Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2004 7:33 am

ATC Union In Australia

Fri Jul 02, 2004 7:52 am

A few months back, CASA, the aviation regulatory body in Australia, made significant changes to the airspace regulations, which essentially brings us much closer to the American model. The most significant change, and the one that most pertinent to this topic, is that fewer ATC staff will be required to monitor radio frequencies for GA traffic in CTAs.

There has been a great deal of publicity in the Australian media over this, mostly because the unions have declared the new regulations to be completely unsafe and a recipe for disaster. The unions representatives have been feeding a steady stream of "horror stories" about near-misses and the potential for collisions. Invectives have flown in both directions and a senior official was quoted as saying GA pilots were "unprofessional" and shouldn't be allowed in CTA space.

The most highly reported incident was between a Virgin Airlines flight and a GA flight in Queensland where a near miss -- 8NM at the same FL -- occurred just weeks after the introduction of the new airspace regulations.

A recent article in "Flying" -- an Australian magazine -- has a detailed account from the GA pilot involved who says he was directed to that flight level by ATC and deliberately directed to a course which would result in the near miss. The article seems to imply that ATC unions -- and the heavily unionised Virgin Airlines -- are acting to manufacture incidents to support their cause to reverse the airspace regs.

Any thoughts about the idea that unions might be willing to put people at risk, just to prove a point?
Posts: 397
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2003 11:38 am

RE: ATC Union In Australia

Fri Jul 02, 2004 1:03 pm

ATC purposely engineering a near-miss?

There is no way an Air Traffic Controller would knowingly create a hazardous situation to prove some kind of point.