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Darwin ATC. Nothing to see here, move along

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Darwin ATC. Nothing to see here, move along

Old 16th Oct 2014, 21:36
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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nautilus blue

I really don't think we need to get into discussions about who wins if there are a certain amount of aircraft movements ie. Military or Civil

What we need to see is increased safety for aircraft operating in Military CTA - both military and civil.

To make a huge step in the right direction, the DoD need to approach ASA and ask them to contract some trainers for a certain period. The civi contractors could advise and supervise improvements.

The military use civilian contractors all the time - why not in ATC consultation?
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Old 16th Oct 2014, 23:16
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Captain

They already do
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Old 17th Oct 2014, 00:14
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Airservices do not have ab initio approach controllers (they tried once many years ago with limited success and decided to abandon the idea). Most approach controllers have at least 5 years experience in enroute before they go to approach. I am not saying the approach in necessarily more difficult than enroute, but from what I have gleaned from my colleagues who have made the transition, is that things happen a lot faster and you have much less thinking time. The experience gained in enroute is vital to this as you have already learnt alot about aircraft performance, communications etc. This may be where some of the RAAF issues come from.
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Old 17th Oct 2014, 06:17
  #44 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
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Don't get me wrong. I said how bad some these people are. Not all are that bad, in fact some are very good controllers. The facts speak for themselves though I am afraid. Some of the biggest and closest LOS events in the past ten years in ASA have have been by ex RAAF controllers. I put it down to three things.

1: Their initial training as RAAF controllers is not up to standard.

2: They have a culture in the operational environment in the RAAF of having a senior controller watching over them and giving advice, so when they cross to ASA their perceived safety net no longer exists in a lot of cases.

3: They only do tower and approach in the RAAF, so when they cross over to ASA the ones that go to enroute have nil experience in that type of ATC. I remember an instructor in the ASA college many years ago telling me that he would rather teach a person with no ATC experience at all then an ex RAAF controller because the ex RAAF controller already was a product of bad culture and training where as the new person was a clean slate.

The RAAF ATC school and ATC bases need a big fat broom put through them quick smart, before we are talking about more then bad controllers and as a previous post said, maybe an alliance between the ASA school and RAAF school would be a good thing.
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Old 19th Oct 2014, 04:07
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Grrr pots and kettles

given all of the internal noise about the inadequacies of the old Learning Academy and the OJT in civil ATC, maybe a completely new integrated civil-military training approach is required...
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Old 19th Oct 2014, 06:55
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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given all of the internal noise about the inadequacies of the old Learning Academy and the OJT in civil ATC, maybe a completely new integrated civil-military training approach is required...
Could be a cost saving as well, I wonder if OneSky has looked at that?

With regard to the Learning Academy (nee Training College) part of it is that ATC's just like to complain about training and trainees. Controllers have been saying 'training/trainees these days is/are rubbish' since I started 20 years ago.
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Old 19th Oct 2014, 10:36
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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I would love to see the evidence that RAAFies going to ASA have more sep breakdowns! That is drawing a pretty long bow.
Both organisations go through phases of being the media whipping boy. I havent seen much difference between a good controller ASA trained and a good controller RAAF trained. However, a crap controller is still crap regardless of their training. The main difference is that ASA has a better operating system. Lets face facts, if it wasnt for TCAS and STCAs there would have been some airframe losses. The RAAF has a system that Moses bought down from the mount.
So putting the pissing contest aside, controllers in both organisations do what they do (with different imperatives) quite well. And everyone from the top down is trying to do it better.
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Old 19th Oct 2014, 19:58
  #48 (permalink)  
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So putting the pissing contest aside, controllers in both organisations do what they do (with different imperatives) quite well. And everyone from the top down is trying to do it better.
This is where I disagree. The RAAF will not admit there is an issue, they rarely if ever do and I suspect nothing will change.
The ATSB is not satisfied that the DoD has adequately addressed the safety issues regarding the provision of refresher training to air traffic controllers for the scanning of green radar returns and in compromised separation recovery requirements and techniques. As a result, the ATSB has made formal recommendations to the DoD to take further safety action on these issues.
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Old 19th Oct 2014, 20:12
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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They may not be running around in multi coloured ties saying watch the birdie but they are taking it seriously.

Just because the sole atc qualified investigator at ATSB makes a recommendation doesnt mean its valid. Ive read and provided feedback on investigations that were factually incorrect because the investigator could not read MATS or AIP. ATSB doesnt even reply and just leaves the errors in the reports.
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Old 19th Oct 2014, 23:20
  #50 (permalink)  
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I rely on 38 years of experience in the industry and within that time I have not seen any improvement at all.
lets just live with the opening statement "Nothing to see here, move along" deny deny deny is firmly entrenched in the RAAF culture!
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Old 20th Oct 2014, 02:50
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Ok Pavement, care to share your examples?
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Old 20th Oct 2014, 05:16
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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I spent 10 years flying out of DRW during the 80's and the RAAF handled Approach & Tower in those years. For their experience level, most of the controllers were quite good and back in the old days of ops control, they often put paid to suggestions out of ops that they should do what ops said. It was often nice to watch!! Biggest problem back then was the amount of on the job training conducted - it seemed to go on all day every day and the industry were the ones stuffed about as a result. One thing that the local RAPAC achieved back then was that the terms of controllers in DRW were extended from 2 to 3 years. Don't know if that is still the case, but back then it certainly watered down the amount of training that we in the industry saw. DRW was certainly a good ATC training base for them as it saw a great variety of aircraft and operators... Private, GA, RPT, Military, B52's, Mirage etc. One of the RAAF controllers back then is now the EGM ATC at AirServices and certainly would know all the issues.
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Old 20th Oct 2014, 11:32
  #53 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2014
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For the record, the corrugated iron is sound proof walling, the crude portable monitor stand is not crude, there are no ventillation holes on the top of the console where the quick reference sheets and charts are sitting, the thermometer is in fact a timer to monitor airspace activation times and yes, drinks in lided containers are permitted, as operator comfort in a safety critical environment is paramount.

