Airspace Safety: Air Traffic Control and Airline Operations in Australia


Background Paper 10 1997-98

Matthew L. James
Science, Technology, Environment and Resources Group
1 December 1997


Major Issues Summary


Airport Operations

The Australian Advanced Air Traffic System (TAAATS)

Airspace 2000

Airline Safety

If Things Go Wrong: Consumer Protection


Appendix: English Air Traffic Control Standards



Major Issues Summary

A series of near misses between large passenger jet aircraft over Australia highlights the critical importance of effective air traffic control systems and airspace management. However, at this very time, significant changes are occurring to both these sectors and not without controversy as to their implementation or administration. Aviation in Australia has a legacy of past administrative failures that impinge on flight safety.

Controlled airspace involves standardised procedures for aircraft departure and arrival at airports along with transit between them. Various types of navigation aids facilitate flights in crowded or isolated airspace and in or out of airports. However, as well as for airspace separation, standard procedures reflect noise abatement requirements and traffic needs.

In principle, flight regulations state that, in the event of high winds, noise abatement shall not be a determining factor in runway selection. However, pilots believe that a major aviation disaster is inevitable if authorities insist that noise levels dictate aircraft landing patterns. Chief pilots attribute our fatality free record to date for jet aircraft mainly to luck.

In recent years, there has been an increase in the frequency of incidents involving failure to comply with such standard procedures. Sydney Airport has the highest level of failure to comply type incidents among our airports. This breakdown in human 'factors' performance remains crucial, especially when combined with a lack of familiarity that may face foreign crews when they arrive after long haul flights. Standard English provides for air traffic control communications but is not necessarily adequate for crisis events.

Special operational procedures for cross runways at some airports further complicate matters. Such operations particularly apply under the Long Term Operating Plan for Sydney Airport (LTOPS), where a new scheme to streamline parallel runway operations (PARMS) still awaits completion. However, according to external bodies, the existing standard procedures do not as yet follow accepted worldwide practice. Given such uncertainty and the problems involving foreign arrivals, a potential for disaster exists. Australian airspace operation must match international practice.

The automation of Australia-wide flight control systems also awaits completion. The Australian Advanced Air Traffic control System (TAAATS) should significantly improve monitoring of flights and provide operational savings. When linked with the Future Air Navigation System under global development, further benefits may accrue.

However, automated systems also have the potential for intrinsic errors with aircraft electronics susceptible to cosmic rays and other influences. Pilots have found such computerised control systems sometimes either distracting or dangerous. As well, misunderstandings between air traffic controllers in countries adjacent to Australia have occurred while exchanging flight control from one region to the other.

Airspace 2000 is a modification to Australia's existing airways classification that provides for less control requirement and services for smaller aircraft especially in remote areas. The scheme directs more control to the busy corridor along the east coast. However, the sharing of airspace by small aircraft has brought criticism by domestic airlines and pilots. Now the proposal is in deferral for a year, with an interim coastal arrangement to provide an airspace classification scheme to meet international standards.

Pilot error remains the major cause of accidents and stress on the flight deck does not help in ensuring correct decisions, though proper training and some technical aids now assist. Clearly pilots must also be aware of new air traffic control procedures. However, airline industry economics may not necessarily guarantee the safe flight that consumers expect.

Ground damage is an under appreciated safety aspect. An aircraft full of fuel at the gate is akin to a bomb in a confined space. At Sydney Airport this year, a baggage trolley struck a fuel valve, allowing the release of fuel onto the tarmac to create an emergency situation. All facets of airline and airport operations must therefore incorporate safety management.

Various Australian laws provide for the safety of airline passengers. Airline liability and insurance is also specified by such legislation in conjunction with global conventions. Federal agencies administer the licensing of airline route operations and carrier competition. However, Australian airline passenger's rights appear somewhat limited when compared to those found in some other developed nations. Accident statistics appear impressive but do not reveal current trends. Consumers choosing airlines for travel remain unaware of aircraft maintenance and age, service quality and pilot safety experience.

The overall aim in airspace management must be to devise and operate a safe, efficient and cost-effective system. There must be no compromise of safety in order to meet noise path directions. The achievement of international standards should help overcome some unique aspects of Australian airspace delineation and help to avoid the risk of an aviation disaster.


Sydney Airport, 12 August 1991: Thai Airways DC10(1) with 185 people fails to pull up short, misses an Ansett A320(2) carrying 100 persons by 30m, and a Qantas B747(3) with 372.

Sydney Airport, 4 February 1995: Alitalia B747 takes off to the south with instructions to turn right at 270m, but instead turns left across the departure path of the parallel runway.

