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Pressure mounts on #asa with poor operating procedures #atsb?? involvement

Pressure mounts on #asa with poor operating procedures and what of #atsb?? involvement, much less #casa

That #asa cannot get anything right is no surprise, but that the matters are becoming public is a real change.

The Senators certainly on the 18th August 2015 have serious reservations as to how this “..public body…” is being run from a fiscal point of view, much less than from an operational one, which is exposed here.

Where is the #atsb in this?

  • Has there been any correspondence?
  • Is a report being generated?;
  • Has there been a repcon??;
  • What is the concerns of the “majors”??
  • Puts real doubt on the use of ADSB technology

Where is #casa in this?

  • Has there been any correspondence?
  • Is there a safety case raised?;
  • Has the safety case been re-assessed??;
  • What is #casa ging to do??
  • Puts real doubt on the use of ADSB technology and #casa approval to #asa

What did #asa say about this on introduction?

From a report by Australian Aviation [June 25th 2010]:

Airservices Australia says that safety in the skies over Tasmania has increased with the commissioning of Australia’s first Wide Area Multilateration (WAM) radar system, which provides enhanced en route surveillance of air traffic across Tasmania at Launceston Airport and down to the surface at Hobart for the first time.

The $6 million system uses 14 dispersed antenna ground stations to determine an aircraft’s position without the need for a traditional rotating radar through the use of multilateration and ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast) technologies.

“The provision of precise aircraft position and identification information will allow air traffic controllers to track aircraft in controlled airspace where radar coverage hasn’t previously been possible,” said Airservices’s general manager technology & asset services Alastair Hodgson.

“Additionally, for the first time in Tasmania ADS-B receiver functionality will provide coverage over most of Tasmania and into Bass Strait.”

Matthew Denholm comments below and the earlier July 6th report by Ean Higgins is attached as well.


Tasmania air radar system failed 22 times in a month

The Australian
August 24, 2015 12:00AM

Matthew Denholm
Tasmania Correspondent
Hobart
https://plus.google.com/100836856169595508198

Tasmania’s $6 million air radar system has failed up to 22 times in a month, prompting demands for an ­inquiry.

Veteran aviator Dick Smith said yesterday an independent probe was needed to find out why the TASWAM system appeared to have been a costly failure.

Introduced in 2010 after several near misses, the Tasmania Wide Area Multilateration system uses signals received by 14 ground ­stations to triangulate aircraft ­positions.

Pilots, including Mr Smith, say the system should — and was meant to — provide radar control to guide planes to the ground at Hobart and Launceston airports.

Instead, below 8500 feet it is used only as a “situational awareness” tool by tower-based air traffic controllers, who rely on radio contact with pilots and visual ­observations to keep planes apart.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s online database shows more than 90 failures in the TASWAM system between its introduction in mid-2010 and May 2013. Although no failures appear since then, Airservices Australia suggested yesterday this was likely to be because of an administrative problem and that more failures were likely to be occurring.

Mr Smith, a former Civil Aviation Safety Authority chairman, said an inquiry had to determine who to blame for the $6m system failing to deliver reliable radar guidance to the ground.

“One or two reports of a system failure may not be a safety concern, but when you get more than 90 that is an unbelievable safety issue because it shows that the system is not working,” he said.

A planned CASA review of Hobart and Launceston airspace was revealed last month, after The Australian ran a series of articles about TASWAM’s limitations and pilots’ frustrations at the lack of full radar control.

However, Mr Smith and other pilots are sceptical a review will result in major change. Airservices failed to implement a 2010 CASA recommendation for radar control to low altitude in Tasmania.

Mr Smith said he did not trust the agencies to find out why TASWAM had failed. “There has been a cover-up; the inquiry must be ­independent,” he said.

He called on Airservices to say whether the reports had ceased in May 2013 because management had directed air traffic controllers to stop lodging the paperwork.

Airservices spokesman Rob Walker denied this, suggesting failures still were reported but inexplicably did not appear online.

He said the number of failures was within a “normal range” and reports generally referred to temporary outages involving one of 14 ground stations, rather than a complete system-wide failure.

He said the most significant month was March 2012, when 22 outages were recorded.

“Most months it’s one to three (failures) … across the 14 stations,” he said. “To have one or two out­ages a month, and some months with no outages, would be within the normal range of operational serviceability and reliability for any of our surveillance equipment … around Australia.”

He said none of the failures was judged by the safety ­bureau as warranting investigation and insisted Tasmanian airspace was safe and well managed. Of 26 airspace incidents in Tasmania since 2010, only seven had related to air traffic control and none was linked to radar surveillance. Airservices contests the claim TASWAM was intended to provide radar control to the ground.

Reader comments on this site are moderated before publication to promote lively and civil debate. We encourage your comments but submitting one does not guarantee publication. We publish hundreds of comments daily, and if a comment is rejected it is likely because it does not meet with our comment guidelines, which you can read here. No correspondence will be entered into if a comment is declined.

john 3 hours ago

Any safety system that does not have a built-in redundancy is a waste of maoney and is dangerous. Built-in redundancy is a back-up system and sometimes a back-up to the back-up system.

Cuttiing costs can be fatal.


 

Air scare issue escalated: Rene Hidding writes to Deputy Prime Minister over Tassie safety failings

Aviator Dick Smith says he has warned Tasmania about its aviation safety.

Aviator Dick Smith says he has warned Tasmania about its aviation safety.

INFRASTRUCTURE Minister Rene Hidding has written to Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss about Tasmanian air safety.

The Sunday Tasmanian yesterday revealed 27 breaches in the state’s airspace had been recorded since a monitoring system was installed in 2010.

