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Mega Merged: AsA ATC staffing levels

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Mega Merged: AsA ATC staffing levels

Old 17th Jan 2008, 11:42
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Nick Burton Taylor

What is DKW??
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Old 18th Jan 2008, 02:20
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The Melbourne ATIS is broadcasting expect delays for aircraft departing to the North for the next 5 hours.

If you guys have run out of coffee, Lygon Str in Carlton has some good coffee if you need some despatched to the airport to keeps things a moving.
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Old 18th Jan 2008, 04:14
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Maggot117

Actually JH wasn't a graduate of the not lamented in it's passing TSIT.

He was on ST75 in Henty House in Melbourne...the second last one of these that ran at the same time as the TSIT shambles.

And yes, he was young...nicknamed the Milky Bar Kid in fact
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Old 18th Jan 2008, 11:34
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AsA Strikes Again

Article from the Syd Morn Herald................






Qantas has postponed all its flights into and out of Perth airport for a three-hour period from 11pm (WST) on Friday night, the airline's chief pilot says.

Qantas chief pilot Captain Chris Manning said the postponements, between 11pm (WST) on Friday and 2am (WST) on Saturday, were due to safety concerns prompted by the closure of the airspace in the Perth terminal area by air traffic controllers.

"Qantas had deemed it unsafe to operate in this area due the downgrading of controlled air space which would impact critical ascent and descent profiles," Captain Manning told AAP.

"While we regret the inconvenience to our passengers, Qantas always puts safety first," he said.

Air Services Australia (ASA) employs the air traffic controllers that usually monitor the air space around the airport.

ASA spokesman Bryan Nicholson said leaving the Perth airport air traffic control service unmanned for these three hours was unavoidable after three or four air traffic controllers due to work called in sick.

Mr Nicholson said pilots entering and leaving the air space would be self-monitoring the air space during this time.

Mr Nicholson said he was aware Qantas had postponed its flights but added that he knew of no other airline doing the same.

© 2008 AAP
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Old 18th Jan 2008, 13:05
  #205 (permalink)  
 
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ouch some $ there....

ATS C0273/08
PERTH TERMINAL CONTROL UNIT NOT AVBL
ATC, FIS AND ALERTING SERVICES NORMALLY PROVIDED BY PERTH TERMINAL
CONTROL UNIT IN CLASS C AIRSPACE WITHIN 36NM OF YPPH ARE NOT AVBL DUE
TO STAFF SHORTAGE. SERVICES AFFECTED: APPROACH AND DEPARTURES CONTROL
PROVIDED BY PERTH APPROACH ON FREQUENCIES 118.7, 123.6, 132.95 AND
135.25. PILOTS-IN-COMMAND ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR COLLISION
AVOIDANCE WITHIN THE AFFECTED AIRSPACE. TO PREVENT OVERLOADING OF THE
CONTINGENCY SYSTEM, ACCESS TO THE AFFECTED AIRSPACE WILL BE
RESTRICTED. COMMON TRAFFIC ADVISORY AND TIBA PROCEDURES APPLY WITHIN
THE AFFECTED AIRSPACE AND ARE DETAILED IN AIP GEN 3.3 AND JEPPESEN
AIRWAY MANUAL, AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL (SERIES AU100 AND AU1200).
DIRECTED TRAFFIC INFORMATION WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE. ADJACENT ATC
UNITS WILL PROVIDE ADVICE REGARDING POTENTIAL COLLISION HAZARDS,
WORKLOAD PERMITTING. FLIGHT INFORMATION SERVICE (FIS) AVAILABLE FROM
ATS UNITS PROVIDING FIS IN ADJACENT AIRSPACE OR FROM PILOT BRIEFING
OR FLIGHTWATCH. SAR ALERTING WILL BE PROVIDED BY PERTH TOWER ONLY FOR
THOSE FLIGHTS LANDING AT PERTH AERODROME. SARTIME-BASED ALERTING
SERVICE FOR OTHER FLIGHTS WILL BE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST FROM
FLIGHTWATCH. WHERE APPLICABLE ATC WILL ISSUE INBOUND AIRCRAFT A STAR
CLNC. IN CONTINGENCY AIRSPACE, TRACKING IS AT PILOT DISCRETION.
PRIOR TO OPERATING IN THE AFFECTED AIRSPACE, PILOTS MUST: OBTAIN A
BRIEFING ON CONTINGENCY PROCEDURES FROM MELBOURNE CENTRE OPERATIONS
MANAGER ON 03 9235 7455 AND IF INTENDING TO ARRIVE OR DEPART FROM
PERTH OBTAIN A PROGRAMMED LANDING OR TAKEOFF
TIME. PILOTS MUST ALSO:
OPERATE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE IFR AND DISPLAY NAVIGATION AND ANTI
COLLISION LIGHTS AT ALL TIMES. OPERATE IN ACCORDANCE WITH COMMON
TRAFFIC ADVISORY PROCEDURES ON 118.7 MHZ. CONTACT PERTH TOWER ON
120.5 MHZ PRIOR TO JOINING OR APPROACHING THE CIRCUIT AREA.

