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-   -   Direct Tracking Not Available (https://www.pprune.org/australia-new-zealand-pacific/100157-direct-tracking-not-available.html)

tobzalp 23rd Aug 2003 06:39

Direct Tracking Not Available
From what I understand a Managerial instruction in the Brisbane Centre has not been communicated to the industry. In summary it states that unless it is for sequencing or separation direct tracking is not available. Expect to get knocked back if you ask for it.

hoss 23rd Aug 2003 10:16

I think there was a near miss recently somewhere in the 'Brisbane center' area.

ferris 23rd Aug 2003 12:46

arse covering
An arse covering exercise (surprise, surprise). We operate under the same restriction: Basically, you will be expected to give the same service (you can always invent a reason for direct), but when something goes wrong, the investigation goes as far as "the aircraft was off-track............" and bingo, you are hanging out to dry. "You weren't following an instruction." Managers certainly are adept at arse covering.

And Al, at least when we knock em back when we can blame 'the war' or 'military restrictions'. Blame Dick;)

BIK_116.80 23rd Aug 2003 19:52

To Roger Hope - Brisbane FIR OPS Manager :

Shame, shame, shame on you!

You’ve managed to take the black art of being a career bureaucrat to a new low in what can only be described as the most uninspired example of arse-covering and “Yes Minister-ship” I’ve seen for a very long time.

As Chimbu chuckles quite rightly pointed out (in honest john’s now removed thread on this same subject – if you’ve moved that thread to admin then can we have it back please Woomera?), by insisting that your air traffic controllers keep aircraft to flight planned tracks you are effectively funnelling all the aircraft down the same narrow piece of airspace – INCREASING the chance of a mid-air collision! This is complete lunacy!

By denying aircraft the benefit of shorter and more efficient direct routings you are not only wasting the operators money on increased fuel and maintenance costs, but by forcing aircraft to remain aloft for a longer period of time than is really necessary you are increasing the exposure of these aircraft to in flight perils. A better option would be to get these aircraft to their destination and on the ground as quickly as possible.

Modern avionics systems are able to navigate an aircraft from any point on the globe to any other point on the globe with extreme accuracy and reliability. But such systems are completely useless in the time-warped Brisbane FIR because YOU, Mr Roger Hope - Brisbane FIR OPS Manager, would have us all navigating our way from a 1950s technology VOR to a 1940s technology NDB as we are forced to take the circuitous scenic route across the great distances of this vast land.

You should be actively encouraging your controllers to issue MORE direct routings – not less. If your current work practices have difficulty coping with direct routings then it is your work practices that need changing – not the routes the aircraft fly!

The air traffic service that you manage exists to facilitate the safe and expeditious movement of air traffic – not the other way round.

The situation you have created is one where the proverbial tail is wagging the dog.

The sooner the provision of air traffic management in Australia is fully privatised the better (and I don’t mean the half-baked government owned structure of AsA).

Career bureaucrat arse-covering clowns like you wouldn’t last the first day in private enterprise.

Duff Man 23rd Aug 2003 20:25

Some airlines know how to get DCT

Ohhhhh YEAhhhhhhhhh!

ftrplt 23rd Aug 2003 21:13


having read your other post about random tracking and random altitudes being the way to avoid mid-airs, then I would rather have Roger Hope running the show than you.

Its fair enough for you to have your beliefs, however your post is quite slanderous in my opinion. Why do pilots seem to think they are experts at anything to do with aviation?

Im quite interested to hear what your ATC / Traffic Management qualifications are that allow you to make your quite strong assertions??

ATC in Australia is a long way better than a lot of other countries in this region.

CDT4 24th Aug 2003 06:46

When is all this ment to be starting ?, I got direct SGT last night out of BN and didn't even ask for it .


404 Titan 24th Aug 2003 10:33

I fly through BNE FIR on a very regular basis and have never had a problem getting DCT’s both asked for and not. I will see what happens over the next few weeks before I determine if this thread is a beat up or not. :)

Baileys 24th Aug 2003 13:42

Management policy is one thing but controllers will still use direct tracking as a tool for separation, traffic management etc. regardless. Not much will change as a result of this. The same sort of direction is published every six months or so. Any controller worth his money is always aware of the risks of direct tracking anyway. I really don't see what the big deal is. If it is enforced to the letter of the law by management.....no direct tracking then. No big deal is it?

Sue Ridgepipe 24th Aug 2003 14:20

404 Titan, I can assure you this is not a wind up. Heading northbound out of Sydney yesterday we were given direct tracking no problem.

Coming southbound, however, was a different story. Upon requesting direct SGT we were knocked back, and the reason given was that management have issued a directive that no direct tracking be given. We were then offered and amended route clearance direct to SGT!!

Can someone please help me out here, why can they give an amended route clearance but not direct tracking?

WaldoPepper 24th Aug 2003 16:58


Same here, on the way to YSCH via WLM, BN CEN said to us just before we got to WLM that a track direct to CH is not available, however, if we were to ask for an emended route clearance, he would see what he could do. We obliged...and presto we got it. Must be in the legallity of the phraseology.

Here to Help 24th Aug 2003 22:22

Baby with the bath water..
The management directive for BN Centre states that direct tracking will not be permitted except for separation assurance or to assist in sequencing. Direct tracking for any other reason is not permitted. (A full quote was provided in another thread that has been removed)

From this one could assume that any direct tracking for the purposes of:

- medical priority
- minimising track miles
- minimising frequency transfers
- general traffic management
- workload management
- ease of navigation

is not allowed, even if there are no aircraft or restricted areas to conflict with. For many (if not all) controllers this is patently against what they see to be a core part of their provision of a safe and expeditous flow of traffic.

