Things that go bump in the night,

(12-11-2018, 06:25 PM)Gobbledock Wrote:  Another day, another Australian PFAS issue

PFAS report reveals contamination at RAAF base, while MFS begins investigation at station.

https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-1...s/10603984

Tick Tock

While on PFAS a long but fascinating read on SMA (Sydney Metro Airports) commissioned reviews into the presence of PFAS and other soil contaminants at Bankstown and Camden airport sites... Confused

Quote:31/10/18 Documents relating to the presence of PFAS at the Bankstown and Camden Airports (FOI 19-006) PDF: 19361 KB

Also on the Harfwit led ASA front, the Hansard is out from the recent Senate wet lettuce public hearing into the performance of Harfwit and his merry band of OneSKY trough feeders:  https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/sea...nt=Default

Quote:Senator GALLACHER: I'm going to go to the Brisbane and Adelaide situation. Mr Harfield, you were saying that the TRA assessment is not a CASA requirement. You were saying it's up to Airservices to conduct that and you were saying that there's no agreement with ICAO that a TRA should be undertaken prior to changing their crew. Is that what you're telling me in that letter you've written?

Mr Harfield : I'll hand over to the chief fire officer to provide the detail. But, currently, as it stands, we determine the staffing numbers to the category, which are approved by CASA. The TRA model is not part of the current regulatory suite but part of the regulatory review that has been undertaken. It is expected that it will be put into the regulations next year. But I'll ask the chief fire officer to go into further detail.

Mr Wood : I want to say, first up, that we strongly support the use of task resourcing to develop staffing levels, and, in fact, Airservices was a very early user of this type of methodology; perhaps we were the first. Our staffing levels are built on task-resourcing methodology.

Senator GALLACHER: But you're not using it.

Mr Wood : Yes, we do. Our staffing levels are built on task-resourcing methodology, but it's not the model currently published by ICAO. We did support and encourage ICAO to build and include a staff-resourcing methodology in its documentation, and it has it. It has a recommendation to use it, and we've been in discussion with CASA in recent times to have that model reflected in the current Australian regulatory framework. But, at the moment, it's not in there. We are underway, though, to commence a review using staffing resourcing methodology.

Senator GALLACHER: Are you aware of a letter from the Hon. Michael McCormack to the United Firefighters Union of Australia Aviation Branch in Brisbane, which says: 'CASA has confirmed previous risk assessments completed by Airservices in relation to operational staff numbers for ARFFS were endorsed by CASA and are now due for review. CASA has advised Airservices they should complete the ARFFS staffing assessment based on the ICAO standards and recommended practices related to the TRA process.'

Mr Wood : Yes, I am aware of that. Our staffing levels are currently approved by CASA. They are built on task-resourcing methodology, not the current ICAO model. We are currently building that framework. We expect to have it finished by the end of the year. In 2019, we'll be reviewing our staffing levels at all locations under a new TRA framework that is built around the guiding principles set by ICAO.

Senator GALLACHER: How does that relate back to Mr Harfield's letter—which says what? It doesn't put TRA at the centre of the piece? What is your response, Mr Harfield? You came back to us and said: 'CASA has nothing to do with TRA. It's our business and ICAO haven't done whatever.'

Mr Wood : I can—

Mr Harfield : The letter states that we support the TRA; we're implementing the TRA per the ICAO methodology. The current situation is that we use a task-resource analysis model to build our staff numbers, which isn't exactly the same as the new ICAO model, and we build up the staff numbers and then CASA approves those staff numbers. That's what the letter says.

Senator GALLACHER: So, cutting through all of this, in Adelaide you've operated with a certain number of firefighters in the curfew hours. You're proposing to reduce those firefighters. Is that correct?

Mr Harfield : We're currently—

Senator GALLACHER: You're investigating.

Mr Harfield : We're investigating the fact that currently the regulation requires a cat. 5 overnight, which is during the curfew hours, because it's outside public transport operations. That staffing level is one officer and two firefighters. We've historically staffed Adelaide at five firefighters and we're currently looking at why it is above the regulations.

Senator GALLACHER: Just on Adelaide, on that point, if you've got one officer and two firefighters, can you fight a fire in a plane?

Mr Harfield : I'll hand that to the chief fire officer.

Mr Wood : In a certain sized plane you certainly can.

Senator GALLACHER: 'In a certain sized plane'? Are you going to know which plane's going to be on fire?

Mr Wood : That is the level that's provided at Adelaide at the moment. It's important that we continually review our operations at all locations to ensure the safe, effective and efficient delivery of services so—

Senator GALLACHER: I'm all for safe, efficient delivery of services, but I'm not in favour of introducing additional risk. My simple advice has been that, in order to fight a fire in a plane, you need a couple putting the fire out and you need somebody standing by to rescue. Now, can you do that?

Mr Wood : Let me explain, Senator. We're doing some work at the moment. We have five staff on duty at the moment, and we have no plans to change that number. What we are doing is a safety review to understand why we're providing these additional staff over and above the level approved by CASA. There may be some very good reasons for that. So the work we're doing will assess location-specific risks, the emergency response profile at Adelaide during the curfew period, the number of diversions and other things that happen during that curfew period, and the availability of support services. This safety work, which is due to be completed in the next couple of months, will then be fed into the TRA framework that I just mentioned that we expect to be finished by the end of the year. But let me assure you, Senator—

CHAIR: I don't mean to interfere with your line of answers or the senator's questioning, but I have listened carefully twice now whilst the senator has asked you a question and you haven't answered it. His question was quite simple, and I will invite him to repeat it in his own words: with respect to a certain number of personnel, are they capable of dealing with an event of a plane crashing? Can I ask you to ask the question again.

Senator GALLACHER: If there's a fire on the Toll freighter and it's adjacent to 18 other bays, six of which have aircraft on, will three people be able to operate safely and effectively?

Mr Wood : The CASA approval says yes, Senator. We have five staff currently on duty, and we—

CHAIR: Mr Wood, this is going to get longer and louder. You're a professional in the space. The senator's question is very, very clear about whether there's a capacity. I personally don't give a continental fig about who thinks what. I'm interested in your professional assessment as to whether they can respond in those circumstances, so I'd ask you to confine your answer to the burden of the question.

Mr Wood : Could you repeat the question again, please, Senator.

Senator GALLACHER: With a reduction to a team of three, will they be able to efficiently and safely handle a fire on an aircraft at Adelaide Airport?

Mr Wood : During the curfew period?

Senator GALLACHER: Yes.

Mr Wood : If it's a freighter fire, freighters do not have passengers on board, so in terms of extinguishing the fire, controlling the fire and protecting escape paths I would say the answer is yes.

Senator GALLACHER: If it is, say, a medical evacuation, a flying doctor service where it has two nurses, a retrieval team, a couple of pilots and a patient, would they be able to respond?

Mr Wood :
That would be debatable, and that's why we need to do the safety work.

Senator GALLACHER: 'Debatable'? It's either yes or no. You were very definitive on freight.

Mr Wood : That's right, but, remember, Senator, we've just said that freight—

Senator GALLACHER: If you've got a passenger on a stretcher, you've got two nurses, you've got an ICU drip-feed, you've got doctors and you've got pilots—

Mr Wood : Correct, so it is a slightly higher risk than the freighter aircraft with two people on board. I expect there could be four to five people on the flying doctor plane. That's why, perhaps, we have the additional staff, and that's what we're looking into to support that and to do the work to find out.

Senator GALLACHER: You know that we've got a magnificent retrieval centre at Adelaide Airport, and that's why we're saving so many people in road accidents these days, because it is a 24-hour facility and the flying doctor does absolutely marvellous work. In the event that there's a problem with one of those planes, can you say categorically that you could efficiently and safely operate?

Mr Wood : Yes, I can, depending on the size of an aircraft. If it's a PC-9—I think they probably operate there—the category 5 level service will certainly, clearly, be able to extinguish the fire, protect the escape paths—

Senator GALLACHER: And category 5 is—refresh the committee's memory—one and four?

Mr Wood : No, category 5 is one and two. We currently provide one and four, and that's what I am saying. We're not proposing to change that level at the moment. We are saying we need to understand why.

Senator GALLACHER: The other question then is: if ICAO says you need people fighting and retrieving and other people standing ready to assist firefighters who get into trouble, how do you do that in that circumstance?

Mr Wood : That's not what ICAO actually says. What ICAO says is that we need to extinguish the external fire, protect escape paths and assist those who can to get off, to escape, and then the rescue will more than likely be undertaken with the assistance of responding services. The rescue of occupants may then occur with the assistance of other responding services. That's why we have it.

Senator GALLACHER: If someone is on a stretcher on a flying doctor plane, I presume that would be the rescue?

Mr Wood : Correct, depending on the situation. Let me just reinforce that we have more staff than the CASA approval level. We have no plans to change that level at the moment.

Senator GALLACHER: Not to be too cynical about this, but your funding model is on passenger numbers?

Mr Harfield : No, it's not. It's based on movements.

Senator GALLACHER: Just refresh my memory. What have the movements at Adelaide Airport been in the last 10 years? There's been something like a 50 per cent increase?

Mr Harfield : I would have to take that on notice, but it has been growing at a reasonable rate.

Senator GALLACHER: It has been growing at an exponential rate. So there is no funding pressure coming on your decision here, is there?

Mr Harfield : No, it's not, Senator.

Senator GALLACHER:
There's no funding pressure. That's very clear, because the airport has just built a bloody hotel to accommodate the increased traffic. So there's no funding pressure on this evaluation?

Mr Harfield : Correct.

Senator GALLACHER: That is very clear. Now, if we get out of Brisbane—

CHAIR: Sorry, so as not to lose a train, if Senator Patrick has questions in this space, can we—

Senator PATRICK: I am happy for Senator Gallagher to continue, and I will flick across when we deal with the—

CHAIR: All right. You let me know, Alex, when you think it is a suitable time to transition.

Senator GALLACHER: Can we get the situation in Brisbane. It appears as if the decision is driven—and, once again, let's get this on the record. Brisbane have just put a new runway in. You've put a new fire station in, haven't you?

Mr Harfield : We're in the process of building one with the new runway coming on line in two years, yes.

Senator GALLACHER: Presumably, that would indicate an increase in traffic?

Mr Harfield : Yes, Senator.

Senator GALLACHER: So, once again, you are driven off movements—right?

Mr Harfield : Correct.

Senator GALLACHER: So there is no funding pressure evident at these airports in relation to these outcomes?

Mr Harfield : No, Senator.

Senator GALLACHER: So they're clearly not driven off any funding pressure whatsoever?

Mr Harfield : No, Senator.

Senator GALLACHER: Okay. There's mention made of the reduction in A380 flights to one or two a day and that you're going to take a resourcing decision, which will be that, when there isn't an A380 programmed, you'll reduce it down and, when there is, you'll move it up? Is that how I should understand the proposal?

Mr Harfield : No. That is what used to occur in Brisbane. An A380 is a category 10. The operations are staffed to the relevant category. An A380 is a category 10. Other aircraft are category 9. So, without the A380, Brisbane is a category 9 station, and it used to operate at category 9 and then move to a category 10 during the A380 movements. The model that we have put in, which is aligned to what has been operating in Perth for the last two years, is: now that there is one A380 flight a day, or two movements, we have gone to 24-hour staffing at the category 10 level.

Senator STERLE: In Perth?

Mr Harfield : In Perth that has been for the last two years, but also in Brisbane since 1 September. So they are at category 10 level 24 hours a day, even though there is only an hour and a half of the day where they need to be at category 10, when they could be at category 9 for the rest of the day.

Senator GALLACHER: And you're not changing that?

Mr Harfield : We're not changing that at the—

Senator GALLACHER: So that is 17 firefighters?

CHAIR: Let's hear the tail of that answer. You are not changing that at the moment?

Mr Harfield : No, that was the change made on 1 September, and that is the category 10 level of 14 staff, and the previous category, category 9, is 10 staff.