New South Wales, 4 May 1995: Qantas B737 with 100 people and British Airways B747-400 with 350 persons, at 10 000m miss each other by just 70m, due only to an alarm alert.

New South Wales, 5 July 1995: Ansett B737 with 70 passengers en-route from Brisbane to Melbourne vanishes from radar screens for 60 minutes due to an inadvertent crew action.

Sydney Airport, 25 August 1995: Air France B747 takes off to the south with instructions to turn right after takeoff, but banks left in the path of a Qantas 737 with 100 passengers.

Northern Territory, 27 August 1995: Qantas B737 and Qantas B747 placed on a collision course for five minutes, or about 150km, at 11 290m, before advised to change headings.

Sydney Airport, 20 September 1998: An international aircraft with 400 on-board misinterprets path advice and collides with another having 450 people at 1000m: all lost.

Whether or not the last accident or a similar one occurs, the preceding incidents are all on the record as real events, despite the lack of a fatality so far for Australian jet passenger aircraft. Australia has not had a major regular public transport airline accident since 1968(4). As a result of these and other events, the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) requires all major domestic airlines to fit airborne traffic alert and collision avoidance alarms. Similarly, Airservices Australia (ASA) has introduced changes to airspace (air routing) management and air traffic control procedures to improve safety.

The question is whether these actions are sufficient to prevent an incident say, before or during the Sydney Olympics, when world attention will focus on Australia. Imagine the cost to our growing tourist industry from such an horrific accident. It is a moot point as to whether Australia's major airlines are destined to have a passenger jet crash. Who then looks after the interest of the flying public? In the words of some consumer advocates:

So, is flying safe? That question is not easy to answer. Aviation safety is a complex and dynamic subject. The safety levels built into the system are always changing, always in flux. Change comes by degrees. Safety levels are not degraded in a day, but over years. And it often takes years to correct deficiencies.(5)

This paper concentrates on Air Traffic Control (ATC) and airspace safety in relation to the major changes occurring in that sector of aviation. The airline industry has a heavy baggage of confusing acronyms, some of which appear in the listing at the end of this paper, with an attempt at plain language interpretations. Admittedly, accidents due to ATC uncertainties involve a small number of overall events, but catastrophic accidents can nonetheless occur, such as the world's worst crash at the Canary Islands in 1977, when 575 died on the ground, when two Boeing 747 aircraft collided on a runway in fog. Other aspects of air safety such as aircraft systems or pilot training are not the main subject here, but rather the new 'Airspace 2000' delineation of the sky and the start-up of automatic ATC systems. Details of other air safety matters have received extensive review in Australia(6) and overseas(7). Note that the Australian Defence Force has its own ATC system.

Domestically, a number of different government agencies have involvement in airspace safety. Under the Air Services Act 1995, Airservices Australia (ASA) provides airspace management, air traffic control, navigation services and information, search and rescue and fire fighting, plus environmental obligations(8). ASA manages 1/9 of world airspace. Through the Civil Aviation Act 1988, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is responsible for safety and regulatory services(9). The Department of Transport (DOT) provides aviation policy advice while its Bureau of Air Safety Investigation (BASI) conducts accident investigation to advise on safety under the Air Navigation Act 1920(10). BASI utilises computerised analyses and wreckage reconstructions and simulations to help determine accident causes. Under the Federal Airports Corporation Act 1986, the Federal Airports Corporation (FAC) operates some airports, with others now privately owned under the Airports Act 1996. The Corporation provides management and consulting services(11). At the global level, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is the United Nations agency charged to reach international accord on world aviation issues. ICAO sets international safety standards to guide rules applying to members and airlines.

One aspect of ICAO work is Air Traffic Control, which is a collaborative safety system involving technologies such as radar and radio, and people such as pilots and air traffic controllers. ATC has, as its primary purpose, the prevention of collisions between aircraft in flight and also between aircraft and any obstructions at an airport(12). As well, it is concerned with promoting an efficient flow of air traffic which in turn supports the airline industry. Sometimes these two goals of safety and service can clash and compromise flights. Controlled airspace provides positive separation of traffic, particularly for high capacity, high-speed aircraft in high density areas. Latent failures in any system involving humans mean that the chances of a catastrophic mid-air collision are always greater than zero. The aviation industry and government must act to always minimise that chance.

