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Sydney Airport ATC’s call in Sick, flights cancelled.

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Sydney Airport ATC’s call in Sick, flights cancelled.

Old 18th Jan 2019, 05:05
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Sydney Airport ATC’s call in Sick, flights cancelled.

Smacks of ‘Union Flu’.

Seriously, no back up?

https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-...-sick/10727254
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Old 18th Jan 2019, 05:32
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Perhaps desperately understaffed with no one available to come in. Happened a few months ago and will happen again I suspect .
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Old 18th Jan 2019, 05:55
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Quickly make it a CTAF and everybody get well again - seriously ������
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Old 18th Jan 2019, 06:26
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Originally Posted by Roger Mayday View Post
Perhaps desperately understaffed with no one available to come in. Happened a few months ago and will happen again I suspect .


If Air Services put a few ads on Seek they might find some way to cure this dreaded flu.

There’s about 140,000 reasons that might just work.
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Old 18th Jan 2019, 06:38
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The mass sickness just happens to coincide with mid summer days in Sydney. It might be interesting to see how many of them come back to work having partaken in some vitamin D therapy on their ‘sick beds’.
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Old 18th Jan 2019, 07:44
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Originally Posted by Carlos Kaiser View Post
The mass sickness just happens to coincide with mid summer days in Sydney. It might be interesting to see how many of them come back to work having partaken in some vitamin D therapy on their ‘sick beds’.
Just like pilots.

Good on them.....sticking it to the man.
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Old 18th Jan 2019, 08:59
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Some accusations i'm sure the of Sydney controllers would find unfair, unfounded and pretty insulting.

I know I would be if it was my group that was short staffed, and we metered traffic or closed airspace. The reality is that people get sick... that might be the controller, their children, their partner... and for whatever reason they can't work. In that case there are x number of replacements that are asked to come in on there days off to cover the shift. Sometimes you can't get people to come in at short notice on days off... it actually amazes me this doesn't happen more often... you'd be surprised how much overtime controllers are putting in to stop it happening on a regular basis.

Last edited by mikethepomme; 18th Jan 2019 at 09:19.
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Old 18th Jan 2019, 09:12
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When you flog people for more than about 18 months the rates of legitimate ilness do in fact rise significantly. So does the rate of alcohol consumption ( while off duty of course).
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Old 18th Jan 2019, 09:36
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No doubt some manager got a good bonus for cutting “surplus manpower” and saving lots of money. Should that bonus be repaid if those same cuts are proven to have been too deep?
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Old 18th Jan 2019, 18:06
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With all the hot weather SYD has been having lately the incidences of food poisoning may increase, as will sunstroke.
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Old 18th Jan 2019, 18:30
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while it would first appear not very professional BUT I wonder what the management in air traffic control working conditions, bonuses, feather beding, etc are like. I suspect the management is not filling in. Over to you management.
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Old 18th Jan 2019, 20:21
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Originally Posted by slack View Post
while it would first appear not very professional BUT I wonder what the management in air traffic control working conditions, bonuses, feather beding, etc are like. I suspect the management is not filling in. Over to you management.
bwahahahahaha... Didn't you know, management have families and hobbies and pets and the 7.30 report to go home to! they can't stay back and help out...

err.. I mean, "sorry, we would love to help, but are not certified, or lapsed/expired, so by law we are not allowed to, no point us staying here and making it worse, tootle pip, off to home we go"
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Old 18th Jan 2019, 20:30
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This can’t be considered unprofessional at all, and to call it Union Flu is totally disingenuous.

The fact of the matter is that there are times when multiple people can call sick on any day, and your employee numbers should be able to cover that. That the entire air traffic control system in this country relies so heavily on the controllers working their days off should be cause for concern. When controllers start leaving for better pastures in the Middle East, South East Asia and North America, exasperating the controller shortages, then this is probably a good indication as to the terms and conditions the front line staff work under.

