Aviation safety issues and actions

Long-range display effectiveness

Issue number: AO-2012-131-SI-04
Who it affects: All Darwin Approach 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 this safety action will, when fully implemented, satisfactorily address the safety issue.

Safety issue description

The Darwin Approach long-range display was a low resolution screen that presented air traffic control system information with reduced clarity and resulted in it having diminished effectiveness as a situation awareness tool.

Proactive Action

Action number: AO-2012-131-NSA-040
Action organisation: Department of Defence
Date: 01 October 2014
Action status: Closed

On 31 July 2014, the Department of Defence advised that:

44WG [44 Wing] agrees that the long-range display should not be used for the purpose of issuing control instructions, or for establishing separation standards. As described in the analysis there was some confusion amongst the controlling workforce as to the intended and appropriate use of the long-range display. In the interim, Darwin Flight has ensured that all controllers are aware of the operating limitations of the long-range display and this is detailed within the local Flight Standing Instructions.

44WG is considering one of two options regarding the use of the long-range display. Option one will be to incorporate a display that is ergonomically placed to ensure it is in a controller’s central visual field and is also of a display quality that meets the requirements to utilise it for controlling purposes. Option two is to remove the current long-range display and to adjust NT MATS SUPP coordination procedures to allow for radar hand-offs that occur within the range set on the APR [Approach] controllers’ SDD [situation data display].

Last update 20 July 2015