Ten of the lapses involved commercial passenger jets, Australian Transport Safety Bureau data showed.

Aviator Dick Smith warned Tasmania risked a major accident if air traffic control flaws were not addressed.

Mr Smith, who said he was “horrified” by the findings, has warned Tasmania before about its aviation safety.

Mr Hidding said he had raised the issue with Mr Truss.

“I wrote to the Deputy Prime Minister in July to raise these concerns with him,” Mr Hidding said.

“I am pleased that this issue will be considered as a matter of priority by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.”

Labor leader Bryan Green also weighed in yesterday.

“We’d urge the Federal and State Governments to consider the comments made by Dick Smith very carefully,” Mr Green said.

“Mr Smith has a wealth of experience in aviation and his remarks should be taken seriously.

“We’ll be seeking a briefing on the safety concerns raised by Dick Smith.”

Controversy has dogged Tasmania’s $6 million multi-lateration system, considered better technology than convention radar, which was installed five years ago.

Critics said the system was not being used below 8500 feet, compromising safety on Hobart and Launceston routes.

Mr Smith said radar to ground level was essential in mountainous areas including Tasmania and he believed the state had been short-changed.

Tower controllers in Tasmania use a process called “procedural separation” involving radio and visual contact below 8500 feet, which Mr Smith said was a “1940s system”.


 

Tasmania gets WAM radar

June 25, 2010 by australianaviation.com.au

Airservices Australia says that safety in the skies over Tasmania has increased with the commissioning of Australia’s first Wide Area Multilateration (WAM) radar system, which provides enhanced en route surveillance of air traffic across Tasmania at Launceston Airport and down to the surface at Hobart for the first time.

The $6 million system uses 14 dispersed antenna ground stations to determine an aircraft’s position without the need for a traditional rotating radar through the use of multilateration and ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast) technologies.

“The provision of precise aircraft position and identification information will allow air traffic controllers to track aircraft in controlled airspace where radar coverage hasn’t previously been possible,” said Airservices’s general manager technology & asset services Alastair Hodgson.

“Additionally, for the first time in Tasmania ADS-B receiver functionality will provide coverage over most of Tasmania and into Bass Strait.”

The system has been operating for the past 12 months and running in parallel with a temporary transportable radar at Launceston. WAM provides a wider range of surveillance across the state than the partial coverage afforded by the radar. The transportable radar equipment will be redeployed from June 28 to support the refurbishment of air navigation surveillance at other airports.


 

Tasmanian pilots told to switch off $6m radar system

A multi-million-dollar, state-of-the-art navigation system installed by Airservices Australia in Tasmania still leaves pilots at the mercy of pre-radar, 1950s-era, air traffic control procedures which are considered inefficient and not as safe.

Aviation industry figures say the failure to use the system for radar-style surveillance approaches to Launceston and Hobart makes it a waste of money and makes those airports virtually unique among big Australian cities.

Some sources said Airservices had intended to use the system for surveillance approaches but was knocked back by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority because it was not reliable enough, while others said Airservices did not want to take on the air-traffic controllers union, which would resist such a move. Airservices has denied both these suggestions.

The Tasmania Wide Area Multilateration system, or TASWAM, was introduced after a near midair collision at Launceston between a Virgin Blue airliner and a light aircraft years ago.

After the near miss, CASA insisted on the installation of transportable radar at Launceston, while Airservices worked towards a long-term solution.

In 2006, Airservices announced TASWAM, which uses triangulation from radio transmitter ground stations to pinpoint aircraft through their transponders, and the system was made operational five years ago.

But rather than guide aircraft all the way to the runway, pilots are told as they descend through 7000 feet that they are no longer covered by radar-standard surveillance. Instead, they are required to switch to the local towers in Launceston and Hobart for procedural approaches.

Whereas under “radar certif­ied surveillance approaches” aircraft are directed by air traffic controllers using precise positioning on radar screens, procedural approaches require the controllers to rely on the pilots informing them of their positions.

Procedural separation is far less efficient because controllers have to allow much greater distance between aircraft, often about 20 nautical miles, rather than five miles under radar surveillance separation.

The president of the Australian Federation of Air Pilots, airline captain David Booth, said procedural separation meant it was more likely aircraft would exper­ience air-traffic delays in Tasmania.

While he insisted the procedural standard was entirely safe and equipment on modern airliners provided excellent and reliab­le situational awareness, he said “a radar environment would probably give you a higher level of safety”.

Captain Booth, who has been flying to Tasmania for more than a decade, said he understood TASWAM had been commissioned to introduce radar-­style air-traffic control in Tasmania, but “it never worked well enough for CASA to sign it off”.

A CASA spokesman said the authority had approved Air­services to use TASWAM above 7000 feet, but “the surveillance coverage below this altitude does not meet the coverage requirements to allow air-traffic control to apply surveillance procedures”.

When TASWAM was announced, media releases from Airservices and the manufacturers of the system, Sensis Corporation — which is now part of the Swedish Saab group — gave a clear impression that surveillance approaches were the objective, talking about “accurate coverage of 150m or better from the ground level”.

“Sensis WAM’s precise surveillance of aircraft enables air traffic controllers to implement five nautical miles of aircraft separation for safer, more efficient use of the airspace in a region that was previously controlled with procedural separation standards,” a Sensis press release said.

Asked the separation standard in Tasmania below 7000 feet, an Airservices spokesman said “in most cases, 20 nautical miles”.

However, Airservices said it had never intended to use TASWAM, which cost $6 million, for surveillance approaches, saying it had achieved the goal of “improved situational awareness for controllers”.

Saab spokesman Sebastian Carlsson declined to comment.

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