Senator GALLACHER: So where did the 17 staff come into it?

Mr Harfield : I will hand that to the chief fire officer to explain that.

Mr Wood : That started many years ago. At a time when there were responses to non-aircraft emergencies such as fire alarms and the like and that response level would impede an ability to provide the right level of service, the category of service, at greater than one per cent, we would introduce what's called an additional domestic response vehicle and three people to be able to respond to those emergencies.

Senator GALLACHER: That's incidents in the terminal?

Mr Wood : Well, generally, yes. We maintain our own service performance indicator of maintaining that service level at 99.9 per cent across the country. If that gets exceeded—in other words, we respond to more of the responses such as in the terminal—then we would look at why, and one of the reasons could be that we're doing too many of those responses. In that case, we would work out whether or not we would need an additional three people to respond to those emergencies so we could keep our category level intact at our 99.9 per cent level.

Senator GALLACHER: Where is the efficiency with these three people who have gone? I mean, you had 17. You responded in the terminal, around the airport and you had your 14. Now you only have 14. Does that mean you only have 11 to put out an A380 fire and three could be somewhere else?

Mr Wood : No, it doesn't. The staffing level for an A380 or a category 10 aircraft is 14 staff.

Senator GALLACHER: Okay, so if there is an emergency in the terminal, what happens if they both occur at the same time?

Mr Wood : If they both occur at the same time then with the emergency in the terminal, like at any other location—and that can happen at any location; Brisbane or otherwise—the officer in charge of that response makes a decision about where the priority is and whether or not they would respond to the emergency, or continue with the emergency that they've got. But keep in mind, Senator, with the model we have at the moment the advantage is that with the 14 staff and the situation where you'll have an additional vehicle, that's a domestic type vehicle, we can staff it within the 14. The number of staff in the vehicles required for category can still remain in situ to meet the category requirements and the regulated response times while the domestic response vehicle is attending to the situation in the terminal, wherever it is.

Senator GALLACHER: So these reductions in your contention, in both of these cases, Adelaide and—sorry, Mr Wood, what's your title?

Mr Wood : Chief fire officer.

Senator GALLACHER: You're the ultimate decision-maker in terms of efficiency and safety outcomes, I take it?

Mr Wood : I'm the standard setter for the fire service, yes. In terms of any adjustments to service levels locally, if they're in addition to the minimum standard, that's usually a matter for the local manager based on assessment of the location's specific risks.

Senator GALLACHER: The evidence we've heard here today is that there is no funding pressure at either Adelaide Airport or Brisbane Airport that is driving these changes. These are task risk assessments, and they are about ultimately reducing the number of firefighters available at both airports?

Mr Wood : They're not about—

Senator GALLACHER: Ultimately, they'll result in that if they are successful.

Mr Wood : Not necessarily. The review at Adelaide may indicate we need an increase in firefighters—may do.

Senator GALLACHER: Okay, so I'll put this to you: potentially you could review an increase of firefighters in Brisbane and Adelaide, or alternatively the review could reduce firefighters in Brisbane and Adelaide?

Mr Wood : There's no further review in Brisbane, unless aircraft activity changes again. That's now set, unless that changes.

Senator GALLACHER: So in the event that there's an incident in the terminal and an incident on an A380, someone has to cut the baby in half and make a decision as to which one to respond to?

Mr Wood : In that situation, but this is all risk assessed through—

Senator GALLACHER: By you.

Mr Wood : Airservices has a very precise risk assessment framework with risk specialists to help us through that work. With the current model in Brisbane the level of risk has not increased.

Senator GALLACHER: And you signed off on that and you're comfortable with Brisbane.

Mr Wood : I haven't signed off on Brisbane. That's been a local matter with the deputy chief to sign off on that change, because the service that we're providing is above what the minimum standard could be.

Senator GALLACHER: But surely ultimately you would have to be comfortable with it.

Mr Wood : If it's a change to a national standard, such as when we review the staffing level of Adelaide and we're going to use that new task-resourcing model, I will certainly need to sign that off. It'll be a change to a national standard. In terms of a change to the operating model against an existing standard at any location, the deputy chief fire officer in charge of that region is accountable for that change.

Senator GALLACHER: Well people are certainly putting it to me that in Brisbane there is an increase in risk and an unacceptable increase in risk. You reject that?

Mr Wood : I do, because—

Senator GALLACHER: That's all right. You reject it; that's fine.

Mr Wood : Yes, I reject it.

Senator GALLACHER: In Adelaide, once again, it's a simple proposition—I don't work at the airport; I travel through it often enough—where people are saying to me that if it goes ahead as a reduction then that will also increase risk and, in the event there is an incident, it will curtail their ability to respond. Do you accept or reject that?

Mr Wood : The risk work needs to determine that, and that's what is underway at the moment. The outcome of the safety work will determine the inputs to go into the staffing level review under the new framework, and that will determine the appropriate level of staff at Adelaide—or any location.

Senator GALLACHER: And you've mentioned that you obviously benchmark your airports, so if Adelaide was to be reduced, who would be next? Anybody, or is there no other airport in that category?

Mr Wood : We review our operations on an ongoing basis. We align our service delivery to the aircraft activity. If aircraft numbers increase and the size of aircrafts increase, generally the service increases. Likewise, if the frequency in number and size of aircraft reduce, that could potentially lead to a reduction. That's how it works.

Senator GALLACHER: That appears slightly contradictory, because obviously Brisbane and Adelaide have increased, but you have reduced.

Mr Harfield : We haven't reduced in Adelaide at all.

Mr Wood : No, we haven't reduced. We have not changed anything in Adelaide.

Senator GALLACHER: You're proposing to reduce it.

Mr Wood : No, we're not 'proposing'; we're doing a review and we'll see—

Senator GALLACHER: Do you want me to show you the memo? I've got a memo that says, 'This is all about saving money on rosters.'

Mr Wood :
That is incorrect. Let me assure you, there are no plans to change the staffing level in Adelaide until we've done a safety review. The outcome of that review, which considers all of the location specific issues, will be fed in our new task resourcing framework, and that will determine the appropriate staffing level during the curfew period

 Of all the members of the RRAT Committee Senator Gallacher seems to have the innate ability
to very quickly cut a swathe through the layers of bureaucratic horse pooh and spin. Shame that to date all his efforts have effectively come to naught... Blush

Electric Blue Harfwit is still there flapping his gums and double chin while collecting a 600K salary and non-KPI'd 80k bonuses for basically being inept and having a very thick skin - UDB!  Dodgy    

MTF...P2   Cool
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ELECTRIC BLUE AND HIS AVERSION TO FOI REQUESTS

“Secret documents reveal toxic threat beneath Sydney Airport”

You have to love how the Government and it’s agencies try their best to hide the truth. Disgusting creatures. From the Simply Marvellous Horse Pooh;

https://www.smh.com.au/national/secret-d...50nfn.html

Some extracts as follows;

‘A pool of poisonous water underneath Sydney Airport contains some of the highest levels of toxic firefighting chemicals seen on Australia’s eastern seaboard, according to test results that were buried from the public after they were handed to authorities six years ago’.

And;

‘Over a decade of testing the extent of the contamination footprint has remained shrouded in secrecy’.

And;

Under freedom of information laws the Herald has now obtained a series of confidential reports from Airservices Australia - the government organisation providing firefighting services to airports’.

Perhaps under FOI, the Simply Marvellous Horse Pooh could also look into what is buried beneath Bankstown airport, how it was approved, who knew about it, exactly what it is that is buried under it, and why it has been kept hushed up for many years?? I’m sure the local residents would like to know about what eeks in to the Georges River and then their homes every time it floods!!

Tick Tock Miniscule Mc’Do’nothing.
Reply

(12-25-2018, 12:38 PM)Gobbledock Wrote:  ELECTRIC BLUE AND HIS AVERSION TO FOI REQUESTS

“Secret documents reveal toxic threat beneath Sydney Airport”

You have to love how the Government and it’s agencies try their best to hide the truth. Disgusting creatures. From the Simply Marvellous Horse Pooh;

https://www.smh.com.au/national/secret-d...50nfn.html

Some extracts as follows;

‘A pool of poisonous water underneath Sydney Airport contains some of the highest levels of toxic firefighting chemicals seen on Australia’s eastern seaboard, according to test results that were buried from the public after they were handed to authorities six years ago’.

And;

‘Over a decade of testing the extent of the contamination footprint has remained shrouded in secrecy’.

And;

Under freedom of information laws the Herald has now obtained a series of confidential reports from Airservices Australia - the government organisation providing firefighting services to airports’.

Perhaps under FOI, the Simply Marvellous Horse Pooh could also look into what is buried beneath Bankstown airport, how it was approved, who knew about it, exactly what it is that is buried under it, and why it has been kept hushed up for many years?? I’m sure the local residents would like to know about what eeks in to the Georges River and then their homes every time it floods!!

Tick Tock Miniscule Mc’Do’nothing.

For soil contamination for Bankstown Airport see from page 388 - here: https://infrastructure.gov.au/department...OI-log.pdf

Quote:Contamination Investigation – Site 2 (Drover Road)
Bankstown Airport

1 Introduction

Jacobs Group (Australia) Pty Ltd (Jacobs) was commissioned by Bankstown Airport Limited (BAL) to undertake a contamination investigation of the proposed development site known as Site 2, Drover Road (referred to hereinafter as the site) located on a portion of airside land at Bankstown Airport, NSW. Based on information provided by BAL, the footprint of development at the site will occupy an area of approximately 35,000 m2.

The location of the site is presented as Figure 1-2.

This report details the works undertaken during the contamination investigation undertaken at the site, field observations and the sampling results and analysis with an assessment against the limits listed in Airports (Environment Protection) Regulations 1997 (the Airport Regulations), Table 1 – areas of an airport generally and those guidelines endorsed by the NEPC National Environment Protection (Assessment of Site
Contamination) Measure 1999 as revised in 2013 (NEPM 2013).

The investigation was undertaken in general accordance with the Jacobs Proposal for Contamination and Geotechnical Investigations – Proposed Sites 1, 2 and 3, Bankstown Airport dated 15 March 2016 and subsequent email for additional sampling dated 16 May 2016 and 9 August 2016.

This report has been generally prepared in general accordance with the requirements specified for a Detailed Site Investigation as detailed in the NSW EPA (1997) Contaminated Sites: Guidelines for Consultants Reporting on Contaminated Sites.

MTF...P2 Cool
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TICK TOCK goes the Harfwit Hobart flightpath clock -  Rolleyes

This might start to get a bit messy for the Can'tberra village idiot i.e Dear Old Harfwit?? 

Via the Oz:

Quote:Flight path threat to tourism
[Image: c612d43dd49ba77282a653b69ab2cee2]12:00AM MATTHEW DENHOLM
The success of Matt and Vanessa Dunbabin and their $1.5 million contribution to Tasmania is under threat from a new jet route.




New flight path threatens top-end Tassie tourism



Surveying a wild coast of forested headlands, rocky islands and deserted sandy beaches, Matt and Vanessa Dunbabin contemplate the looming destruction of a dream.

As fifth-generation custodians of a secluded corner of Tasmania’s rugged southeast, the Dunbabins have spent years and at least $1 million diversifying their historic 6000ha Bangor sheep farm into a thriving tourism destination.

However, their stellar success and $1.5m contribution to the local economy is under threat from a new east coast jet arrival route.

Airservices Australia, the airspace agency already under fire for bungling the introduction of new flight paths for burgeoning Hobart Airport, has decided on revisions, including a new east coast jet arrival route.

It would direct flights arriving from Sydney and Brisbane down Tasmania’s east coast, close to Maria Island, before crossing the entire width of the Dunbabins’ expansive property on the Forestier Peninsula.

The couple’s Bangor Vineyard Shed business, a green shoot emerging from the ashes of the region’s catastrophic 2013 bushfires, copped a dramatic increase in aircraft noise from the last flight path revamp, imposed in September 2017.