Airport Operations

Due to variations in the density of air traffic and to the constraints imposed by weather conditions, ATC authorities apply more stringent control in some areas than in others. As a result, there are several different types of airspace, such as that found around busy airports with intensive control and other remote parts with uncontrolled airspace(13). The basic geographical division of airspace is designated by the boundaries of national flight information regions, which may also have sub-regions. General flight rules apply to all aircraft to cover conduct on matters of ground safety, collision avoidance, right of way, and aircraft navigation lights. At particularly busy airports, procedures exist to standardise departing and arriving routes such as Standard Instrument Departure (SID) and Standard Terminal Arrivals Routes (STAR) design. STARS and SIDS involve pilots following sky paths that separate airspace, with an advantage of pre-specified routes. Tower control units (TCU) with radar handle taxiing, take-off and landing operation.

The basic short-range navigation aid to be found at airports is the Very High Frequency Omni-directional Range radio (VOR) that transmits a radial pattern producing 360 separate tracks that pilots may use. Because stations only provide directional guidance, they usually link to distance measuring equipment (DME) to give an accurate position in terms of bearing and distance from the facility. On board computers now allow aircraft to fly an "offset" track so that it is unnecessary to overfly the actual station to be aware of position(14). Another radio aid is the non-directional beacon (NDB) that radiates a signal to an aircraft receiver to provide a bearing. A beacon serves as a route marker by radiating a pattern upwards to indicate position along a track. Automatic Direction Finding equipment (ADF) and Tactical Air Navigation (TACAN) units provide bearing and range.

The most common navigation system for landings in conditions requiring instrument guidance is the Instrument Landing System (ILS). An ILS installation provides guidance, range and visual references to allow an approach path that is exact in both alignment and rate of descent. As its beams are straight and narrow, requiring early detection before landing, the Microwave Landing System (MLS) alternative was developed. This system, of which our Interscan is an example, has curved or segmented flight paths, allowing easy signal detection away from flight paths and suffers less interference than the older type. It is possible to approach using just basic instruments and beacons, but not in bad weather conditions, without a cockpit indication of ground clearance. By 1996, Australia had 117 instrument landing system installations and just one microwave landing system station.

While aircraft are aloft, traffic alert or airborne collision avoidance systems (TCAS or ACAS), help pilots to avoid encounters. CASA requires such equipment by 2000 to all regular public transport aircraft operating in Australian airspace, i.e. commercial aircraft with more than 30 passenger seats. However, full effectiveness relies on other aircraft having a fully-coded transmitter always operational. A side-effect of TCAS use is that pilots can have a much greater awareness of the positions of aircraft around them, even when they do not pose a threat. Utilising this effect, the airborne separation assistance system (ASAS) may give pilots more responsibility for routing their aircraft through crowded airspace(15). This may particularly apply in the case of airports with medium spaced parallel runways, such as at Sydney where STARs and SIDs also operate.

Standard Instrument Departures (SIDs) reflect noise abatement requirements as well as airspace segregation for ATC purposes, obstacle clearance requirements and the need for maximum traffic flexibility. Standard Terminal Arrivals Routes (STARs) also satisfy the requirements of noise abatement flight procedure tracks, airspace segregation for Air Traffic Control, maximum traffic handling capacity and reduction in pilot and controller workload plus air and ground communications(16). They exist for pilots in directives printed in diagrammatic and narrative form and specify routes, navigation guidance and aircraft performance parameters. Other procedures apply to standard navigation systems. Regional radar systems generally have a range of 300kms while terminal radar reaches 30km.

Noise abatement procedures normally apply to all jet propelled aircraft, and others having a maximum take off weight exceeding 5700kg (i.e. having nine seats or more). ATC will nominate a preferred runway appropriate to the operation and aircraft will normally have to conform with the resultant traffic pattern(17). However, in conditions of low cloud, wind shear, runway cross winds over 10 to 15 knots depending on wetness, or where safety may be compromised in pilot opinion, noise abatement is not a determining factor in runway selection. There are noise curfews on some operations at Adelaide, Essendon and Sydney Airports. Figure 1 following shows a standard example of a typical and complex visual flight guide pilot aid chart and associated airport detail. Upon inspection, the complexity of ATC requirements appears obvious. Newer technologies now offer some alternatives to the standard navigation aids for airport approaches and combine with regional radar.

During 1994, an increase occurred in the frequency of incidents involving failures to comply (FTC) with Air Traffic Services (ATS) clearances. This trend continued in 1995 and the largest increase appeared to be associated with the introduction of new arrival and departure procedures at Sydney Airport. Unfortunately, a 1996 study further confirmed the preliminary findings that operations at Sydney Airport have the highest level of FTC incidents among Australia's major airports. Arrival and departure procedures contributed to the majority of incidents in Sydney, continuing the previous trends. The underlying factors are communications, of particular concern with foreign flight crews(18). As such, this breakdown in human 'factors' performance remains crucial. CASA and ASA have analysed and responded to the study and aim to keep the situation under review.

