Tom McRoberts, President of the organisation that represents Australian Air Traffic Controllers (ATC), Civil Air, updated delegates and kiwi colleagues at the 2017 Conference on the current state of air traffic control in Australia.
Typically, the issues facing Australian counterparts are common to those that have been discussed at conferences in New Zealand and Europe, McRoberts said.
However, he reported that major employer Airservices Australia had recently gone through significant redundancy proceedings. Earlier this year, following the cost-cutting program known as Accelerate, Airservices Australia had a net loss of more than 700 staff across the country.
McRoberts said the loss had undermined, in Civil Air’s op style="background: white none repeat scroll 0% 0%; margin: 0cm 0cm 6pt;"><spaninion,></spaninion,>
Also discussed was the introduction of the ground based augmentation system (GBAS) - a system that provides differential corrections and integrity monitoring of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). To accommodate the system required airspace changes and infrastructure upgrades to various major Australian airports.
Significantly, this also added to further delays to the Implementation of Australia’s pioneering OneSky civil-military air traffic management system (CMATS) which was reported in March this year to have slipped at least two years as Airservices Australia, the Department of Defence and multi-national electronic provider Thales finalised plans for the complex programme.
To close, McRoberts explained that the phrase “affordable safety” has entered the discussion around RPAS regulation, which is a further concern to the organisation.