Things that go bump in the night,

As the bubbles burst.

Finally; the turgid, foetid bubble of foul smelling gas, trapped deep within the swamps of Sleepy Hollow is rising to the surface. Both passengers and politicians waiting in terminals around the country notice the stench as the 11Am service from Piddlemore to Big Smoke fails to turn up and the sweet young thing behind the counter says “Sorry folks – your flight has been cancelled” then races back behind the security door before the message is fully understood. It is then the passengers start looking for the company telephone number and kick up a fuss.

Not one of the shiny brochures or flash magazines claiming all manner of ‘care’ for the stranded passengers will abate the anger – not even for the first time it happens, let alone the fourth time in a month. People get really pissed off when an air service fails to materialize. That is when they start ringing the local politician.

Rex airlines is copping a fair bit of flack at the moment – the good folk of Mt Gambier and Canberra are hacked off, playing merry hell about cancelled flights etc. and want something done, now - now. This of course galvanizes (gooses) the local MP and the Pooh starts hitting the Rex front door. It ain’t Rex’s fault of course, but nonetheless it is the airline which will cop the drubbing. Not fair folks – nowhere near fair at all.

An outfit like Rex is as much a victim of ‘system’ as the irate passengers and to imagine that Rex would deliberately set out to sully their good name, piss passengers off and enjoy loosing the revenue a flight produces is just nuts. The company is suffering due to their willingness to comply with some of the most ridicules rule sets ever written. I shall try to explain it, bear with me, it ain’t simple.

At the beginning of a long chain is the certification required to operate scheduled air services. Any proposed air service operation is subject to an incredibly expensive, complex, time consuming process. Thousands of legally binding pages must be produced, covering everything from paper clip distribution to the onerous responsibility placed on the CEO. In order to gain ‘operational approval’ and begin services; many compromises must be reached and, under the pressure of time and money – the company accept changes to their proposed system and procedures, for no other reasons than expediency and gaining that approval before everyone goes mad. They go along to get along – no option – it’s just the way things are. Once the certification is gained – the next hurdle is keeping it. No easy task – serious amounts of money are invested in not only ‘compliance’ but in being seen to be compliant. In short, by pandering to the whims and dictates of the local CASA office, a company ends up with a huge, complex operating ‘manual’, supporting all manner of trivia, which must be complied with – or else…

This becomes apparent a company needs to recruit aircrew – the sheer cost - which the passenger fare structure must pay for – of clearing a new pilot to line is a big number to begin with – before all the ancillary whistles, bells and gold plating are added. The infrastructure required to place a pilot in the cockpit is not only large, but it costs money, real money to support. In the real world CASA would be told to go and boil their bottoms and take their self opinionated clap-trap with them. Not in Australia though; the mandatory requirement to Kow-Tow to the CASA ‘expert’ rules supreme. Everyone bitches and moans about the imposts – but no one dare speak. They all just plod through the system – as approved – knowing full well that to even bark about it will bring the wrath of the CASA demi-gods (recruited from local flying schools) down around their corporate ears.

Even so, they struggle through – until one day an outfit like Qantas or Virgin decide they need more crew. The AUD$70, 000 it has cost Rex to put a pilot on the flight line is written off to experience with one phone call: “Start on Monday” says the Qantas HR lady and poof – a Rex pilot vanishes. Can’t blame the pilot, it’s a career dream come true: Saab to Bathurst or 777 to LA – no brainer. Which puts poor old Rex in a spot – what to do? They are now not only facing the horrendous costs of ‘compliance’, hidebound by the system they had to have, they must now dig deep and train another pilot. And so it goes, until the point where there ain’t any more pilots and flights must be cancelled. Strict flight and duty rules prevent ‘over time’, long winded check and training systems cannot provide fresh bodies to the system in time and ties up line pilot availability in C&T duties. This is where the inflexible, narrow view of the regulations really bites deep, at the coal face.

Some folk are jumping up and down about the lack of flight schools and the demise of many of these establishments and it is true that the regulations have forced many to close down. It is fair beef and a simple enough case for politicians to understand, hell they may even get something done about it – in time. But it will be way to little and a decade late. The problem is here – now and very, very real. It is but the visible tip of a huge, CASA generated iceberg. Never before has there been such a demand for pilot training, flying schools are flat out everywhere – except Australia – trying to meet the demand. By the time Australia catches up – the bubble will have burst and the revenue gone overseas. Great stuff and well done successive governments who have not only abrogated responsibility but rubber stamped this complete cock into existence and spent upwards of 400 000, 000 over three decades to produce it. All in the name of ‘safety’.

The cost of compliance with the current rule set is the radical cause of passengers left stranded in Mt Gambier – not Rex Airlines; they do the best they can, with what they’ve got and what they are saddled with. The government could turn this all around within 18 months; the big question is will they?

Gentlemen, the grand experiment has failed; time to bring in a rule set which allows aviation to flourish. New Zealand is a mere two thousand miles and many light years away; ask ‘em nicely, they may give us their rule set – if not the Bledisloe Cup.

Toot toot.


Airports face big bills getting rid of banned foams. The Kiwi’s continue their march toward becoming ‘PFOS free’;

And a update from The land of Trump;

Quote:Row over water contamination in US has NZ implications

11:04 am on 17 May 2018

[Image: thumb_Phil_Pennington.jpg?1467162888]
Phil Pennington, Reporter

A furore has erupted in the US over the Trump administration heading off a water contamination study that has implications for New Zealand.

[Image: eight_col_foam.jpg?1512763610]Firefighting foam (file photo) Photo: 123RF

The study concludes that firefighting foam chemicals pose a danger to human health at far lower concentrations than the current official safety levels in the US, Australia and New Zealand.

"The public, media, and Congressional reaction to these numbers is going to be huge," one White House aide said, in emails obtained by Washington DC news site Politico.

"The impact to EPA and [the Defense Department] is going to be extremely painful."

The aide added the federal public health agency that did the study did not seem to realise "the potential public relations nightmare this is going to be".

US President Donald Trump's Democrat opponents are now demanding the White House release the study, which had been due out in January.

The US is grappling with a spreading water contamination crisis from firefighting foam, and other sources such as Teflon, of the harmful and long-lasting PFAS range of chemicals which includes PFOS, PFOA and PFHxS.

Australia, and now New Zealand, are in much the same boat, with extensive tests going on of water sources around defence bases and airports.

"The emails make no mention of public health effects," Politico reporter Annie Snider, who broke the story, told RNZ.

"That's the reason this has got so much traction. This seems to be all about the Defence Department in terms of liability and on EPA in terms of culpability for having had a higher risk level before."

The US risk level in a health advisory for PFOS and PFOA was drastically lowered in 2016 to 70 parts per trillion, total, in drinking water - like 70 grains of sand in an Olympic swimming pool.

Australia and New Zealand adopted this same level last year.

But exposure at just one-sixth this level could be dangerous for sensitive individuals like infants and breastfeeding mothers, according to the Politico emails about the new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It suggests dropping the health risk level to 12 parts per trillion.

Ms Snider said even some Republicans were now speaking up.

"We know for sure that the Trump administration did weigh in with concerns about it.
"This is not an issue that has been acted swiftly on by any of our regulatory agencies and, to be fair, a lot of the science is still being worked on.

"We have multi-trillion-dollar needs for upgrades to drinking water and wastewater infrastructure and so there is, I think, legitimately some concern about adding an expense to that."

There is infuriation about PFAS and health closer to home, in response to an expert health panel's new advice to both the Australian and New Zealand governments.

It concluded there was still no evidence the chemicals damaged people's health, though that could not be ruled out either.


"My community in Williamtown are outraged," New South Wales federal MP Meryl Swanson told RNZ. "They're possibly some of the most informed about this suite of chemicals."

Williamtown is one of the three worst contaminated towns so far identified in Australia's investigation of PFAS chemical leaching.

The expert panel had played down the health risks and discounted any need for interventions based on limited research, she said.

"I don't think that's prudent, I don't agree with that. Some of that research, I understand, has been done by industry groups and I'm not completely satisfied that the health panel's findings are extensive as they need to be.

"Do we need a new panel that does a new report? Potentially," she said.

Two of the 12 reviews the Australian panel looked at were by Dr Ellen Chang who works for a US firm called Exponent.

A US lawyer Robert Bilott who has led successful lawsuits against PFAS contaminators, told RNZ that Exponent had provided paid testifying services to at least one PFAS manufacturer facing court action.

The Australian panel also looked at eight international reports in preparing its advice.

Cheers Bro

P2 - top catch Bro... Wink

PFOS in Parliament and Hobart flight path cock-up - TICK TOCK Harfwit... Confused   

To follow on from Gobbles last, here is the Additional Estimates QON answers related to the PFOS issue:


Nearly every other day when Parliament sits there is a growing chorus of concern for the PFOS issue with the ducking and weaving by the Turnbull government becoming extremely tedious and obvious... Dodgy


Defence Facilities: Chemical Contamination

[Image: 264170.jpg]Ms SWANSON (Paterson) (10:06): I stand here today to register on the parliamentary record my utter disgust with the Turnbull government's continued treatment of my constituents trapped in a toxic PFAS plume emanating from RAAF Base Williamtown. I'm here to ensure that Hansard records my reaction to the long-awaited Expert Health Panel for PFAS report that was delivered to Health Minister Hunt. I wish this House to note that I am angered at the timing of the report's release and the method of its release. And I am gravely concerned by the content of the report itself.

