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Whats going on with ATC Shortage?

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Whats going on with ATC Shortage?

Old 19th Sep 2023, 13:55
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Originally Posted by sunnySA
AsA Executive
AFAIK this pipeline has never delivered as anticipated, yet AsA continue to put their house on it. All in black. Perhaps Head Office located next to a Casino isn't a good idea.
AsA isn’t gambling anything of “their” own - “their house” or otherwise. “They” are gambling with other people’s convenience and safety.
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Old 19th Sep 2023, 21:48
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There are some departments in CASA that it is impossible to talk to a human. The reply is usually an email two weeks later, this is from an operational department not a back office function. Prior to covid this department was on the ball, if you didn't speak to them on the initial phone call it was a return call the next day. Over the last year in particular they have not once answered the phone once, the CASA switch person either directs the call to a voicemail or says, 'no one is answering'

ASA? The airlines are giving them a free pass. And I'm deducing they are doing this because their own crewing problems are far worse. Criticising ASA would draw attention to their own lack of performance. And it's not just them, it's everywhere. Call ASIC, they're not answering at all, going through the recorded option list then stating that sorry, can't even put you on hold then hanging up. One hour and 34 minutes to get through yesterday.

But the worst thing, try getting a decent parmy at a country pub anymore, the shit that is being served up is disgusting.

I have developed Jedi skills of patience when dealing with these departments, but not the parmies. I lose it when I get a sucky parmy.

Last edited by Mr Mossberg; 19th Sep 2023 at 22:08.
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Old 28th Sep 2023, 10:18
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Same but different. Gatwick
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Old 30th Sep 2023, 04:18
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AsA control Towers

As a CASA ATC inspector, I saw control towers falling apart, and control cabs no longer fit for purpose. I saw airport plans to build new control towers continuously knee-capped by Airservices,
Geoff Fairless, one of the most experienced ATC staff then CASA Auditor wrote the above so having regard to the weight his statement should carry...............

CASA has some rules for the construction of ATC Towers that were written by people like the late ATC John (Jock) Grocock in the 1980s and based very much on the concept of major visual separation of aircraft before SSR when "shrimp boats" were used for ID tags.
Brisbane and Perth towers were built to those requirements.
They are no longer valid but Airservices has refused to engage CASA in a discussion aimed at generating new and suitable standards for modern ATC Tower facilities (and I am not sure either has the competence to do the job anyway.)
Brisbane tower has a controller eye height of, if I recall correctly, 64 meters (210 feet). It can be in VMC out the top of low cloud whilst operations continue below - well, almost. But is that a suitable spec for a new tower?
Does an ATC still need a downward grazing visual sight angle to do the job? Does the old angular visual perception of movement standard apply? I think neither does.
I would suggest the old design criteria result in towers that cost way to heck too much to build and are not helpful to air safety nor to the discharge of normal ATC tower functions with modern equipment like MSSR, labelled bright displays, ADS-B etc etc not to mention SMR.
Then there is the question of what locations actually NEED a tower for the safety of air traffic.
One was built at Gove at huge cost and never used.
On the old standards places like Gladstone desperately need a tower yet with modern equipment and if Airservices would realise modern ATC control practices exist, GLA/GLT does not need a tower at all.
The point is that the whole Airservices / CASA structure and philosophy is unsuited to providing a safe, moderrn Air Traffic Control environment - there is no methodology and no incentive to move forward.
Its a Government administration problem and the present Minister has no hope of recognising the problem let alone solving it. Who in CASA or Airservices is about to raise their heads and say "Minister, this is a crock of..............."?

Clinton Mackenzie has repeatedly and consistently held up the mirror to the inadequacy of CASA medical and legal - I suggest the problem is a whole Aviation regulatory and service provision nightmare and I see nobody in the Department, CASA or AA with any skill to solve it.

Which takes us back to Geoff Fairless - he is right, the problem is way bigger than the organisations, and far, far too big for the people involved if I can rephrase it.
The whole system is stuck in the 1980's - and it is well and truly broken.
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Old 30th Sep 2023, 08:20
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Thanks Advance, much appreciated.