Airservices’ revised plan now threatens their latest business endeavour — gastronomic, cultural and historical experiences centred on Lagoon Bay involving local chefs, guides and eco-tourism enterprises.

Mr Dunbabin said 15 jets a day would fly about 4000 feet above the bay, where high-end guests pay top dollar to wine, dine and explore the property where Abel Tasman’s expedition hoisted the Dutch flag in 1642.

“Tasman anchored under what will be the new flight path,” he said.

“The business we’ve established out here is so dependent on that immersive, natural experience and the beauty and tranquillity of Lagoon Bay.

“That experience is incompatible with aircraft noise.”

Noise from the existing 45 flights to the property’s west had already affected the experience at their wine and oyster restaurant; now the new flight path threatened to destroy their Lagoon Bay eco-tourism operation.

“We won’t be able to conduct the business there,” Ms Dunbabin said.

Other local tourism businesses also are deeply concerned, including e-mountain bike tour operator Ben Rea, who offers top-end clients experiences at Bangor and Maria Island, which he also believes will be affected.

“The people making the flight path design decisions have been given parameters that include no understanding of what we’re doing here,” Mr Rea said.

Locals say consultation has not appeared genuine, and they have tried unsuccessfully to persuade Airservices bosses, including chief executive Jason Harfield, to visit the area to discover the impact of their decisions. They are “mystified” as to the rationale for the change.

Air­services has argued the redesign is to ameliorate noise impacts, but locals say this argument is Orwellian.

“This actually makes things worse — new people will be directly overflown, and for many the planes will now be right in their face,” said Joe Holmes, of the South East Coast Lifestyle Association.

Airservices said the proposed changes would “optimise the use of Tasmania’s airspace and support the economic growth of the state”.

“This is a complex process that requires us to balance the needs of a range of stakeholders without compromising safety,” a spokeswoman said.

“We believe our proposed flight paths will achieve the best overall outcome for the people of Hobart and Tasmania. We will consider all feedback before introducing the final designs in late 2019.”

However David Patman, of the South East Coast Lifestyle Association, said it appeared Airservices was imposing new standardised departure and arrival flight paths — known as SIDS and STARS — to avoid investing in longer-term solutions to Hobart Airport’s growth.

“Airservices … are trying everything to force a regional airport air traffic management solution on to Hobart,” Dr Patman said.

“Every other capital city and major airport has multiple air traffic control options, including the use of radar. But in Hobart, Airservices want to make SIDs and STARs the only option, so aircraft have to fly extra miles and noise is concentrated all in one area.

“Yet Hobart’s passenger traffic is more than double the federal government’s threshold of one million passengers per year to be upgraded … to a Class C capital city airport, which requires radar.”
MTF...P2  Cool
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On saws & ladders -  Rolleyes

First in pictures:



And via the Senate Hansard:  

Quote:Senator GALLACHER: What about ladders? Is it true that under your authority no aviation firefighter is currently allowed to train with ladders over two metres?

Mr G Wood : That's correct.

Senator GALLACHER: I don't want to laugh, but I've got this vision of firefighters going up ladders that are about 30 metres high, not two metres.

Mr G Wood : We take the safety of our people very seriously. There is a risk of fall from a ladder. We've examined that issue and we've determined that, at this time, we will restrict our firefighters from climbing up ladders greater than two metres. So they can still practise the necessary skills while we form a working group to look at an improved way, going forward, and whether that improved way includes harness systems and the like.

Senator GALLACHER: So no aviation firefighters are currently, under your own training policies, working with ladders.

Mr G Wood : No, they can work with ladders; they just can't climb ladders, in that sense, above two metres. We've introduced portable stairs and the like.

CHAIR: Seriously, you need to start that answer again.

Mr G Wood : What's the—

CHAIR: They can work with ladders, they just can't climb up them!

Mr G Wood : No, they can practise their skills up to two metres high. You may laugh but it's a serious thing.

Senator GALLACHER: You believe it's too dangerous to use a ladder in a controlled training environment but it's okay to use it in a fire or to conduct a rescue.

Senator STERLE: How do you change the lights in the—

Mr G Wood : Let's put this into perspective. In our business, for every 100 times we use a ladder we likely use it in training 99 times out of those 100. So this significantly reduces the risk of a fall, from height, from a ladder. We have restrictions in place, for operational use, where ladders can no longer be used as a work platform. They can simply be used as an entry and exit point from a different height.

By Ironsider, via the Oz:  https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nationa...8bbc85c652

Quote:Senate Estimates: Ladder ban for firefighters at Australia’s airports

[Image: fc1f33fe0ac782428f4d3a95b7a43b76?width=650]

Airservices Australia's Chief Executive Jason Harfield.

ROBYN IRONSIDE
AVIATION WRITER
@ironsider

10:59PM FEBRUARY 18, 2019
26 COMMENTS

Firefighters at Australia’s airports have been banned from climbing ladders more than 2-metres high in training because of the risk of falling.

In a Senate Estimates hearing that had some senators in stitches, Airservices Australia chief fire officer Glenn Wood confirmed the training ban, even though firefighters could be required to use much higher ladders in an aircraft emergency.

“We take the safety of our people very seriously and there is a risk of fall from height,” Mr Wood told the Committee for Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport.

“We’ve examined that issue and we’ve determined that at this time we will restrict our firefighters from climbing up a ladder greater than 2m so they can practice the necessary skills while we form a working group to look at alternatives.”

He went on to add “firefighters can work with ladders, they just can’t climb ladders in that sense of more than 2m”.

Committee chairman Barry O’Sullivan responded “seriously, you need to start that answer again”, to guffaws from the rest of the panel.

“You may laugh Senator but it’s a serious thing,” said Mr Wood.

Senator O’Sullivan then questioned why it was okay to use a ladder of more than 2m in an “emergency” such as when a plane was on fire, in a situation considerably more stressful than in training.

Airservices Australia chief Jason Harfield said they were in the process of exploring safer alternatives such as harnesses for firefighters.

The committee also heard power saws had been removed from firefighters’ kit, because of the safety risk.

Mr Wood said there was a civil aviation requirement to have a power saw but the regulator had been informed of the decision to remove it for the “safety of staff”.

“We’ve looked at that piece of equipment and it’s out of date and not fit for purpose and it presents a significant safety hazard for our people,” he said.

“We’ve got arrangements in place with the local fire service to bring their rescue saw (in the event of an emergency).”

He said the “jaws of life” could do some of the work of a power saw, but not all.

“There is work underway to find an appropriate alternative that is more fit for purpose,” Mr Wood told the committee.


MTF...P2  Tongue
Reply

(02-21-2019, 08:47 AM)Peetwo Wrote:  On saws & ladders -  Rolleyes

First in pictures:



And via the Senate Hansard:  

Quote:Senator GALLACHER: What about ladders? Is it true that under your authority no aviation firefighter is currently allowed to train with ladders over two metres?

Mr G Wood : That's correct.

Senator GALLACHER: I don't want to laugh, but I've got this vision of firefighters going up ladders that are about 30 metres high, not two metres.

Mr G Wood : We take the safety of our people very seriously. There is a risk of fall from a ladder. We've examined that issue and we've determined that, at this time, we will restrict our firefighters from climbing up ladders greater than two metres. So they can still practise the necessary skills while we form a working group to look at an improved way, going forward, and whether that improved way includes harness systems and the like.

Senator GALLACHER: So no aviation firefighters are currently, under your own training policies, working with ladders.

Mr G Wood : No, they can work with ladders; they just can't climb ladders, in that sense, above two metres. We've introduced portable stairs and the like.

CHAIR: Seriously, you need to start that answer again.

Mr G Wood : What's the—

CHAIR: They can work with ladders, they just can't climb up them!

Mr G Wood : No, they can practise their skills up to two metres high. You may laugh but it's a serious thing.

Senator GALLACHER: You believe it's too dangerous to use a ladder in a controlled training environment but it's okay to use it in a fire or to conduct a rescue.

Senator STERLE: How do you change the lights in the—

Mr G Wood : Let's put this into perspective. In our business, for every 100 times we use a ladder we likely use it in training 99 times out of those 100. So this significantly reduces the risk of a fall, from height, from a ladder. We have restrictions in place, for operational use, where ladders can no longer be used as a work platform. They can simply be used as an entry and exit point from a different height.

By Ironsider, via the Oz:  https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nationa...8bbc85c652

Quote:Senate Estimates: Ladder ban for firefighters at Australia’s airports

[Image: fc1f33fe0ac782428f4d3a95b7a43b76?width=650]

Airservices Australia's Chief Executive Jason Harfield.

ROBYN IRONSIDE
AVIATION WRITER
@ironsider

10:59PM FEBRUARY 18, 2019
26 COMMENTS

Firefighters at Australia’s airports have been banned from climbing ladders more than 2-metres high in training because of the risk of falling.

In a Senate Estimates hearing that had some senators in stitches, Airservices Australia chief fire officer Glenn Wood confirmed the training ban, even though firefighters could be required to use much higher ladders in an aircraft emergency.

“We take the safety of our people very seriously and there is a risk of fall from height,” Mr Wood told the Committee for Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport.

“We’ve examined that issue and we’ve determined that at this time we will restrict our firefighters from climbing up a ladder greater than 2m so they can practice the necessary skills while we form a working group to look at alternatives.”

He went on to add “firefighters can work with ladders, they just can’t climb ladders in that sense of more than 2m”.

Committee chairman Barry O’Sullivan responded “seriously, you need to start that answer again”, to guffaws from the rest of the panel.

“You may laugh Senator but it’s a serious thing,” said Mr Wood.

Senator O’Sullivan then questioned why it was okay to use a ladder of more than 2m in an “emergency” such as when a plane was on fire, in a situation considerably more stressful than in training.

Airservices Australia chief Jason Harfield said they were in the process of exploring safer alternatives such as harnesses for firefighters.

The committee also heard power saws had been removed from firefighters’ kit, because of the safety risk.

Mr Wood said there was a civil aviation requirement to have a power saw but the regulator had been informed of the decision to remove it for the “safety of staff”.

“We’ve looked at that piece of equipment and it’s out of date and not fit for purpose and it presents a significant safety hazard for our people,” he said.

“We’ve got arrangements in place with the local fire service to bring their rescue saw (in the event of an emergency).”

He said the “jaws of life” could do some of the work of a power saw, but not all.

“There is work underway to find an appropriate alternative that is more fit for purpose,” Mr Wood told the committee.

Cont/-

Via the Oz:

Quote:Airport firies’ safety concerns

[Image: da51dee6d9f4b8d5de90f9f0335d7f84]ROBYN IRONSIDE
Removal of chain saws and a ban on climbing ladders during firefighters’ training poses a real-life risk, says their union.




Safety restrictions could thwart rescues: airport firefighters


Airport firefighters and their union say new safety and training restrictions could impede a ­tarmac rescue in the event of a plane crash in Australia.

They say they are ashamed of the measures, which have meant the removal of rescue saws and a ban on climbing ladders of more than 2m in training.

Airservices Australia chief fire officer Glenn Wood revealed the measures at a Senate estimates committee hearing, to the bemusement of members of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport.

Mr Wood said efforts were under way to find a suitable replacem­ent for the “outdated” Husqvarna rescue saws used to cut through aircrafts’ fuselage in an entrapment emergency.

The saws are a requirement for airport fire stations under the Civil Aviation Act, but Mr Wood said they had notified the Civil Avia­tion Safety Authority of their remova­l.

On the subject of ladders, he said airport fire stations were equipped with 9m ladders but were not allowed to climb them to a height of more than 2m in training, although they could be used to their full height in an emergency.

The measures were imposed without consulting the United Firefighters Union’s aviation branch, and secretary Mark von Nida said members were embarrassed by the restrictions.

