More overt displays of dissatisfaction with the current management of Airservices Australia continue to be leaked to the media. The following contribution from todays issue of crikey.com does not spare CASA either, probably aimed at their decision / indecision on the night shift staffing...
Readers of other sections of this website will have learnt that CASA are now not willing to put their decisions in writing. An explanation as to why exactly that might be has been sought by Civil Air.
Air Traffic Control Issues: Call me yet-another-grumpy-controller if you wish, but is it any wonder? Common amongst our breed is the incredulity at the lack of interest amongst the mainstream media (Crikey excepted of course) in the chaos in our skies and ATC centres. We all know the FAA in the USA is approaching a real crisis point with their staffing, but the fact that Australian ATC management have not learnt anything from their mistakes - indeed they seem to be imitating it - is very frustrating - and scary. Sick leave is rising - a new trend, and this is indicative of plummeting morale, a result of poor - or as some suggest - non-existent leadership when it is needed most from the senior Canberra ATC management.
There was a real suspicion that the most senior management - on close to $1M packages - were being "protected" from their underlings as to the extent of the dire situation that the air traffic system is nearing. But now there is a realisation that this is not the case - that they are in fact 100% informed - and 100% complicit. This is frankly even more frightening - that very senior public servants are willing to "carry" this professional risk.
When they fail in these positions, the effect is spectacular - and tragic. What is not a surprise is that CASA are giving the diagonal nod to the situation. They simply have no one of sufficient experience or technical ability to assess the practices being implemented. It has been suggested that during an election campaign, this is the time to get the spotlight shone upon these issues - but the mainstream media is nowhere to be seen.
Any wonder that the experienced front line professional air traffic controllers who remain in this job, are either retiring as quickly as they can afford to, looking overseas for a new job (they are in a high demand profession), or joining the growing list of those taking some genuine stressed-out sick leave.