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Mega Merged: AsA ATC staffing levels

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Mega Merged: AsA ATC staffing levels

Old 23rd Dec 2007, 11:59
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It's not just Launy Tower closing - now it's Melbourne Tower too

Passed on by Ops early Saturday morning (edited for brevity):

"Melbourne FIR Notam C5870/07

0300-0330 local

ATC, FIS and alerting services normally provided by Melbourne Tower not avbl due staff contingency. Aerodrome control, ground and clearance delivery closed. PIC's are solely responsible for collision avoidance while on the aerodrome. Access to ML restricted. CTAF procedures in use. FIS avbl fm ML terminal control unit or flightwatch. Directed traffic information will not be provided on aerodrome. Alerting service provided by ML terminal control unit. Prior to operating at ML pilots must receive a briefing on contingency procedure and obtain a slot time. All airport lighting pilot monitored. IFR ops only and all aircraft lights must be on."

So now Airservices has closed a capital city international airport tower because it appears they didn't have enough ATC's to staff it. Launy is bad enough - but ML too???????? There's quite a few international ops at ML in the early hours- how much did this cost them?

Airservices - do us all a favour - make the whole country a CTAF, hand in the keys and consider yourself voted off our vast, brown island. I'm sick of wading through your War and Peace length NOTAMS telling me "... this is TIBA, that is closed and oh, by the way, we're open but expect holding because of staff contingency". Is "staff contingency" a spin doctors way of saying "ATC's are worth their weight in gold but there's not a snowflakes chance in Hades that we're going to take it from executive performance bonuses to get more of them"?

Thank (insert your preferred deity here) that I don't have to phone the Airservices heirarchy on a daily basis. I'd soon get weary of having to use the opening line:

"May I speak to an adult please?"

Clowns.
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Old 23rd Dec 2007, 17:33
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...............i'll just check my calender here, .............hmmmm just as I suspected.................nope, it's not April the 1st !!!....................you would think that with that Notam it was April Fools day !!!!

"Smackdown" hope yr not trying to ring the local kinda where adults are few, you maybe getting confused as to whom yr trying to contact there !
Airservices maybe gearing up for 9-5 buisness hrs only, after that leave a message !

Tnxs for bringing that to our attention, Imagine trying that stunt at a major airport in the states !!!


CW
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Old 23rd Dec 2007, 20:51
  #103 (permalink)  

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Look, I'll be there as soon as I can...just a few more tests & interviews ok!
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Old 23rd Dec 2007, 21:15
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It would seem that Airservices have insufficient ATC staff to cater for sick leave. Why? Poor planning, cost cutting or the inability to manage the organisation.
One would think that the overall poor performance of Airservices this year would warrant no bonuses for management, simply because they have failed to come up with the goods.
Its a national disgrace that a capital city international airport has insuficient ATC staff. The situation really warrants a senate investigation and the public hanging of those found guilty of creating this problem.
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Old 23rd Dec 2007, 21:42
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Was that for half an hour @ 3 o'clock in the morning?