Let's just stick with the facts. If they alone paint a concerning picture, so be it and something should be done. But let's not pervert the discussion with uninformed hyperbole. Chook shed indeed.
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Old 22nd Oct 2014, 08:34
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Unlike ASA the RAAF arent left to their own devices when it comes to budgeting, every dollar that comes out of the defence budget, some percentage of that is going to be a hit on ATC units.

As someone previously said, ATC personel has been cut in the last 8 years or so (losing some non control staff) which means greater workload on controllers, more workload at the console and more fatigued controllers.

This adds up to... poorer ATC retention, more training required and less experience at the console.

Corporate knowledge is being lost at a greater rate than recent years because of retention issues....and it doesnt look like getting better any time soon.

There is good news however. If you would agree that the above mentioned are valid points, you can write to your local member, the treasurer and the prime minister (like I have) and protest the current pay deal which has been presented to the members of the ADF. Because as it stands, the problem will get worse if retention gets worse (it will).

You guys seem to forget that the controllers simply have to play the hand they are dealt, they are members of the military, they dont have a union, they have no advocate they are simply a cog in the machine. In order to solve issues of this magnitude you need to solve the problem at its root. We need people to want to stay in the military, get experience and pass that on as best they can to others. At the moment you have people with 12 months experience teaching others to do the job (out of pure necessity).

Write your safety occurence reports, send them in, write to your member and provide evidence of the situation otherwise you are just a bunch of people whinging on a forum just like the rest of the internet.

That is what you need to do in order to even start to fix this problem.

BTW ASA have nowhere near the manning to staff darwin, we barely have enough to staff the jobs we have now, if darwin was to civilianise it would be people walking out on friday in a blue suit and the same people walking in with jeans on saturday, dont kid yourself.
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Old 22nd Oct 2014, 09:20
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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drinks in lided containers are permitted, as operator comfort in a safety critical environment is paramount.
Pity the bloke in the Topgun tower didn't have one on his coffee...
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Old 23rd Oct 2014, 02:28
  #56 (permalink)  
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As someone previously said, ATC personel has been cut in the last 8 years or so (losing some non control staff) which means greater workload on controllers, more workload at the console and more fatigued controllers.

This adds up to... poorer ATC retention, more training required and less experience at the console.

Corporate knowledge is being lost at a greater rate than recent years because of retention issues....and it doesnt look like getting better any time soon.
If you are referring to RAAF ATC then I believe its irrelevant to this conversation, From my experience standards haven't decreased, they have scraped along the bottom for many years.

You guys seem to forget that the controllers simply have to play the hand they are dealt, they are members of the military, they dont have a union, they have no advocate they are simply a cog in the machine. In order to solve issues of this magnitude you need to solve the problem at its root. We need people to want to stay in the military, get experience and pass that on as best they can to others. At the moment you have people with 12 months experience teaching others to do the job (out of pure necessity).
I don't think thats a fair comment. Its the sytem thats at fault and all bar one poster seem to support that. i.e. they are not attacking the individuals. My only gripe with individual controllers is that they deny deny deny there is an issue.

Write your safety occurence reports, send them in, write to your member and provide evidence of the situation otherwise you are just a bunch of people whinging on a forum just like the rest of the internet.

That is what you need to do in order to even start to fix this problem.
I wish that were true.
I have submitted countless reports, pushed for and achieved a joint audit by RAAF and who ever the Civil ATC was back then (25 years ago) all with the promise (by RAAF) that we would be informed of the outcome. Of course that never happened, nothing changed.
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Old 23rd Oct 2014, 09:02
  #57 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2014
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Originally Posted by RENURPP
My only gripe with individual controllers is that they deny deny deny there is an issue.

In a good many of cases, if not the majority, you will find that is not correct. Spend a bit of time in the tower cabin or approach room and you will find that there is no denial. Many of the systemic issues being discussed here are discussed ad nauseam in these environments. Many of the frustrations voiced here are shared by those at the console. The issues go far beyond the guy or girl on the other end of the radio. The majority do the best they can within the constraints of the system they have. As has been pointed out, remember that it is the military and there is no union. Change takes a very long time. That is not an excuse, but a causal factor. That said, 25 years is way too long to wait for change.
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Old 1st Jun 2015, 10:22
  #58 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Australia
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Improvements last Thursday's AIRAC date. Airservices helped Defence towards a fix.
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