The government chose to release this 400-plus-page report on the eve of the federal budget—a full two months late—by sending it live to an obscure website.

The minister did not stand up to take questions. It was an abomination.

The expert panel's report summary does nothing to answer the questions or allay the fears of my constituents in Williamtown, Fullerton Cove or Salt Ash. In fact, it inflames their distrust. At the top of page 1, the summary advises:

… important health effects for individuals exposed to PFAS cannot be ruled out based on the current evidence.

Later it states:

… evidence does not support any specific biochemical or disease screening, or health interventions, for highly exposed groups (except for research purposes).
Yet, this very report says:

The main concerning signal for life-threatening human disease is an association with an increased risk of two uncommon cancers (testicular and kidney).

This echoes investigative journalism by the Newcastle Heraldwhichrevealed a 50-person cancer cluster along a four-kilometre stretch of rural road at the heart of the PFAS plume. The expert panel's assessment itself acknowledged that there is a relationship between PFAS exposure and some indicators of immune response.

This demands an exhaustive study of any relationship between immune dysfunction and cancer. The generations of families who have been struck down with obscure, environmentally-induced malignant conditions demand this. Walkley-Award-winning investigative journalism demands it. The Turnbull and Berejiklian governments must exhaustively explore this evidence. The Department of Defence must be called to account for the damage it has caused. (Time expired)

[Image: 10848.jpg]Brian Burston (NSW, Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party) Share this | Link to this | Hansard source
Recently, the New South Wales state government, through New South Wales Health, conducted a study into whether a cancer cluster existed in the Williamtown area as a result of PFAS contamination. The study dismissed suggestions that a cancer cluster existed on a heavily contaminated area of Cabbage Tree Road. Over the last 15 years, 50 cancer cases have occurred over a five-kilometre stretch on that road. The results of the study are totally unreliable and lack objectivity. Areas such as Medowie and Karuah were included in the study despite being some 30 kilometres from the red zone. This brought into the study 12,000 residents not affected by the contamination, and it only looked at cancer incidents between 2005 and 2014.

I have continued to ask questions of the government in relation to compensation for residents affected by this contamination. The standard answer from the government is: 'There is currently no consistent evidence that exposure to PFAS causes adverse human health effects.' The government says it relies on the advice of eHealth when making decisions on this issue.

On 19 March 2018 the Newcastle Herald reported, and I quote the article in part:

A leading group of Australian doctors has slammed federal health advice on the chemicals at the centre of the Williamtown scandal, arguing the government's position is "highly problematic", "confusing" and doesn't provide a complete picture of the international evidence.

The Department of Health's advice – stating there is "no consistent evidence that exposure to PFAS causes adverse human health effects" – has long been condemned by residents of the red zone, who argue it contradicts warnings from world-leading agencies, including the US EPA.

However this is the first time Australia's medical fraternity has publicly weighed into the debate.

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) trains and represents over 25,000 medical and trainee specialists across Australia and New Zealand.
In its submission to a newly-formed Expert Health Panel on … (PFAS) chemicals, the RACP argues for a national ban on firefighting foam and says Australia should have ratified a global agreement made nearly a decade ago to phase out the contaminants. The document is scathing of the government's health advice, based on guidance statements from the Environmental Health Standing Committee (EnHealth).
…   …   …
"We advocate for a change to the national health advice that incorporates the latest international evidence for adverse health effects."
…   …   …
"We were really slow at getting the government to ban asbestos and now we’ve done the same thing with PFAS" …
"We're conflict avoidant."

The RACP advocates for a change to the national health advice that incorporates the latest international evidence for adverse health effects. That evidence is available through the US EPA, the German Human Biomonitoring Commission, Public Health England and the United Nations Stockholm Convention, which all link exposure to PFAS with adverse health effects.

What more evidence do the government need? Well, I'll give them some more. I will now name 32 of the 50 cancer-cluster victims, as published in the Newcastle Herald of 16 February 2018: Warren Monro, prostate cancer; Jenny Robinson, breast cancer; Terry Robinson, melanoma; Gaylene Brown, breast cancer; John Hill, non-Hodgkin lymphoma; Lex 'Tex' Facer, deceased 2005, bowel cancer; Boronia Howell, deceased 2003, leukaemia; Ted Howell Snr, deceased 2004, prostate cancer; Ted Howell Jr, prostate cancer; Greg Waters, leukaemia; Gary Price, prostate cancer; Karen Price, breast cancer; Eric Moxey, deceased 2004, pancreatic cancer; Irene Jordan, breast cancer; Luke Gordan, neck tumours; Lorelei Sneddon, deceased 2011, non-Hodgkin lymphoma; Liane Ryan, breast cancer; Michelle Gilchrist, leukaemia; Colin Northam, deceased 2004, liver cancer; Suzanne Quick, non-Hodgkin lymphoma; Raeleen Russell, breast cancer; Neville Haywood, oesophageal cancer; Danielle Proctor, non-Hodgkin lymphoma; David Vial, prostate cancer; David Gordon, deceased 2015, prostate cancer; Judy Gordon, breast cancer; Denis McEnearney, prostate cancer and leukaemia; Craig Coombes, vocal cord tumour and thyroid cancer; Ken Graham, deceased 2012, prostate cancer; Patricia Olsen, lung cancer; Terry Olsen, deceased 2015, prostate cancer; Des Maslen, skin cancer.
Do you want more evidence? Sorry, but I've run out of time. So has the government.

On the ASA Hobart flight path cock-up in the Oz today:

Quote:Safety issue on new flight paths
[Image: bf6bf63e7aa8e1b0b83d027bfdb4bc64]MATTHEW DENHOLM
The bungled introduction of new flightpaths at Hobart’s burgeoning airport has led to a dramatic spike in safety breaches.

The bungled introduction of new flight paths at Hobart’s burgeoning airport has led to a dramatic spike in safety breaches, including “loss of separation” between ­passenger jets.

Airservices reports obtained by The Weekend Australian suggest the new, inflexible flight paths, introduced on September 14 last year, have been poorly implemented, prompting a sudden rise in safety incidents.

There have been at least four “loss of separation” incidents, where aircraft pass closer to one another than has been designed for safety, typically 305m for passenger jets, since September.

At least two — on December 30 last year and January 18 this year — were linked to difficulties complying with the new flight paths, which limit departures and arrivals from Hobart airport to standardised routes.

Both involved Airbus A320 and A321 passenger planes, likely to be carrying about 180 and 240 ­passengers respectively.

“The Airbus A320 … climbed above the restricted level, resulting in a loss of separation with the inbound Airbus A321,” a report of the January 18 incident reads.

On December 30, an Airbus A321 “descended below the altitude restriction resulting in a loss of separation with the outbound Airbus A320”.

On November 13, an inbound Boeing 717 “failed to meet the height requirements … resulting in a loss of separation assurance with the outbound Airbus A320”.

Records confirm these breaches related directly to problems with the new flight paths, which have antagonised communities hit by aircraft noise, as well as air traffic controllers inadequately trained and supported to implement them, and pilots and airlines experiencing difficulties and extra fuel costs in complying.

There have been at least 22 safety incidents related to failures to comply with the new routes.

The Airservices review of its implementation of the flight paths concludes the objectives of greater efficiency and safety have been undermined by failings.

The report says “the expected assistance and support to controllers” was not provided and those charged with developing and ­implementing changes “may or may not” have had “necessary skills and experience”.

Methods of separating aircraft “developed over many years” were removed, leaving “very few options” for controllers dealing with aircraft not equipped to use standardised flight paths.

The report finds a “lack of clarity” between the Hobart tower and Melbourne-based controllers and that sections of the industry were unsure about how to comply.

“Setbacks that could have been anticipated were overlooked and not dealt with in the most efficient manner,” it says. The review says that changes such as reactivating a ground beacon and introducing a second departure route should return risks to “an acceptable level”.

Airservices yesterday insisted the new system was safe and ­designed to “international standards”, despite “a small number of occurrences … common during the early stages of introducing new flight paths”.

“(The new flight paths) are safer because they ensure that aircraft fly predictably and consistently, and safely guide aircraft even during bad weather, reducing pilot and air traffic controller workload,” a spokeswoman said.

“There has been thorough training and awareness for both pilots and air traffic controllers.”

 There was also an interesting Add Estimates AQON (with pictures - Smile ) on the Hobart flight path issue: See QON58.pdf 

[Image: Hobart-flightpath.jpg]

MTF...P2 Cool

Tick tock goes the ASA PFAS clock -  Confused

Via the ABC News:

Quote:Melbourne Airport confirms toxic PFAS chemical spread in water beyond site boundaries
By Sally Brooks and Gus Goswell
Updated 26 minutes ago
[Image: 2563398-3x2-700x467.jpg]PHOTO: Melbourne Airport authorities say the risk posed to landholders downstream of the site is low. (Supplied: Melbourne Airport)
RELATED STORY: 'Limited or no evidence': PFAS report finds no strong link to human health
RELATED STORY: PFAS chemicals at 'exceedingly high' levels in some Katherine residents, doctor says

Melbourne Airport has confirmed contamination caused by toxic chemicals, historically used in firefighting foams at the site, has spread beyond the airport boundaries.

