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New video to ASA Chairman on Class E airspace

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New video to ASA Chairman on Class E airspace

Old 25th Jun 2020, 04:47
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New video to ASA Chairman on Class E airspace

I have spent quite a lot of time in preparing this video on airspace.

I believe it has a message that we should at least do a costing for bringing the Class E airspace down to cover the approach – especially at airports that have ADS-B coverage and/or airline traffic.

I believe we have been lucky not to have had an airline accident in this 1930s style uncontrolled airspace.

For those who are interested, could I ask you to send an email to [email protected] advising the Minister of your views – either supportive or not supportive.

Both CASA and Airservices have stonewalled the media on this issue. They just don’t comment, so the media can’t write a story.

Anyone who has flown in the US system would know just how well the Class E airspace works. It is not a 1930s system, it is a 2020 system.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 25th Jun 2020, 11:13
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17 or 27 years?
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Old 25th Jun 2020, 11:21
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Actually 27. You found the deliberate mistake!

Not really!
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Old 25th Jun 2020, 13:12
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I doubt with the downturn in income from COVID-19 that there will be any appetite to spend money on training to extend services. ASA will be looking at where it can save money and reduce services, not the opposite. I'm sure the industry does not want to be paying any more at the moment either.
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Old 25th Jun 2020, 13:57
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A bit disingenuous Dick. There wasn't really ATC at high level and FS at low level in the old system. There was predominantly Uncontrolled airspace, and much smaller sections of Controlled airspace. A lot has changed. ATC do run it all now. There's a lot more controlled airspace. There is no duplication of services. It just didn't change the way you wanted it to. Doesn't seem to have got any cheaper either.
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Old 26th Jun 2020, 00:27
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Comments/Feedback;

Quite well done, concise and to the point.

ATC's de-skilled to cope with the old way of doing it, true and in a lot of cases much more time consuming and complex than separation.
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Old 26th Jun 2020, 00:54
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Traffic. There was controlled airspace across Australia above FL245.
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Old 27th Jun 2020, 01:00
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When I started in FS/ATC there were 60NM wide corridors of controlled airspace over the continent and 100NM wide corridors over the ocean. I think the corridors were F250 to F450. Apart from CTR and CTA steps the rest was uncontrolled airspace.

Last edited by topdrop; 27th Jun 2020 at 23:47.
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 02:12
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Originally Posted by Dick Smith View Post
Traffic. There was controlled airspace across Australia above FL245.
And above that layer at around FL450 over the entire country it was OCTA to the moon. Australian airspace by volume was almost entirely uncontrolled.
ATC's de-skilled to cope
ATC weren't de-skilled. They still had to recognise a potential traffic conflict (from what was now potentially much less information than they were used to). They were additionally trained to apply a different procedure to conflicts that happened in that particular airspace versus what they did for a living in the airspace they usually controlled. Once they didn't have to worry about conflicts in that airspace, under the new system, they did. They took over pretty much all the FIS/SAR etc duties that FS used to provide in that vast area of once uncontrolled airspace also. To imply that ATC were somehow de-skilled in that transition is again, disingenuous.

Last edited by Traffic_Is_Er_Was; 28th Jun 2020 at 02:29.
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Old 28th Jun 2020, 03:00
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The terrible Mangalore fatal accident showed that the ATC had to sit and watch as the collision between two ADSB equipped IFR aircraft took place.
I canít imagine much more de skilling than that!

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Old 29th Jun 2020, 04:52
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Originally Posted by Dick Smith View Post
The terrible Mangalore fatal accident showed that the ATC had to sit and watch as the collision between two ADSB equipped IFR aircraft took place.
I canít imagine much more de skilling than that!
How do you know they "sat and watched"? They identified the conflict, passed traffic as required, and in all likelihood moved on to do something else (as happens probably a 1000 times a day throughout Australia). I'm sure that if they had been "sitting and watching" they would have tried to intervene as a duty of care, but sitting and watching what happens in G is not their job focus.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 07:39
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but sitting and watching what happens in G is not their job focus.
I beg to differ. It IS their job focus. How can it not be? They are responsible for IFR traffic OCTA. As an ATC you don't just pass traffic then move on to your next task without updating the situation. It's still your responsibility to ensure no prang happens.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 07:44
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ATC weren't de-skilled.
You're just nitpicking, you know what Dick means. We both know that IFR traffic OCTA can take considerable more time than separating, in that sense it's not de-skilling. In another sense, training an ATC to pass traffic when their bread and butter was separation is de-skilling.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 08:28
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I know exactly what he is trying to say. He is implying the system was "dumbed down". Traffic was still passed, aircraft were still separated. Nothing changed. It's just that one group of people now did both. So those people had to learn a new skill set to operate a whole new airspace category they had previously had nothing to do with. They were always, ALWAYS, going to have to just pass traffic in G (or not if we'd really followed ICAO). Separating was still their bread and butter and they did where it was mandated. They didn't where it was not. It's not deskilling, It's just applying different procedures to the relevant situation.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 09:06
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They are responsible for IFR traffic OCTA.
But not for IFR separation. ATC's job is to make sure they are aware of each other, that's all. That's why it's called "Uncontrolled". From the Airservices website: "Uncontrolled airspace has no supervision by air traffic control"
It's still your responsibility to ensure no prang happens.
No it's not. It's the pilot's responsibility in G. If those two had been VFR we wouldn't even be having this conversation. From the Airservices website: "Uncontrolled airspace has no supervision by air traffic control"

Last edited by Traffic_Is_Er_Was; 29th Jun 2020 at 09:32.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 09:34
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No it's not. It's the pilot's responsibility in G.
Yes, the final responsibility is the pilots. When two aircraft are in cloud, moot point? Kinda points out the woefully inadequate airspace classification when we can say:

'pilots responsibility to see and avoid'
'but they were in cloud, can't see each other'
'stiff shit, that's their problem'

If those two had been VFR we wouldn't even be having this conversation.
Yeah, but they weren't VFR. Conversation needs to be had.

Dick's a 'funny guy' and his methods can be unusual, but he's right.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 10:19
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Mangalore will be just another episode of Airservices explaining what services it does not provide in G, backed up by the ‘independent’ OAR and ‘independent’ ATSB. The ‘delicious twist’ will be to blame it on Dick.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 11:46
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So cloud can't exist OCTA? Or do we only need ATC when it's cloudy? Maybe CTA to the ground everywhere, just in case it's cloudy somewhere? How many thousands of times in Australia has an IFR aircraft flown in cloud OCTA in the last, say, 70 years? And how many of those, besides these two, have collided? Hmmm, maybe alerted traffic (under both systems) might have something going for it?
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 22:20
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CTA to the ground everywhere is what I'm proposing is it?

Uh-huh, traffic levels haven't changed much in the last 70 years.

You're complicating what is a simple solution. Your dislike of Dick and anything he says is monotonous.
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Old 30th Jun 2020, 08:29
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You claimed IFR in cloud OCTA is indicative of our "woefully inadequate airspace classification". How else do you fix it? There's only one way they'll never be OCTA.
I don't dislike Dick. I've discussed issues on the phone with him. What annoys me is his tenuous knowledge of how things used to be (considering he ran the show f or a while), his insistence that his changes can be implemented at no cost, and his belief that the US system can simply be transplanted here, and operate with existing ATC numbers. Their system needs 15000 ATC to run it. We have about a thousand, who were already handling more aircraft per head per day than the US ATC were (pre COVID that is).
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