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Safety Management System Failure - Australia

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Safety Management System Failure - Australia

Old 14th Oct 2005, 01:59
  #1 (permalink)  
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Safety Management System Failure - Australia


Many readers of PPRuNe, whether based in Australia or elsewhere, will be aware of a heated and protracted debate about airspace reform in low level airspace.

To the non-Australian readers it may not appear a particularly relevant thread for this forum; nevertheless, it is important to understand the massive safety management implications – or the precedents being set, which may ultimately have a catastrophic safety effect.

The reforms proposed and/or implemented, in and of themselves, are relatively innocuous. Whilst applying to large areas of Australia, they principally affect general aviation users, and smaller link-airline and charter operators. In some cases, the changes proposed do/will affect larger passenger carrying operations, including Dash-8 and even B737 operations.

It is our considered opinion that the changes, if implemented safely and effectively, will have relatively little risk affect on the operation of the airspace concerned.

That said, it has been evident through the last two years, that there is an aggressive campaign to “crash or crash through” the airspace reform agenda, with no regard for established safety and change management systems and practices.

Indeed over this period we have been supplied with large quantities of information that would indicate, if not a deliberate attempt to circumvent those processes, then at the very least a level of naïveté of the processes.

In the last 12 months, the Australian chapter of PPRuNe has been the only effective forum for informed debate on this issue.

We had been mildly satisfied that the tremendous debate that took place over reforms to Australian airspace last year had had the effect of raising awareness of proper change management processes, and at the very least had set in place an environment where those change management processes would be applied in all future initiatives.

All of the key management staff that had been involved in the previous implementation processes – including the Australian Government’s Transport Secretary, the head of the Australian Air Force, and the heads of both the service provider and regulator – were replaced.

All of their respective replacements provided “assurances” that the long established and very robust change management processes – in most cases as good as any in the world across any industry – would be reinstituted and applied for all future changes.

We have been watching the recent developments - and we are now of the opinion that there is a deliberate attempt in Australia, once again, to override proper change management processes to achieve a target implementation date - come "hell or high water".

It is evident that not only is senior management of Airservices Australia involved, but also very senior management of the regulatory arm - the CASA - and once again, the political office of the Australian Transport Secretary.

The changes proposed are scheduled for implementation on the 25th of November – just 6 weeks away – and yet the Design and/or Implementation Safety Case have not been completed and promulgated publicly, training and education material has not been distributed, program staff have refused to provide briefings to pilot meetings, meetings are being scheduled without distribution of invitations, and no cost benefit analysis or business case has been produced.

The production of the Safety Case Hazard Log has been deliberately skewed so that transition hazards are either ignored - or worse – incorrectly categorized and mistreated.

Review of previous Safety Cases produced by the project team - and what little has been made available regarding the Safety Case for the current changes – shows a level of incompetence that if it were not so serious, would be slapstick.

It has been brought to our attention that the internal debates are so substantial within both Airservices Australia and the CASA, that multiple versions of charts, AIP amendments, and training material, have been produced and stockpiled, to allow decisions on implementation to be withheld until the absolute last minute.

It has also been brought to our attention that ultimate implementation decisions are being delayed to a “point of no return” - that is, to a point where the responsible agencies can claim that a recall would create more harm than the actual implementation.


As we stated earlier in this post, the changes to be implemented will not, in themselves, substantially alter risk levels in the affected airspace.

However, the means of implementation, and the blatant disregard for proper change management processes and compliance with mandated regulatory requirements for Safety Case, not only increases the safety risk, it establishes a dangerous precedent that will question EVERY safety and change decision taken in Australia in the recent past, and from this point on.

One would have to question whether or not the much vaunted ADS-B implementation has been properly validated through Safety Case.

One would have to question the haste with which new separation minima were developed for use with ADS-B in Australia, and how robust was the supporting safety analysis.

One would have to question the recent implementation of flex-tracking across Australia, and whether or not the Safety Cases were adequate or robust.

