Aviation safety issues and actions

CADAS risk assessment and review process

Issue number: AO-2012-131-SI-03
Who it affects: All Darwin Approach Supervisor, Approach and Planner rated Joint Battlefield Airspace Controllers
Issue owner: Department of Defence
Transport function: Aviation: Other
Background: Investigation Report AO-2012-131
Issue release date: 02 October 2014
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

The Department of Defence’s risk assessment and review processes for the implementation of the Comsoft Aeronautical Data Access System and removal of the flight data position did not effectively identify or manage the risks associated with the resulting increased workload in the Darwin Approach environment, in particular with regard to the Planner position.

Proactive Action

Action number: AO-2012-131-NSA-035
Action organisation: Department of Defence
Date: 02 October 2014
Action status: Closed

On 31 July 2014, the Department of Defence (DoD) advised the ATSB that in September 2013 they conducted a review of the Comsoft Aeronautical Data Access System and its associated impact on the Planner role. A number of recommendations were made as a result of that review process. The DoD advised the ATSB that:

The review has highlighted that the implementation of CADAS was lacking in overarching guidance from higher command. It also explained that the intention was for the Flight Data Operators (FDO) to continue providing a service while utilising the CADAS; it was purely coincidental that the FDO was removed by their parent command (41WG) [41 Wing] at the same time that the CADAS was installed. 44WG was left with no option but to include the duties of the then vacant FDO position within the PLN function.

One of the recommendations from this review was to explore the feasibility of employing FDOs at a number of our busier bases. Late in 2013, 44WG [44 Wing] assessed that those bases would be Amberley, Darwin and Williamtown, with scope to include other bases in the future. FDO personnel were selected from within Air Force and a staggered posting rotation began on 13 January 14. Darwin currently has one dedicated FDO in location with a second arriving on 4 August 14.

Last update 02 March 2016