I understand your views about control towers, but they exist because of the ICAO separation requirements that we are bound to through the Chicago Convention.
Pilots at a non-controlled aerodrome separate themselves visually, the ATC Tower is designed to augment that standard by introducing "intent" to their observations. That is, they know where each pilot is going and can plan ahead.
Visual separation is very efficient because no buffers are required. You mention MSSR, well the closest standard I know for that system is 2NM laterally between two aircraft on final established on instrument approaches. Visual separation means one aircraft can pass another, literally with centimetres to spare, subject to pilot skill.
The so-called digital tower provides the same visual service but augments the ATC's eyes with hi-definition cameras, tracking of airborne aircraft and labels in the air. Runways can be protected by Advanced Surface Movement Guidance Systems(ASMGCS), already in use at our four busiest airports, but taxiing is an issue all in itself. ASMGCS tracks the aircraft on the taxiway, but still requires pilots to sight each other to provide separation.
All of these systems are very expensive and still need ATCs to operate them. They will never be able to replace a set of eyes in a Tower at aerodromes deemed to need ATC but populated mainly by small aircraft. A small tower with perhaps one, or at most two, ATC's on duty can be made reasonably inexpensive. But only if you can get rid of Airservices from the equation.
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Old 30th Sep 2023, 08:47
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I guess we are about to find out how good digital towers are (and how much bandwidth exists) when WSA opens up at Badgerys Creek in 2 and a bit years from now.

No idea where the actual tower controllers will be sitting.

Canberra? Melbourne?
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Old 30th Sep 2023, 09:13
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Might as well make it in Broome.....same satellite link...... but much 'nicer' place to live...(?)

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Old 30th Sep 2023, 11:19
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The Sorry Aviation Administration Unchanging Disaster

Geoff Fairless: I understand your views about control towers, but they exist because of the ICAO separation requirements that we are bound to through the Chicago Convention.
Pilots at a non-controlled aerodrome separate themselves visually


Like you Geoff, I spent many years with an ADC / STC rating so I do understand what towers do and why as well as having lots of years flying.

In most advanced countries, pilots of aircraft in instrument conditions (who by definition can not see to separate themselves) are provided with an Air Traffic Control separation service at all times but are expected to provide their own visual separation in some circumstances where they are able so to do. This is not the case in Australia.
Leaving aside major hub, hight traffic airports but now to your comment about pilots at non controlled airports separating themselves visually. .............
This is fine in VMC but in IMC it is simjply dangerous.
In the USA the ATC system, with or without radar, provides separation to ALL IFR aircraft from takeoff to landing when the pilot is unable to use visual separation. We do not, but we could do.so.
Consider the Mangalore fatal accident.
Had ATC told the departing aircraft to hold on the ground or to maintain VMC until the arriving aircraft reported able to proceed visually four good pilots would be alive today.
ATC was not allowed by the employer to do this safe thing.
The arriving aircraft is required by law to follow the published insrument approach precisely - no matter what traffic information is or is not provided the aircraft has to keep moving along the prescribed path (or give up and fly away but still following the prescribed path!!!)
At the time there was no tower active at Mangalore.

Thus ATC positive separation could by provided by tower controllers exercising the traditiona approach function, or by remote approach control (CS, CB etc) or by the US area control system.
The latter is by far the cheapest yet achieves a safe outcome up to the level of traffic density when a tower really does become necessary.
I've flown in both systems and I know which is safer.

It is not the Tower that is required by ICAO - it is the separation of aircraft who can not separate themselves. The tower is merely one possible solution.

So I repeat, the present "system" is virtually unchanged in four decades, it is nowhere near best practice and it is broken - even before considering the gross lack of professional controllers.
And despite the many years you and I spent in Air Traffic Control I suggest Airservices / ATC are NOT the right people to decide WHAT services are to be provided. They should indeed be involved in decisions about HOW services are provided.
WHAT level of service to be provided is more the province and RESPONSIBILITY of the Minister and what we used to call the Director of Civil Aviation - (both CASA and AA).
Professional pilots and aircraft operators advised by what the insurance industry calls actuarial advice - risk analysis and management need to determine what is or is not publicly acceptable and not hive off responsibility to nominally independent QUANGOS.

So now tell me the name of the individual in AA, CASA or the Department who is willing to go to the Minister and say, "Boss this is broken and it is dangerous................."

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Old 30th Sep 2023, 18:21
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O'Leary responds to Gatwick ATC staff shortages:


https://www.linkedin.com/posts/fl360...72699136-LUtk?