He said holding up a rescue saw for 20 seconds and ascending a 9m ladder were part of the tasks firefighters had to complete to qualify for the job.

“It is embarrassing,” Mr von Nida said. “We’ve got 9m ladders that go to the top deck of an A380 or a 747 and we’ve trained on them for the last 40 years and no one’s ever fallen.”

The lack of a rescue saw capable­ of cutting through the fuse­lage of a modern aircraft was of considerable concern, he said.

“We only replaced (the saws) less than a year and a half ago, to go from a 14-inch saw to a 16-inch model because of the new composit­e materials used to build aircraft,” Mr von Nida said.

“Aircraft are really strongly made and if you don’t have a decen­t saw that goes all the way through it could take an hour and a half to cut through.”

He said it would be disastrous for the country and the tourism indust­ry if a plane went down and the firefighters did not have the tools or training to help.

“The way we’re heading, we’ll have to wait 15 minutes for a state or territory-run station to arrive,” Mr von Nida said.

Another firefighter, who did not want to be named, said he was ashamed to be part of the Air­services Australia fire service. “It’s not a service,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Airservic­es Australia could not provide any examples of falls or accidents involvin­g ladders or rescue saw at airport fire stations.

“The current interim arrangements limit the risk to our people without impacting the integrity of our training,” she said.

A working group had been creat­ed to provide recommend­ations on alternatives to the rescue saws and ladder training, and would provide recommendations by May at the latest, she added.

MTF...P2  Tongue
Reply

WHO WANTS TO KNOW THE TRUTH

Boom!! And there you have it;

“A spokeswoman for Airservic­es Australia could not provide any examples of falls or accidents involvin­g ladders or rescue saw at airport fire stations”

Team Harwit at it once again! No risk based evidence produced (sounds like CAsA vs Angel Flight) yet some draconian and ridiculous change has been implemented. The reason being - to save $$$. By reducing the height restriction for ARFFS employees ‘working at heights’, Electric Blue will save on his annual insurance premium costs. Simple as that. Accountant Hatfield has gone through each line of his annual budget and found a way to trim fat. Idiot. Obviously this cost cutting measure comes at a price - a reduced ability to rescue people from an aircraft accident, but hey, it’s all about the money!

Harfwits next cost reducing measures;

- All control towers to have electricity supply disconnected. Controllers will use pen and paper, binoculars, crystal ball’s and power efficient abbacus to calculate flight separation distances.
- All fire fighting vehicles to be engine limited so they can only drive for 5 minutes per week, to save on fuel, maintenance and of course insurance costs. An additional cost effective horse and cart will be provided to each airport ARFFS fleet.
- All air conditioning to be switched off permanently in every AsA building, including critical server rooms where there are no humans, only computer servers exist. Why keep them cool????

Unducking believable, and embarrassing skies for all.
Reply

Gobbles old mate havent you heard? The towers are going to be centralised just like ATC., nice big towers nobody in them.
The next trick will be remote towers and ATC. They will work like a Telstra call centre, you'll have to wait an hour for your clearance because all the operators are busy.
Reply

The disaster we had to have…….

Mr G Wood : No, they can practise their skills up to two metres high. You may laugh but it's a serious thing.

Must  admit; I joined in the general mirth when Wood mentioned the ‘two meter’ limit – I thought he’s just misquoted the figure and waited for the correction – Nope; he was serious.

Senator GALLACHER: You believe it's too dangerous to use a ladder in a controlled training environment but it's okay to use it in a fire or to conduct a rescue.

This is OH&S gone nuts and it’s a bloody dangerous nut they’ve dreamed up. Our fire fighters do not get (nod to the gods) a lot of real work – thankfully, they are not routinely called out to rescue folks from the burning wrecks of large passenger aircraft. No amount of training can really prepare a person for the first encounter with what is a truly horrifying event; fire, dangerous smoke, a shifting platform and the possibility of a collapse etc. It is a dangerous game our rescue teams play, for keeps, with very real consequences. The best and I dare say the only chance the fire crews have of not only saving folks, but themselves is through constant, realistic training – then, when it is ‘for real’ the only hurdle to be overcome is ‘realism’.

Consider, there has been a serious event – the full Monty – the rescue effort swings into action; the urgency and the adrenalin need to be controlled – self discipline (training) then the outfit must be gotten into (protective gear) quickly and effectively without anything being forgotten; the plan and the rescue must be decided and actioned (training and practice) then put into effect. The service arrives on scene and then, for the probably the first and only time in the working life of a fire fighter – it is for real. Now is the first time that a fire fighter must carry himself, his gear a rescue saw up to eight meters through the heat, smoke and confusion to penetrate the hull. This is no time to be encountering the difficulties or learning the skills needed to climb a ladder.

Climbing all the way up a ladder is a skill which can only be learned through practice. Carrying heavy equipment up a ladder in a fire situation is, potentially lethal – unless it is an automatic, well drilled skill, learned through practice – constant practice. In the old days (way back) I did a lot of ‘climbing’ in the mountains – carrying my own gear, ropes and etc. through rain, hail, shine and wind – great fun and excellent training. To earn some money to go climbing, I’d take on jobs in the building game. The first time I was confronted by a six meter ladder and obliged to carry a ‘Hod’ full of mortar to the Bricklayers working on top I thought no problem; and off I went. It is about the halfway mark that you realise that this is no easy task. I got lucky – the foreman took me aside at lunch time and gave me some ‘tips’ on how best to manage the load and the ladder together; took another day and a half to get the ‘knack’ of it. Folk fall off ladders for lack of basic training, practice and exposure to the ‘ways of ladders’ under load.

I reckon my Grand Mama could manage two meters with enough gear to wash the windows; but up a nine meter ladder, in full fire rig, carrying a rescue saw, for the first time? Forget it. This chump Woods is not only putting his crews at risk, but the travelling public, by sim[ply denying his troops the rehearsal and practice they must have to be fully effective and confident in all their skills.

Talk about Rome burning while Nero fiddles -

“A working group had been created to provide recommend¬ations on alternatives to the rescue saws and ladder training, and would provide recommendations by May at the latest, she added.”

Oh, I feel so much better for that. It has only taken seven and a half years to sort out their fleet problems, so we can all live in hope. Let’s us all just hope that there is not a major event at an airport near you; the fire engine may just be delayed because they must stop at every red light on the way to the airport.

ASA under the direction of the village idiot is rapidly becoming a laughing stock; and, will remain so until one day, due to the ineptitude, we loose a hull. Perhaps it is time that the government took some responsibility for ‘aviation’ and stopped relying on folk like Carmody, Halfwit and Hood. Hire some people who actually understand the tasks and get it done right – just in case the unthinkable happens. Like it or not Ladies and Gentlemen of the government; you can run, but you cannot hide; not from the results of the ‘disaster we had to have’.





Toot – toot.
Reply

PFAS investigation at Darwin Airport finds environmental precautions 'disregarded'

Oops. Tick Tock Harfwit. It would seem that the CEO of No Laddders Australia, Electric Blue, the accountable person and Chief Executive Officer should be held to account, and so should the current Infrastructure Minister, Michael Mc’Do’Nothing, for the latest PFAS finding. Poor Darwin, first it was T.C Tracey that damages the place, now it’s T.C Harfield.

From the article;
“The corporation responsible for the service, Airservices Australia, also failed to act after being alerted to problems with wastewater disposal at the site and after "repeated indications of non-compliance".
The review was sparked by allegations made by a whistleblower firefighter who said that firefighting foam containing PFAS chemicals was being "covertly dumped" from the site”.

Your GayBC link here;

https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-2...t/10845062

It would seem that the Minister along with all of his alphabet soup aviation department CEO’s/DAS/Commissioners/or whatever else you want to call them, are totally out of control and more than happy to bend and break the rules, laws and regulations as they see fit. Another lesson for the lowly public in Government incompetence.

AsA matchfit? More like matchshit.

TICK TOCK
Reply

Interesting conversation (part thereof).

Met a couple of the BRB today – coffee and a chin-wag, catch up, that sort of stuff. Someone mentioned there is a little brawl brewing in the USA – pilots (big union) seem to be playing Hell about the lack of Rescue and Fire Fighting Services (RFFS) at certain airports. They are (I believe – no data) questioning a ‘reversion’ where on site services have been reduced. I will get the information right before we discuss it further – but: apparently, it works like this. The ICAO rules call for the RFF services to be weighed against the ‘largest' passenger aircraft operating into the field not passenger numbers, (ring any bells)? Seems the pilots want that tenet upheld. Fair enough – the other side seem to be relying on ‘local’ RFFS being so close to the airport as makes no never mind, so any delay in services arriving would be (theoretically) minimal as there is little anyone can do until the dust has settled. Caution – I’m only working with speculation and hearsay, not facts. P2 will probably get the pertinent data so we can see what all the fuss is about. I digress.

As said, ‘we’ were chatting about this in a general way when the question of Essendon services popped up. The link - HERE – makes no mention of RFF services at Essendon; which leads to some ‘interesting’ speculation – for instance; which local fire station is required to be first cab off the rank when there’s a bingle (pooh :: windmill) at Essendon? Do they have access to and approval to operate on all the air-side areas (ASIC and all that); do they even have a key to the gates? Are the local lads (and lasses) trained to two meters, do they have a certified, trained capability to deal with an airside wreck or; a large building collision with an aircraft? Are they aware of and trained in the ‘evacuation’ procedures for the airside DFO? Are they even ‘legally’ authorised to operate ‘air-side’. I don’t reckon it signifies – one way or tuther: – but, the legal eagles might have some fun with it all – who knows.

The short answer is I have no idea, none at all; not yet. But the team has gone to work to dig out the facts. Essendon does not carry the traffic; in numbers of passengers to warrant a dedicated RFFS crew; but it would be interesting to get the ‘call-out’ time of whatever service was called; how long the response time was; whether the crew was trained on ladders longer than two meters and where their ‘authority’ began and finished. It would be also good to know how they executed the DFO evacuation plan designed for ‘aircraft strike’ and ensuing fire ball.

[Image: Dx-rB4ZUcAACMOk.jpg]

We were very lucky at Essendon; very lucky indeed. All agreed with that – and then conversation drifted away to other matters. But. MTF on this subject is a given – just got to get P2 (and crew) out of whichever dustbin they’re rummaging around in now.

Toot – toot.

P2 - "K" you are one evil dude... Big Grin  I'm on to it just digging out some smelly but tasty old bones - MTF indeed!  Tongue  
Reply

ASA, PFAS and a wet lettuce leaf....

Pressure mounts for PFAS royal commission after 'mute' response to Senate inquiry

Some snippets from the below linked article;

“Former Newcastle fireman and cancer survivor Geoff Zipper is calling for a royal commission into PFAS contamination, and he has some allies in affected communities around the country.
Mr Zipper, who worked at fire stations in Newcastle for 36 years before retiring in 2006 with bladder cancer, told the Newcastle Herald in January how children used to play in toxic firefighting foam at staff Christmas parties as though it was snow”.

And;

“The EPA – they’re all in collusion. The government controls what comes out of these places. There’s a conspiracy going on. Maybe I’m cynical, but it looks very suspicious that nothing is being done.

And;

“If it was you or I who was polluting, we’d be locked up.” 

https://www.theherald.com.au/story/59109...e-inquiry/

Tick Tock you Government parasites
Reply

PFAS Burgers anyone??

Beef stock raised near RAAF base contaminated from toxic foam.

Seems like the great Australian Cardboard Cutout, Minister Mc’Do’Nothjng, the National Party stalwart who loves and protects the constituents in the bush, is doing naught as usual.

Some snippets from the article;

“Farmers are reeling after learning they and their animals are contaminated with high levels of toxic chemicals from firefighting foam used for decades at the Department of Defence’s nearby RAAF Base in Richmond”.

And;

“Blood tests reveal less than a mouthful of meat from the cow with the highest level of PFAS would put a 70kg consumer over the US daily minimal risk level - or a quarter of a medium steak (50g) would put them at the higher Australian maximum Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI)”.