Was it to give someone a break?
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Old 23rd Dec 2007, 21:56
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A man cannot cannot even go to the sh1tter in piece.
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Old 23rd Dec 2007, 23:49
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Before I go and celebrate the festive season, I would like to put forward my suggestion for the New Year. To view my suggestion, you have to forget what might have been in the past and cleanse yourself of any feelings of fundamentalism. My vision is based on safety requirements, the future needs, common sense and commercial realities. Here goes:
  1. The reality is that we have to provide Air Traffic Services (of one kind or another) over the whole of the Australian territory
  2. Another reality is that ASA has not been able to, and in all likelihood, will have future problems, providing enough ATCs to provide those services.
  3. Why are ASA having trouble filling the ATC places?
    • Worldwide shortage of Controllers
    • Reducing number of applicants in Australia
    • Extremely complicated and exhaustive selection process
    • Extremely high standards required of applicants
    • Fairly high attrition rate during training
    • Lack of morale and job satisfaction
    • More attractive salaries elsewhere
  4. This brings me to the logical question. Are fully trained Controllers required to provide ALL those services?
  5. What if a level of Controller, requiring a lesser entry standard and a lesser training standard could be employed to provide some specific services? What would be the benefits?
    • Opens up a larger pool of prospective applicants
    • More applicants would meet the entry requirements
    • More applicants would survive the selection process
    • A shorter training course … on the roster quicker
    • Lower payroll cost to ASA … and therefore, the Industry
    • Higher morale for existing Controllers who could be released from less satisfying duties
    • Existing Controllers would loose the distraction of providing Flightwatch services
  6. What duties would these (lets call them) FIA Controllers do?
    • Provide DTI in Class G Sectors
    • Provide Flightwatch services
    • Provide remote Aerodrome Traffic Information Services e.g. Ballina
    • Possibly provide on-site Aerodrome Traffic Information Tower Services e.g. Karratha or Avalon … a la United Kingdom
  7. What is the precedent for this? Airservices’ proposal for Flight Data people to provide clearances. Obviously Airservices already considers that fully trained Controllers aren’t required for all services
  8. Would the FIA Controllers progress to be Separation Controllers? Possibly, after a bridging course, however, as they would be recruited for their specific skills and personality type … they may not easily translate to separation.

Some Christmas food for thought ... cheers
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Old 24th Dec 2007, 00:25
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Yeah, and then you could put all the "FIA Controllers" into one room and put a sign on the door saying "Flight Service"
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Old 24th Dec 2007, 01:52
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More of the same today in MEL twr. The ATIS advises some frequencies are being combined and to expect delays. One must think that this cannot continue for too much longer before safety is compromised. Surely its time for all parties to sit down and figure out a solution or is it a case of pretend there is no problem and when the ____ hits the fan, tell the ATSB team that you were never away of any problems.

Santa has stocked up on Teflon this year.
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Old 24th Dec 2007, 04:58
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peuce,

are you AsA management?

"requiring a lesser entry standard and a lesser training standard"

here I thought that the aim of Air Traffic control was to provide a SAFE and efficient flow of traffic.
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Old 24th Dec 2007, 06:18
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Peuce,

What a great idea! We could call them Regional service officers!

HO HO HO Merry Xmas
 
Old 24th Dec 2007, 08:39
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Peuce

What duties would these (lets call them) FIA Controllers do?
Provide DTI in Class G Sectors
Provide Flightwatch services
Provide remote Aerodrome Traffic Information Services e.g. Ballina
Possibly provide on-site Aerodrome Traffic Information Tower Services e.g. Karratha or Avalon … a la United Kingdom
Been done before quite successfully actually.

What is the precedent for this?
Been done before quite successfully actually.

Would the FIA Controllers progress to be Separation Controllers?
Been done before quite successfully actually. A lot are probably your colleagues

Possibly, after a bridging course,
Been done before quite successfully actually.

they may not easily translate to separation.
It depends on the age of the participant. You will find a lot of your colleagues are very good controllers who have come from this background. Several are sitting on busy radar sectors including Brisbane TMA. Some have even managed to translate their skills to extremely busy centres in Western Europe.
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Old 25th Dec 2007, 07:01
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Back to the Future...

hey euro...there are a few of us here in the sandpit too

Peuce...What a great idea...why don't you float it by Dick Smith...he was the one that got rid of them, and then has screamed for them to be re-introduced in places like...oh, Wagga, Mildura etc.
Guess what? They USED to have FSUs there, and many other places, but Yank loving Dick got rid of them because the Yanks don't have them...oh wait a minute...They do have them!!! How stupid of me
So the more things change, the more they stay the same it seems, only this time it will cost a sh!tload more to provide the same(or poorer) service.
right, that's enough of this Bah humbug from me, Merry Xmas to all, I am off duty in 2 hours and going to eat and drink far too much...
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Old 25th Dec 2007, 22:52
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Thumbs down due to staff shortage and becoming worse

happy xmas to all you people out there,
this YMML twr closure is only the tip of the iceberg. The TIBA's that have been experienced on the area sectors were the start, but it will now bite very hard in the major capital city towers and the major cap city TMA's (CB incl) because Airservices management in their wisdom, have been hoodwinked by lower management that they have had sufficient numbers thus assisting those managers below to reap their huge bonuses on the back of working the existing staff very hard.