FROM 01 181400 TO 01 181700
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Old 18th Jan 2008, 17:03
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Don't you love the spin. This airspace is operated at night by only one controller. No breaks. One person called in sick for the night shift. The TRA could have gone on all night except for the fact that a controller has gone out of his way and having knocked off at 5pm, grabbed a bit of sleep and come in on Additional Duty at 2am to work through to 10 am.

The statement points at excess numbers of ATC's calling in sick, whereas it's the efforts of one that actually stops it being TRA all night.
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Old 19th Jan 2008, 00:56
  #207 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Nepotisim
Article from the Syd Morn Herald................






Qantas has postponed all its flights into and out of Perth airport for a three-hour period from 11pm (WST) on Friday night, the airline's chief pilot says.

Qantas chief pilot Captain Chris Manning said the postponements, between 11pm (WST) on Friday and 2am (WST) on Saturday, were due to safety concerns prompted by the closure of the airspace in the Perth terminal area by air traffic controllers.

"Qantas had deemed it unsafe to operate in this area due the downgrading of controlled air space which would impact critical ascent and descent profiles," Captain Manning told AAP.

"While we regret the inconvenience to our passengers, Qantas always puts safety first," he said.

Air Services Australia (ASA) employs the air traffic controllers that usually monitor the air space around the airport.

ASA spokesman Bryan Nicholson said leaving the Perth airport air traffic control service unmanned for these three hours was unavoidable after three or four years of abysmal staff planning and the associated current staffing crisis.

Mr Nicholson said pilots entering and leaving the air space would be self-monitoring the air space during this time.

Mr Nicholson said he was aware Qantas had postponed its flights but added that he was sorry.
.... fixed
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Old 19th Jan 2008, 03:06
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Oh how i would love to see them admit that one Hempy
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Old 19th Jan 2008, 06:41
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im sure everything will come out in the first royal commision.
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Old 20th Jan 2008, 19:24
  #210 (permalink)  
 
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fly_by_wire,

unfortunately I think the royal commission will only come when something happens that is too big for them to "spin"

I hope I'm wrong on that one.

direct_no_speed,

at the risk of "me-too-ism" yeah, it definately does raise the bile in my throat when at the workface they beg us to do ED's and OT to keep the system running, but to the public, it's all our fault, not theirs.
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Old 21st Jan 2008, 05:15
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From today's Crikey

So has Qantas said please explain? Or has the concept of 3 or 4 sickies been accepted? Perth has one rostered approach ATC on night shift; you do the math, how many called in sick?

Air traffic out of control
MONDAY, 21 JANUARY 2008

Ben Sandilands writes:

Qantas refused to let its aircraft use Perth Airport for three hours on Friday night because AirServices Australia couldn’t muster enough staff to provide air traffic control in the area.


