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Recommendation issued to: AirServices Australia

Recommendation details
Output No: R19980161
Date issued: 18 August 1998
Safety action status:
Background:

See report B98/90 -'Systemic investigation into factors underlying air safety occurrences in Sydney Terminal Area airspace'.

Output text

The Bureau of Air Safety Investigation recommends that Airservices Australia review the relationship between the Sydney Safety and Quality Management section and the Sydney Terminal Control Unit with a view to developing procedures to improve the effectiveness of the safety management system, thus contributing to the overall "safety health" of Sydney Terminal Control Unit operations.

Initial response
Date issued: 28 August 1998
Response from: AirServices Australia
Action status: Open
Response text:

I refer to your letter of 14 August 1998 concerning the Bureau of Air Safety Investigation (BASI) report on operations in the Sydney terminal airspace area (Investigation Report B98/90).

The report was initially considered by the Board Safety and Environment Committee on 14 August 1998, the day the report was formally issued by Government. Subsequently, the BASI report was considered at the full Board Meeting, held on 21 August 1998.

The Board and Management of Airservices are affording priority consideration to the BASI recommendations and findings. We will work closely with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority in assessing the actions necessary to address the recommendations and findings of the BASI report.

Further correspondence
Date issued: 16 November 1998
Response from: AirServices Australia
Response status: Monitor
Response text:

RE: BASI INVESTIGATION OF SYSTEMIC SAFETY ISSUES AT SYDNEY

I am writing in response to the BASI report on the Investigation of Systemic Safety Issues at Sydney Airport.

The attached response provides details on Airservices ongoing actions to address the recommendations. Airservices is working closely with CASA to resolve the issues of mutual concern.

I must stress that this process is being approached with caution and planning to ensure minimal disruption to the safe and efficient operations of Sydney Airport.

Airservices will provide you with further reports on progress in due course.

R980161 Airservices Australia review the relationship between Sydney Safety and Quality Management Branch and the Sydney WU with a view to developing procedures to improve the effectiveness of the safety management system, thus contributing to the overall "safety health" of Sydney WU operations.

The review of Sydney Management identified in R980157 above has determined that a new position, Quality Manager, be created to manage the Sydney Operations Safety Management programme. The appointee to this position will liaise closely with the Sydney Branch of Safety and Quality Management.

ATSB response:

The Bureau wrote to Airservices Australia on 4 January 1999 as follows:

R980161 - Airservices Australia review the relationship between the Sydney Safety and Quality Management Branch and the Sydney Terminal Control Unit with a view to Developing procedures to improve the effectiveness of the safety management system, thus contributing to the overall 'safety health' of Sydney TCU operations.

Response classification: OPEN

The Bureau does not consider that this response adequately addresses the recommendation. Simply creating a new position may not solve the perceived problems referred to in the report. The Bureau requests that Airservices provide further explanation relating to any proposed changes to policies, procedures or any other relevant initiatives, likely to ensure that the safety management system is operated more effectively within the Sydney TCU.


Further correspondence
Date issued: 19 July 1999
Response from: AirServices Australia
Response status: Closed - Accepted
Response text:

I am writing to provide a response to the BASI Systemic Review of Airservices' operations at Sydney Airport and subsequent investigations which have resulted in recommendations correlated with that review.
Airservices has previously responded to the following recommendations and has been advised that BASI has accepted those responses and closed off any further action:

R980157
R980160
R980163

The following is a precis of the action Airservices is undertaking in response to the remaining outstanding recommendations:

"R980161
Airservices Australia review the relationship between the Sydney Safety and Quality Management Branch and the Sydney Terminal Control Unit with a view to developing procedures to improve the effectiveness of the safety management system, thus contributing to the overall "safety health" of Sydney TCU operations."

A Quality Manager is now in place in Sydney Operations and the position is responsible for the Safety and Quality Program for Sydney Operations. Initiatives taken are also addressed in our response to BASI Recommendation R9801156. A significant achievement has been the establishment of a Safety Panel whose major task is to review and direct action on recommendations resulting from investigations and is chaired by the Quality Manager.

Sydney Operations has also taken the initiative to build a stronger relationship with Airservices' Directorate of Safety and Standards (DSS). This is demonstrated by the invitation to the local DSS, Safety Manager to participate in the Safety Panel. There is also a daily flow of information between the Quality Manager and DSS both in subject matter specifically affecting Sydney Operations and on a more general safety note. This can be shown by the flow of information passed to Sydney Operations on TAAATS performance at other locations which could impact Sydney Operations.

At the same time DSS is conscientiously focussing on becoming a more service-orientated directorate. The Quality Manager is working closely with DSS in Canberra to improve processes and information flow between both parties e.g. "The Release of Safety Related Information" in which corporate has sort feedback from the Sydney Operations Quality Manager.

Airservices have further emphasised safety by both the conduct and planned provision of identified safety management training covering Legal Obligations, the Airservices Safety Management System and Safety Case Workshops, curriculum approved by DSS.

Additionally, Sydney Operations is developing its Sydney Intranet Web-site which will assist the staff in quickly viewing among other information Procedures, Local and Management Instructions through the Airservices AVNET.

As mentioned in response to R980156 we are planning to review and update all existing processes generated by Sydney Operations in support of its operational activities or in support of corporate policies and procedural changes.

Note: This is considered an ongoing task for the organisation as it matures in line with corporate initiatives and Business Transformation. This approach can be demonstrated by the re-design of the change process to produce a clearer approval process.

ATSB response:

The following correspondence was forwarded to Airservices Australia on 17 December 1999:

Thank you for your response, dated 9 June 1999, in which you detailed action taken in response to recommendations related to the systemic investigation of factors underlying air safety occurrences in Sydney terminal airspace. The following comment on each response to the recommendations is provided for clarification.


R19980161 - The Bureau of Air Safety Investigation recommends that Airservices Australia review the relationship between the Sydney Safety and Quality Management section and the Sydney Terminal Control Unit with a view to developing procedures to improve the effectiveness of the safety management system, thus contributing to the overall "safety health " of Sydney Terminal Control Unit operations.

Response classification - CLOSED - ACCEPTED

The Bureau proposes to monitor the implementation and effect of the initiatives outlined in the Airservices response. In the mean time, please confirm whether the recently implemented Safety Panel includes line controllers.

Further correspondence
Date issued: 04 February 2000
Response from: AirServices Australia
Response status: Closed - Accepted
Response text:

ATSB response is noted.

Line controllers may attend the Panel meeting and are encouraged to do so. More often they attend for a specific purpose eg. the most knowledgeable person about a particular subject.

 
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Last update 01 April 2011