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First this week’s SBGMushrooms v Bubble Heads (Round 27). 

With a vengeance; but, before the chickens came the eggs and them as laid them. The notion of an essential ‘public service’ becoming a profit centre, detached from government (ministerial) responsibility and control is a great idea; for the government. But to the public and business, its about as much use as – (pick your favourite idiom). I wonder if both the business and public sectors realise just how essential Air Traffic Control (ATC) is to the economy? Yep, sure it is a ‘safety’ essential, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. The existing ‘system’ is a win-win for the government coffers; there’s even a benefit in every delayed flight; one more coffee – a thousand times a day; revenue generated through tax. So, why would ‘government’ be remotely interested in anything else, other than a system which generates so much, without being even remotely responsible for it? The airlines are not overly concerned; the price of travel just increases and the tax paying traveller must either take the bus, train or drive – and just put up and pay up for it all. Cynical and self serving. But, I digress. We seem to have several large Elephants in the cloistered rooms:-

“The zoo lost its elephant again. It never forgets where to go. I found it in the middle of my room.”

There are three elements involved in this piece of alchemy; each of which could, if treated ‘honestly’ relieve much of the burden imposed on the travelling public, the air operators;and, improve the percentage ‘safety’ margins, a much needed improvement. It would take about ten pages to spell it all out; all fully supportable; but here we encounter the elements supporting the zero improvement/ change outlook for the industry, which impacts on the ever weary traveller:-

“Alchemy is the art that separates what is useful from what is not by transforming it into its ultimate matter and essence”.

Element 1. The government; or rather the well paid bubble dwellers who continue to treat Senators like Mushrooms. There’s no point in my elaborating or labouring this road block. Watch any of the video recordings on the ‘You-Tube – channel – HERE -. Note the one or two Mushrooms trying to find some daylight and an army of Bull Shit shovelers laying on like possessed Stokers on the Titanic. There is at least a decade of this ‘art house’ available on video. Talk about a pen knife to a gun fight – not once have the Mushrooms scored any sort of a goal. let alone brought in the changes desperately needed by travellers and industry. Mushrooms Nil – Bubble Crew 147.

Element 2. ICAO compliance. Why? bellows a Mushroom “are we not fully ICAO compliant”?  – “Oh; but we are Senator; we have, for example over 3000 registered differences to Annex 14 and the rest; – registering those difference ‘makes us’ compliant with the ICAO; so, Sod off and boil your bottom”. (Bubble Head shuffles paper and winks at nearest neighbour).  Mushroom retires in confusion; game, set and match.

Element 3. Money – A Mark a Yen a Buck or a Pound etc.

Aye; filthy Lucre; the root of much that is evil and underpins many of the squabbles we see in the public arena. A classic case is about to garner some public sympathy, if not huge support; and, rightly so. The cost to the tax paying travelling public for air traffic services is not an insignificance number. As matters stand; the cost to airlines in additional operating costs due to a lack of ATC services is significant. These additional hours operated and the delays imposed cost the operators a packet. Maintenance schedules only have time to do the bare minimum, small defects are differed until there are personnel, time and parts available; flight crew rosters are impacted etc. etc. The lack of a fully crewed and functioning ATC system is having an impact across the board; safety, efficiency and ‘the bottom line’ all reflect this. But, the Bubble Head in charge is earning about a Million a year for making an utter balls up of the system; managed to protect himself and his KPI but will not meet the modest increases in pay for the ATCO who work more hours in overtime a month than the Halfwit has in a year – they now have to ‘fight’ for their pay rise. Not him; just a cruise through indexing and KPI and etc inure this gesticulating speaker of Double Dutch from the harsh realities of life at the coal face. We wish Civil Air and the boys and girls at the consuls Bon Chance; and, fortune favours the bold.

“Did not learned men, too, hold, till within the last twenty-five years, that a flying dragon was an impossible monster? And do we not now know that there are hundreds of them found fossil up and down the world? People call them Pterodactyls: but that is only because they are ashamed to call them flying dragons, after denying so long that flying dragons could exist.”

Aye well; the battle continues, so reminiscent of Monty Pythons sketch of ‘King Arthur’  and the French guards at the castle walls. It would be great to get the public behind the ATC they would benefit most; alas the the Bubble defence system built at tax payer expense is formidable; and much like Monty Python; they have a sacrificial cow ‘Betsy’ to sling over walls to confound their foes. Pay good money to see that.

The ‘Pup’ is a pocket rocket with serious stamina; big dog flat out this morning and he can shift; Pup paced along side, got bored and turned on the after burn; Wow; back to the stable; everyone else at a gentle, sedate pace – Pup beat us home by five minutes and never even looked like being out of puff. At least he had the good manners to leave the sausage rolls left on the bench for our morning tea; enough ramble. Beer o’clock is nigh, ’tis a pleasant evening and P7 is coming up the drive. Best crack on and pull a couple of pints. find the matches and cigars. Outdoors tonight seems appropriate. 


Next from Snippets: April Fool – Courtesy of MakeItHappenCaptain, via the UP

Then from the Dicky King and Mount NCN threads: Mushrooms v Bubble Heads (Round 28). & ICAO compliance: The Exemplar (Singapore) vs the Normalised Deviant (Australia) &ICAO compliance: Normalised Deviant (Australia) – TICK TOCK!! FAA (IASA) audit?? 

And then from BITN & the AVMAD threads: ATCOs threaten 1st strike in 22 years?? & CVDPA Update | Colour Vision Testing (AOCVA) Consultation


Finally from ‘Closing Safety Loops’ and ‘For want of a nail’: Mangalore inquest and Vic Coroner Aviation inquests? &Mangalore midair Coroner inquest update??AMSA spillover hearing: 25/03/24

MTF…P2 🙄