In a statement to the ABC, airport spokesman Grant Smith said the Melbourne Airport Authority (MAA) was contacting a group of landholders to inform them of the contamination.

The MAA will also ask residents and landholders whether they use the surface water flowing through local waterways on their properties.

Mr Smith said the authority believed the health risk posed by the chemical contamination to landholders downstream of the site was low.

Do you know more about this story? Email

"At some times of the year, some of our off-airport testing locations recorded per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) levels in surface water above the current Australian Government guidelines," he said.

"We've conducted a number of detailed risk assessments that indicate any likelihood of human health impact by PFAS contamination for landholders downstream from the airport is low, on the basis that local water courses are not connected to Melbourne's drinking water catchment.

"We're currently in the process of getting in touch with individual landholders to talk to them about our research findings, and how they're using water on their properties."

[Image: 9817738-3x2-700x467.jpg]PHOTO: Melbourne Airport is located between two waterways; the Maribyrnong River and Moonee Ponds Creek. (ABC News)

Melbourne Airport confirmed to the ABC it has been undertaking an extensive investigation into the presence of PFAS across the airport estate.

This included collecting more than 800 soil samples.

Based on current information available to the ABC it is unclear how far this contamination has spread. The ABC does not have any evidence that private properties have been contaminated.

The airport, working with other stakeholders, are continuing investigations.
Health impacts of chemicals uncertain

Melbourne Airport at Tullamarine, roughly 20 kilometres north-west of the Melbourne city centre, sits between two north-south flowing rivers: Maribyrnong River to the west and Moonee Ponds Creek to the east.

PFAS chemicals accumulate over time and the health effects of exposure to the chemicals is a matter of dispute.

[Image: 6992900-3x2-700x467.jpg]PHOTO: Toxic chemicals from firefighting foam have been detected in waterways around Australia. (Supplied: CRC CARE)

In the United States, a major epidemiological study linked one of the group of PFAS chemicals to six human diseases, including two types of cancer.

The Australian Government maintains there is limited evidence of links between the chemicals and disease, but notes health effects cannot not be ruled out based on the current facts.

In October last year the ABC confirmed PFAS chemicals have been detected at more than 70 sites across the country, including Defence bases, civilian and aviation firefighting facilities, and at industrial sites like Esso Australia's gas plant in Longford in Victoria's south east.

There is a growing list of sites where these chemicals have spread off site and contaminated surrounding waterways, land, and in some cases the food chain, including livestock.

On Wednesday, it was confirmed that a federal parliamentary inquiry will examine the Government's management of PFAS contamination at and around Defence bases.

Toxic foam used at airport training ground, reports show

The ABC pursued an investigation into contamination at Melbourne Airport after former and current aviation firefighters raised concerns about the amount of the toxic, aqueous-film forming firefighting foam (AFFF) used in the past, at the Melbourne Aviation Rescue and Firefighting Services' old training ground at the airport.

[Image: 9817676-3x2-700x467.jpg]PHOTO: A federal parliamentary inquiry will examine the management of PFAS contamination. (Supplied)

That drill ground, which sits on the north-west corner of the airport, was home to a national training college for aviation firefighters across Australia from 1972 to 1998.

Reports obtained by the ABC via Freedom of Information show toxic foam was used at that site for about two decades.

Airservices Australia, the federal government agency responsible for the aviation firefighting service at Melbourne Airport, has been investigating current levels of PFAS contamination at that site.

The ABC understands that training ground is just one of several locations around the airport where the toxic foam has been used.

Airservices stopped using the AFFF toxic foam at all sites in the early 2000s. The national training college has since moved to a new facility adjacent to the airport, and a different foam is used.

[Image: 9817682-3x2-700x467.jpg]PHOTO: The national training college for aviation firefighters has moved to a new facility adjacent to the airport. (Supplied)

In March, Airservices said the facility "features environmental control systems designed to minimise the impact of the training activity on the surrounding environment and operates with only PFAS-free training foam".

"At Melbourne Airport, we have recently completed a preliminary site investigation (PSI) and we are currently undertaking quality assurance to finalise the PSI report," an Airservices spokesman said.

"We anticipate the report to be released publicly in coming months.

"We will also consult relevant stakeholders, including Melbourne Airport, the Commonwealth Airport Regulator and relevant state government agencies to determine what appropriate action is required."
Contamination found in routine testing, airport says

The Melbourne Airport is on Commonwealth land, and ultimately regulated by the Federal Government. The MAA describes itself as the "landlord" of the property and Airservices, along with airlines and other agencies, as tenants of the airport.

Melbourne Airport said the off-site tests for PFAS were part of routine water testing and it had not done a "bespoke" PFAS investigation in off-airport waterways.

It has notified several stakeholders including Victoria's Environment Protection Authority (EPA) of the preliminary findings.

"For the most part, contamination exists within areas leased by tenants, so we are working with each of those tenants on their plans," Mr Smith said.

[Image: 9817706-3x2-700x467.jpg]PHOTO: Toxic foam is no longer used by firefighters at airports. (Supplied)

Melbourne Airport confirmed it has been undertaking clean-up activities on the site, which includes digging up contaminated soil.

"From an estate-wide perspective our focus is on tackling the challenge of stopping identified pollution from leaving the airport through surface water or ground water," Mr Smith said.

"As an interim solution we have been removing contaminated soil and containing it … but we are also looking at long term containment and treatment of contaminated soil."

In November last year, Guardian Australia reported that the Brisbane Airport Corporation was suing Airservices Australia over the PFAS contamination at Brisbane Airport.

While on the land of unscrupulous Harfwits and obfuscating fairytales -  Rolleyes 

In case you missed it off the SBG get a load of the brown nosing Harfwit attempt to schmoo the Chief of Airforce Air Marshal Davies:

  [Image: harfieldatestimates.jpg]

Mr Jason Harfield, Airservices Australia
FOI letter from Airservices Australia to Air Marshal Davies
22 May 2018 - PDF 2104KB

Quote:[Image: OS-1.jpg]

[Image: OS-2.jpg]
[Image: OS-3.jpg]

Credit to Harfwit it must have worked cause the Defence Dept signed on the dotted line? One wonders what kind of GWE (Great White Elephant) we will eventually end up with after all the serious players have stopped grazing from the OneSKY trough... Dodgy

MTF...P2 Cool

Miniscule Mc’Do’nothing and Turnball have ‘testicle separation’.

Good old Hobart airspace issues continue. So, exactly why is it that CAsA want a $180m budget next year? Hmmmm, seems to me that the ‘risk’ is firmly embedded in the Regulators lap. I wouldn’t want to be in Wingnuts shoes if two passenger jets scrape paint above the city....tsk tsk

And, PFOS, it’s the risk that just keeps on giving. Obsfucating deceptive Pollywafflers. DEAR VOTER, DONT FORGET THIS BIT FROM MINISTER HUNT (spelt with a silent ‘C’);

“The government chose to release this 400-plus-page report on the eve of the federal budget—a full two months late—by sending it live to an obscure website”.


“The minister did not stand up to take questions. It was an abomination”.

Pathetic weasel. Sneaky sneaky dishonest grubs. It’s time for the Voter to send the LNP assclowns off to retirement - Hunt, Turdball, Mc’Do’nothing, Barnacle Joyce, Cash, the whole stinking putrid bunch of them.

‘Make Aviation Great Again’

Sir A departs OneSKY trough?

Mysteriously without fanfare Sir A departs ASA Board:

Via miniscule McDo'Nothing:

Key appointments to Airservices Australia
Media Release
08 June 2018

Two key appointments to Airservices Australia have been announced today by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack.

“I am pleased to announce Mr John Weber has been appointed as the next Chair of Airservices for a three-year term,” Mr McCormack said.

“In addition to already having served on the Board as a member and Deputy Chair, Mr Weber brings strong governance and legal experience to the Chair's role.

“His appointment will provide for strong Board oversight of Airservices' ongoing major infrastructure investment program in air traffic and aviation rescue and fire-fighting services at our major airports.”

Mr McCormack has also reappointed Ms Fiona Balfour to the Board for a further two years.

“Ms Balfour has extensive information technology experience which will continue to be valuable as Airservices works with Thales and the Department of Defence on a new national air traffic management system under the OneSKY project,” Mr McCormack said.

“I look forward to working with the new Chair and the Board on ensuring Australia continues to have an air navigation service that continues to meet world's best-practice standards.”

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing Chair of Airservices, Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK, AFC (Rtd), for his outstanding contribution to the Board of Airservices Australia since his appointment as Chair in 2011.

“During this period, Airservices has continued to safely provide a high standard of air traffic and aviation rescue and fire-fighting services while managing significant growth in demand from the international and domestic aviation industry.”

More information about Airservices Australia is available at

And via the Oz:

Quote:Weber named Airservices chairman

[Image: 1bc6341da284a3843f8e727c3f63b3f3]ANNABEL HEPWORTH
The Turnbull government will today announce the appointment of lawyer John Weber to chair Airservices Australia.

