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Terry Wesley-Smith rewarded

Old 21st May 2009, 23:44
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Terry Wesley-Smith rewarded

Aviators will no doubt remember that over a three year period, in his articles “From the Regions” in the Australian Aviation magazine, Mr Terry Wesley-Smith (the CEO of the Regional Aviation Association of Australia) constantly undermined everything I tried to do to increase efficiencies and reduce costs in Australian aviation.

I wonder what Mr Wesley-Smith thinks now? Many of my predictions about pilots losing their jobs unless we copied the most efficient practices from overseas have come to fruition. Already regional aviation companies are closing down, putting pilots out of work. Mining companies are now reducing staff and air services, and I’m told that there will be more bankruptcies of these smaller aviation companies to come.

I do not believe for a second that our problems are over. I predict there will be far worse problems in aviation – not only caused by the world economic recession, but also caused by the almost total lack of understanding by some professional pilots and many people within the bureaucracy, of how unnecessary cost must be removed.

Mr Wesley-Smith had no understanding of this at all. No doubt he is a very competent pilot – I think from a military background. However whenever I discussed with him my fears for aviation in the future if the cost saving reforms were not introduced I could see that he did not agree with me in any way.

Mr Wesley-Smith seemed to support everything the Canberra bureaucracy did. It didn’t matter what idea they came up with – hugely expensive ADS-B that was to lead the world, resistance to change in using the radar properly – they had Wesley-Smith’s 100% support.

In the July 2006 issue of Australian Aviation, in criticising the NAS system Wesley-Smith stated:

Indeed, the US system on which it was based is obsolete and will soon be replaced by a totally new system…
This was outrageously incorrect and obviously written to stop the Government’s NAS policy. I immediately sent to Mr Wesley-Smith the following comment from the former Deputy Director Air Traffic Services of the FAA. He said:

The U.S. National Airspace System (NAS) is not obsolete. There were 63.1 Million operations at U.S. towered airports in 2005. 739 Million passengers flew on commercial aircraft which was an increase of 6.6%.

The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NGATS) is a Research and Development Project that considers communications, navigation, surveillance and air traffic management modernization of NAS. NAS modernization projects are being considered all over the world by air traffic service providers to ensure harmonized implementation of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Operational Concept. ADS-B is a consideration for surveillance. Please see the following website for information provided by FAA at a recent industry day for ADS-B: http://www.adsb.gov/industry_day.htm<about:blank> . NGATS is not viewed as a replacement, but an evolution to capitalize on new technology to meet future growth demands in global air traffic. You may also want to look at the International Air Transport Association website and see their ATM Implementation Roadmap. It provides a level of detail from the user perspective.

While the U.S. is looking at ways to improve safety and service delivery, I am not aware of any plans that a major airspace restructure is just around the corner. The FAA implemented the U.S. Airspace Classes effective September 16, 1993. This is the current classification of Class A, B, C, D, E and G airspace. Except for minor adjustments, these airspace classes are not affected by NGATS, realignment of Air Route Traffic Control Sectors or any other initiative like the FAA Flight Plan or Operational Evolution Plan.
Despite me sending these facts to Mr Wesley-Smith, he made no corrections in the further articles he wrote in the months to follow.

In April 2007, his article raved about how fantastic the Airspace and Environment Regulatory Unit was. All he ever wrote totally 100% agreed with anything CASA or Airservices claimed – I wondered why at the time.

It had been over two years since the AERU had been set up, however there has not been one measurable change in our airspace – despite the millions of dollars spent on this unit.

Mr Wesley-Smith finished his term as CEO of the Regional Aviation Association last year, and seemed to have disappeared. That is, seems to.
I understand that some six weeks ago, Mr Wesley-Smith was appointed as the new Chairman of ASTRA (Australian Strategic Air Traffic Management Group). Although the website still states that Ian Mallett from CASA is the Chairman, I understand this is incorrect.

With Mr Wesley-Smith as Chairman of ASTRA, I believe we will see this group come totally in line with the cargo cult bureaucrats. I fear there will be more and more recommendations for Australia to lead the world without any understanding of the huge economic cost and the number of jobs that will be lost.

Already ASTRA is pushing and supporting the CASA mandate for Australia to lead the USA by seven years with ADS-B for aircraft that fly above FL290. See here.

Be prepared for more and more costs, and fewer and fewer jobs as ASTRA makes its recommendations to an industry that is in dire straits.

Last edited by Dick Smith; 22nd May 2009 at 00:01.
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Old 22nd May 2009, 00:24
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Dick,

I agree that unnecessary costs to all aviators and operators should be removed. The economic factors that affect the industry here and now are significant and will remain for the next couple of years.

They won't last forever though.

