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New MOS139: CA/GRO & UNICOM

Old 18th Oct 2020, 02:49
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New MOS139: CA/GRO & UNICOM

Dick will be happy. The new MOS has loosened up CA/GRO eligibility ie removed the 10 yr limit on having previously held an ATC/FSO licence, allows for ex military ATC, but now mandates a Met Obs certificate, and that they can see the runway approaches.

He'll love that the UNICOM section now has some emphasis that it is "not a CA/GRS", and now stipulates that the provided info "must be limited to" etc etc...instead of "is to be" or '"are to be". No traffic or weather (that one has a caveat) though. That's remains a CA/GRO job only.
Looks like they've been listening to what he's been saying....and making sure they close him down.
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 03:23
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CA/GRS has always needed Met Observation certificate. BoM/WMO have changed the requirements for certification. It now only lasts 5 years, not indefinite.
Also need CAR120 to be allowed to pass met information to pilots.
Have always needed to see the runway approaches, but under the old system needed to be able to see the entire circuit.
Good to see the 10years has gone. Mind you the last operational FSO's were made redundant 20 years ago.
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 05:42
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CA/GRS has always needed Met Observation certificate.
The old section 14 of the MOS didn't say that:

14.2.2.1 ............ Therefore, applicants for the issue of a CA/GRO Certificate must hold, or have held within the last ten years, an ICAO recognised Air Traffic Controller licence or an Australian Flight Service Officer licence.

New section 22:

(3) An applicant for certification as a CA/GRO for this section must hold:

(a) a flight radio operator licence or an approval under Part 64.B of CASR; and

(b) a Bureau of Meteorology Class A or B weather observerís qualification;

and must also hold or have held:

(c) an ICAO-recognised air traffic controller licence; or

(d) an Australian Defence Force qualification equivalent to an air traffic control licence; or

(e) an Australian flight service officer licence; or

(f) a CA/GRO certificate previously issued by CASA.


Have always needed to see the runway approaches, but under the old system needed to be able to see the entire circuit.
You would think so, but, old section 14:

14.2.3.4 A permanent CA/GRS must be provided with the following facilities and documentation:

(a) a suitable work area that provides the operator with a full view of the manoeuvring area and circuit area;

New section 22:

(5) A CA/GRS permanently located at an aerodrome must be provided with the following facilities and documentation:

(a) a suitable work area that provides the CA/GRO with:

(i) as far as practicable, a full view of the manoeuvring area and circuit area; and

(ii) a view of the manoeuvring area and the approaches to the runways;

(My bolding) It's one of the details specifically listed in the summary of MOS changes, along with the updated application requirements.
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Old 19th Oct 2020, 06:41
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The watering down of the veiw has been done to to avoid having to issue an exemption for Ballina where the CAGRO sits behind the duty fireman in the fire station lookout. Airservices (ARFFS) apparently believe that it is more important for the fireman to be able to watch the planes take off and land than for the CAGRO (not-Airservices) who provides traffic information to be able to see them properly. CASA remembers the remote AFIS where the FSO could only see their cardboard flight information strips so Airservices must be right!
The 10 year rule had been written by an idiot who did not know anything about licences because ATC licences, like pilot licences, never expire so their is no such thing as "have held", they are yours for life! The medical, ratings and endorsements expire, but not the licence. The idiot who wrote the current rule did not realise that if the 10 year rule was removed there was no need for para (f). This was becuase of the licensing conundrum thrown up be the old CASR - once a CAGRO passed the ten year mark he or she could never hold a CAGRO ticket, even though their last one had just expired! Get it - they no longer met the 10 year criteria. That was brought about by another CASA idiot who started to time-limit CAGRO tickets, originally they had no time limitation on them!
Talk about a comedy show - you could not invent this stuff if you tried....
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 12:38
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Airservices (ARFFS) apparently believe that it is more important for the fireman to be able to watch the planes take off and land
Well, it was why the fire station was built, and it is what the fire station watch tower is for, and it is Airservices who built and own and staff the building, and their priority comes first, not the airport operator's, who I would say has done a deal with Airservices to get the CA/GRO located somewhere, but without having to actually provide any infrastructure for the service.
I don't see them as a watering down of the view requirements, they read to me like an extra requirement, more than likely to cover most RPT's (coz that's what the CA/GRO is there for) who are doing straight in approaches, and don't actually "use" the circuit area.
CASA remembers the remote AFIS where the FSO could only see their cardboard flight information strips
That wasn't just remote AFIZ's, it was some of the manned ones as well.

As an aside, to what rules are CA/GRO's held accountable? I mean for example, where are the traffic criteria they are assessing against listed? Who checks them for ongoing competancy? All I can find is an Advisory Circular with a general description of the job and duties, but nothing concrete. Where is it listed what the actual training for the job is and whether someone has been deemed competent. I mean, you are certified, but certified to what standard. There is no mention in the application that you have completed or passed X course (apart from once having held the one of the appropriate licenses) but it seems no testing or checking or meeting of actual competancy. I last used my FS license nearly 30 years ago. How do they know if all I ever did was Flight Data and never held a FIS rating? How does the Aerodrome Operator employing a CA/GRO know what they are getting, or even if they are doing what they are paying them for? They are after all, assuming the risk. A CA/GRS is all about the traffic, but the traffic to be passed is just "relevant". Relevant is subjective, so if traffic is missed (although missed based on what criteria?) is the get out of jail card that "I didn't think it was relevant"? What happens if they do f*ck up? Do they have their certification taken off them? Assessed against what? How can you break rules, if there are no rules?
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 22:24
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All your questions could be answered by phoning and chatting to one of the guys.

I am aware the company who has the contract to provide services at BNA and elsewhere that the staff associated with the service are ex-ATS people, so they would know what qualifications and experience is required at recruitment. Logically I assume their preference would be for people with recent operational experience, as against someone who last spoke to an aircraft 30 years ago.

I'm also aware they have a training and ongoing checking program, which probably follows the same done within their old employer. If it works, why change it. The training probably also addresses the case where someone doesn't have recent experience to bring them up to speed.


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Old 22nd Oct 2020, 12:56
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so they would know what qualifications and experience is required at recruitment.
The qualifications required are listed in the MOS. The experience is whatever they are happy with. What their standards are could be completely different to what another company's is, because there is no standard. The competency of any CA/GRS is purely arbitrary. I could get a CA/GRO certification tomorrow, front up at my local aerodrome, sell myself and the service I could provide, get a job, and away I go. Whatever service and rules I apply to the job is pretty much up to whatever I decide they are. There's nothing to say CASA or AsA will ever come along and check up on what I'm up to, because there's nothing in the regs to say what they are checking against. This is the service to RPT's that is apparently CASA's get out of jail card when things are too busy and Airservices won't put in a tower. Effectively they are just hoping the guy knows what he is doing, and the pilots using the service are too, because they probably think the service is regulated and monitored with some sort of overwatch like other ATS are.
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Old 22nd Oct 2020, 23:17
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I could get a CA/GRO certification tomorrow, front up at my local aerodrome, sell myself and the service I could provide, get a job, and away I go.
Things aren't Mickey Mouse with a CA/GRS as you seem to think.

There is CASA certification and approval required for both an AD OPR and CA/GRS provider, requirement for operations manuals by both, safety case and ongoing CASA oversight involved.

There is also the little matter of indemnity insurance in case something goes wrong .....

At some locations there is a need for a local service between nothing - Class G - and full CTA with a TWR, with its associated $M construction, staffing and running costs.

UNICOM and CA/GRS fill that gap.

Last edited by CaptainMidnight; 23rd Oct 2020 at 03:25.
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