John Weber named new chairman of Airservices Australia

The Turnbull government will today announce the appointment of lawyer John Weber to chair Airservices Australia.

Mr Weber replaces Angus Houston, the retired Air Chief Marshal and former Defence Force chief, who was appointed to chair the air service navigation provider after the ­retirement of David Forsyth.

Mr Weber, a former managing partner Australia of DLA Piper and former chief executive partner of MinterEllison, is also on the board of WSA Co, the government-owned company building the Western Sydney Airport.

He was the deputy chairman of Airservices.

Deputy Prime Minister ­Mich­ael McCormack, who will unveil the appointment today, said Mr Weber’s appointment “will provide for strong board oversight of Airservices’ ongoing major infrastructure investment program in air traffic and aviation rescue and firefighting services at our major airports”.

Mr McCormack will also today announce that Fiona Balfour has been reappointed for another two years to the eight-member board.

He said Ms Balfour’s extensive information technology experience “will continue to be valuable as Airservices works with Thales and the Department of Defence on a new national air traffic management system under the One­SKY project”.

Airservices and the Department of Defence signed the $1.2 billion contract for OneSKY in late February. Implementing the project is among the key missions for the Airservices board as outlined in the most recent statement of expectations.
MTF...P2 Cool

Hey, Sir Anus you greasy pole climber, don’t bang the door on your way out.....

Enjoy your next trough, fool.

Fatigue and 'just culture' in a Harfwit world -  Dodgy

From that 'happy little chappy' in Tassie, via the Weekend Oz:

Quote:Air traffic staffers ‘asleep on job’
[Image: a86cda4e7cd59f0e0bd14450f957d762]MATTHEW DENHOLM
Air traffic controllers working solo nightshifts are falling asleep, creating concern for public safety.

Air traffic controllers working solo nightshifts, responsible for large expanses of the country’s skies, are falling asleep, creating concern for public safety.

Controllers told The Weekend Australian the situation was an issue in 10 air sectors for which only one controller —— based ­either in a major radar centre or local tower — was rostered on the nightshift.

Civil Air, the controllers’ union, said those sectors covered skies over most regional areas, as well as towers at Perth and Adelaide, and in Sydney during night curfew.

The union confirmed controllers working the single-person nightshifts had at times reported falling asleep, and that it was pushing for two-person shifts or at least greater back-up for those working solo.

“There have been several ­reports (of controllers falling asleep) made to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, mainly because of the confidentiality the ATSB provides,” said Civil Air president and controller Tom McRobert.

“They have put in a confidential report saying ‘I fell asleep’ or ‘I saw someone fall asleep’. It’s not a common occurrence but … it is definitely a concern, the more and more they push ­fatiguing rosters.”

ATSB confirmed it had received confidential reports about controller fatigue. Airservices said it had no reports of controllers falling asleep but “a small number” had complained about single-operator nightshifts.

“Single-person nightshifts are currently in place for approximately 20 positions across Australia where traffic volume and complexity is low,” a spokeswoman said.

“The practice has been reviewed at length by Airservices, with our rosters built on a sound understanding of fatigue and the science of sleep. We encourage staff to report any fatigue-­related issues … This can be done de-identified.”

However, Mr McRobert, a controller based in Melbourne, said controllers were unwilling to make such reports to Airser­vices for fear of “repercussions”.

He and most controllers believed two people should be rostered on all nightshifts because of the safety benefits.

There were also practical reasons controllers who found themselves dozing on nightshifts were reluctant to report it.

“There’s a lack of willingness for an individual if they are feeling tired and dozing off to put their hand up and say ‘Get me out’,” he said.

“Because that requires a closing of airspace, or reclassification of the airspace as uncontrolled, and a very high-level investi­gation. And Airservices will start pointing fingers.”

While traffic volumes may be low, nightshift controllers are ­responsible for the full range of ­duties, including include monitoring radar and communicating with pilots to ensure sufficient separation between aircraft, keeping them on the right flights paths and dealing with emergencies. Airservices said solo nightshifts mostly occurred in operations centres where other staff were working on other sectors at the same time. “They have the opportunity to take short breaks throughout the shift, and there is a supervisor,” the spokeswoman said.

Solo nightshifts operate for much of Australia’s airspace. “Basically everywhere with very low traffic, so anything into Sydney from ­either Melbourne or Brisbane areas, because Sydney has a curfew at night (applying to many but not all aircraft),” Mr McRobert said.

Spot the disconnections?

"..ATSB confirmed it had received confidential reports about controller fatigue. Airservices said it had no reports of controllers falling asleep but “a small number” had complained about single-operator nightshifts..."

"...reviewed at length by Airservices, with our rosters built on a sound understanding of fatigue and the science of sleep. We encourage staff to report any fatigue-­related issues..."

A quick flick through the ATSB aviation REPCON pages - see HERE - does not show up any of the confidential reports received. However I believe the reporter(s) have to agree for these reports to be published. 

There are also some questions inside of the ASA statement of 'no reports' because the REPCON normally entails a response from both the operator (ASA) and the regulator CASA. Could this indicate that these REPCONs were handled in a different way?   

So why are the ATCOs reluctant to report through the ASA SMS reporting system? Does this not signify a fundamental systemic breakdown of 'just culture' principles within the ASA SMS?        

Perhaps the ATSB should be considering a topdown review/investigation into the ASA SMS? After all if it is good enough for VARA (now Virgin regional) - see AI-2017-100 - or Rebel Ag - see AO-2016-157-SI - then surely it is good enough for the air traffic control service provider overseeing the safe control of aircraft inside the Aussie FIR?

Hmm...hang on sec - I guess that would be another perceived conflict of interest for the HVH?  Rolleyes   

MTF...P2  Cool

Of sleep deprivation, a lack of reporting, and unsafe skies for all

P2’s summation at the end of his post is as succinct as you will ever get! Why has the ATsB received incident reports yet none have been submitted internally within ASA? Just culture alright, ‘just don’t report anything’ because the bullying company will pineapple you straight out the door. And what about ASA’s holy grail of safety, the mighty SMS? Fail!!

Just so Electric Blue doesn’t forget, the Colgan crash of almost 10 years ago is a ‘must study’ for students of safety, culture and fatigue. If ASA doesn’t think that ATCO fatigue can’t contribute or cause an accident worse than Colgan, they have their heads up their asses.

Maybe ASA will supply night shift ATCO’s with on-tap PFOS to drink? That will keep the boys and girls awake all night!!


REPCONs from 2016, the second one was updated 8 June 2018.

Excellent catch Bumaye -  Wink 

Obviously I didn't go far enough back... Blush 


Reporter's concern
The reporter expressed a safety concern related to single person night shift in the Melbourne Centre.
The reporter advised that different controllers operating the Alpine and Tasmanian sectors have regularly been observed to be asleep at some stage during their shift while on duty. These areas are quiet overnight, which adds to the danger of them falling asleep and being fatigued.
Reporter comment: Apart from falling asleep at the console while on duty, I am particularly concerned about controllers of the Tasmanian airspace as they generally have two aircraft arriving at Hobart at 5:30 am which they are required to separate using Surveillance Arrangements for Regional Airports (SAFRA) procedures - after 6 1/2 hours without a break at a known period of low circadian rhythms.
Operator's response (Operator 1)
Airservices Australia (Airservices) appreciates the opportunity to respond to the reported safety concern regarding the use of single person night shifts in the Alpine and Tasmanian ATC groups in Melbourne Centre.
As previously reported to the ATSB, single person night shifts are not limited to the ATC groups outlined in the reporters concerns. Airservices clarifies that it is also used in Brisbane Centre and a number of remote towers and Terminal Control Units (TCU's) as well as other operational roles such as systems supervisors and flight data co-ordinators.
Airservices clarifies that a controller on a single person night shift is not required to work for 6.5 hours without a break, as indicated by the reporter. Airservices reiterates that Melbourne Centre operates in a shared operations environment with twenty-four-hour supervision and short break arrangements. All night shift staff are located in the same room and at least three staff members are available in each aisle to assist with the identification of controller fatigue and provide short term support if required. Controllers operating on single person night shifts are offered breaks by controllers on dual staff night shifts and by the systems supervisor at certain times during the shift to minimise the likelihood of a controller becoming fatigued.
Airservices continues to implement work schedules designed on a solid understanding of fatigue and the science of sleep. In addition, rosters for ATC incorporate work/life balance and console/staffing requirements. Staffing arrangements on night shift duties are determined by controller workload taking into consideration console usage, known traffic patterns and actual traffic captures highlighting the maximum and minimum numbers of aircraft in a given airspace. The workload and console usage is also assessed annually to ensure it continues to be appropriate with the ongoing operational demands.
As mentioned in our previous response to a similar concern, Airservices has reviewed the practice of single person night shifts at Melbourne Centre. It has been confirmed that the established processes and systems for night shift rostering/staffing and fatigue management are appropriately followed in determining and monitoring the night shift arrangements.
Since our previous response, Airservices has developed and published educational material about effective strategies to prepare for a night shift for controllers (refer to attachment 1).
Airservices is planning to develop further educational material which will be included in future editions of Airservices internal ATC magazine.

