Aviation safety issues and actions

Controller training for black ‘not concerned’ track awareness

Issue number: AO-2012-132-SI-01
Who it affects: All Airservices Australia en route air traffic controllers providing surveillance services
Issue owner: Airservices Australia
Transport function: Aviation: Airspace management
Background: Investigation Report AO-2012-132
Issue release date: 20 March 2015
Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Issue status justification:

The ATSB is satisfied that the safety action, when fully implemented, will reduce the risk associated with this safety issue.

Safety issue description

Controllers were routinely exposed to ‘not concerned’ radar tracks that were generally inconsequential in the en route environment, leading to a high level of expectancy that such tracks were not relevant for aircraft separation purposes. Training did not emphasise the importance of scanning ‘not concerned’ radar tracks in jurisdiction airspace.

Proactive Action

Action number: AO-2012-132-NSA-047
Action organisation: Airservices Australia
Date: 12 February 2015
Action status: Closed

In response to the occurrence, Airservices has amended its air traffic controller Abinitio training exercises to include ‘not concerned’ (black) track scenarios to ensure that training emphasised the importance of scanning ‘not concerned’ radar tracks. The scenarios will also be included in operational simulation training where appropriate.

Furthermore, Airservices advises that the safety issue (AO-2012-132-SI-01) will be used to raise awareness of black tracks amongst air traffic control staff.

Last update 20 March 2015