Science Direct published study indicates that almost 35% of Health Care Worker had significant sick leave after roll out of the recent Trump "warp speed" inoculations:

"This study examined sick leave and intake of pro re nata medication after the first, second, and third COVID-19 vaccination in HCWs. Data were collected by using an electronic questionnaire.

Results
Among 1704 HCWs enrolled, 595 (34.9%) HCWs were on sick leave following at least one COVID-19 vaccination, leading to a total number of 1550 sick days. Both the absolute sick days and the rate of HCWs on sick leave significantly increased with each subsequent vaccination. Comparing BNT162b2mRNA and mRNA-1273, the difference in sick leave was not significant after the second dose, but mRNA-1273 [Moderna] induced a significantly longer and more frequent sick leave after the third.

Conclusion
In the light of further COVID-19 infection waves and booster vaccinations, there is a risk of additional staff shortages due to postvaccination inability to work, which could negatively impact the already strained healthcare system and jeopardise patient care. These findings will aid further vaccination campaigns to minimise the impact of staff absences on the healthcare system."

https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...33350623002470

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Old 1st Oct 2023, 02:22
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The paradigm problem is that the Parliament has effectively abdicated its responsibility to the independent statutory bodies it has created, without the Parliament having adequate processes in place to scrutinise and hold the bodies accountable. These bodies exist because of the Parliament, not the Minister. These bodies do – or are supposed to do - what the Parliament has told them to do, not what the Minister tells them to do.

The Minister is largely meaningless to these bodies - at least in theory. That is a design feature, not a bug.

The very point of independent statutory bodies is that “i” word: Independent. Of politics.

The Minister isn’t responsible; the independent statutory bodies created by the Parliament are, and they are responsible to the Parliament, not the Minister. And if the Parliament is going collectively to continue to accept the stream of self-serving motherhood statements from these bodies, to the effect that everything’s fine and any problems are short-term and under control, nothing will change.

The Robodebt RC revealed why no public official is ever going to go to a Minister and say: “Boss this is broken and it is dangerous…”. On the odd occasion that any public official is silly enough to deliver bad news, it must be in euphemistic terms. Everyone else is culled.

CASA and Airservices have woven aviation safety and air navigation service systems out of the most magnificent fabrics available, of uncommonly fine colours and patterns. Anyone who can’t see that is unusually stupid. Just ask the ATSB.

The most misused word in relation to Parliamentary hearings is “grilling”, unless your dictionary defines that word to mean “being whipped over the wrist with a wet piece of lettuce”. (That’s if officials can be bothered to turn up. The current CASA PMO has been in the position for 2 years, and has yet to front Estimates, despite being asked to. I recall some CASA spin doctor giving some evidence at Estimates in his capacity as an amateur kidney specialist and armchair assessor of operational risks and consequences – demonstrating, once again, that just about anyone can do the job Avmed currently does.)

Ministerial ‘statements of expectation’ are meaningless nonsense. The current one for CASA includes this kind of drivel:
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) will adhere to …. relevant legislation when performing its functions and exercising its powers.
Guess what: CASA is already obliged to do that, whether a Minister expects it or not.

I don’t know which would worry me more: That a Minister is so stupid as to believe it’s necessary to express that “expectation” of a statutory authority, that a statutory authority wouldn’t ‘adhere to relevant legislation’ unless the Minister stated an expectation that the statutory authority would, or that the Minister thinks we’re all so stupid as to believe that expressing the expectation makes any difference. (My educated guess is that it’s the latter.)

The current Ministerial Airspace Policy Statement includes meaningless nonsense like this:
The Government is committed to ensuring that appropriate levels of airspace classification and air traffic services are used to protect regional aerodromes served by passenger transport services, with airspace classification and services reflecting the final outcomes of the risk reviews undertaken.
A Ministerial masterstroke. CASA OAR was presumably sitting there planning on using inappropriate levels of airspace classification to protect regional aerodromes served by passenger transport services, with airspace classification not reflecting the final outcomes of risk reviews. But then: Wham! That Ministerial policy hits the desk and CASA OAR changes direction, completely.

Utopia and Hollowmen are documentaries.
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Old 1st Oct 2023, 07:07
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Every word you wrote LB is so damn true; the outlook is even more bleak than I had previously considered possible.
I accept your analysis of my IQ: Anyone who canít see that is unusually stupid

Ah, but wait, does that not qualify me to be a politician, even a cabinet minister?