Figure 1. Visual Terminal Chart and Airport Information.

Visual Terminal Chart and Airport Information


Australia's history of low airport congestion obviated any need for Simultaneous Runway Operations (SIMOPS) to control movement except in recent times at Sydney. In October 1997, ASA and CASA introduced Land and Hold Short Operations (LAHSO) procedures for cross runway use(19). These latter procedures apply to domestic airlines but specifically exclude foreign airlines and have been of particular application at Sydney Airport. Air Traffic Control will normally sequence an aircraft for a runway that requires a procedure only when the landing distance available for the aircraft is likely to be adequate for that type with pilot approval(20). Special hold short runway markings and lights indicate the landing limit. Some 220 American airports have used these procedures since 1968.

A major scheme to streamline runway operations at Sydney still awaits completion. The Parallel Approach Radar Monitor (PARM) system proposed by ASA will not operate until July 1998 - 31 months later than planned. Apparently some prototype faults and tests in the United States led to continuing delays. Currently, aircraft must operate under visual conditions as long as visibility permits, otherwise more stringent restrictions apply, or planes also use the cross-runway(21). The system should be able to monitor the approaches to the parallel runways separated by 1037m at Sydney and allow all-weather landing operations. Medium-spaced parallel runways, with centre-lines at least 760m apart but less than 1525m apart, enable independent approaches on each runway but only in visual meteorological conditions (VMC). The first phase allowing special approaches at Sydney occurred in November 1994, followed by independent visual approaches during late 1995. With the commissioning of the system, independent approaches will become progressively available(22). Independent departures may be possible when aircraft take-off courses diverge by at least 15 degrees and the radar can identify aircraft up to a mile from the runway.

Under the ASA Long Term Operating Plan for Sydney Airport (LTOPS)(23), aircraft noise remains a major consideration, as also reflected in the Sydney Airport Curfew Act 1995 and the Aircraft Noise Levy Act 1995. The Sydney Airport Demand Management Act 1997 imposes a traffic limit. According to the Australian and International Pilots Association, a major aviation disaster is inevitable if authorities insist that noise levels dictate aircraft landing patterns. The Association says that ASA should not use noise levels as a reason to direct pilots to land in cross winds over 15 knots. The Association directs its members to use the safest runway approach, not the quietest. ASA has acted in response to such problems through safety programs(24). However, according to BASI, some STAR related procedures do not follow accepted worldwide practice, especially when regularly modified or interrupted due to noise considerations. ASA has a program to standardise STAR design in the region to ICAO specifications. In a BASI Australian air-miss study of Air Traffic Control, violations, errors, psychological factors and organisational deficiencies all contributed to separation breakdowns(25). Factors included a lack of team resource management and strategic focus, excess anticipation and workload, frequent distractions, ambiguities about service provision versus safety and career uncertainty. The introduction of further changes may not help, especially since landings often occur at the end of long overseas flights when flight crews may be more exhausted or unfamiliar with the locality.

The Australian Advanced Air Traffic System (TAAATS)

This $300 million ASA project plans to integrate the instrument flight data, control and tracking for any designated aircraft. Unfortunately, the tender process involving Hughes Aircraft, General Motors and Thomson CSF became controversial and subject to litigation. Such problems have also occurred with overseas schemes(26). As Figure 2 shows, the scheme involves regional ATC in Melbourne and Brisbane, along with individual airport terminal control units. Extensive testing continues, with acceptance at Cairns expected by early 1998. A benefit of TAAATS may be in its alert and monitor warnings that controllers receive in cases of minimum safe altitude, transient conflicts, danger area infringements, route adherence monitoring, or cleared level adherence monitoring. Under the current ageing airspace management system there were 7 flight information regions, 5 ATS centres, 3 approach control units, 14 flight service units, 12 pilot briefing offices and 31 control towers. Under this old scheme, strips of paper held on boards represented each aircraft to ATC! Instead, TAAATS has 2 regions, 2 ATS centres and 29 control towers and now, electronic strips. All pilots must complete a domestic flight notification form for TAAATS(27), reflecting its more automated capacity to handle flight plans, position reports, radar input and surveillance. However, in the end, air traffic control and flight management depend upon human actions which remain the most likely cause of accidents.

A complication is the use of the first Australian Global Positioning System Non-Precision Approaches (GPS/NPA). Only available in Visual Meteorological Conditions, they currently apply at Avalon, Brisbane, Cunderdin, Darwin, Goulburn and Wollongong airports. A traditional NPA involves establishing a link to a radio navigation aid, tracking outbound, and then conducting either a reversal or turn and tracking inbound to the navigation aid. The GPS/NPA system allows an easier straight-in runway alignment that does not require turns. Pilots must have an appropriate rating to utilise the system(28).