And;

“The family are particularly upset because they only moved their cattle onto land opposite the RAAF base four years ago. Defence has been aware of the PFAS issue since at least 2003”.

https://www.9news.com.au/2019/03/04/18/2...toxic-foam

TICK TOCK National Party!!!!
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TICK TOCK..goes the next DFO fireball clock - Rolleyes

[Image: D07xvYIV4AACY8C.jpg]

YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mco3HaFnOY&t=32s

(03-05-2019, 08:12 PM)Kharon Wrote:  Interesting conversation (part thereof).

Met a couple of the BRB today – coffee and a chin-wag, catch up, that sort of stuff. Someone mentioned there is a little brawl brewing in the USA – pilots (big union) seem to be playing Hell about the lack of Rescue and Fire Fighting Services (RFFS) at certain airports. They are (I believe – no data) questioning a ‘reversion’ where on site services have been reduced. I will get the information right before we discuss it further – but: apparently, it works like this. The ICAO rules call for the RFF services to be weighed against the ‘largest' passenger aircraft operating into the field not passenger numbers, (ring any bells)? Seems the pilots want that tenet upheld. Fair enough – the other side seem to be relying on ‘local’ RFFS being so close to the airport as makes no never mind, so any delay in services arriving would be (theoretically) minimal as there is little anyone can do until the dust has settled. Caution – I’m only working with speculation and hearsay, not facts. P2 will probably get the pertinent data so we can see what all the fuss is about. I digress.

As said, ‘we’ were chatting about this in a general way when the question of Essendon services popped up. The link - HERE – makes no mention of RFF services at Essendon; which leads to some ‘interesting’ speculation – for instance; which local fire station is required to be first cab off the rank when there’s a bingle (pooh :: windmill) at Essendon? Do they have access to and approval to operate on all the air-side areas (ASIC and all that); do they even have a key to the gates? Are the local lads (and lasses) trained to two meters, do they have a certified, trained capability to deal with an airside wreck or; a large building collision with an aircraft? Are they aware of and trained in the ‘evacuation’ procedures for the airside DFO? Are they even ‘legally’ authorised to operate ‘air-side’. I don’t reckon it signifies – one way or tuther: – but, the legal eagles might have some fun with it all – who knows.

The short answer is I have no idea, none at all; not yet. But the team has gone to work to dig out the facts. Essendon does not carry the traffic; in numbers of passengers to warrant a dedicated RFFS crew; but it would be interesting to get the ‘call-out’ time of whatever service was called; how long the response time was; whether the crew was trained on ladders longer than two meters and where their ‘authority’ began and finished. It would be also good to know how they executed the DFO evacuation plan designed for ‘aircraft strike’ and ensuing fire ball.

[Image: Dx-rB4ZUcAACMOk.jpg]

We were very lucky at Essendon; very lucky indeed. All agreed with that – and then conversation drifted away to other matters. But. MTF on this subject is a given – just got to get P2 (and crew) out of whichever dustbin they’re rummaging around in now.

Toot – toot.

Here you go "K" courtesy of what I believe is the biggest Pilot union, the IFALPA  Wink :

Quote:[Image: IFALPA-1.jpg]

[Image: IFALPA-2.jpg]

From the following pic it is interesting to note that if we were to use the same reference (i.e Annex 14 table 9-1) for Essendon Fields airport, based solely on what I believe is an Alliance Fokker 70 in the background,...

[Image: D0zuJCjV4AAuHgD.png]

...then Essendon would also be classified as category 6. Therefore the IFALPA A320 example could be directly applied to Essendon:

Quote:...Usage of this provision means that, for example, for the Airbus A320 with a normal RFF category of 6, reduction
to RFF category 5 is possible. This reduction will result in less RFF crew, approximately 30% less extinguishing
agent, but also only one crash tender instead of two normally required, making it impossible to extinguish fire
from two sides of the aircraft at a time. This results in a serious degradation of the chances of survival for crew
and passengers in case of emergency...

Hmm...I wonder if the local Metropolitan Firies automatically deploy to a Essendon Fields onsite aircraft accident with at least two tenders? I also wonder how many tenders are deployed when the aircraft accident involves crashing into the DFO complex property?

MTF? - Much!...P2  Cool

P2 comment - On reviewing the ATSB report I was surprised to discover that the only mention about the EMS response to the DFO accident was this:

Quote:...CCTV footage from a camera positioned at the rear of the building showed the final part of the accident sequence with post-impact fire evident; about 2 minutes later, first responders arrived onsite. At about 0905 and 0908 respectively, Victoria Police and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade arrived...
 
Now it may have been a fact that there was absolutely zero chance of survival but Shirley the ATSB need to examine in far greater detail than that? Especially considering the proximity and implications if the aircraft had taken off two hours later and tried to land in the middle of the 1100 bay carpark and then went through the side of the main DFO building - Just saying?  Dodgy
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Stand corrected; Cheers P2…

(I knew that best guess would cost me (C U at the Pub). "Remission Factor" - is the term I was seeking – not ‘reversion’. Not to worry – but reading through the IFALPA ‘Position’ document, there are a couple of ‘stand out’ paragraphs. I can’t ‘copy and paste’ ‘em so E&O (got to get a new keyboard):-

Para 3 – "As a result of a lower aerodrome category operators are only required to fulfil lower requirements for Rescue Fire Fighting (RFF), such as the number of emergency vehicles, amount of staff and quantity of extinguishing agents. When operating to an aerodrome with a lower RFF category than normally needed by it’s airplane (aircraft) the aircraft operator is responsible for conducting a risk assessment. By doing so, it should be determined by the operator if the aerodrome is still suitable for it’s operations"…………

There, in a nutshell the risk to the aircrew; writ large.

A Bookies assessment. How, in the seven Hell’s is an operator or the flight crew operating supposed to know whether or not they are about to have an accident? Seriously – how? Shit happens; not often, certainly not in numbers to provide a statistical backup; however. What happens on the rare occasion when it does?

Step 1 – the ‘operators’ legal team will say they ‘they’ took all reasonable precautions to ensure nothing went wrong and; based on statistics, they deemed the ‘risk’ to their business to be acceptable and it was up to the judgement of the operating crew whether or not land at the increased risk aerodrome, with the full knowledge that the RFF capability was reduced. The next step will be the why not divert to a better equipped field once the ‘emergency’ had be realised?

I won’t bang on with the obvious Steps 2 and 3; suffice to say that life and death can, sometimes hang on an angles fart – lady Luck; or, my old mate -  Murphey.

What I can say, with certainty, is that the massive blow-back from a large aircraft crash, where people who could have been saved were not; due to a lack of a fire truck and skilled fire fighters will be not only incredible – but bring with it  world wide condemnation of the system. The media would go into a hysterical melt down – just for a start. It will cost a whole lot more (in legal fees alone)  to fix up the mess than it would ever cost to put the ‘right’ amount of properly equipped and trained boots on the ladders.

It becomes a simple application of ‘Sods Law of the Ocean’ Forget to ‘buckle up’ one day – that’s the day you have a fender bender. To tempt fate is another old world adage with legs and muscle “Can’t happen to me” the famous last words of the many who risked it.

Aye; the gambling of business. My Papa reckons Murphey is everyman’s co-pilot and shit most certainly happens – when you least expect it. Never, not ever, be lulled into a false sense of security – that volcano has been dormant for 100 years – what are the chances.

Well, in my world – you pays your money and take your chances. Even when St. Comodey has your six – and good luck with that for a wing-man…..

Toot - toot.
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Senate Inquiry - The provision of rescue, firefighting and emergency response at Australian airports


Have just been yet again notified of more submissions to the above RRAT inquiry and on on preusal it would seem that submitters are taking advantage of the loosely worded ToR in order to have a crack at Harfwit and his trough feeding executive mob from all kinds of different perspectives... Rolleyes  

For example the 1st cab off the rank was from Willson Consulting, to which Ironsider refers in today's aviation section of the Oz:

Quote:Airport fire foams in spotlight

[Image: 817b3196c7307b37374be1cd032fa315]ROBYN IRONSIDE
Concerns have been raised about environmentally friendly firefighting foams to tackle life-threatening blazes at airports.



Submissions to the Senate Committee examining the provision of rescue, firefighting and emergency response at airports set out the shortcomings of ­fluorine-free foams and argued for a more environmentally benign form of PFAS to be retained for use in major fires.

Environmental and Fire Protection Consultancy group director Mike Wilson said it was a miracle there had been no major incident to expose the weaknesses of the F3 agents in use at Australian airports since 2010.

“This is likely to be placing the general public at unnecessarily increased risk of harm, which should not be permitted to perpetuate,” Mr Wilson wrote.

His views were shared by the Fire Protection Association of Australia, which said fluorine-based chemicals should be retained for emergencies but not used in training.

“The importance of being able to reliably extinguish a fire during an incident, especially when innocent aircraft passengers of indeterminate age need to be evacuated in the vicinity of a fire, cannot be overstated,” said the FPA submission by senior technical officer Brendan Scully. “FPA Australia contends that in high-risk applications, the use of C6 fluorotelomer foams may still be required to provide effective fire protection, while minimising environmental impacts.”

Mr Scully said it was their belief that widespread historical contamination from PFAS was “the result of poor past practice in training and testing of systems in which these foams were used frequently with no present fire hazard”.

The Senate Committee is due to deliver its report by August 13.

Then there is this disturbing submission from a retired Airservices Firefighter... Undecided


Quote:Senate committee of inquiry dealing with, “the provision of rescue, firefighting and emergency
response at Australian Airports”.


This submission comes under terms of reference parts a, d and f. It deals with the way Airservices
Australia deals with its employees, both present and past, over the Per and Poly-Fluoroalkyl
substances (PFAS) in firefighting foam issue.

My name is Geoff Fuller, I am 67 years old, retired and worked for Airservices Australia and its
predecessors from 1968 to 2011. I was an Aviation Firefighter from 1975 until 2011 and served at
several locations around Australia.

After being made aware of PFAS chemicals in firefighting foam at Edinburgh Defence Base, in an
article in the Adelaide Advertiser in June 2016, I made enquiries about this situation. What I found
was that this was the same foam that had been used by my employer (Airservices Australia) from
1980 until 2010 and that I had not been informed of any concerns by my employer during my
employment as an Aviation Firefighter from 1975 to 2011. The more I researched the subject of
PFAS chemicals in firefighting foam, the more I became worried about how this may affect me and
perhaps my family.

The following is what I have experienced:

June 2016

 Found out about PFAS chemicals in firefighting foam in the newspaper article
 Made enquiries with my GP about PFAS. He hadn’t heard of it
 At a cost of $500 I got my blood tested and obtained results
July 2016
 Found out that Airservices Australia offered a voluntary health check (no mention of PFAS
situation) to its firefighting staff in 2013
 150 of 750 firefighting staff took part and found via the blood sample taken about the PFAS
levels in their blood (note: blood test done May 2013- results to staff June 2014)
 When those staff who hadn’t been tested asked to be tested (due to concerns raised)
Airservices Australia refused as no more money available for further health checks.

August 2016

 I sent letter to Airservices Australia asking to be reimbursed the $500 I paid for my blood
test since I was a past employee and hadn’t been given the opportunity to take part in the
2013 health study offered to current firefighting staff.
 I was advised via a phone call from the Fire Station Manager at Adelaide ARFF that
Airservices Australia would not be reimbursing me the $500.