THIS is the danger of ignoring established processes – a flaw in one process will naturally call into question all other such processes. You CANNOT choose where to apply safety processes, and where not to apply them – they must be applied uniformly.

We have urged all participants in the Australian debate to "step away" from this safety abyss, and manage this change in accordance with the published safety management processes of both Airservices Australia and the CASA.

We have urged them not to risk the life of one single pilot or one single passenger simply to be able to say "we got it through".

Through this broader forum, we are urging readers to use whatever means they have available to call attention to this travesty, and to challenge the Australian authorities to STOP… THINK…and ACT to reverse this ridiculous situation.

Voices of Reason
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Old 15th Oct 2005, 06:30
  #2 (permalink)  
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For anyone wanting to get the Australian perspective on this very important issue go here;

Safety Alert for Australian Airspace Dunnunda & Godzone

We have never seen anything quite like in any other First World country.

Be careful out there.
Woomera is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2005, 04:21
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
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Traitors in our midst?

No doubt all PPRuNe readers are very aware of the disclaimer stated very clearly by the organisers of PPRuNe:

As these are anonymous forums the origins of the contributions may be opposite to what may be apparent. In fact the press may use it, or the unscrupulous, to elicit certain reactions.
I believe I can see evidence that a number of PPRuNe posters are trying to undermine Australia in relation to aviation. Many of the posters give the impression that they are Australians but could actually be from overseas – say, countries that don’t want Australia to succeed in aviation.

For example, it is fantastic to see that a substantial part of the NAS 2c changes have now been signed off and are going ahead. However it is disappointing to see that one of the cost savings and improvements to safety has been deleted after a campaign by people I can only believe are traitors to Australia.

Under the US system that we should be following, any aircraft can join on base provided it can be done safely. This saves the airlines in the USA hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars per year.

This was to be part of our Aussie NAS 2c, however due to a campaign by a number of people, even Qantas will not be able to join directly on base (as the US system allows), save money and improve safety. Under the new system they will either have to do 3 legs of a circuit or head out and do a 5 mile straight in approach. This will add tens of thousands of dollars (if not more) to Qantas costs and will not improve safety in any way.

Possibly other PPRuNe readers may like to comment. I just wonder how many traitors (as far as Australia is concerned) post here to try to do as much damage to our aviation system as possible so their own country has a competitive advantage.

By the way, if it is not a traitor from another country or from an overseas airline influencing this, what could it be? Why would anyone want to prevent (by law) Qantas and other operators doing a sensible approach and joining on base when aviators all around the world can do this? Does anyone have an answer to this?
Dick Smith is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2005, 06:22
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Seems someone removed a post about who the culprit was on this affair.
Sunfish is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2005, 06:57
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Angry Dick WHO?

Didn,y you used to own or have something to do with electronics?
or Food Products.
Your rants are not relevant and stirring the pot (AGAIN) doesn,t help.
Stick to what you know.
multime is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2005, 07:29
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Sounds like cheap shots and sour grapes after losing the debate a couple of months ago with a certain navaid on this forum. Maybe biscuit man you can help an old lady across the street or fly in to free a few more immigrants to help boost your diminishing public profile.
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Old 18th Oct 2005, 07:38
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Dick, surely any airport where an aircraft of 717/ 146/ 737 size operates should either have a manned tower with radar coverage, or at least radar coverage tied into TAATS with control/advice from an operator.

(Maybe someone should also come into modern times an install some new navigation equipment at these aerodromes too, but thats another issue, and if a major international airport like YMML cant have an ILS on 34 then what hope do these others have!)

I think radar coverage will happen - but only after a light a/c has plowed into a 737. QANTAS certainly won't demand or pay for it. Qantas only reacts after the fact. The government wont act either until thepublic demand it. So unfortunately what we need is a prang to bring about change. Touch wood a prang doesnt happen.
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Old 18th Oct 2005, 08:40
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Hi Dick,

1. Would you explain how joining the circuit on base increases safety? What basis do you have for that conclusion?

I can see that it might be neutral on the effect it has on safety, at best.