With GPS/NPA as an example of its innovations, the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) now offers high performance navigation and landing assistance around the world. However, recent studies show the impossibility of a sudden shift away from conventional navigation aids to satellite-based navigation. Institutional issues, cost, inadequate technical integrity and preset inaccuracy remain as barriers to complete implementation. GNSS forms part of the Future Air Navigation System (FANS) plan for future Communication, Navigation, Surveillance and Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) concepts. FANS through CNS/ATM allows aircraft to communicate clearances, position reports, change of track and level requests, and weather information via fast satellite data communications, replacing the often unreliable high frequency radio service and saving fuel. FANS now operates for Boeing 747-400 aircraft over the Pacific using a licensed avionics package.

A valid question is to what extent FANS can complement TAAATS in the course of time. FANS enables smaller separations between aircraft and optimisation of flight routes to provide fuel cost savings. However, flight electronics are susceptible to cosmic rays that can cripple aircraft computers, particularly the newer and smaller units, requiring software checks to reset any induced errors. Reference control centre computers must check orbital data, clock errors, ionosphere disturbance errors and other factors to ensure reliability. As CNS/ATM technology extends, existing navigation aid stations may close, but questions remain as to the need for backup systems in case FANS or ATS go off-line. As well, pilots view FANS as replacing navigators and engineers, with control and management tasks to fall on pilots already busy with flying tasks. It is left to airlines and ASA to determine the cost-effectiveness of FANS systems and plan procurement of systems and ATS radars.

In the future, a Local Area Augmentation System (LAAS) may replace current ageing instrument landing system operations by incorporating GNSS information. Such an installation at Melbourne Airport to cover all runway approaches is under test by ASA(29). In Australia, the ASA/GNSS Program Office provides a focus for GNSS planning and use. In the interim, a multi-mode receiver may enable seamless transition between instrument landing and GNSS at different airports. There may also be links between collision alarms and GNSS equipment to report on aircraft position. The ICAO has dropped an earlier 1985 rule requiring all international airports to possess a microwave landing system by 1998, as the GNSS can meet such standards for precision and availability. In April 1995, ICAO decided to continue instrument landing system operations, implement microwave landing systems where beneficial, and implement and develop GNSS operations as appropriate.

The Aeronautical Information Service within ASA prepares the Australian Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) in accordance with the ICAO Convention. The package consists of operational aeronautical publications and charts(30). ASA publishes urgent operational information as Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) and also produces World Aeronautical Charts for the Australasian region, Airways Operations Instructions, the Manual of Air Traffic Services, and the National Search and Rescue Manual. Notices to Airmen are available at any time through ASA briefing offices or on-line to aircraft operators, pilots, defence agencies and international aviation authorities and airlines.

Australian and Indonesian aviation authorities are cooperating to overcome deficiencies in airspace coordination that may result in violation of controlled airspace events or worse. In 1994, some 59 incidents occurred resulting from inadequate communication between ATC operators in either nation. An ongoing process aims to familiarise controllers with the ATS procedures applying in each other's nation. Clearly such programs are vitally important. Our ATS also links with Japan, Philippines, Fiji and other national airspace controllers.

Figure 2. The Australian Advanced Air Traffic System.

Australian Advanced Traffic System


Figure 3. The Australian Airspace Classification System.

Australian Airspace Classification System

Airspace 2000


Airspace 2000

Proposed alterations to airspace classification, as shown in Figure 3, are a major change. Airspace 2000 will direct Air Traffic Control and radar to busier areas mainly along the east coast, re-classifying different levels of the sky. Major features of Airspace 2000 are:

  • replacement of Directed Traffic Information (DTI) in Class G (uncontrolled airspace) by enhanced broadcast procedures
  • discontinuation of routinely provided flight-following services to instrument flight rule (IFR; see ahead) Class G flights
  • change in classification for high level en-route airspace from Class A (oceanic airspace) or Class B (domestic continental airspace) to a uniform Class C (controlled airspace)
  • raising the base of domestic Class C from 20 000ft (A200) to 22 500ft (A225)
  • introducing Class E airspace and radar (confined initially to the eastern seaboard)
  • changing certain mandatory broadcast zones to common traffic frequency areas.