September 2016

 I made several phone calls to Airservices Australia in Canberra requesting a written reply to
my letter of August 7th 2016.
October 2016
 In second week of October 2016 I received an envelope containing an Airservices Australia
policy document (consisting of 1 page) and a copy of the Federal Government enHealth
Policy on PFAS, along with a small cover note.
 Conclusion stated in the documents from Airservices Australia and the Federal Government
is that “in humans, there is no conclusive evidence that PFC’s cause any specific illnesses,
including cancer. And the health experts have advised that anyone who thinks they have
been exposed to PFOS or PFOA and may have any health concerns, should consult their
General Practitioner”
 The contents of the documents did nothing to convince me that my past employer
(Airservices Australia) was interested in my wellbeing, even though they had known about
the problems with the foam for at least 2 decades. Airservices Australia did not inform me
whilst I was working for them or since my retirement of anything regarding PFAS. They
didn’t even offer me the voluntary health study in June 2013.

During 2017/2018 I have researched and found out a lot of information regarding PFAS chemicals
and their effects on the environment and humans.

2017-2018

 It is interesting that documents produced by Airservices Australia about the PFAS issue
refer frequently to what they are doing to protect the environment, but no mention of what
they are doing for their affected staff or maybe affected people in the community
surrounding the airports where Airservices Australia operate.
 From my experience Airservices Australia aren’t worried about their employees past or
present, health. Other than the 2013 once off voluntary health study, no ongoing information
sessions with affected employees or any further health studies for past and present affected
employees has occurred.

2017

 After raising my concerns with members of Federal Parliament, I have received letters from
Government Ministers, who thank me for my contact and concerns about the PFAS
situation, but always end up by telling me there is no evidence of adverse health effects from
exposure to PFAS, read the Government enHealth information on-line regarding PFAS and
if any more concerns consult my GP.
 Then finally as the Federal Health Minister said in his letter “however, as a precaution, it is
recommended that people minimise their exposure to PFAS”.
 The Australian Department of Health has commissioned the National Centre for
Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University to undertake an
epidemiology study in PFAS contamination on the health of residents surrounding the
Williamtown, Oakey and Katherine investigation areas. Since the Federal Government,
Department of Defence and Airservices Australia have known about problems with PFAS
for at least 2 decades why haven’t they been setting up health studies, with their own
affected staff from all affected locations (not just Williamtown, Oakey and Katherine), from
at least 20years ago.

2018

 26th March 2018. In answer to a question in writing (No.894) in the Australian Parliament.
In reply Michael McCormack. MP. States “to date, Airservices has already commissioned 5
independent health related studies”. This is a surprise to me and the still existing firefighters
at Adelaide Airport who are only aware of the voluntary health study offered in 2013.
 The New South Wales fire brigade management offered information sessions to all its
employees both past and present when the PFAS issue became apparent. Airservices
Australia certainly didn’t do this when they were made aware of PFAS issues at least 2
decades ago.
 December 2018. In South Australia, the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service
(SAMFS) became aware of PFAS contamination at one of its fire stations. The SAMFS
acted straight away, the station building and surrounds were tested, meetings were held
between SAMFS management and staff affected. Result was affected staff and families were
offered blood tests (with results back after one week not one year). Due to findings of
contamination the station was closed. Clean up of contamination around the station
commenced. Further meetings held with consultants (re; PFAS), management and affected
staff. Support services offered to affected staff and families.
 The support and services offered to New South Wales Fire Brigade staff and SAMFS staff
are vastly different to what has been offered by Airservices Australia to its staff to date.

2019

 January 2019. I have recently been made aware that between approximately 2013and 2013
there was a process put in place by Airservices Australia to remove any container or
paraphernalia associated with Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF), from all Airservices
Australia property and fire stations. My understanding is all this material was sent to a place
to be incinerated/ destroyed, for which the cost of transport and disposal would have been
substantial. All this without staff being made aware of what this process was for and about
the PFAS issue.

Summary

Whenever I talk to members of Parliament or Defence personnel presenting forums at Darwin or
Adelaide, I ask them why hasn’t my past employer (Airservices Australia), Department of Defence
or the Federal Government, who have known about the PFAS problems for at least 2 decades, done
any health studies on people like me (ex: Aviation Firefighters) to find out the most they can about
how PFAS effects humans. Also how much have they consulted with other countries around the
world experiencing the same problems with PFAS.

We will not progress our knowledge of this problem if organisations like my past employer
(Airservices Australia) sit on their hands and tell their effected employees (past and present)
nothing.

How can I trust an employer whose policies and actions don’t have its employees’ health and
wellbeing at heart?

I hope that this submission lets you the committee know that not only is Airservices Australia doing
everything it can to cut back on its resources to its Aviation Rescue Fire Fighting Service, provided
at Australian Airports, to do their job in the best possible way, Airservices Australia is also ignoring
the health and safety of its staff both past and present. All the while the management at the top are
telling us what a great job they are doing, how much they value their staff, and are also paying
themselves sizeable pay bonuses.

I also hope you the committee will find time to accept my submission and allow me to appear in
front of the committee to expand on how Airservices Australia’s policies and actions do not take of
its employees like they claim to do.

G. Fuller

3rd March 2019

Then there is this typical self-serving, self-preserving - "not me who farted Your Honour" - weasel worded confection from St Carmody and his Iron Ring cronies at Fort Fumble: https://www.aph.gov.au/DocumentStore.ash...bId=667051

Anyway for those interested fill your boots, it seems it's a free for all Harfwit bashing... Tongue  

Speaking of which I note that the ANAO wet lettuce brigade recently announced yet another audit of ASA. However this time it is from a slightly different perspective... Shy  

Quote:[Image: ANAO-implementation-of-parliamentary-recs.jpg][img=780x0]https://www.anao.gov.au/sites/default/files/anao_report/image/ANAO-implementation-of-parliamentary-recs.jpg[/img]
Portfolio: 
Across Entities
Entity: 
Across Entities (listed below)
Contact: 
Please direct enquiries through our contact page.

The objective of this audit is to undertake a two-stage process to examine whether selected entities have appropriate arrangements in place for implementing agreed ANAO performance audit, Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit and other parliamentary committee recommendations. The first stage would be a limited (negative) assurance engagement, and the second stage a reasonable (positive) assurance approach.
Audit criteria
The ANAO proposes to examine:
  • Does the entity have appropriate governance in place to agree to, monitor and close out recommendations?
  • Were agreed recommendations implemented effectively in a timely manner?
[size=undefined]
Entities
The entities selected for audit are:[/size]
  • Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
  • Airservices Australia
  • Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities
  • Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority

Seems ignoring recommendations is a regular pastime of some of our Can'tberra Mandarins and their Minions... Dodgy 


MTF...P2  Cool
Reply

As a Utility, Can GPS Afford To Be Open To Malicious Interference?
Feb 22, 2019

David Esler | Business & Commercial Aviation

This article appears in the March issue of Business & Commercial Aviation with the title “GPS Vulnerabilities.”

Back in the 1980s, as the U.S. Air Force was testing the first NavStar satellites in research trials that led to today’s GPS, Charlie Trimble, founder of a small navigation equipment company in Silicon Valley, wrote a pamphlet in which he predicted GPS eventually would become a “utility,” or essential public service.
I recognized the proposed system with its “constellation” of satellites circling in mid-Earth orbit might become a useful navaid for aircraft, missiles and marine vessels but probably not for much else. Furthermore, who among the public would need a precision navigation device or be able to afford to buy one?

Well, of course, Trimble was prescient — and right — and his little eponymous venture that started by manufacturing Loran-C navigation sets became a pioneer in developing GPS equipment, and today Trimble Inc. employs more than 8,000 people. Meanwhile, GPS has become the basis for a multitude of activities and conveniences, everything from surveying, agriculture, construction, vehicle tracking and autonomous drone operation to digitized map reading and guidance in our cars — and smartphones. It is even making the much-vaunted autonomous (driverless) car possible. In other words, GPS has become that utility Trimble predicted three decades ago and now we’re carrying affordable, handheld computers equipped with GPS engines and using GPS guidance and time data routinely.


The current Global Positioning System constellation consists of 24 Block II satellites, 21 active and three spares, rotating the planet at 12,550 sm in medium-earth orbit. New upgraded, more powerful Block III satellites now being launched will form a replacement constellation of 31 units claimed to be more resistant to jamming. Credit: NOAA


For aviation, space-based position and navigation enabled 3D position determination for all phases of flight — even for maneuvering on the ground. GPS provided a repeatable level of accuracy hitherto unavailable. It opened up a raft of new precision approaches independent of ground-based navaids, meaning that airports without conventional (and expensive) guidance infrastructure could now have these procedures. The same was true for en route navigation, especially in remote areas devoid of radio aids including oceanic airspace, since guidance signals were emanating from space and available almost everywhere on the globe (or at least between 80 deg. north and 80 deg. south latitudes).
The Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) also made Automatic Dependent Surveillance (ADS) possible, since positioning was so accurate that aircraft could now broadcast their own locations in areas where there was little or no radar coverage. Air traffic controllers could then track them with a “virtual radar” presented on a computer-generated display, based on the GPS-verified ADS transmission. It’s not surprising, then, that FAA planners and contractors designed the NextGen ATC system around GPS and its progeny, ADS.

When the full GPS constellation of 21 active satellites and three spares became fully active in 1995, the system’s consistent accuracy and reliability even prompted planners in the FAA and Department of Defense (DOD) to consider ultimately decommissioning the huge and expensive network of radio navigation aids — the VORs with their DME adjuncts, NDBs and various instrument approaches — since it was assumed their functions could be provided by GPS with greater accuracy (easily supporting Required Navigation Performance [RNP]) and for less money.
For a while, the FAA and the Pentagon considered retaining the low-frequency Loran-C navigation network as a compatible backup to GPS, both being ground-referenced (i.e., calculating position in latitude and longitude), but it was eventually decided that the U.S and Canadian Loran transmitter chains would be turned off in 2010. Other chains in Europe and Russia followed in 2015. There has been talk among governments of resurrecting a new digitally based Loran system (“enhanced,” or eLoran, studied by the UK until 2015 when work was halted on the project), but so far no agreements have been finalized.

Thus, at the present, there would be no backup for GPS except inertial reference navigation (with its cumulative error limitation) and existing radio navaids, if for some reason, the system were to go down. For aviation alone, becoming more dependent on GPS every day, such an event would be merely disruptive to devastating.
According to a 2011 FAA assessment, the potential economic impact to aviation from a nationwide GPS interference event would be an estimated $70 billion. “Aviation relies on GPS significantly, and we not only need it but [must] make sure it is protected,” Andrew Roy, director of engineering services at Aviation Spectrum Resources, told BCA.

But It’s Vulnerable . . .

But the truth about GPS is that it is vulnerable to interference, both accidental and malicious.
“Aviation has been aware of GPS vulnerabilities since Day One,” confirmed Guy Buesnel at UK-based Spirant (pronounced “SPY-rent”), which makes, among other things, GPS simulators for testing of receivers. “The low signal strength, as low as a 40-watt light bulb, transmitted from space, is vulnerable to spoofing and jamming.” (The signal comes in below thermal noise, and that had to be accommodated when the system was designed.)
The designed GPS receiver sensitivity level is below 10-14 watts, given the 13,000-mi. (20,000-km) distance the signal needs to travel from the satellite to the ground. “So, from a jamming perspective,” Roy added, “it isn’t that hard to get a higher-power signal onto the L1 operating frequency, which is 1575.42 MHz. If you can get some power into that band, whether deliberate or accidental, it doesn’t take that much power to stop the receiver from being able to ‘see’ the GPS signal. So, it’s easy for the signal to be lost — DOD intentional jamming has proven that.” [More on those DOD exercises further on.]

Massive areas can be affected in the worst-case scenarios. Not only that, but even local interference over a city block or larger area can be accomplished with a handheld jammer.


For an interesting walk on the wild side, Google “GPS jammers” and see what comes up — and mind you, this is not on the so-called “darknet” but the public platform anyone can access. Easily available, the jammers you will see advertised are “sold as ‘personal privacy systems,’ and their use is quite widespread,” Buesnel observed. The devices — made in China, of course, and in many cases, sold on line from there — can be purchased for less than $125. The smallest can be plugged into the cigarette lighter or USB port of a vehicle. High-powered handheld jammers, some of which are claimed to corrupt all GPS bands, L1 through L5, while covering both tracking and navigation plus cellphone signals, are battery powered and retail for between $200 and $500.