Regulator's response (Regulator 1)
CASA has reviewed the REPCON and notes that it is similar in nature to previous REPCON AR201600052. CASA has included these concerns as part of the ongoing CASR Part 172 surveillance program.

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Last update 08 June 2018


Reporter's concern
The reporter expressed a safety concern related to the continued use of one-person night shifts in the Bass and Alpine ATC groups.
The reporter advised that these are the only two groups in Melbourne [air traffic control] Centre which continue with the practice of using one-person night shifts, with some doing about 100 a year. Controllers have reported frequently falling asleep at the console for extended periods of time during these shifts, and there is no back-up controller to ensure that safety is not compromised. They are also concerned that the fatigue experienced is resulting in them being unsafe while driving home.
The controllers are also concerned why their reports to managers on this safety breach, of sleeping at the console, have never been discussed, or addressed in writing, to the controllers as a large discussion group to find an appropriate solution.
The reporter also advised that the controllers have never been directly asked by management ‘Are you falling asleep on the single-man night shift’.
The reporter advised that controllers feel intimidated and fear retribution if they raise the issue on the Airservices’ internal website.
The reporter advised that controllers in these groups have advised Airservices Australia’s management and CASA that this is occurring, but no action has been taken.
Reporter comment: It is only a matter of time before a serious accident/incident occurs so we want to make sure all relevant authorities have been made aware in writing.
This has been reported to Airservices on a previous occasion in R201100172.
Operator's response (Operator 1)
Airservices Australia (Airservices) appreciates the opportunity to respond to the reported safety concern regarding the continued use of one-person night shifts in the Bass and Alpine ATC groups.
Airservices would like to clarify that one-person night shifts are not limited to Bass and Alpine groups.
It is also used in Brisbane Centre and a number of remote towers and terminal control units as well as other operational roles such as systems supervisors and flight data coordinators.
All work schedules implemented in the Air Traffic Control (ATC) Group are designed on a solid understanding of fatigue and the science of sleep. Airservices recently undertook a sleep study that reviewed the quantum of sleep achieved by controllers between various shift combinations. The analyses reflected that participants, who worked one-person night shifts, on average, achieved more sleep before their shifts than those rostered to other night resourcing categories.
In addition, ATC rosters incorporate work/life balance and console/staffing requirements. Staffing arrangements on night shift duties are determined by controller workload, taking into consideration console usage, known traffic patterns and actual traffic captures highlighting the maximum and minimum numbers of aircraft in a given airspace. The workload and console usage is also assessed annually to ensure it continues to be appropriate with the ongoing operational demands.
To address the reported concern, Airservices has reviewed the practice of one-person night shifts at Melbourne Centre. It has been confirmed that the established processes and systems for night shift rostering/staffing and fatigue management are appropriately followed in determining and monitoring the night shift arrangements.
Airservices reviewed the average number of night shifts expected to be completed by controllers in one-person and dual staffing night shifts and confirmed that the numbers were comparable. The following average night shifts completed have been confirmed using a sample size of at least 4 controllers per ATC group for the period of 1 June 2015 to 31 May 2016.
  • Bass - 50 (one-person)
  • Alpine - 39 (one-person)
  • Barossa - 44 (dual-staffing)
  • Grampians - 48 (dual staffing).
While these averages are valid for the vast majority of controllers, the review identified one controller in Bass Group that had completed 87 night shifts between 1 June 2015 and 31 May 2016. This controller is managed on an individual flexibility agreement which specifies a set roster, considers the controller's personal preference to complete night shifts and complies with the FRMS strategic roster planning rules (SRPRs).
Melbourne Centre operates in a shared operations environment with twenty four hour supervision and short break arrangements. All night shift staff are located in the same room and at least three staff members are available in each aisle to assist with the identification of controller fatigue and provide short term support if required. Controllers operating on one-person night shifts are offered breaks by controllers on dual staff night shifts and by the systems supervisor at certain times during the shift to minimise the likelihood of a controller becoming fatigued.
To further mitigate the risk to staff health and well-being, Airservices provides stand-down rooms.
Priority is given to staff that have been operating on one-person night shift.
Airservices is committed to providing a safe and healthy working environment for our staff. Part of this commitment is fostering a strong safety culture where staff feel supported and encouraged in reporting safety occurrences/concerns through a range of existing reporting channels (including mandatory, voluntary and confidential reporting). In 2015 and 2016, Airservices launched a number of campaigns to promote the value of safety reporting and reassure staff that they are fully supported to 'speak up for safety'. The confidential reporting process was also strengthened to increase the organisation-wide awareness of the utility of the Airservices Australia Confidential Safety Reporting system. Controllers can also submit fatigue related hazard reports outside their normal line management.
Following this reported concern, Airservices will deliver further communications to remind staff of the available reporting channels and processes and eliminate any potential or perceived obstacles that may prevent safety reporting. Additional educational material will also be provided to controllers regarding preparing, surviving and recovering from night shifts.
Airservices and staff have a shared responsibility for managing fatigue-related risks. The organisational measures through staff rostering, safety promotion and provision of rest arrangements have been detailed above. Staff are also expected to take appropriate measures to adequately manage their fatigue both at work (including reporting of fatigue concerns) and during preparation for work.
Prior to the receipt of the reported concern, the topic of one-person night shifts was recently raised in weekly staff forum discussions. In response to the staff feedback, Airservices plans to complete an assessment of current practices within the Melbourne Operations Room during night shifts, taking into account the controls in place to mitigate fatigue-related risks.
Regulator's response (Regulator 1)
CASA has reviewed the REPCON and notes the response from Airservices. In addition, the Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS) is considered by CASA to be part of the Airservices safety management system and contributes, in part, to calculations for the required number of Air Traffic Control staff under the Part 172 Manual of Standards (MOS) Paragraph 2.2.1 (d) and Airservices Operations Manual Part 172 Paragraph 6.1 (b). As such, these aspects of FRMS are considered under CASA's ongoing regulatory oversight of Airservices.
Additionally, International Civil Aviation Organization state letter AN 13/13.1 - 16/39 advises that from 5 November 2020, signatories to the convention will be required to implement FRMS for air traffic control services. CASA will be taking this initiative into account with regard to necessary updates to the Civil Aviation Safety Regulation 1998 Part 172 and the applicable MOS.
ATSB comment:
The ATSB received comments from the reporter to these responses and further questions were sent to Airservices. The following is a summary of these questions:
Airservices reports that solo ops are occurring in multiple aisles, how widespread are these issues of sleeping at the console?
If their recent sleep study revealed that solo night shift staff are sleeping more in preparation and this is better for fatigue, then why aren’t all groups solo on the ‘doggo’ [night shift] as its not warranted 'traffic wise' on most groups?
The sample size that Airservices used to average the number of night shifts worked was not a sufficient representation. Night shift numbers vary between 0 and 110+ and the one controller who was highlighted as completing 87 night shifts was actually over 110. A wider sample base is required to get an accurate figure.
To even suggest there are multiple people in the row that could 'save the day' is absolutely ridiculous. There is NO WAY either the Melbourne Approach or the Alpine controller would know if the Bass controller was sleeping and vice versa. The Supervisor is at the front desk and has no line of sight to see if the controllers are sleeping. (Not to mention the amount of times the supervisor is actually asleep) 
So what are the other controllers supposed to do, leave their console to wake up a sleeping controller, what about their traffic? Is that really an appropriate and safe solution to the problem?

Breaks offered to solo night shift controllers are patently insufficient and rarely accepted due to traffic and the inability of, in one case, approach rated staff to provide verbatim instructions to en route break relief staff. That is, Tasmania Approach controllers may be offered breaks by en route staff from a different aisle. Taking a break whilst two or more aircraft approach the critical phase of flight and issuing verbatim instructions to a non-approach controller on scenarios that may change in an instant is fraught with danger. It is also not possible to cover the breadth of possibilities that may occur such as missed approaches, variable conditions demanding alternate approaches by aircrew and the like.
Stand down rooms are not available to solo night shift staff during the shift, because we are at the console ALL night.  They are only offered as a priority, post-shift completion, which begs the question as why a controller is considered not fit to drive home, yet was fit to control aircraft at the end of the shift, minutes before, where traffic loads are often peaking for the night. So a controller is unfit to drive home at 6.01 am but at 5.59 am they are fit to operate their busiest period of traffic, is this correct?
Reluctance to report fatigue related issues continues and anecdotally there are still reports of staff being harassed in such circumstances.
Airservices response:
As mentioned in our previous response, controllers have a responsibility for managing fatigue-related risks for every shift, including on one-person night shifts. In respect of the reporters concerns regarding the unavailability of short breaks, controllers have the opportunity to notify the system supervisor to arrange a short break, if required, during the night shift. Controllers providing short breaks should ideally do so at a time when there is minimal or no traffic and individuals are encouraged to take advantage of these times to take a break.
Airservices reaffirms that traffic volumes are reviewed nationally each year to ensure appropriate staffing arrangements are in place. Single person night shifts will be rostered where the volume is insufficient to justify dual person night shifts.
Southern Operations has initiated a review of the night time operations within Melbourne Centre. The review outcome is likely to result in an increase in single person night shifts and is intended to encourage controllers to work closely together as a team across the operations room to assist with the provision of breaks. Airservices will also establish systems and processes to manage breaks within this team-based environment.
The specific example given in Airservices previous response regarding rostered night shifts was determined based on standard night shifts completed for the period 1 June 2015 to 31 May 2016. Airservices clarifies that 'mutual change of shift' (MCOS) and additional shifts were not included in the count however the cumulative count including these extra shifts is a total of 90 worked night shifts for the period.
A broader evaluation of the number of nights rostered per person across Southern Operations will be included in the night time operations review. Expressions of interest to participate will be sought.
In regards to reporters comments on stand down rooms, Airservices clarifies that they are offered to staff that have completed single person night shifts on a priority basis as a gesture of fairness. Airservices acknowledges that any shift can be fatiguing and staff are encouraged to utilise the rooms to recharge and provide a delineation between operations and home life. It is the responsibility of each individual to make a determination of their fitness for duty at work and in their home lives.
Airservices code of conduct sets out the framework to ensure all staff behave in a safe, professional and ethical manner at all times by upholding appropriate standards of conduct.
Any reports of staff harassment for reporting any issues, whether safety, professional or otherwise will be addressed swiftly once known. Bullying and inappropriate behaviour is not tolerated by Airservices and any formal notification will be acted upon immediately.
CASA response:
CASA has reviewed the comments from Airservices and there is no change to previous advice provided in relation to this REPCON.
ATSB comment
The ATSB received a copy of the southern operations night shift review report on the 15 of December and notes that seven recommendations were made, and there is a plan and timeline for these recommendations to be actioned.
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Last update 06 February 2017[/size]