Airspace 2000 removes the DTI over much of central Australia. DTI provides weather information and notifies aircraft of other traffic in the vicinity, but does not include separation measures. Smaller visual flight rules (VFR) aircraft would be able to share the airspace with larger instrument flight rules (IFR) aircraft, such as passenger jets. Air traffic moves either under VFR or IFR depending on weather conditions and prevailing traffic densities. VFR operations are possible where weather conditions are good enough for aircraft to operate by visual reference to the ground and to other aircraft. The reasons for the new scheme are said to provide for: improved safety through more effective allocation of safety resources, reduced user costs to encourage more flying, accrued benefits from new technology, and achievement of a genuine ICAO airspace system in the national interest. CASA sought approval for Airspace 2000 after it called for comment on 15 August 1997 in a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) for changes to Classes A, B, C and G airspace. The removal of DTI from Class G airspace remains in a separate review to allow VFR aircraft to operate in Class E airspace. After endorsing Airspace 2000, ASA planned to introduce most of Airspace 2000 on 4 December 1997, with the Class G changes by March 1998, or until the full implementation of TAAATS.

In detail, Airspace 2000 replaces the high level Class A and B with Class C airspace which remains around radar airports. Class C airspace permits separated IFR and special VFR flights, both with clearance, providing aircraft have radio, radar transponders and visual meteorological conditions (VMC) criteria of 8km above 10 000ft (A100) and 5km below A100. The new Class G airspace does not require clearance, but requires radio for IFR with information in designated areas, VMC criteria as for Class C and flight information. General aviation aerodrome procedures will continue to require clearance and radio with VMC clearance of 5km. Class E airspace is new to Australia despite international use and provides a full IFR from IFR separation service, while allowing passage of VFR aircraft deemed to be transparent to the system. The separation occurs by a 500ft clearance between IFR and VFR aircraft. If a VFR aircraft wishes to fly in the system then preset charges will apply, while an IFR aircraft can change to a VFR level and leave the system as permitted. As well, with Airspace 2000, the DTI service will be removed from low traffic density airspace and replaced with a self announce and self separation ICAO Class G airspace. VFR aircraft in either Class E or G will not require radios, unless they wish to change to IFR. A nationwide Flight-watch Very High Frequency and High Frequency radio transceiver service will replace the present Flight Information Service.

Media reports suggest that Qantas urged CASA to abandon key areas of the Class E Airspace 2000 plan, citing that the move to allow light aircraft to share room with larger jet passenger aircraft is unacceptable without radar provision. Pilots from both Qantas and Ansett announced a boycott of airports with no radar facilities at Alice Springs, Hobart, Launceston and Port Hedland, claiming that the plan increased the risk of a mid-air collision(31). The Civil Air Operations Officers Association expressed similar concerns. ASA came out in support of the plan, endorsing it as having undergone stringent safety analysis(32). ASA noted that pilots already safely operate passenger jets into 17 non-controlled airports and that the traffic mix at the four airports mentioned above does not warrant use of current Class C airspace. Further, ASA argued that new TAAATS program would provide greater benefits and airline cost-savings. However, given that there is a higher chance of serious incident occurring during take-off or landing at airports, it is crucial that safety remains the paramount consideration, not just cost.

The CASA Board later decided to delay the introduction of the Airspace 2000 proposal by up to one year. The Board will investigate the transfer of functions of airspace design and determination from ASA to CASA. The ASA Board has agreed to this transfer along with other ancillaries. The CASA and ASA roles require clear and concise definition and public education to overcome perceived confusion in the pilot community. Meanwhile, ASA will introduce a new Radar Class E airspace classification in a high density air corridor of a 'J' shape, between Balina and Canberra on 26 February 1998 as a precursor to Airspace 2000. The latter program remains as a key measure to meet ICAO standards and overcome our legacy of unique airspace division. This should help meet the expected growth in traffic congestion and overcome the problems of air separation breakdowns occurring overseas.

Airline Safety

Today's pilots operate in a computerised cockpit where electronic information displays and technology make the feeling of flight control somewhat remote from experience. Flying is no longer a tactile experience; instead pilots instruct onboard systems and monitor the results. Unfortunately, in some horrific incidents, pilots were busy resetting their computers rather than flying the aircraft, before it crashed. In October 1996, a Boeing 757 crashed into the sea of Peru, after reported failure of electronic instruments. In March 1995, an Airbus 340 shut down its flight instruments on approach to London(33). Upgrades of flight management guidance and control computers may help overcome these problems. Pilots utilise English language vocabulary to communicate with air traffic controllers around the world. While this language serves adequately for routine flights, the real test comes in times of crisis when crucial words may not come to mind(34) (see the Appendix).