Thanks for your considered and detailed response.
Regards from Retard.
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Old 1st Oct 2023, 08:40
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LB, have you any goss on the 3 airspace jobs being advertised at CAsA? Replacements or expansion?
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Old 1st Oct 2023, 23:20
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Nothing heard by me about "airspace jobs". Of the 3 currently advertised CASA positions, only one vaguely relates to airspace: "Standards Officer (Aerodromes, Heliports & Non-conventional Aero)". That's part of the ICAO 'vertitports' boondoggle. Ex-ATCers would have a better insight into CASA OAR movements.
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Old 1st Oct 2023, 23:45
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Not the jobs I'm referring to. There were 3 advertised, all senior. Team Leader Airspace Planning, and two others that I can't recall the title of. They were all senior gigs so I'm guessing there will be plebbs below them. It was unusual to see so many advertised all at once.
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Old 2nd Oct 2023, 07:03
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Originally Posted by Mr Mossberg
Not the jobs I'm referring to. There were 3 advertised, all senior. Team Leader Airspace Planning, and two others that I can't recall the title of. They were all senior gigs so I'm guessing there will be plebbs below them. It was unusual to see so many advertised all at once.
The job ad below from a week ago is no longer visible.


LinkedIn Australia
https://au.linkedin.com õ jobs õ view
Civil Aviation Safety Authority hiring Team Leaders - Airspace Operations, Airspace Planning and Airspace Strategy in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

21 Sept 2023 ó Lead a multi-disciplined team in planning, managing, and supporting the delivery of airspace regulatory services, surveillance and the oversight .
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Old 2nd Oct 2023, 17:32
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Originally Posted by Cloudee
The job ad below from a week ago is no longer visible.
CASA hiring Team Leaders - Airspace Operations, Airspace Planning and Airspace Strategy.
Lead a multi-disciplined team in planning, managing, supporting the delivery of airspace services, surveillance and the oversight.
Paraphrased and not a direct quote. Sounds very much like a refocus onto Airspace in the anticipation of major changes. The Aviation Green paper makes a couple of comments, there is a RFI on the AusTender site, and KMPG have been active in the space. Plus AsA have advertised for someone to manage changes to air-routes. I suspect a higher level of management oversight and a more obvious focus on better airspace management.

However all this is thread drift as any, and all changes, to airspace will involve training of ATCs, very little capacity to release anyone at the moment or in the foreseeable future.
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Old 5th Oct 2023, 21:52
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OíLeary on NATS

There is a video on YouTube which is incredibly to the point and sadly funny but Iím loath to post it as I donít want to breach guidelines here..
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Old 5th Oct 2023, 23:59
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So it's not the youtube video already posted in this thread at #69?
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Old 6th Oct 2023, 12:51
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There's a wealth of intelligent opinion in this thread, however .... I still can't get my head around the fact that ASA gave out redundancies to Controllers during COVID...as the workload had decreased. That's like , say, QANTAS sending half its aircraft off the the Indian scrap dealers...as "we don't need these at the moment.". I'm hoping, for my sanity's sake, that the redundancies were planned before COVID... otherwise, we are all lost.
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Old 6th Oct 2023, 13:53
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Originally Posted by peuce
There's a wealth of intelligent opinion in this thread, however .... I still can't get my head around the fact that ASA gave out redundancies to Controllers during COVID...as the workload had decreased. That's like , say, QANTAS sending half its aircraft off the the Indian scrap dealers...as "we don't need these at the moment.". I'm hoping, for my sanity's sake, that the redundancies were planned before COVID... otherwise, we are all lost.
No, the redundancies (RIS) were given on the basis of traffic levels not increasing, and AsA being able to replace (recruit and train) these ATCs before traffic levels picked. In some cases, ATCs who had nominated their retirement date, or were on LSL prior to retirement were able to access RIS.

All of the ATCs who accepted RIS would've been on the top pay scale (as applicable to their location), say about $200K (more or less) and a new recruit is paid roughly half. The salary of the 130 exiting (not their RIS) was $26m, the salary of the 130 incoming is $13m (in the first year). Given considerably less than 130 ATCs were recruited and rated then the savings are greater. So there is a "saving" each and every year for say then next 10-12 years. Let's not mention experience and flexibility.

Last edited by missy; 6th Oct 2023 at 13:54. Reason: correction
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