As you've raised ADS-B, this may not be the best vehicle for you. Perhaps the current economic scenario justifies lobbying CASA to delay the mandatory ADS-B for a few years. By 2016 we should all be riding the wave again. Who knows, by then somebody may have developed something that knocks it for 6 anyway.
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Old 22nd May 2009, 00:52
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Dick,
You are vindicated in your opposition to the unnecessary costs the pilots without capital responsibility constantly try to impose on owners.


As they drive taxi's and mow lawns between 2009 and 2016 to find a living I guess they might reflect that a lean efficient Regional airline structure with low operating costs in very sparse traffic densities just might have survived the downturn.

Reminds me of that old Chinese saying,"be careful what you wish for "
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Old 22nd May 2009, 00:56
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FreeWheel, I stongly support a move to ADSB in place of radar, I don't support Australia leading the world when the present ADSB technology is over two decades old and there are bound to be innovations comming in the next few years.
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Old 22nd May 2009, 03:21
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Dick,

I didn't intend to appear doubtful of the virtues of ADS-B, as I have supported you on this point in other threads.

I also mentioned in another thread that a man of entrepeneurial vigour may see the opportunity to supercede ADS-B before it becomes mandatory and develop the inevitable improvement that (to commit the ultimate forum sin and quote myself) "knocks it for 6". At the same time, developing a product with substantially lower price and application from an A380, a C162 and, say, a CJ3 might have a head start on capturing a global market.

I realise I'm taking you out of context, but I'd say "Australia leading the world" is overdue in this market.

I don't have the resources, or the technical knowledge required. Do you know anybody?
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Old 22nd May 2009, 03:25
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Once again Dick has another hissy fit starts playing the man and not the ball.

All of Terry's comments where backed up the solid arguments.

The subject Dick has singled out, at the time, if I remember correctly, the FAA stated that they where carrying out a review of their NAS because the Old NAS did not come up to standard.

I expect the review may take time.

But lets not spoil a good attack on a person with solid argument and reasoning!
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Old 22nd May 2009, 03:50
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Well after a short search of the net I find that I am wrong!!!!

My appologies to all.

FAA has finished its review and the current NAS is dead!

The new system is called NextGen

NextGen Defined

So Terry was right after all - imagine that!!!!

A quote from the FAA itself:

Delays resulting from the constraints of the current NAS already cost the United States approximately $9.4 billion annually, and that number will continue to spiral if nothing is done.

So can anyone tell me why we are copying the "Outdated" US NAS????
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Old 22nd May 2009, 10:07
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Known people to call lawyers over less.....
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Old 22nd May 2009, 10:22
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Let me guess.... Terry is going to be a CASA board member. That's why you are attacking the man for having an opinion???

Take action Terry.
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Old 24th May 2009, 05:28
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Niles, fantastic post, thanks.

As it totally supports what I want.

Notice there is no mention anywhere on the Nextgen site to changing the NAS classifications of airspace?

That's because there is no plan for the FAA to change, other than in minor ways, the present way they allocate their ICAO "alphabet" airspace classifications.

Already airline aircraft in the USA remain in a minimum of class E controlled airspace.

I reckon we should copy the safety advantages of Nextgen.

To do that we need to upgrade our airspace to that of the USA so we can actually give airline aircraft an ATC service - we can't do that in our present airspace- with jet airlines operating in a 1950's type "flight service" airspace where our existing radar can't even be used to offer a separation service to IFR aircraft.

And Niles, I found that most of Terrys arguments were based on a resistance to change and maintaining the status quo.

Why else wouldn't he publically support upgrading the uncontrolled airspace at places like Ballina and Proserpine?

Last edited by Dick Smith; 24th May 2009 at 05:45.
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Old 24th May 2009, 08:10
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Many of my predictions about pilots losing their jobs unless we copied the most efficient practices from overseas have come to fruition.
I actually think that Australia should move away from the US system, as there have been far more job losses under that system. Clearly, the US system is NOT the way to go, as there have been more job losses under their system in the last two years, than there are pilots in the entire Australian system. Yes, more airlines bankrupt and more pilot job losses than the entire number of pilots and airlines in Australia.
I am at a loss as to understand why anyone would want to copy an airspace system that has resulted in so many job losses?
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Old 24th May 2009, 10:16
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Wow what a wild quote: I am at a loss as to understand why anyone would want to copy an airspace system that has resulted in so many job losses?

Job losses in the U.S. have NOTHING to do with airspace management !!! It is the economy, understand !!

And in Australia we are yet to see the real downturn as unemployment strips liquidity out of our economy, the next 12 months will be very hard for anyone who relies on a job supported by folk using excess disposable income.

We are 18 months lag to the U.S. always have been, as the $ AUD appreciates it becomes harder for Australian business to survive in a Global Market ergo jobs will go.
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Old 24th May 2009, 10:33
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I have always been told by the experts here that class E airspace requires more controllers than class G !