In addition to malefactors blocking GPS signals for malicious purposes or just to create mischief, personal jammers have become especially popular with long-haul truckers or package delivery drivers tracked via GPS by their employers to ensure they’re adhering to their schedules. The jammers disable tracking devices installed by the shipping companies on their trucks that calculate GPS location.

The larger problem is that the jammers can disrupt any GPS signal within their range — up to miles away, depending on the unit. Moreover, “It is quite hard to identify the source of jamming,” Roy pointed out, “especially if it’s coming from a moving vehicle like a truck.” Truckers are also using jammers to avoid paying tolls, since the automated toll-takers on highways and bridges operate on GPS tracking, and the big rigs can simply blast through the toll lanes with impunity.

Jammers work by broadcasting noise on the same frequencies generated by the satellites, blocking receivers from picking them up. Think of the jamming signal as a bubble around the jammer that GPS signals can’t penetrate. And these jamming bubbles have inadvertently caused a lot of trouble where highways pass in the vicinity of airports or when vehicles containing jammers drive or park near airports or under approach and departure paths.
This scenario occurred at Northeast Philadelphia Airport (KPNE), where in 2015 pilots were reporting loss of GPS on approaches, and at Newark Liberty International Airport (KEWR) in 2012, where a jamming device in a parked pickup truck disrupted the airport’s GPS Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS). The driver of the pickup, who claimed he was using the jammer to keep his employer from tracking him, was himself tracked down by Federal Communications Commission investigators and ultimately fined $32,000 for interfering with a critical aviation guidance system. And at business aviation’s Teterboro Airport (KTEB), there have been reports of GPS jamming believed to be emanating from truckers plying U.S. Route 46, which passes just north of the airport and Runways 19 and 24.
Buesnel related that, “Last year, I took a London black cab and saw a GPS jammer in the cigarette lighter. I asked the driver why he was using the device, and he said it was to interfere with Uber, ‘because the Uber drivers rely on GPS to meet their customers’ at airports and other venues, and this was taking business away from him.” Of course, the jammers also mess with the GPS signals that aircraft rely on at the airports.

In August 2017, at Nantes Atlantique Airport (LFRS) in France, a traveler left his vehicle in the car park with a GPS jammer activated in the cigarette lighter port. Meanwhile, he departed on an airline flight for a vacation. The jammer “disrupted the tracking systems of planes arriving and taking off from the airport, leading to delays on several flights before it was located and disabled.” The perpetrator was eventually fined €2,000 by French authorities, but there is no report as to the condition of his car when he got it back from the impound lot.

Jammed Up by Jamming

It is illegal in the U.S. to use, sell or manufacture GPS jammers, and according to Kashmir Hill, writing for Gizmodo Media in 2017, every time you turn one on, you’re liable for a $16,000 fine from the FCC (see https://gizmodo.com/jamming-gps-signals-...heap-and-e...). Additionally, infractions can be punished by jail time. ASRI’s Roy added that “Jamming GPS signals is a fundamental assault on the public spectrum. . . . There is lots of publicity to try and stop it and a crackdown from the FCC on sellers of the equipment.”

In 2016, the FCC fined a Chinese supplier $34 million for selling 10 GPS jammers to undercover FCC agents. Further, the FCC extended its GPS jamming prohibition to state and local governments and law enforcement agencies when it learned that some undercover cops were using jammers to avoid being tracked in their cars. Some websites marketing jammers have been blocked or taken down, as well, but thousands of the devices remain in the field and in daily use and are often traded on websites like eBay.

Hill relates how small drone users — many of them teenagers — have circumvented manufacturers’ “no drone zone” software, which is dependent on GPS signals to know a drone’s location in order keep it away from sensitive areas like airports, government installations, even the White House. They do this by employing jammers to confuse the GPS signals, essentially telling the drones they are outside the prohibited areas.

Even practitioners of the highly popular video game Pokemon Go are spoofing GPS signals with jammers. Players download an app to their phones that superimposes creatures, or monsters, over real-world locations named “arenas” and go to them to either “collect” the virtual creatures or defend the arenas from other players. Buesnel said a second app allows gamers to “collect the monsters from a single location and spoof their GPS system so it looks to other players like they’re wandering around the map. You can buy these apps that will give a false location of your phone.”
Pokemon Go designers have changed the game to neutralize this, but the hackers still have their apps and can simulate a GPS constellation for less than $300. Hill claims that some players are buying multiple jammers and stationing them at the arenas to block competitors from registering their locations in the virtual space, thus preserving their dominance of it. Some of these locations have been near — and even on — airports, thus affecting GPS and aircraft operations.

Unintentional jamming of GPS signals also occurs, as at Hanover International Airport (EDDV) in Germany in 2010 when a GPS repeater was set up in a hangar less than 3,000 ft. from the threshold of an active runway to test GPS receivers on business jets. Airline crews began to experience Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) alarms and displaced runway threshold alerts while taxiing for takeoff. In one case, the repeater acted like a GPS spoofer. Subsequent investigations determined that the repeater power level was unnecessarily high for the testing being accomplished and that the hangar door was occasionally left open during testing, increasing the jamming effect.

Since 2013 and to November 2018, more than 250 incidents of GPS disruption have been reported to the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) by pilots. In Europe and adjoining areas, 815 incidents were reported to Eurocontrol, again, through November 2018. A sampling of incidents from the last three years reveals the ubiquity of suspected jamming incidents experienced by aircraft in flight:

• Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (RPLL), Philippines, 2016. There were more than 50 reports of GPS interference on approach to Runway 24 during the second quarter. Lapses included total loss of onboard GNSS with GPS-L and -R “invalid” messages appearing on displays; decrease in navigation performance leading to RNP alerts due to increasing lateral error (i.e., actual nav performance deterioration below RNP) leading to missed approaches and GPWS alerts. In some aircraft, nav reverted to IRU or DME/DME, loss of autoland and ADS-B capabilities. According to an International Civil Aviation Organization Information Paper, there exists some suspicion that a cellphone tower on the approach course at 14 nm DME might be the cause of the GPS signal degradation, although this was not verified, and suspicion exists that the GPS signal degradation may have been caused by jamming attacks.

• Undisclosed U.S. location, 2017. Pilot reported temporarily losing the GPS signal, saying “GPS loss seemed an illusion.” This was supported by ATC radioing that no other aircraft in the area had reported a GPS outage, causing the pilot to assume that he’d encountered a trucker with a GPS jammer on a highway beneath the aircraft. “So I continued into the rain, clouds and turbulence . . . then all hell broke loose: GPS signal failure, ADS-B failure, multiple cascading messages on the GTN.”


• Fresno Yosemite International Airport (KFAT), California, 2017. Aircraft appeared to crew to turn toward assigned waypoint; however, ATC asked crew to confirm heading. “At that point it appeared the GPS had lost position, and we declared a lost signal to ATC and asked for vectors. We were not able to regain accuracy with the GPS and navigated on vectors and VOR tracking for the remainder of the trip.”

• Undisclosed U.S. Location, 2017. “I experienced a failure of the WAAS [Wide Area Augmentation System] GPS antenna in flight. The antenna failed in such a manner as to create spurious emissions that caused all other GPS antennas on my aircraft to lose signal.”


• Cherry Capital Airport (KTVC), Traverse City, Michigan, 2018. Pilot reported that while instructing in vicinity of LADIN intersection he experienced a “GPS anomaly,” the receiver displaying scrambled characters that were indiscernible. The event lasted approximately 10 sec., then cleared up.

The Government Jams, Too

Just to make flight crews’ lives more interesting and increase cockpit workload and stress, the U.S. DOD, which manages the Global Positioning System through the U.S. Air Force out of Schriever AFB, Colorado, is mandated by presidential directive to train and test U.S. military forces in operationally realistic conditions that include “denial of GPS” through jamming. These events, staged at varying locations throughout the country, have been increasing in frequency in recent years and covering ever larger areas. The DOD conducts intentional GPS interference during these events in coordination with military exercises to ensure weapons systems can operate in a GPS-degraded environment and for research purposes and testing of the GNSS.

The DOD coordinates with the FAA when it schedules these exercises, and the latter publishes flight advisories announcing dates, times and areas covered by them — another reason to plow through the reams of NOTAMs and notes on your computerized flight plan before you fly. As an example of the growing scope of these events, consider the six-day one staged in June 2016 centered on China Lake, California, and extending outward in a 500-nm circle from 50 ft. AGL at the source up to more than 40,000 ft. at the periphery and encompassing the cities — and Class A airspace — of San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
The Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) in a March 2018 report titled “Operational Impacts of Intentional GPS Interference” concluded that the effect of GPS jamming in the DOD exercises varies on aircraft flying through or near the test zones from total loss of GPS reception to “degraded integrity.” Of course, it also causes lapses in ADS-B. In a 2012 event, two airliners flying near one another in an interference zone drifted off course when their GPS receivers lost signal and had to be sorted out by a vigilant air traffic controller, averting a possible midair collision.

On April 14, 2016, the FAA released a priority message indicating that an Embraer Phenom 300 had experienced a yaw damper failure following loss of GPS signal while cruising through a DOD interference zone. The GPS loss precipitated a cascade event causing subsequent failure of AHRS, autopilot, ventral rudder and yaw damper, instituting a Dutch roll and triggering a stall warning protection system fault — all at high airspeeds.

The FAA priority message stated that “Further analysis revealed that GPS constellation signal instability in the flight area leading to loss of both GPS information data and causing the event. . . . The AHRS continuously calculates and applies altitude and heading measurement updates to correct gyro-integrated altitude and heading during flight maneuvers and, in normal operation, the AHRS relies upon GPS, air data system, and magnetic field measurements supplied by the magnetometer to maintain primary AHRS operation mode.”

The FAA subsequently urged pilots of Phenom 300s to avoid DOD GPS jamming areas and closely monitor flight control systems due to potential loss of GPS signals. Embraer responded with a statement that the government’s GPS testing shouldn’t affect the normal operation of the Phenom and that the aircraft flight manual specified how to fly the aircraft under the conditions described in the FAA’s priority message.

How could a GPS signal failure possibly cause an aircraft’s flight controls to become erratic? It has to do with how GPS attributes are harvested from the satellites’ signals for purposes other than navigation. Roy at ASRI explains that “There are three core attributes to GPS: position, velocity and timing. Each attribute relies on receiving an appropriate quality of GPS signal, with even small variations in signal quality — from signal reflections, signal propagation, satellite movement or orientation, your hand blocking some of the signal, and so forth — affecting the accuracy of each attribute.” (Just as a footnote, this explains the reason why you see a blue circle constantly varying in size when using GPS mapping on your smartphone, as the GPS receiver constantly adjusts to the changing signal quality to give you the best accuracy it can.)

“The reason why jamming is an issue for aviation is because the GPS receiver receives the three parameters,” Roy continued, “and therefore it is a key reference point for an airframe because it can be allowed to operate for both navigation and functionally for other aircraft systems, depending on how the OEM designs the aircraft. This can be troublesome if the timing signal is used for something critical for flight.”

Jamming as a Weapon

We are engaged in a war right now in which the weapons are not guns, bombs, poisonous gas or biological agents but cybernetic attacks on infrastructure. Compared to conventional warfare, the cyber equivalent can be waged for magnitudes less in funding and by considerably fewer players than those serving the major powers. In addition to probing of telecommunications networks, malicious manipulation of social media and theft of intellectual property through the internet, other forms of infrastructure can be targeted, as well, including GPS and its aviation users.