Now DXB, AUH and BAH are recruiting like mad and the aussies have and will feature prominently in the mass exodus that is starting tol happen now. It will not be just some retiring (but this will also accelerate very rapidly), but mainly those moving on to other ATC gigs overseas or some just sick of it and make a career change while they can.

The ME salaries will continue to rise over the next few years, just due to high demand and limited supply. Primarily in DXB but also AUH area and airport/app and Qatar, Bahrain and Muscat. the omanis are very slow but sooner or later they will have to raise the stakes or they will suffer the consequences and they dont like egg on face either.

Australia could very easily lose over 100 controllers due retirement and mainly due to OS recruitment over the next 12 months, so your delays will only get worse. The middle east alone will easily absorb over 150 - 200 controllers this year. Yes safety will be compromised even more as the ATC staff that will be leaving will be the guys with over 5 years experience (except those about to retire) while the least experienced ones.

AsA will never be able to keep up with the salaries there, it will not be tolerated by government here which could lead to a wages breakout.

Aussie controllers are generally held in very high regard overseas, especially in the ME so I would not be surprised to see over 30 plus aussie controllers make the jump over the next six months with more to follow. This will totally screw the management to the point that the new government will take very close look at AsA and its structure at some point in the next 12 mths and could take some very drastic action as this is what will be needed.

One can hope that they likes of their top 10 plus etc will be looking for new jobs within 12 months due to thier lack of management ability and i dare say will find it hard to find new jobs....maybe they can look to Serco as I hear they like to hire incompetent management.
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Old 26th Dec 2007, 01:19
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If you require a landing clearance, press 1
If you require a take-off clearance press 2
If you wish to speak to an ATC, please call back during office hours.
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Old 26th Dec 2007, 11:29
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Its my understanding that ML TWR has been in the **** for some time, that this was inevitable and probably just the beginning.

Its a case of all the goodwill being expended, I do look forward to the EBA negotiation!



The place is a basket case.

bgtfn
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Old 26th Dec 2007, 20:39
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Ah, so now the truth emerges!!!

The forthcoming EBA negotiations!!

It would seem that, as usual at this time of the industrial negotiation cycle, certain controllers take it upon themselves to 'help the negotiation process along', by calling in sick and leaving rosters short, by suddenly becoming aware of their fatigue, by suddenly having an attack of safety consciousness, that will only be ameliorated by a large dose of cash in the next EBA!

Perhaps the Australian Federal Police should be brought in to see if there's a conspiracy amongst controllers - and dare I say, even orchestrated at union level. Not saying there is, boys - but sure smells funny from here in the cockpit.
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Old 26th Dec 2007, 21:56
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wellconcerned you might be.

wellinformed you are not.

This staffing problem is not new. Without exagerration, for the last year (at least) I would have been asked to do OT on one, if not both, of my RDO's, and more usually, for more than one shift each day.

The goodwill has run out. We ATC's are tired, and getting mored tired.

And the EBA you refer to does not even expire until the 2nd half of 2008.
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Old 27th Dec 2007, 03:10
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but sure smells funny from here in the cockpit
There is definitely the stench of something on this thread but it ain't conspiracy. You checked your daks lately WELLCONCERNED?
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Old 27th Dec 2007, 08:14
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Typical lazy-a*sed wombat ATCs - oh poor me, I have to talk to 3 aeroplanes a day - I'm soooo busy, I'm soooo stressed - I need a break, I need to call in sick, I need more money - that will make me better!!!

Go ahead - go to the Muddle East - then see what REAL work is like. No potections, called to work 31 shifts in 30 days, great money - but REALLY high cost of living through 'keep up with the Jones' expectations.

You slack-a*sed wombats need to cop-on to yourselves and realise that you have exceptionally high paid jobs, for f***-all work, and really very little responsibility [your machines do all the work for you anyway].

Get real guys, and get back to the salt mines!!!
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