The directive has apparently come about because the were some quite serious incidents in BN Centre where direct tracking was identified as a major factor (ie if the direct tracking didn't happen, then the incident would not have happened).

Without an operational document forthcoming to support the directive, some controllers have chosen various interpretations of the wording in order to provide the expeditious flow of traffic that the directive might otherwise disallow. This has resulted in inconsistencies in the way different controllers and sectors apply amended routes - if some do at all. This is evidently causing some confusion for pilots which can take up R/T time trying to find out what is going on.

Pilots shouldn't be wasting time worrying about what turn of phrase to use to make their flight safer or more expeditious. Controllers shouldn't be wasting time worrying about how to perform a balancing act with complying with the directive as it stands, and in providing a safe and expeditious service to aircraft. (BTW, has any controller yet dared to knock back direct tracking for a MED1 aircraft because it is disallowed by the directive?)

Tobzalp's original post suggests that the management directive has not been communicated with the industry. This is evidenced by the queries received by controllers from pilots when direct tracking is refused for reasons not given. Has any airline management or Chief Pilot received official word from Airservices regarding this matter?

AirNoServicesAustralia 25th Aug 2003 01:24

They released the same directive probably 2 years ago in Melbourne care of BIG SUE, and some brown nosers on a particular Melbourne arrivals sector stuck to it blindly not allowing any direct tracking. The rest of us put it in the circular file and got on with our job the best we could.

You can always argue that the direct tracking was justified whether it be sequencing (which in turn is separation cos you got no separation if the sequence is screwed up royally), separation, or imaginary expected weather (had this QANTAS 737 pilot who used to always have to divert right around weather when we were on RWY 34 in melbourne which always took him over WENDY rather than CANTY, which was the way he was supposed to go. The weather cleared just in time for him to make a straight in approach on R34 from the sth rather than flying the ARBEY star. Very sneaky.)

The bottom line, the managers should stick to doing what they do best. That is trying to do half baked airspace reforms that fall flat on their face, and drinking coffee in the canteen, and leave the moving of aeroplanes to the guys who didn't scramble up the food chain to get away from traffic.:O

Mr McGoo 25th Aug 2003 07:15

Taken to its' logical conclusion you could argue that the biggest single factor in aircraft accidents/incidents is aircraft on the move, therefore to prevent all accidents/incidents ban all aircraft. Of course absolutley ludicrious. What paper pushing desk jockeys in ASA have to remember is that ATC is there to provide pilots with quality service - not the other way round.

Capt Claret 25th Aug 2003 07:22

Darwin to Sydney, t'other night, enroute to the lurching cave in Melbourne, and the F/O advised in the pax brief that we were tracking direct to SYD. This would have been about overhead Adelaide River! :ok:

BIK_116.80 25th Aug 2003 09:23

Can someone please help me out here, why can they give an amended route clearance but not direct tracking?

....if we were to ask for an emended route clearance, he would see what he could do. We obliged...and presto we got it. Must be in the legallity of the phraseology.
The difference is in the radio failure scenario.

Blastoid 25th Aug 2003 14:32


Disagree. Direct tracking using the phraseology "track direct to..." should track an aircraft to rejoin its flight-planned track (i.e. the point they are tracking to should be on their flight-planned track). "Recleared direct ...." is another variation; i.e. they in effect amend the route clearance of the aircraft.

In a radio fail scenario, the aircraft told to "track direct to..." will, I argue, continue to do so, and then track via FPL once rejoined at the next waypoint.

The difference between "track direct..." and "amended route clearance" which would effectively have the same effect to the route of the aircraft I maintain is in semantics only. I think legally they would be considered to be the same thing. :rolleyes:

SM4 Pirate 25th Aug 2003 15:58


Totally agree, words words words, no difference in law or procedures; perhaps a smart asses approach that has caught on, but has no basis in reality, just like the instruction.

Note, it only applies to BN, so much for a standardised company position; we have dozens of admin staffers to ensure that we do things consistently; obviously ML management has more sense than we give them credit for.

SY management just wouldn't even consider this...

Bottle of Rum

*Lancer* 27th Aug 2003 13:48

I agree that an instruction such as "track direct to" constitutes an ammended clearance... in much the same way as an altitude change instruction is an ammended clearance.

So why the semantics? Is asking for an ammended route clearance essentially re-filing the flight plan, in which case the controller doesn't have to consider the reasons to approve or not, but rather simply whether thay can or not?


Blastoid 27th Aug 2003 19:37

The semantics difference between the phraseology of "track direct..." and "recleared amended route.." were, as I stated above, negligible difference.

However, I also understand that the "amended route clearances" that were issued were actually issued as route designators (e.g. W636) rather than "recleared amended route SGT planned route" - hence the difference, as in an audio replay it doesn't sound like the aircraft are off a route and also therefore not tracking "direct" to a point (very important re: the management directive) - it just so happened that the new "amended" route coincided with the direct tracking that was requested.

I guess to argue a point if you have them on a published route it makes a difference in a radar fail scenario where there are far more likely to be published lateral separation diagrams than for arbitrary lines across the screen where the only quick way to establish separation is using levels.

Like I say, though, I think those issuing these "amended clearances" will still need to justtify such actions should anything untoward occur....

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