It has been a well-kept secret in recent months that AirServices Australia is so bad at maintaining staffing levels that it has at times left the pilots of passenger jets to organise their own safe separation from other jets.

Clearly something snapped in Qantas over this festering problem. With the support of management Qantas chief pilot Chris Manning pulled the plug on its transcontinental services for the duration. Captain Manning told Perth media: "Qantas had deemed it unsafe to operate in this area due the downgrading of controlled air space which would impact critical ascent and descent profiles."

Four transcontinental Qantas services were delayed by its mini boycott and there were knock-on effects for hundreds of other passengers.

Expect more claims and counter claims to follow. AirServices claimed three or four controllers called in sick. Surely it knew if it was three or four. The controllers claim AirServices is lying and that the roster was so tight it collapsed when only one of their number couldn’t report for duty.

According to emails circulating among members of the Civil Air union, the Melbourne ATC centre (which shares large-scale coverage of controlled airspace with the Brisbane centre) was 39 staff short on Saturday, forcing the airlines to allow four minutes' space between their jets and any others instead of the normal two minutes.

The effects in busy areas like Sydney-Melbourne are highly undesirable. And laughable, given that Australia has one of the finest air traffic control systems in terms of infrastructure, and a third world indifference to properly manning it.

A spokesman for AirServices, Bryan Nicholson, says pilots entering and leaving the unmanned Perth air space would self-monitor.

Qantas said not on its jets. Virgin Blue kept flying. Self-monitoring air space is a big ask if unexpected issues like fog arise on approach, or pilots have to contend with the unexpected, like cabin pressure or systems problems, when their workload is very high and extremely critical to safety.
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Old 21st Jan 2008, 05:51
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Is there a link?

http://www.theage.com.au/news/news/r...764143184.html

Wait for it? Airlines take us on flights of fancy
Reid Sexton
January 20, 2008

THE reliability of air travel between Australia's two biggest cities has hit a record low with levels of punctuality at their worst since figures became public.

The latest statistics, released last week, show almost a third of flights between Melbourne and Sydney in November arrived more than 15 minutes late or were cancelled.

And the Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics data shows nearly four in 10 flights from Tullamarine to Sydney — a route operated by Qantas and Virgin Blue — arrived late or not at all.

Last month, The Sunday Age revealed the 2007-08 year was on track to become the worst year on record for flights between Australia's two biggest cities.

While the November cancellations are slightly below the 2007-08 average, a huge increase in delayed planes means 32.9% of all flights between Sydney and Melbourne were late or cancelled.

Since 2003, airlines have given their domestic performance figures to the bureau, which is part of the new Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government.

The figures reflect an overall decline in the reliability of domestic air travel throughout Australia.

They show that, overall, 77.4% of flights arrived on time and 1.4% were cancelled in November — well below the four-year average of 85.6% and 0.9% .

Qantas said all domestic carriers experienced a decline in reliability in the second half of 2007 compared to the same period in 2006. A spokesman said Qantas did better than Virgin Blue throughout 2007.

However, November had been a particularly bad month for weather on the east coast of Australia. "High winds in Sydney … meant the airport was often reduced to a single runway," he said.

Virgin Blue spokeswoman Heather Jeffery said: "We can't speak for the industry but November doesn't appear to have been a stellar month for anyone.

She said several factors were at play: air traffic congestion, delays due to weather, minor unscheduled maintenance and record passenger numbers.
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Old 21st Jan 2008, 09:23
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One controller was unfit for the night shift in Perth. The other absences did not impact negatively on the night shift replacement/availability.

One controller extended his 0630 shift to come in at 0200 OR the closure/TRA would have been 6.5 hours long. Unfortunately this point has been lost in the media beat up. For a very long time Perth controllers have covered the staffing shortfalls so that occurrences such as this have not been more frequent. However you can only do a certain amount of O/T and remain physiologically fit to do the job.