Funny thing is the publishing of some aviation REPCONs had lay dormant for nearly a year until recently they've suddenly become active again - maybe the REPCON officer was on long service leave? 

It is also frustrating that any recent changes/updates to the ATSB database does not refresh the investigation/reports etc. to the front page i.e. you actually have to spend the time to go looking for them. 

I could be wrong but I also don't think the Oz article and the Civil Air concern would be revolving around just two reports from over two years ago? 

However, although typical, IMO the non-committal, non-response  from CASA is fascinating: 

"...In addition, the Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS) is considered by CASA to be part of the Airservices safety management system and contributes, in part, to calculations for the required number of Air Traffic Control staff under the Part 172 Manual of Standards (MOS) Paragraph 2.2.1 (d) and Airservices Operations Manual Part 172 Paragraph 6.1 (b). As such, these aspects of FRMS are considered under CASA's ongoing regulatory oversight of Airservices.

Additionally, International Civil Aviation Organization state letter AN 13/13.1 - 16/39 advises that from 5 November 2020, signatories to the convention will be required to implement FRMS for air traffic control services. CASA will be taking this initiative into account with regard to necessary updates to the Civil Aviation Safety Regulation 1998 Part 172 and the applicable MOS..."  

Wonder if the ICAO requirement to implement a FRMS by Nov 2020 will be relying on the implementation of CAO 48.1 and/or the current 20 year 'in limbo' regulatory policy on FRMS?

MTF...P2  Cool

ICAO - ANSP ATC Duty Hours and FRMS SARPs effective 5/11/20.

starts on page 34.

Or, how to put a quart into a pint pot.

Cheers Bumaye – ICAO - ANSP ATC Duty Hours and FRMS SARPs effective 5/11/20 makes for an interesting read.  Its dry as sticks, but you can see what they are trying to do. Fatigue is becoming one of those nebulous words which creep into the lexicon and takes on many meanings; far removed from the true definition.

Wiki – “Fatigue is a subjective feeling of tiredness which is distinct from weakness, and has a gradual onset. Unlike weakness, fatigue can be alleviated by periods of rest. Fatigue can have physical or mental causes”.

The ICAO objective is quite clear; well, as near as words, science and systems can get to making certain no one is ‘fatigued’ and, if they are then there is a safety net, and; a system which can monitor ‘trends’. All good solid ‘system’ stuff which makes sense.

2.1.3 Reactive.

The reactive process shall identify the contribution of fatigue hazards to reports and events associated with potential negative safety consequences in order to determine how the impact of fatigue could have been minimized. At a minimum, the process may be triggered by any of the following:

a) fatigue reports;
b) confidential reports;
c) audit reports; and
d) incidents.

Now I’m not knocking the ICAO effort at all; the whole thing is complex and, as ‘systems’ come on line, no doubt there will be further amendments made to reflect the data returned – this is a good thing and proper. However, the use of the  word ‘subjective’ in the (click English) dictionary definition (IMO) defines the radical. I note that the word ‘tired’ is often lumped into the mix of science, speculation and hearsay. I wonder, could ‘tired’ not be disassociated, as it is a very different animal. Another word which needs to be considered is ennui. Being ‘Tired’ and suffering ’Ennui’ are not the same thing as ‘being fatigued’ – which bring human factors (and nature) into the equation, and good luck ‘quantifying’ that little puzzle.

The challenge to quantify and numerically define ‘fatigue’ is a big one as IMO, it comes down to the individual; what wearies one is a stroll in the park for another. But a system is needed and to do that data must be collected, collated, analyzed and turned into guidelines. Once that is managed it will be turned into a rule set – with sharp edges and clearly defined corners. Enter the dragons, human nature and lawyers.

Toot toot.

NZ ATC Union calls for legislated breaks for solo staff.

A point of comparison: Alphabets, fatigue and ATC across the ditch.

(06-14-2018, 08:46 AM)Bumaye Wrote:  NZ ATC Union calls for legislated breaks for solo staff.

Excellent link Bumaye, that article is worthy of being put up in full... Wink 

Quote:ATC calls for amendments to ERA

Air Traffic Controllers call for legislated rest and meal breaks

Basic human needs became a public topic of discussion when Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) took to Parliament to voice their concerns on the proposed amendments to the Employment Relations Act (ERA).

In May the Select Committee heard that the proposed legislation could require ATCs to work continuously for up to 9.5 hours without any rest and/or meal break.

Air Traffic Control is widely recognised as one of the most stressful occupations in the world with the highest need for mental alertness. The current and proposed restrictions on the ability for ATCs from having ‘normal’ breaks like other workers is unsafe and has the potential to lead to a serious incident or accident.

[Image: Uplink%20ALPA%20June%202018%20Page%2016%20Image%20a.jpg]
“Many ATCs, particularly those based at regional airports, are often solo controllers working the shift by themselves. This means that they have the sole duty to ensure that the aerodrome and surrounding airspace remains safe,” NZALPA President Tim Robinson explained.

“While many of these regional airports would seem to have relatively low levels of aircraft movement, ATC’s must maintain continuous visual watch throughout the duration of their shift, and often have to respond to unexpected and sometimes urgent situations involving the safety of aircraft.”

In its presentation NZALPA pressed the Select Committee to consider the safety impact of excluding ATCs from having mandatory rest and meal breaks because it is an essential service.

Addressing media after the Select Committee appearance, Robinson said that in many comparable jurisdictions such as Canada, every control tower is routinely staffed by more than one person.

“In many countries in the European Union it is a legal requirement to have more than one person on duty following on from fatal accidents.

“Does New Zealand have to wait for a major accident to occur in order to highlight the need for proper rest and meal breaks to be legislated?” he asked.

The proposed ERA Bill outlines employees’ entitlement to, and provision made for, mandatory rest and meal breaks during their work shift. However this requirement excludes those employed in an ‘essential service’ including ATCs.

Although the proposed ERA Bill reflects the wording of the current legislation, NZALPA submitted for this to be amended to allow ATCs the same meal and rest breaks as other workers.

NZALPA also explained to the Select Committee that under the current law, ATCs have had to come up with creative ways to be able to relieve themselves while still maintaining watch of the air space. This poses a threat to the health and safety of not only the ATC, but also to the airspace users and, ultimately, the travelling public.

Airways General Manager Air Traffic Services Tim Boyle, was contacted by media following NZALPA’s submission but replied that “these had not been raised as an issue with the state owned enterprise,” and that “there had been long standing meal and toilet break provisions at regional towers, which have been endorsed by NZALPA.”

This is disputed by ATC Industrial Officer, Dave Mainwaring who said that issues relating to ATC breaks have been brought up on numerous occasions, particularly during contract negotiations.

“In our on-going negotiations starting in February this year, Tim Boyle as negotiations leader for Airways gave us a flat refusal to discuss any breaks at domestic towers,” recalls Mainwaring.

“Our position has remained unchanged for the last 25 years, that provisions must be made to allow ATCs to have breaks free from all duty. The current arrangement does not allow meal ‘breaks’ or freedom from duty ‘while your pants are around your ankles’.”

The Select Committee is due to report its findings to Parliament on 1 August.

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Slight thread drift but while on NZ ALPA website, I also found the next in line blogpiece of interest:

Quote:Australia's fatigue rules review
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Modernising the rules around issues of pilot fatigue, specifically a review of the Australian Civil Aviation Order (CAO) 48.1, has begun across the Tasman in an effort to align more closely with international practice.

In March this year, an independent review team delivered its report to the country’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to assess the appropriateness and necessity of the proposed changes to CAO 48.1.
This review is of significance to the New Zealand Aviation Industry given the current local review of fatigue rules.