At last year’s Air Transport IT Summit in Budapest, Societe Internationale de Telecommunications Aeronautiques, better known as SITA, estimated that more than 60% of cyberattacks on aviation targeted “critical assets,” the most common being IT systems, airport and airline websites, and air traffic control and navigation systems — the last constituting GPS and representing 12% of attacks. Given the role that GPS plays today in terms of en route and terminal guidance and as a key component of ADS-B, it is easy to accept that targeted attacks on the GNSS signals could be disruptive to aviation — and the general economy of any nation that relies on it.

It has been documented that GPS jamming and spoofing have occurred near the airspace of Western powers adversaries Russia, North Korea, Iran and other Middle Eastern countries. Here are three examples of GPS interruption that were suspected to have been caused by jamming from sources within these nation states or regions:

• Middle East near Israel, 2017. Departing Ben Gurion International Airport (LLBG), Tel Aviv, this airline crew saw “ADS-B Out R” on their aircraft’s EICAS. Performing the checklist, the pilots received an “ADS-B Out L” message, followed 5 min. later at FL 300 with “Unable RNP,” “Runway Sys,” “Terr Pos” and “GPS” additional messages. RNP showed 2.75 nm right of course. The crew contacted Nicosia Center to verify position and used VOR for navigation. Operations returned to normal when passing into Greek airspace where all nav systems returned to normal. “Everyone involved seemed to believe we were being jammed by possible military aircraft.”

• Norwegian and Finnish airspace, September 2017 and November 2018. In the 2017 period, Widderoe and SAS airline flights experienced GPS disruption. During the 2018 period, GPS signal again deteriorated but this time during NATO exercise “Trident Juncture.” The pilots reported loss of GPS while flying into airports in northern regions of Finnmark and Lapland. Norwegian aviation authority Avinor issued a NOTAM of irregular navigation signals over eastern Finnmark between Oct. 30 and Nov. 7. “Altogether GPS signals were jammed five times in 17 months,” Buesnel said. It was subsequently reported that Finland summoned the Russian ambassador to answer allegations that Moscow was behind jamming of GPS signals in Lapland during NATO exercises.


• Near North Korean airspace, 2018. A Boeing 777 crew received EICAS message “ADS-B L Out,” confirmed a few minutes later by the ADS-B itself. “I wrote both of them up,” the captain reported, “and we then started discussing if this was a GPS jamming event, since we were just north of North Korea. The FO and I referenced the B777 GPS jamming update, and our situation was the first example listed.”

Could the anomaly have been jamming generated by the North Koreans? Kashmir Hill had this to say in her Gizmodo article: “North Korea periodically interferes with GPS using jammers mounted on trucks that it drives close to the South Korean border, causing navigational problems for airplanes, ships and drones in the area — not to mention any GPS guided missiles headed in its direction.” Would it be too much to assume they’d do the same along or near their northern border, especially knowing that international airlines fly there?

Another threat to GPS, and thus to aviation, is “spoofing,” which is defined by the RTCA as “the surreptitious replacement of a true satellite signal with a manipulated satellite signal that can cause a GPS receiver to output an erroneous position and time.” Spoofing “is a newer source of interference with advancing technology,” Roy said. Much of that advancement has been spurred by open-source software, where users constantly make improvements to the code — all for free.

“Unfortunately, you don’t even know you are being spoofed,” Roy continued, “as a malicious user could send signals to slowly trick your GPS into moving you off target. The receiver does not know that the malicious signal is false, so it’s insidious, like someone shouting at you at a higher volume than the one you want to hear. It can change or delay signals. Especially vulnerable is the older GPS equipment; the newer equipment — ‘multi-constellation receivers’ — is more robust and can receive signals from other satellite networks like GLONASS and Galileo.”

Nation states are engaged in spoofing, Buesnel claimed, “trying to fool you, broadcasting replica GPS signals to deceive the receivers and steer you off position or spoof the time/date function backward or forward. And smugglers have been trying to spoof border-surveillance drones. Commercial aviation is well aware of this, and it would be difficult to spoof a commercial-level aircraft equipped with backup systems and operated by well-trained pilots.” Spoofing is not as big a threat as jamming, he believes, but since the advent of Pokemon Go, it has become more prevalent in the larger community.

No Silver Bullet . . . But There Are Strategies

Can it be stopped, and if not, can we protect aviation from jamming and spoofing? First some background on GPS and how it works. A GPS receiver needs to receive signals from a minimum of four GPS satellites to report a position (three for position, and a fourth for timing information). The more satellites the receiver can see — and this could be up to 14 when cruising at high altitudes — and the more spread out they are across the sky relative to the aircraft, the better the information the GPS receiver has to specify an accurate position. Modern receivers — and this is important when considering local jamming and especially spoofing — can also receive similar signals from other countries’ nav satellite systems to provide even more accuracy, e.g., Russia’s GLONASS, Europe’s Galileo and, maybe, China’s BeiDou.

The system has to take into account relativity considerations from the satellites moving at 8,700 mph (14,000 km/hr.) in medium earth orbit (MEO) at 12,550 sm (20,200 km) altitude, each circling the earth twice a day, or end up hundreds of miles off the intended course or target. Thus, even the slightest variance can mean a significant error in a GPS device’s performance.

“Fortunately,” Roy said, “modern receivers can account for the multitude of effects that can cause errors, including use of additional geostationary satellites that provide correctional data [in other words, the GPS WAAS in the U.S.]. The best performing receivers are used by surveyors and agriculture to gain accuracy to within 1 cm horizontally and 2 cm vertically.”

Receivers have had significant development to ensure that aviation-certified units used for RNAV operate within known parameters that provide a consistent level of performance. Aircraft receivers can still experience interference, given the low power signal they are trying to see, but will also warn the pilot when they cannot achieve necessary performance. This is also reflected in the ADS-B system, which combines the aircraft position data with metrics for both GPS integrity and accuracy (known as NIC and NAC), so that en route traffic controllers know if position data is valid. “While INS can compensate for loss of GPS signals for short periods,” Roy said, “aircraft will not be able to comply with many RNP requirements without GPS.”

Buesnel insists that, “There is no silver bullet to solve this in one hit. Before you think about enforcement, first you have to monitor the signal near airports. We [Spirent] have a detector that detects and sounds an alert when it sees interference. It allows a ‘picture’ to be made of the areas where jamming is occurring so troubleshooting can take place within them and an intelligence picture built to determine the nature of the problem and when and where jamming is happening. NOTAMs to pilots can then be generated.”

That “intelligence picture” will contain what type of jamming or wave form is happening, as these events leave a unique footprint, the timestamp of jamming events to know when they show up, even the type of jammer used, and whether the event is intentional or a leakage accident like the one at Hannover.
“With this information, you can test your equipment and take action,” Buesnel said. “But you need the intelligence — the quantifiable data — first. With the data, you can then influence the standards board to make the equipment on aircraft more robust. Enforcement is great but it is difficult due to the resources needed. You have to do the risk assessments to gain the intelligence picture.”

But conducting risk assessment of equipment is the most important part of a jamming protection strategy. “We don’t do enough of it,” Buesnel said. “GPS is a utility we all depend on. The U.S.’s NextGen and ADS are good examples. So risk assessment is essential. It has to be repeated every few years, as things change.”
The third generation of GPS satellites — the so-called “Block IIIs” — are promised to offer some resistance to signal jamming. First, there will be more of them, as the full constellation was to constitute 32 satellites. Secondly, their signals will be more powerful than those of their Block II predecessors, and there will be more frequencies generated, including the new L5 band (1176.45 MHz) designed specifically for aviation use (although other disciplines will be able to access it). Furthermore, the U.S. Air Force claims the Block III satellites will be equipped with defenses against jamming but has not indicated what they are.

These improvements should make the system more robust, Buesnel believes, “but it will not be totally free from interference or spoofing, and we still will need to protect it.” The first Block III satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral by Space X in December. As of last September, nine more satellites were in production by Lockheed-Martin, whose contract for the first 10 units is valued at $10 billion.

Backups Always Necessary

So the new system will be better, more defensive, but as advanced as it is, the practitioners of jamming and spoofing will continue to advance their malicious technology, and the Block IIIs will still be vulnerable to cyber-tampering. And while the industry has developed standards to support robustness in GPS receivers, high levels of integrity in the GNSS as a whole, and augmentation for it on the ground, there is an understanding that backups will continue to be necessary.

As Buesnel points out, pilots tend to be very conservative, and this is reflected by the fact that airline and business aviation aircraft continue to carry backup nav equipment, and the aviation-support infrastructure retains legacy facilities like radio navaids, including VOR/DME, ILS, etc. The additional GNSS constellations (GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou) could also serve as backups for each other during cyberattacks on one of them. “All this is good for us,” Buesnel insists. “The International Committee on GNSS out of the U.N. has been doing a lot of work on interoperability and has developed the common standard, or L1.”

“We can never underestimate the randomness of GPS interference,” Roy warned. “Even a bad comm radio can cause an outage in rare cases, emitting radiation on the GPS band. Always report an outage to ensure we can monitor and maintain the integrity of GPS everywhere.”

But whatever the threat, aviation will be living with and relying on GPS and its counterparts elsewhere in the world for a long time. “GPS is the only system I’ve ever worked on that has surpassed expectations,” Buesnel admitted. “We talk about its vulnerabilities, but it is in such wide use that we need to be more aware of the risks. Get quantifiable data, and do your risk assessments, and you will be fine.”

Should we be afraid, very afraid?

Given the robust risk analysis our bureaucrats conduct mainly focusing on avoiding liability rather than safety and given the frantic pace of the decommissioning of our conventional radio aids to inflate cost saving KPI's ensuring fat bonus payments one has to wonder are we setting ourselves up for a major disaster?
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Of ladders, international women and Uncle Fester

Has anybody seen the ridiculous clip on Poohtube of the new ARFFS GM blabbering on about International womens day? Seriously, ASA have lost the plot and are focusing on the wrong stuff. There are not enough frontline people at airports, ladders are taboo, power tools are taboo, and yet they spend money dressing up this bald headed GM muppet who looks like Uncle Fester, and trot him out on Poohtube. What next, ARFFS fire trucks painted in rainbow colours??

The clip below if you dare.
WARNING: Children might be scared of the baldy man who actually looks like Lord Voldemort!



‘ASA = Foolish palava for all’
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Bait. Fresh and wrigglin'

Whenever I hear this type of Pony– Pooh; I go back to my days in the cave. I am old enough to remember those days. I recall one night in particular when a T’Rex shoved it’s hungry head into the cave; looking for a meal. You know what happened, don’t you. The women grabbed the kids and headed to the back of the cave; the men grabbed their clubs, ran to the front and beat the thing off. God’s help the T’Rex if it beat the men and threatened the kids – it would have no chance. Hard wired genetics – unassailable.

Nothing, IMO has genetically changed since those days. Men have always been ‘disposable’ and some things, despite the clamour have never changed, not are they likely to; it is built into the nature of all beasts, mankind included. No matter what the deluded say.

White, male, definitely HS and confused by political, vote catching, feel good nonsense. No one wants ‘em bare foot and pregnant or without a voice or a vote – but, except for the Amazons or Valkyries; back in the cave, batting against T’Rex, I’d like to pick my own first XI.  



TAXI -!
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THE PROVISION OF RESCUE, FIREFIGHTING AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE AT AUSTRALIAN AIRPORTS - UPDATE

Submissions update: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Bus...ubmissions 


Quote:12 Australian Airports Association (PDF 426 KB) 

13 Dynax Corporation (PDF 599 KB)  Attachment 1 (PDF 345 KB)  Attachment 2 (PDF 246 KB)  Attachment 3 (PDF 181 KB) 

14 Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (PDF 1113 KB) 

15 
Tasmania Fire Service (PDF 1885 KB) 
 
Plus tomorrow there will be a public hearing in Adelaide which again the Firies Union will be appearing at: 


Quote:[Image: D2AVqqXU0AUy4JR.jpg]

For those interested tune in tomorrow here: https://www.aph.gov.au/News_and_Events/W...tent-panel


MTF...P2  Tongue
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