The night shift has only one person rostered between 2300 and 0530 local. The absence was medically cerificated and the controller would have breached the CASRs had they attended for duty. Single person night shifts rely on everyone being 100% fit 100% of the time, or you have airspace closures/changes.
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Old 22nd Jan 2008, 01:43
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Service Delivery Environment project and ATC shortages

I thought it useful to briefly explain the recently installed Service Delivery Environment to non-ATCs and the major role it plays in ATC shortages.
SDE combines ATC units into 'like type' service delivery areas - Upper Airspace (high level over Oz except the east coast), Regional (regional towers and lower level airspace) and East Coast. East Coast is divided into Service Delivery Lines: AD-ML, ML-SY, SY tower/TCU, SY-BN, BN-CS. Previously, ATC groups consisted of all sectors within a defined geographical area; so a controller could work a low level sector (class G and E) and later in the shift a high level sector above (class C and A).
Now, for example, Regional takes care of a sector underneath an East Coast sector. Controllers no longer hold endorsements across different SDE areas so an ATC who used to hold 4-5 sector endorsements only holds 2-3. So a sector will be declared TIBA (no ATC service - pilot self-separation) when a number of controllers are available who held the endorsement but who's recency (5 hours plugged in per 21 days) has lapsed. It was clear some time ago that there weren't enough controllers to transition to SDE but management did it anyway. They WERE told. So AsA blames the national/global skills shortage, Civil Air, previous management and individual controllers. The correct way to project manage SDE would have been to build up controller numbers THEN transition. This was done successfully (with significant overtime) when the last big project was done - moving from the paper strip and basic synthetic radar environment of ATCCARDS to the (overly?) sophisticated TAAATS. A 'bow wave' of staff was planned to allow controllers to be released to develop procedures, train on the new system and ghost in the old one. The bow wave was more of a ripple but at least they tried! SDE planning was lots of talk without realistic controller number crunching.
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Old 22nd Jan 2008, 09:21
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SDE - What was the reason again??

Trueline..

Good explanation for the great unwashed...

Even though we controllers are still waiting for the "stable year" much promised after TAAATS commissioning, I think the bow ripple had a good justification i.e. introducing TAAATS...

It has been rumoured that some SDE Project staff requested over 30 extra staff to do SDE but management did not listen.

That is in my eyes a bow tsunami not just a wave but how could anyone justify such a dalliance (and expense) for all those well listed reasons for SDE...

Lets see what were they again...

a/. ummmm...

b/. hmmmm...

c/. ???????

d/. gee, can I phone a friend....
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Old 22nd Jan 2008, 15:46
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Truth in reporting!!

For any journos reading this - the posts by rack and stack, and trueline above are about a clear and accurate as you can get. Forget the spin - just report the facts.
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Old 25th Jan 2008, 09:46
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Like most controllers here, I am bemused (and confused!) by the recent pronouncements that we are only 22 controllers down - huh? In West Radar alone, we are currently training (or about to start) 5 people - as they are not good to go yet, surely we are at least 5 controllers down then? It would have to be at least 3, ie one group in one centre has 14% of the nationwide shortage...... doesn't make sense to me!

Anecdotally, I would have to guess that we are closer to 50-60 short across the country and that wouldn't even start to fix the shortage at the college and in projects, etc.

If the shortage is really only 22 operationally, why are they recruiting so many people from overseas (heard over 30 coming) and ramping direct entry recruiting up so significantly? Are they that scared of resignations for the sandpit or greener pastures?
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Old 25th Jan 2008, 11:32
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Are they that scared of resignations for the sandpit or greener pastures?
They should be. They have so little good will left that it will take some serious changes to stop people leaving. But you're right....that figure of 22 is way out.....and it's getting bigger on almost a weekly basis in Melbourne Centre.
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Old 25th Jan 2008, 14:26
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... they wish (****ing like big black alsatians) it is only 22
.
It ain't!
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Old 25th Jan 2008, 20:59
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Last week Perth TCU, this week Melbourne TWR... Did the TWR go TIBA/TRA last night; or is that just a vicious rumour?
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