The flight deck or cockpit of an aircraft can be a busy place to respond to ATC commands. With a high level of failure to comply type incidents resulting from misunderstandings, mistakes can occur. Evidence suggests that pilot error is a major cause in over two-thirds of all accidents, especially if crew training costs and flight technology are straining in opposite directions. Breakdown in crew communications and failure to follow procedures have caused some notable past tragedies. Many airlines now conduct human factors and cockpit resource management (CRM) training in order to know how to make decisions when stress and emergencies arise. However, reports of shortcomings in regional airlines' training continue(35). At a recent air safety investigation forum, major airline pilots noted that their colleagues attribute Australia's fatality-free record for jet airliners mainly to luck, and not to our lower traffic levels, relatively fine weather, and good maintenance record compared to elsewhere. Our chief pilots foresee a midair collision as inevitable(36).

As a further aid to counter such disasters, CASA now requires use of Ground Proximity Warning Systems (GPWS). The system, based on the radio altimeter principle, senses distance only directly beneath the aircraft and sounds a warning to the crew should the aircraft be approaching terrain. Newer models have a 'look ahead' facility. CASA intends requiring all aircraft with a take-off weight over 5700kg, or having more than nine passengers, to carry such equipment by 1999. The greatest single cause of loss of life and aircraft are accidents involving controlled flight into terrain (CFIT), where a plane under crew control flies into the ground or water unintentionally, due to procedural mistakes, lack of situation awareness, and decision errors by crews. Other factors include weather, ATC failures such as incorrect directions, confusing aeronautical charts and non-optimal approach procedures. With the use of warning systems, the CFIT accident rate dropped(37).

Ground damage to aircraft at airports is an under appreciated safety aspect. Ramp incidents cost the world's airlines some $4 billion annually(38). Such events include reversals of vehicles onto personnel and aircraft engines-and in Australia, collisions with aerobridges, ground equipment and foreign objects on the apron feature. Up to 26 vehicles assist in the fast turnaround of a Boeing 747, so human factors training is essential to help circumvent any incidents involving these vehicles and associated personnel. When one considers that a large aircraft full of fuel at the gate is akin to a bomb in a confined space, the potential for disaster is obvious, especially for fast turnarounds. In 1997 at Sydney Airport, a baggage trolley apparently struck a valve allowing the escape of fuel on to the tarmac area, to create an emergency situation with serious implications. Events occurring from incorrect actions on the ground can also have catastrophic consequences in the air.

In a related issue, pilots may be lost at airports on landing, sometimes causing accidents, especially at night or in fog. Computerised display screens depicting aircraft movements over the airport may assist pilots in the future. According to a BASI aviation safety indicators report, unauthorised runway entries show an increase, although more typically at general aviation airports(39). In the United States, use of airport surface detection equipment (ASDE) to identify taxiing aircraft helps to avoid collisions. This is separate from the terminal radar approach control (TRACON) of the approach airspace found at major airports. Some American airports have also installed terminal Doppler weather radar (TDWR) systems used to detect unpredictable wind shear events. A low level wind shear alert system is now under operational trial at Darwin Airport.

In promoting the airline industry, the need for efficient service can confront costly safety requirements. In the United States, government and agencies strongly support the aviation industry but perhaps sometimes at the expense of safety(40). Given some similarities to the Australian situation and administrative problems facing CASA, consumers may well pause to wonder about safety standards applying here. Accident statistics appear impressive but do not necessarily reveal current trends. There are wider issues at stake. With the emergence of more small airline operators into the competitive market, the sector will change and other effects such as congestion will increase.

Today, pilots in Australia must contend with TAAATS, LTOPS, Airspace 2000 Class E-J routes, SIDs and STARs. These have defined airspace as a resource but the constant changes have confused pilots to an extent, not to mention the flying public. Partial-privatisation of ASA, restructuring of CASA, and airport sales further complicate matters. These comments are not meant as a criticism of change, but alert the reader to the fact that system failures often accompany increasing complexity. Past safety records are not always relevant to today's situation. This aspect stresses the need for ongoing aviation safety culture in management, not just for airlines, but in ASA, CASA and at airports too.

If Things Go Wrong: Consumer Protection

Overseas and local experience has shown that consumers choosing airlines for their travel plans remain unaware of airline maintenance records, aircraft age, quality control and pilot experience(41). According to the then Australian Minister for Transport and Regional Development, The Hon. J. R. Sharp, when answering a question in Parliament on 25 September 1997, it has proven difficult for CASA to determine appropriate criteria for what constitutes a serious airline safety deficiency, in terms of providing meaningful advice to consumers. However, CASA should soon be able to report on this measure with regular reports. A new, widely distributed safety pamphlet will provide consumers with some meaningful, easily understandable safety information.

