Aviation safety issues and actions
Safety Advisory Notice issued to: Airservices Australia
|Date issued:||25 August 1997|
|Safety action status:||Closed|
Airservices Australia should note the safety deficiency detailed in this report and take appropriate action.
|Date issued:||25 November 1997|
|Response from:||AirServices Australia|
I am writing in response to your Safety Advisory Notice on Occurrence 9601487.
Airservices has previously responded at length on this issue and I note that BASI has only made minor changes to the original draft occurrence report.
I must state again that it is Airservices' considered opinion that "training" or the presence of a trainee in the ADC position prior to the incident had little material effect upon the outcome.
In support of this position, the following circumstances should be noted:
- the incident occurred approximately 5 minutes after the trainee was removed by the training officer;
- the training officer removed the trainee from the "hot seat" as he was becoming overloaded, an indication that the training officer was aware of the developing traffic picture;
- the training officer, a rated ADC with a great deal of experience in this position, had ample time to assess and rectify any irregularities in the traffic disposition or display.
Statements in the original investigation report, that the ADC was required to constantly change the radar range and had difficulty in maintaining the traffic picture due to facility problems are strongly disputed.
These contentions are not supported by Airservices' own investigations and are contrary to the evidence of current and past practice. This point was made in my previous response.
With regard to the trainee, the following points are made again:
- the trainee was an ATC with at least 15 years experience in control towers. This experience included GAAP, outstation and Perth Towers;
- this was the second period of training for a Perth ADC rating for this officer. He had already experienced the procedures the report claims he did not understand on his previous attempt;
- the trainee was well advanced in the training program on this attempt and as such it is even more doubtful that any lack of preparatory training was a contributory factor.
Not withstanding the above, Airservices accepts that there may have been deficiencies in the training program provided to officers attempting control tower training in the past.
ATS management in Perth has introduced a program of preparatory training for officers attempting a Tower conversion.
In addition, the ATS Operational Training Unit has developed a formalised program for ab-initio and conversion training to Tower ratings which includes to the extent possible by the availability of resources, use of the RAAF East Sale Tower simulator.