I am writing in response to the above report [BO/200002379],
which relates to an incident involving an A320 Airbus, VH-HYX, and
a Boeing 767, VH-OGS, which occurred 222km SSE of Alice Springs on
9 June 2000. I refer also to my letter of 30 January 2001 in which
I responded to the draft Aviation Occurrence Brief on this incident
and Interim Recommendation R20000285, which has been issued as
In the above letter, I stated that Airservices essentially agreed
with the factual findings of the report, however I must point out
that the Airservices investigation did not find any reason to
indicate that the controller was fatigued. In fact the Airservices
investigation report states at section 2.3 Personnel, that the
controller "seemed bright and cheerful prior to sitting at the
Whilst we do not accept there is any real evidence that fatigue
necessarily contributed to this incident I must point out that
Airservices has coincidentally instigated development of a fatigue
management program aimed at assisting controllers and management in
identifying and managing fatigue in the workplace.
Airservices stands by its statements regarding Recommendation
R20000285 which are reiterated below for your information.
The Civil Aviation Regulations clearly state that the onus is on
the officer to ensure that they must not exercise the privileges of
an air traffic controller licence if they are not fit in accordance
with those Regulations:
CAR 105 Medical unfitness of holder of licence
"Where a person, being:
(a) the holder of an air traffic control licence.... suffers an
incapacity..... that is likely to impair his or her efficiency in
performing the duties...... he or she shall not perform those
CAR 6.16A Holder of medical certificate: impaired efficiency due to
"The holder of a medical certificate must not do an act authorised
by the ....... licence to which the certificate relates while.....
impaired to any extent by an illness or injury, no matter how
To ensure that this responsibility is clearly understood by all
personnel, Airservices intends to affix a statement to this effect
to air traffic control licences and to handover/takeover sheets.
Air traffic controllers will be required to attest to their fitness
at the commencement of each shift.
Airservices' Directorate of Safety and Environment Assurance now
assesses air traffic control rosters against the Centre for Fatigue
Research "Fatigue Analyser" to identify any rosters which in
themselves may induce fatigue. We are also looking at other fatigue
analysis tools to further assess this issue.
Notwithstanding that the onus is on operational personnel,
Airservices has reminded line managers and Team Leaders of their
duty of care responsibility to monitor the wellbeing of their staff
and to ensure, to the extent possible, that staff are fit for
The Civil ATS Operations Administration Manual states at Page 5-23
under the heading Team Leader/Line ManagerlOR Manager
"When advised..... and doubt exists about the fitness of a person
to work, that person must be stood down from operational
Airservices considers that it already has in place measures to
ensure, to the extent possible, that management are aware of and
respond to instances in which officers are not fit for duty. These
measures have been reviewed as a result of this incident.
As Airservices has already conducted the proposed review and more,
we consider that the recommendation is no longer applicable.