Given that Airservices primary role is to provide ATC and RFF facilities - it strikes me as odd that only half the work force is made up of air traffic controllers and fire fighters. Airservices (as a wholly owned Government Enterprise) made a $75m profit last year based on revenues of close to $1.1b from airways revenue. Given the significant amount in navigation charges they pay, I don’t think it would be unreasonable for the airlines to expect that Airservices manages their labour force appropriately by ensuring adequate staffing levels (through ongoing and increased recruitment and improving Ts and Cs to retain experienced staff).

So rather than targeting individuals, it may be a little more helpful to take a bit more of a systematic look into what caused yesterday’s mess.
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Old 18th Jan 2019, 20:50
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I'm sure no has participated in un-PIA here, however it doesn't defy logic that ASA (or whomever these ATC's are employed by) have failed to realize that people are what make the whole system work. People who fly them, work in the cabin, maintain them, forecast weather, push them back, load the bags and manage air traffic are breaking down. The company I work for has had an 80% increase in sickness since their last drive for efficiency. The system is broken and the only thing anyone can do is self manage fatigue, stress etc. by going sick. It's about the only way people can stay safe AND employed.
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Old 18th Jan 2019, 21:43
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THIS ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
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Old 18th Jan 2019, 23:02
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Originally Posted by Carlos Kaiser View Post
Smacks of ‘Union Flu’.

Seriously, no back up?

https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-...-sick/10727254
Union flu...? Seriously ..?

You have obvisouly never worked at a chronically understaffed organisation. People can only take so much. Eventually they crack.

Who here can honestly say that after a long few years of smashing hours, standbys call outs, minimum rest on every over night and incompetent management causing delays that your 'care factor' has not sunk to a level that is below what it should be. We are all professionals but, we are also human.
I will happy accept the odd ATC delay if it means those boys and girls are getting the down time they need to function safely and happily.
​​​​​​I had a fellow crew member apologise and walk off a flight a few years ago simply because the poor guy had reached his b*llsh*t limit. He went from being completely normal to that of a tierd defeated man in a matter of seconds. I was a little annoyed at the the time but looking back on it now I am thankful he walked off.
Take that sick day or call fatigued when you need to. No one will thank you for not doing it but, they will happily hang you out to dry when you don't and your performance suggests that you should have.
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Old 19th Jan 2019, 00:20
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As an industry attempts are made (CAO 48 or whatever it's called these days) to regulate the work cycle of flight crew, and hopefully manage fatigue, which we know it doesn't do effectively. What about the controllers? Do they have a system in place? A case could be made that their input to the safe running of IFR aviation is just as important as those on the flight deck.
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Old 19th Jan 2019, 00:44
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Originally Posted by megan View Post
As an industry attempts are made (CAO 48 or whatever it's called these days) to regulate the work cycle of flight crew, and hopefully manage fatigue, which we know it doesn't do effectively. What about the controllers? Do they have a system in place? A case could be made that their input to the safe running of IFR aviation is just as important as those on the flight deck.
- max 10 shifts in a row without a clear day off
- a ‘worlds best practice’ FRMS that is pretty rigid when you are trying to adjust your own roster to manage your own fatigue or have a life outside work... but can be broken at management discretion in the name of service continuity

certain units/towers have been relying heavily on overtime to plug holes for a long time. Sometimes everyone’s mandated 1 day off in 10 happens to fall on the same day and all the holes can’t be plugged
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Old 19th Jan 2019, 05:06
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Was it a genuine bout of sickness or was it a organisational error dressed up sickness in a PR campaign?

I will happy accept the odd ATC delay if it means those boys and girls are getting the down time they need to function safely and happily.
The point is though that you shouldn't have to. When you look at the fees being paid for a ATC service they can at least staff it properly, and that includes some sort of standby system.
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Old 19th Jan 2019, 08:18
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The point is though that you shouldn't have to. When you look at the fees being paid for a ATC service they can at least staff it properly, and that includes some sort of standby system.
But what about the double digit profit growth year on year?
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