NZ CAA are in the process of finalising their policy for fatigue management, and are monitoring the CASA development of fatigue rules closely.

The Australian review team was asked to assess new rules regarding potential safety risk due to fatigue and whether the rules would impose unnecessary costs or hinder participation in aviation.

The review team looked at current regulations (both nationally and internationally) and considered human factors and safety management processes.

Twenty-four recommendations were made to the CASA to help them determine what changes were needed and the process for finalising the rules.

Key recommendations included:[/font]
  • Revising flight duty period (FDP) limits to align more closely with international practices.
  • Increasing the flexibility of the Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS) by including a risk-based tiered system.
  • Introducing a standardised approval process (other than FRMS) to increase flexibility for operators who operate beyond the prescribed limits.
  • Removing Part 137 aerial application operations from CAO 48.1 or adopting limits from Civil Aviation Safety Rules subpart 137.Q due to lower exposure to risk to the public.

It was also recommended that a staggered rollout of these changes should occur, with the highest risk areas given priority. Subsequent to the independent review the aviation industry has had an opportunity to comment to CASA on the review recommendations.

The review of fatigue rules for air operators and pilots is part of the CASA’s regulation reform programme.

This programme seeks to align Australian practices with international standards, improve aviation safety, address known risks and maintain their reputation for safety.

Whilst no date for finalising the new rules has been given, it is expected that this work might be completed by the end of this year.
Gotta love this load of bollocks - "..This programme seeks to align Australian practices with international standards, improve aviation safety, address known risks and maintain their reputation for safety..."

The difference here is that CAANZ have proud proactive history of addressing regulatory reform issues in a timely manner, whereas Australia will merely pay lipservice to the ICAO SARPs and Dr A will once again sharpen his pencil and write another ream of notified differences to ICAO - FDS... Dodgy

Reference: Three decades of Australia taking the piss out of ICAO - Part II
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Next it would appear that Harfwit has some more 'please explain' weasel word confectionery to cook up on Tassie airspace safety issues.

From the Oz today:

Quote:Antarctic flights frozen out of plans
[Image: ad5e208dabbc75eb00a2ee62425d3927]MATTHEW DENHOLM
Airservices failed to cater for Antarctic flights when it introduced new flightpaths for Hobart Airport.

Antarctic jets frozen out of Hobart flightpath plans

Airservices failed to cater for Antarctic flights when it introduced new flightpaths for Hobart Airport, forcing aircraft to waste time and fuel needlessly flying well north of the city.

The airspace regulator’s failure to provide for aircraft arriving from or departing for Hobart’s south when new flightpaths were introduced in September last year created headaches for Antarctic Airbus A319 operator Skytraders.

Company executive director Terry Vickers said the initial decision to force departing and arriving Antarctic flights to head well north of Hobart to comply with new fixed flightpaths wasted time and fuel.

“It’s just crazy stuff — it adds 10 to 15 minutes to a flight — $3000 to $4000,” Mr Vickers said. “There was never any real logic to it.

“We had to go up to the north just to come back to the airport, even though we could do a visual approach coming from the south and not have to worry about any of the flightpaths.”

Airservices initially failed to make provision for the Antarctic flights — used to ferry supplies and personnel to and from Australia’s Wilkins ice runway, near Casey Station — despite the service operating for more than a decade.

Mr Vickers said after discussions with Airservices, a meeting had been held and alternatives agreed, and he did not expect any further problems ahead of the next Antarctic flight season.

Airservices confirmed “alternative options” were now available for Antarctic flights, which are expected to increase with plans for a new paved runway near Davis Station and interest from tourist flight operators.

However, the initial failure to consider the issue is seen by critics as further evidence of bungled implementation of the controversial flightpaths.

The Weekend Australian recently revealed a dramatic spike in safety breaches in the skies north of Hobart directly linked to the new flightpaths, known as Standard Instrument Departure and Standard Arrival Route.

This included at least two “loss of separation” incidents, in which Airbus A320 and A321 passenger jets came closer to one another than permitted under safety rules, typically 305m.

An Airservices map shows these incidents are focused on an area where the SID and STAR intersect near Richmond, north of Hobart.

Airservices says the new standardised flightpaths improve safety and efficiency, but in an internal report it conceded these benefits had been undermined by implementation failings.

Virgin pilots were the latest to call for changes to the Hobart flightpaths. The Virgin Independent Pilots Association said making better use of radar-type surveillance to guide planes to low levels at Hobart airport would address many of the concerns.

“Specifically (it would allow), increased flexibility for air traffic controllers and the ability to provide more direct routing away from noise-sensitive neighbourhoods in periods of favourable weather,” VIPA said in a statement.

The new flightpaths, currently under review, have outraged residents of once-quiet rural towns suddenly bearing the brunt of aircraft noise from 60 flights a day.

Airlines have complained about the extra fuel required, while internal reports reveal some aircraft lack the equipment or speed required to comply with the new flightpaths.

Airservices has promised to consider changes to provide “short term” noise relief to impacted communities, such as Dunalley, Murdunna and Boomer Bay.

Residents questioned why their rural lifestyles had been shattered for what appeared to be a less safe and less efficient system. “We want to regain our peace and quiet — that’s why we live here,” said Murdunna resident Rachel Dean.

&.. it would appear that Civil Air continues to ramp up advocacy... Wink 

Quote:Melbourne helps out Launceston
[Image: a8bd44a8c3dc7cde95571dd7935133ca]MATTHEW DENHOLM
Launceston air traffic control tower was recently unmanned for four hours during the busy morning period.

Melbourne called on to help vacant Launceston tower

Launceston air traffic control tower was recently unmanned for four hours during the busy morning period, forcing contingency arrangements to be adopted, after a controller called in sick.

Airservices Australia confirmed the incident on April 29 left the tower vacant from 5.50am to 9.50am, a time when most of the main passenger jet morning arrivals and departures occur.

Radar controllers based in Melbourne had to provide a covering service for Launceston usually only applied during the quiet overnight period.

Some controllers feel it is inappropriate for Melbourne to provide this cover during busy day periods because its service does not generally extend below about 7000 feet and cannot “see” planes at all below about 1500 feet.

Civil Air, the air traffic controller’s union, said the morning closure of the tower would have required a temporary reclassification of the airspace, with greater inherent risks.

“It’s not a good thing and it would have been reviewed by Airservices,” said Civil Air president and controller Tom McRobert. “It’s a contingency measure, a last resort.

“The last thing you want to be doing is changing airspace and reclassifying it. It puts a lot of things at risk for the pilots and the controllers because they are doing something that’s not normal.”

Normally Launceston air traffic control tower is manned from 5.50am — in time for the major passenger jet morning arrivals and departures — until 10.10pm.

Between 10.10pm and 5.50am there is little air traffic and a Melbourne-based en route radar controller takes over responsibility for managing Tasmanian airspace.

Airservices insisted the contingency adopted on April 29, of maintaining the night-time service through a Melbourne-based controller until another tower controller could start at 9.50am, was safe. “On 29 April in Launceston … the air traffic controller rostered to open the air traffic control tower at 5.30am called in sick shortly before the shift commenced,” said an Airservices spokeswoman.

“The tower remained closed until an alternative staff member was available from 9.50am. During that time, services continued to be safely provided from Melbourne Centre, in the same way they are when the tower is closed (overnight). There was no breach of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority regulations.”

Mr McRobert said the morning tower closure would have required pilots of planes arriving and departing around the same time to talk to each other to ensure they were adequately separated.

“The very last bit in what’s called the circuit at Launceston, if there were two aircraft — (coming) in and out — they would have had to have discussed which runway who is going to, which taxiways, and so on,” he said.

matthew denholm

TICK..TOCK Harfwit, TICK..TOCK indeed -  Rolleyes 

MTF...P2  Cool


Shine Lawyers has received unconditional funding from IMF Bentham to bring another class action against the Department of Defence over alleged land contamination near an army base, this time in the Northern Territory.

The first IMF-backed class action was filed by Dentons in the Federal Court in Sydney in November 2016 over alleged contamination at the Williamtown air force base in New South Wales. That case has entered mediation and a trial date has been set for August 12, 2019.

Another Shine-led, IMF-backed class action over alleged PFOS and PFOA contamination was brought in Federal Court in Sydney in July on behalf of  property owners near the Army Aviation Centre in Oakey, Queensland. The lawsuit claims the DoD allowed the contamination to leak and cause damage to nearby properties and that DoD should be on the hook for compensating those harmed by the contamination.

Other army bases being investigated for contamination are the Jervis Bay Range Facility in the Australian Capital Territory; the RAAF Base Richmond, Holsworthy Barracks, HMAS Albatross and the RAAF Base Wagga in New South Wales; the RAAF Base Darwin and Robertson Barracks in the Northern Territory; RAAF Base Townsville and RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland; RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia; RAAF Base East Sale, Bandiana Military Area and HMAS Cerberus in Victoria; HMAS Stirling, Fleet Base West and RAAF Base Pearce in Western Australia.

Perhaps the escalating PFOS issue, ATC fatigue, budget problems, the Nonesky project folly, things almost going bump in the night in Tasmania and so the list goes on  is the reason why the gutless bus driver Houstoblame decided to abandon the sinking ship  before getting pushed?