2. How does a foreigner working against us from outside the system qualify as a "traitor"?

3. On a slightly different topic, was it you who systematically disbanded all the remote Flight Service Units and merged all the CTA and OCTA area frequencies? We now have airliners outside RADAR coverage at flight levels in the high 200s, 300s and low 400s and light aircraft taxiing at dirt runways or reporting at altitudes below 10 000, all on the same frequencies.

Does this relaly makes sense to you? Where did you plan to stop with cost-cutting?

I'm sure you're good with business, electronics and food but this does not make you necessarily qualified to tamper with aviation.

Good luck with your other ventures.
DeBurcs is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2005, 08:41
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Gawd, it's conspiracy theories now ........

To quote Mike Smith at an industry meeting:
The worst thing that could have happened to NAS is for Dick Smith to become involved ..........
CaptainMidnight is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2005, 08:59
  #10 (permalink)  
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Mr Smith,

Just to confirm-
a)Nobody with a contrary view to you could POSSIBLY have a genuine concern that the reforms you advocate are wrong.

b)Anybody expressing a view not in concert with you own has a sinister hidden agenda inspired by union concerns or (and I'm REALLY scatching my head over this one!!) a desire by foreiners for Australian Aviation not to succeed.

c) Following your initiatives will, in isolation, revitalies the entire aviation industry and create "Tens of Thousands" of pilot jobs (in a country which has approx. 9000 aircraft in total.)

Dick, I am going to make a sober, serious suggestion to you. get one of your staff to print off all your entries here and on Dick Smith Flyer. Get them to be examined by a mental health care professtional.

Identifying anyone who dissagrees with you as a traitor or conspiritor shows distinct signs of a developing paranoia, and you really should seek help.
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Old 18th Oct 2005, 10:24
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No Dick, you are wrong.

You are trying to change a culture without a change management project, and you wonder why it keeps falling over.

There are no traitors in our midst, just a lot of folk who have been not sold the reason/s for the changes either safety or financial.... and hence they don't support it for whatever reason.

If you don't sell and manage the change/s properly, then how can you expect to succeed??

triadic is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2005, 12:37
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Traitor? VOR posts from New York apparently. How can it/she/he/they be a traitor?

But Dick, it's actually the Transport Minister that has or is about to sign your damn CAS 2c regulations, which apparently you now find deficient. That means you are accusing him of being a traitor for apparently implementing a 'Cabinet decision'! How does that figure???? You'd better get in quick and stop them before they're made into law then if you think our Nation is being betrayed.

Hopefully Truss will now tell you to bugger off out of aviation like Anderson did.

Hopefully you will be carted off by little men in white coats before I am.
Tacan400 is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2005, 12:39
  #13 (permalink)  
Sexual Chocolate
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Personally I think there are two main reasons why people don't agree with you or like you.

1) You made a heap of money, bought into aviation and have never known what's it's like to struggle through the industry, try and make a career work or deal with the real life day to day pressures of commercial aviation. Realistically, you're nothing more than the equivalent of a pivate pilot with more expensive toys than the average boy and a few adventures that this money's bought you. Yet you feel your opinion to be worth something, not because you're an expert but because you're well known. We don't have any wealthy businessmen-come-yachties who feel themselves qualified to comment on the future of the maritime transport industry. So please, why can't you just stop ridiculing and patronising us, put your coke-bottle glasses back on and go back to fiddling with circuit boards?

2) Really, every time I see you in the media I keep wondering when your nose will start running and your mother will run out to wipe it with a tissue, tell you to tuck your shirt in and ask you if you're wearing clean underwear.
Old 18th Oct 2005, 12:46
  #14 (permalink)  

Just Binos
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Well, this is going well, isn't it Dick?

