’t afford me.

Y’all hang in there, y’all hear what a’ says !!

’t ‘li’l fella.
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Old 4th Sep 2004, 10:42
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Yes I do give a stuff. I am 1 of the around 3500 who did not vote. I deliberately voted for "none of the above". Give me someone I can thrust and I might change my mind. 3 years ago I paid my 5 years membership, mainly to receive the magazine and have my 'finger on the pulse' in that area. When my membership expires I'll buy the magazine at a newsstand. I just hope that the lunatics don't spend my money on any more legal cases to feed the silvertails.
Perhaps we also should have 'a day of action'. Go flying that day and TURN THE TRANSPONDER ON AND USE THE RADIO as the AIP requires. In around 10 000 IFR and VFR flights I have been told around a half a dozen times "clearance not available, remain OCTA" meaning "wait a bit while we sort it out". Perhaps it's more how you plan your flight and how you ask for the clearance. If you're openly a rebel, don't plan or don't plan correctly and then demand entry, even your mother would object.
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Old 4th Sep 2004, 11:38
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I Fly;

Agreed! The point I try to make here.

Poison Dwarf: Why do you repeat your posts in multiple threads?.

Poison Dwarf: Why do you repeat your posts in multiple threads?.
Shitsu-Tonka is offline  
Old 4th Sep 2004, 15:20
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Coz like his bipolar mates he believes, like their bikkie maker hero, that if you repeat drivelous ? [email protected] often enough, it becomes true

There is a very large legal firm that wishes it hadn't and is very seriously poorer as a result.
But that is waaaaaaaay too subtle for the likes of the loonies who can only dream of (or Wayne Kerr off themselves) the likes of those who have actually been there done that.

One flew over the cuckoos nest more than once with these self proclaimed AOPA legends in their own lunchbox. quite sad really, have you got another $30,000 worth of brochures to mulch today or have we, or do we get with the "Bobbsey twins" for another Wayne Kerr competition in suing every body in sight. Pass the KY please.

In the meantime the rest of the us are getting on with the future.
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