Interim Recommendation IR20060009

Interim Recommendation issued to: Australian Defence Force

Recommendation details
Output No: IR20060009
Date issued: 16 December 1999
Safety action status:
Background: Why this Interim Recommendation was developed

Output text

Interim Recommendation

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (formerly BASI) recommends that the Australian Defence Force review Inflight Emergency Response (IFER) training for air traffic services staff responsible for the provision of services to civil aircraft.

Initial response
Date issued: 01 March 2000
Response from: Australian Defence Force
Action status: Closed - Accepted
Response text:

I have ordered a review of IFER training, procedures and practices within Defence. The review which is being conducted by the Directorate of Flying Safety (DFS-ADF), will involve all operational ATC elements, our trainimng system and ATC rating and checking mechanisms. Further action will be contingent on any recommendations flowing from this review and the associated report, due for completion by 29 February 2000."

ATSB Note: On 7 April, CAF advised (by phone) that:

In response to the ATSB Interim Recommendation IR19990190, a review of IFER training within Defence has been completed and the implementation of recommendations is underway.

Further correspondence
Date issued: 12 September 2000
Response from: Australian Defence Force
Response status: Closed - Accepted
Response text:

1. I am writing to advise you of the progress of implementation of the recommendations arising from the Defence IFER policy and procedures review. This advice is in response to a verbal request from your office, and to assist in the closure of the final report into Air Safety Occurrence Report 199904842.

2. The following actions have been taken:

a. The RAAF School of Air Traffic Control has incorporated 'Duty of Care' into all courses.

b. Operational evaluations are conducted at every ATC unit by a Headquarters No 41 Wing standardisation team. This team now specifically assesses controllers' theory knowledge of IFER (closed book oral examination), and tests each approach-rated controller in an IFER scenario during evaluation. Every ATC unit has conducted IFER briefs, raising IFER awareness significantly. All controllers checked so far by the standardisation team have demonstrated an appropriate level of knowledge.

c. Dedicated Senior Training Officer (STO) positions have recently been established for each ATC unit. Unfortunately, current staffing levels will dictate STO duties continue to be a secondary appointment for some time.

d. Every endeavour is being made to allow nominated STOs adequate time to establish/maintain quality programs.

e. A temporary instruction has been forwarded to all units requiring STO qualification to include completion of the RAAF Training Development Officer Course. A formal amendment to AAP 8132.003 is currently being drafted.

f. Standard training guides for each control element are in the process of being developed.

g. Development of a formal Supervisor Course is under way and is expected to be completed in November 2000.

h. All operational controllers have received instruction on Chapter 11 of the Airservices IFER training manual.

i. The Manual of Air Traffic Services (MATS) amendment protocol has been amended to require Air Force Headquarters sign-off of all amendments.

j. A revised IFER Checklist has been completed and will shortly be distributed following printing.

k. A draft civil/military IFER manual has been developed and is under editorial review by both Airservices Australia and Defence.

Further correspondence
Date issued: 19 May 2000
Response from: Australian Defence Force
Response status: Closed - Accepted
Response text:

...the review concluded that Defence IFER management and training is capable of improvement. Consequently, the following recommendations have been endorsed:

a. The School of Air Traffic Control (SATC) is to introduce "Duty of Care" guidance to all ATC training, as well as additional IFER training scenarios into simulator sequences.

b. No 41 Wing, with the assistance of SATC, is to develop core ATC field training requirements to ensure all controllers are receiving comprehensive initial IFER training and appropriate annual training.

c. No 41 Wing, is to establish dedicated Senior Training Officer (STO) positions within ATC flights.

d. Pending the resolution of issues associated with establishing the extra positions needed across Air Force to handle the Senior Training Officer role, No 41 Wing is to ensure that incumbent STOs are provided adequate time to establish/maintain quality training programs.

e. The Manual of Air Traffic Organisation and Administration (AAP 8132.003) is to be amended to require that all STOs complete the RAAF Training Development Officer Course. No 41 Wing is to cycle all current STOs through this course.

f. SATC, in consultation with No 41 Wing, is to develop and maintain a standard ATC Flight Training Guide. This Guide is to form the basis for individual base training guides, modified as necessary by the STO to suit local conditions.

g. SATC, in consultation with No 41 Wing, is to develop a formal Supervisors Course that includes as a minimum, IFER and team/crew resource management instruction.

h. No 41 Wing is to ensure that all operational controllers have received adequate instruction on Chapter 11 of the Airservices IFER Training Manual, which is being used as an interim guide.

i. The Air Force Headquarters Deputy Director-Air Traffic Services is to ensure that amendment processes for the Manual of Air Traffic Services meet Defence requirements.

j. No 41 Wing is to sponsor the development of an IFER manual and Checklist. The initial recommendation was that the publication could be either Defence-only or joint civil/military. Subsequent to Defence approaching Airservices, agreement has been reached to develop a joint manual that will also include military-specific emergencies."

k. The Air Force Headquarters Deputy Director - Air Traffic Services is to raise a request for National JETSCARE information to be included in the appropriate Defence publications. Defence was unaware of the JETSCARE contact and associated procedures.

As you can appreciate, not all of the recommendations are specific to IFER. This is because the review terms of reference allowed for wide-ranging coverage of safety issues related to ATC training and operation. While the prime focus was to address the ATSB Interim Recommendation, Defence decided to give the review team a brief that allowed discretion to examine other safety related issues. Consequently, some of the recommendations address broader organisational matters than just the issue of IFER management.

The recommendations have either been implemented or are in the process of being actioned, given that some tasks lend themselves to early completion while others, such as the Manual, require longer lead times. Notwithstanding, I have directed that all actions be completed by 30 June 2000 with formal notification to this Headquarters.

Last update 05 April 2012