Never mind, mjbow and the rest of your sycophants will be along shortly. It must be hard for you becoming an increasingly irrelevant fish in a small pond.
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Old 18th Oct 2005, 12:53
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Not my quote, I'm afraid - tho' I wish it was - but one which I feel is appropriate to repeat:

"You don't have to be smart to make money - just remember Forest Gump!"

In the same vein, your NAS is 'like a box of chocolates' - 'we really don't know what we are going to get!'
TROJAN764 is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2005, 12:57
  #16 (permalink)  
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To 'DICK'!


Just G O A W A Y and leave us alone!!!!!!!!!!!!
Haven't YOU done enough damage already??????

An Ex Flight Service Officer, current CPL, and proud of it !!!!!!
And, before you start your rantings again, I was just about due to retire anyway, so YOU actually did ME a huge financial favour!!!!

Now, I think I am going to VOMIT!!!


(I (I feel betttteeer now...)
Ex FSO GRIFFO is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2005, 13:46
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In case anybody in Rumour and News is confused, the above poster Dick Smith is the designer and sole promoter of the Australian National Airspace System the subject of this thread.
Safety Management System Failure - Australia

If there is indeed a conspiracy as Mr Smith suggests he;

can see evidence that a number of PPRuNe posters are trying to undermine Australia in relation to aviation. Many of the posters give the impression that they are Australians but could actually be from overseas – say, countries that don’t want Australia to succeed in aviation.
I just wonder how many traitors (as far as Australia is concerned) post here to try to do as much damage to our aviation system as possible so their own country has a competitive advantage.
we would appreciate your immediate help in identifying them to Mr Smith.

Clearly, Australian aviation is in urgent need of your help.
Woomera is offline  
Old 19th Oct 2005, 01:57
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Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe it a waste of time and bandwidth calling Mr Smith to task over his outrageous comments regarding "traitors" and other subversive tactics. As always, he has said his bit, stuck his fingers in his ears and will not listen to anyone else's opinion because that's all it really is, isn't Dick, your opinion. Something you are perfectly entitled to have, however lacking and wrong it may be.
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Old 23rd Oct 2005, 07:23
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Hello everyone,

I am an Oz pilot who has lived and worked overseas since before 1989. I have never worked for an Australian Airline and probably never will. That's a personal choice.

Having got my Oz licence in the ealy 80's I can remember the Absolute Monarchy that the DCA, Dept of Transport, Transport Australia or what ever else they wanted to call themselves had.

Anybody who wanted to do anything in aviation wasn't allowed to do it because ANR this or ANO that forbade it.

The only way you could do anything was with major @rse licking to the regional branch of the DCA who would then give you a one off concession. Of course you now lived with the constant threat that if you upset the department in any way, your concession would be revoked and you would be sunk. If you had to make your living out of Aviation you were literally at the mercy of the omnipotent Gods in regional Office who knew it.

The only way this would ever change was if someone who was interested in aviation, had a stack of money and didn't rely on the mercy of the DCA, stood up and shouted.

That's what Dick Smith did.
In the very public way that only a high profile person can

His book 'Two Years in the Aviation Hall of Doom' was a real eye opener and hopefully a major embarrassment to the department. As a consequence of the book, a Federal enquiry was held into civil aviation and major changes to the industry began.

It was about then thatI left Oz and went overseas to work. I haven't worked back there since.

My point from all of this is that it appears that Dick Smith's original strength is now his ultimate weakness.

Because he didn't earn a living from aviation, the DCA couldn't really hurt him.

But because he didn't earn a living from aviation, he can never really know what the real stresses of earning a living from aviation are.

From what you all say, it appears that the time has come (perhaps passed already) to say

"Thank you for your help, but your abilities have now been fully utilised and we can no longer consider you a useful resource, please step away from the controls".

The problem then becomes
' Who will replace him and will they be any better ?'.


P.S. Does this make me a traitor ???
Wings is offline  
Old 23rd Oct 2005, 09:35
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Gee Wings, I don't make my living from aviation either and I have exactly the opposite view.
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