Tick tock

Today there is a Senate RRAT Legislative committee public hearing in Melbourne for the Green's 'bollocks' Air Services (destroy aviation) Amendment Bill 2018. Reference:

Quote:About this inquiry
An inquiry into the Air Services Amendment Bill 2018.

.pdf program (5).pdf Size: 28.98 KB  Downloads: 4

Note in the program attachment (above) that Harfwit for ASA, Dr A for CASA and Mr McFixit for the Dept all appear in the afternoon session.

Unfortunately there is no live videolink but if you would like to listen in to the afternoon session, click link below: 
9:00AM - 3:00PM AEST

Senate, Rural & Regional Affairs & Transport Legislation Committee (Air Services Amendment Bill 2018 (Melbourne, VIC)) Live

P2 comment: Perhaps Dr A will once again bamboozle the committee with the spin'n'bollocks and Hoodoo voodoo magic we all know and despise so well -  Dodgy   

Now although there is absolutely bugger all chance of any of this bollocks bill getting up, it should be noted that the Greens obviously have a very deep loathing for any GA activity in urban environments and actively campaigning to decrease aviation activity in all major cities.

Nowhere is the sheer ignorance and bloody mindedness approach  of the Greens towards aviation more clear than in the explanatory memorandum:
  • Explanatory memorandum

[Image: doc-word.png] [Image: doc-pdf.png] [Image: doc-html.png]

The Air Services Amendment Bill 2018 is being introduced to create greater protections for communities affected by aircraft noise.
Communities affected by aircraft noise or changed flight paths above residential areas currently enjoy limited recourse beyond seeking voluntary agreements with aircraft operators known as ‘Fly Neighbourly Agreements’. Legislation is unclear as to the accountability of government agencies to respond to resident concerns.
This bill will set clear requirements for consultation and reporting on the part of Airservices Australia (AA). The bill will require AA to minimise impact of aircraft operations on the human and natural environment, community amenity and residential areas. The bill will also ensure that communities affected by aircraft noise are adequately consulted and have stronger representation in these consultations. It will do this by establishing an independent Aircraft Noise Ombudsman and an independent Community Aviation Advocate.
Due to the fact that, under the current legislation, Airservices Australia is not responsible for carrying out activities to protect community amenity and residential areas from the effects of aircraft noise, it does not control airspace at low altitudes over many residential areas. As such, in some residential areas, AA is unable to control the impact of low-flying small aircraft. In inner Melbourne, there are now specific and acute circumstances of high intensity flights of small aircraft in uncontrolled airspace. The bill will require Airservices Australia to prepare a plan for management of flight paths and air space in central Melbourne, including by prohibiting flights of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft below 2,000m above sea level within 5km of central Melbourne, with clear exemptions in the public interest for emergency services, hospitals, defence, and other like aircraft.
The bill will have no financial impact. - UDB!  Angry

 Get the impression the Greens won't be happy till we are all, once again, swinging from the trees. 

However there is a light at the end of the tunnel (with a rarity, a choccy frog for Carmody to share with Dr A -  Rolleyes ). The following is quoted from the CASA submission to the inquiry:   

Quote:...The bill seeks to declare prohibited airspace for all airspace users below 2,000m (6,000ft). This restriction is inconsistent and incompatible with the Airspace Act and regulations where CASA is responsible for managing and administering all Australian airspace. The bill is also inconsistent with CASA's power to declare restricted airspace, whereby CASA must conduct a risk-based assessment to support any airspace restriction. Airservices has no powers to restrict aircraft flight outside controlled airspace and CASA has no powers to declare prohibited airspace unless such a declaration is compliant with the Airspace Regulations.

This bill would significantly impact flight operations for all airspace users at Melbourne, Essendon, Moorabbin and Point Cook because a number of flight procedures would be removed if aircraft must remain above 6,000ft within 5 nm of the Melbourne CBD. This provision would preclude aircraft using many approaches and departure paths at these airports. The proposed restrictions would add an estimated minimum of 20nm to each arrival and departure path, with a significant increase in carbon emissions and fuel burn, while also increasing aircraft arrivals and departures over other residential areas. Commercial operators such as helicopters, scenic flights, media and licensed remotely piloted aircraft would be also prevented from operating within 5nm of the Melbourne CBD.

The airspace aspects of this bill do not deliver the necessary outcomes required to support aviation (safety, efficiency and equitable access), and could generate significant
environmental impacts. The bill would also have a major impact on the capacity and
efficiency of airports around Melbourne, with likely significant economic impacts on both
airspace users and passengers...

Hmm...that last paragraph would seem to indicate that CASA, on this matter at least, are considering the economic implications to industry if this bill were to get up?  Shy

There was also a modicum of concern for industry in the Dept submission:  

[Image: Dept-sub.jpg]

P2 comment: Very clever that both submissions include observations of 'significant environmental impacts' through increased 'carbon emissions' and 'fuel burn'... Wink  

MTF...P2  Cool

Second the CASA Choc Frog awards: the submission made to the cynical vote grabbing lunacy spouted by the Greens is sound, solid and most sensible. Well done CASA and the DoIT.

One could almost call the Greens part of the Greenfields Development consortium which will support any rat-bag politico who wants to kill off aviation and build the tower blocks of the next decades slums where airports once stood. This suits the Greens who would have you live by candle light and use slave labour to pedal the bike, attached the generator in the back yard to run the fridge.

Australia has managed, prospered and developed very well without the Greens; they weren’t there when the hard work was being done to achieve this prosperity – but now, like spoiled children, they seem to expect every little whim satisfied, on demand without thought or consideration for anyone else, the cost, or the future impact of their addle headed notions of vote catching in a Utopian fantasy. Rice is just a shortened version of the full name: Ms Rice Pudding for brains is the full version.

(P7 addendum) - What part of duck off do think she’ll need explaining? Happy to do it – just need to know where the confusion lays – what a waste of time, space, oxygen and a vote – particularly in the Estimates. WOFTAM – what did this little farrago cost? Over it, fair warning - I've had it with this crew.....................................


[Image: 419d2cf7eeee9573135cf814c1dc2a63]

Flight paths 'unlawful': court claim. Hobart Airport. Picture: Matt Thompson

Flight paths ‘unlawful’: court claim
Hobart residents have taken court action to scrap flight paths in a case with potential national implications.

Residents hit by aircraft noise from Hobart’s new flight paths are taking legal action to have them scrapped, in a case that could have national implications.

The residents’ claim in the Federal Court alleges the new standardised flight paths were rushed to meet the time frame of runway extensions, and failed to consider key safety implications.

Justice Debra Mortimer has ordered mediation between the residents and Airservices Australia, with a trial to be held if the talks next month fail.

Depending on the outcome, the case could have far-reaching implications, including for residents fighting aircraft noise in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and the Gold Coast. A Senate inquiry is examining a Greens bill that would require authorities to give greater weight to such impacts.

Both residents behind the landmark Hobart case own homes well east of the city in a once quiet, rural area hard hit by the new arrival and departure flight paths for Hobart Airport, introduced in September.

In their joint application to the Federal Court, companies owned by residents Alexander Gray of Dunalley and John Kokavec of Murdunna seek to “quash” the flight paths.

Mr Kokavec and wife Sue own Smooth Island, near Murdunna. They bought the 58ha speck of land for $900,000 in 2013 to build a dream retirement home, but say that idyll has been shattered by aircraft noise.

Relying in part on admissions in internal Airservices documents, the claim also includes that the official who decided to adopt the new flight paths was not sufficiently senior to have done so.

As revealed by The Australian last month, internal Airservices Australia assessments concluded the new flight path’s stated objectives — greater efficiency and safety — had been undermined by failings.

The application to the court ­alleges Hobart’s runway extension required the decommissioning of a communications beacon and that this, in turn, required changes to the way arrivals and departures were managed.

“By taking into account the timing of the runway extension works program in the manner he did, the decision-maker did not give proper, genuine and realistic consideration … to aspects of the safety of air navigation,” the ­application says.

This included the fact that some aircraft could not use the new standardised flight paths ­because they lacked the required satellite navigation equipment.

The residents also allege the decision failed to provide standards for safe horizontal separation of aircraft, particularly those flying the same flight path with different speed capabilities.

They allege this failure increased the risk of “loss of separation” incidents, in which aircraft fly closer to each other than mandated in safety standards.

“The decision-maker did not consider whether the change … would result in an overall improvement of the safety of air navigation at Hobart Airport,” the application says.

Neither applicant in the case responded to requests for comments, while Airservices said it would take part in the ­mediation and had already committed to a review of the flight paths.

TICK..TOCK Harfwit, TICK...TOCK indeed -  Rolleyes 

MTF...P2  Cool


Another one to add to Halfinch’s legacy;

Residents hit by aircraft noise from Hobart’s new flight paths are taking legal action to have them scrapped, in a case that could have national implications.

“I would suggest that the residents of the areas under siege by aircraft noise move to more regional areas, areas where GA has been killed off by the Guvmint and where RPT has been scaled back by greedy carriers”.

Indeed P2, Tick Tock to Elecrric Blue.

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