Even with the world downturn GA in the USA is streets ahead of GA here.
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Old 24th May 2009, 11:08
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Next Gen

Some of the threads suggest the US is going away from the current airspace classifications. I have spent a lot of time in US airspace and Next Gen is not changing the alphabet airspace. Next Gen is slow in coming and a work in progress but it is mostly about moving away from ground based surveillance and navigation systems and moving toward Satellite based navigation and new technology innovations to relieve air traffic bottlenecks. The idea that that the Aus NAS should not be progressed because Next Gen has changed everything is not true.
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Old 24th May 2009, 11:24
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Job losses in the U.S. have NOTHING to do with airspace management !!! It is the economy, understand !!
Well, I am shocked, Joker 10. I have been reading any number of posts by the highly respected airspace expert, Mr. Dick Smith, on these very forums, telling me the exact opposite. Mr. Smith (respected airspace expert), has been telling anyone who would listen that jobs/job losses are directly tied to the airspace system. Do you really think you are qualified to contradict him? How dare you hide behind an anonymous pseudonym (which immediately negates/devalues anything you have to say) and disagree with him, "Joker 10". It appears you have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo (which means moving toward the US system as Australia currently is). I wonder what that might be? A nicely-paid government post that doesn't rely on Australia moving away from the US system in order to save jobs?

I hope Dick gets on here pronto to sort you out. The system that retains jobs- that's what I vote for. Right, Mr. Smith? Australia deserves better than these "Chicargo cult" types forcing their dirt-road, job-killing, US style system on an unsuspecting, struggling GA.

Last edited by ferris; 24th May 2009 at 12:45. Reason: criticism for lack of use of "cargo cult"
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Old 24th May 2009, 11:52
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Mr Moderator,

Without wishing to tell you how to act, but as a past recipient of your fair and unbiased interventions and well warranted judgements, might I ask that you consider the following:

1. The original post is probably actionable on the grounds of libel and/or slander, and the named person is unlikely to be able or willing to defend themselves in this forum. Might I suggest you purge this particular thread and remind contributors to DG&P of their responsibility against making potentially actionable statements.

2. The thread appears to have drifted to a debate [yet again] on the merits or otherwise of alphabet airspace, which has been debated to death in this forum, and in many many other domains. Perhaps you might consider starting another under an airspace title if the combatants want to dance around this well-worn and ragged issue once more, for old time's sake.


WC
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Old 24th May 2009, 11:55
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Not a bad effort, Ferris, but you didn't get the phrase "cargo cult" in there. It's Dick's current favourite.

Dick,

In the earlier part of this year I took a shot at you over your opposition to ADS-B. You immediately threatened me with legal action ...

Last edited by Horatio Leafblower; 24th May 2009 at 12:26.
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Old 24th May 2009, 12:30
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Horatio, slight difference- I have posted under my own name, you hid behind a pseudonym

When you made your statements about me I answered you on this site.

Terry Wesley-Smith is free to do the same and it won't cost him a cent.

Wesley -Smith ran continuing articles against me in Australian Aviation - good on him- they were his genuinely held opinions. I did not threaten legal action because he had the guts to write under his own name.

I will treat you and others the same way.
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Old 24th May 2009, 12:58
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I actually link job losses to the higher costs that are lobbed on our industry because of the lack of regulatory reform.

I won't quote the dozens of ways costs are higher here because most will claim that the individual savings are only small and could not possibly effect jobs.

But here's just one example. Under NAS, Bankstown would be class D and aircraft coming down the light aircraft lane would enter from that direction .

Under GAAP aircraft must fly another 3 miles in the wrong direction to Prospect and then another 3 miles back to Bankstown- and even further if 29 is in use.

The cost? Probably a million $ or so in waste of time and fuel per annum resulting in higher business costs and job losses

Then again what would I know about business efficiencies- I don't even have a commercial licence.
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Old 24th May 2009, 14:19
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Dick Smith (respected airspace expert) said
But here's just one example. Under NAS, Bankstown would be class D and aircraft coming down the light aircraft lane would enter from that direction
Earlier, Dick Smith (respected airspace expert) said
I have always been told by the experts here that class E airspace requires more controllers than class G !
I am glad that Dick has highlighted the folly of moving to the pilot-job killing, dirt road, US system which will load enormous costs onto small businesses in Australia by forcing everyone to fly under higher levels of airspace classification.

The cost? Probably 500 million $ or so in controllers, millions $ waste of time and fuel per annum per IFR aircraft resulting in higher business costs and job losses, all so that we can spare private owners a million or so in fuel.

I would like to personally thank Mr. Smith for identifying the horrific waste and mis-allocation of resources that is the continuing move towards the job-killing US system. I can only hope the bureaucrats in Canberra are taking note of this new stance.
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