The Minister also stated that he, Qantas, Ansett and the Australian Federation of Travel Agents signed the Codeshare Disclosure: Industry Code of Conduct on 5 December 1996. This should help overcome some consumer problems relating to international airline travel such as booking information and frequent flyer status(42). Airlines also come under the provisions of the Airlines Agreement (Termination) Act 1990, for the Airlines Equipment (Loan Guarantee) Acts, and the Qantas Sale Act 1992 among others. Australian airlines have extensive code-share arrangements with overseas airlines. Qantas has links with Air Caledonie, Air Niugini, Air Pacific, Air Vanautu, American Airlines, Asiana Airlines, British Airways, Canadian Airlines International, Japan Airlines, Martinair, Solomon Airlines, US Air Inc and the freight carrier Federal Express. Ansett has ties with Air New Zealand, Eva Air, Korean Air, Malaysian Airlines and United Airlines. CASA requires any airline operating regularly to Australia to obtain a foreign aircraft Air Operator's Certificate, or else individual clearance. Airlines that do not operate into Australia, but are code-sharing partners of Ansett or Qantas are the responsibility of the safety regulatory authority of the country of the aircraft's registration.

The Civil Aviation (Carriers' Liability) Act 1959, as amended, the Civil Aviation Act 1988, and the Civil Aviation Regulations (under review) contain rules for passenger conduct to ensure safety in air travel. The 1988 Act sets out the regulation of civil aviation and powers of CASA in order to promote safety with an emphasis on accident and incident prevention. The liability Act sets out the limitations pertaining to carriers for death and injury with linkages to the main international convention to which the Hague Protocol applies. The Act also covers matters of carrier insurance and negligence aspects. The new Civil Aviation Legislation Amendment Act 1997 amends aviation-related legislation to introduce a national scheme requiring air carriers to carry mandatory non-voidable passenger liability insurance for the amounts mentioned ahead. As well, the legislation enables Commonwealth authorities to investigate and prosecute offences under State acts as if they were Federal offences. The Air Accidents (Commonwealth Government Liability) Act 1963 and the Civil Aviation (Damage by Aircraft) Act 1958 have also had applicability to airline incidents.

Carrier liability to the passenger on Australian domestic flights is limited by State and Commonwealth legislation and carrier ticket terms to $500 000 for death, $1600 for loss or injury and $160 for unregistered baggage. Agreed international regulations set baggage limits. If a passenger's journey involves an ultimate stop or destination in another country, the Warsaw Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Carriage by Air of 1929 may be applicable. The Convention governs and in most cases limits the liability of carriers for death or personal injury and in respect of baggage loss or damage. The Air Navigation Act 1920 also applies to transport operators to limit operator liability. The National Aviation Security Program sets out the strategy for airport access control, intruder detection, offender deterrence and basic security measures. The National Counter Terrorism Plan and the Crimes (Aviation) Act 1991 also help to foster security.

The International Air Services Commission is an independent Australian statutory authority responsible for the allocation of scheduled international air route capacity to local carriers on public benefit grounds as issued by the Minister for Transport. Since its start, the Commission has made determinations enabling Australian carriers to offer services on 33 international routes, with competition between carriers on 11 of these routes(43). Under the International Air Services Commission Act 1992, the Commission's role is to determine the outcomes of applications by existing and prospective Australian airlines for capacity and route entitlements available under air services arrangements at any time. However, none of these appear to offer air travelling consumers any solace. By contrast, in the United States, the Code of Federal Regulations 14: Aeronautics and Space, of the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Transportation provides for a series of obligations on air carriers to provide accounts, property, compensation, liability, fares and safety information pertaining to public carriage. Such details may be of use to flyers here.

So in the end, passengers must decide for themselves whether carrier service and safety levels are appropriate. Consumer advocates offer some suggestions to aircraft passengers such as wearing clothes made of natural fibres that are less prone to burning, and carrying a personal smoke hood with which to survive any emergency evacuation. Passengers should learn to report any unusual activities at the airport and ask questions during safety briefings. They should remain alert during takeoff and landings, but above all stay calm. In most cases, their flight is in the hands of many professional people with a fine record.


  1. McDonnell Douglas DC10 tri-engine passenger jet aircraft.
  2. Airbus Industries A320 twin-engine passenger jet aircraft.
  3. Boeing 747 four-engine 'jumbo' passenger jet aircraft.
  4. On 22 September 1966, an Ansett-ANA Viscount aircraft crashed near Winton, Queensland killing all 24 people aboard. Then on 31 December 1968, a MacRobertson Miller Viscount crashed near Port Hedland, Western Australia with all 26 persons aboard lost. Apparently structural aircraft failure contributed to both incidents. See M. Job, Air crash: the story of how Australia's airways were made safe, vol. 2, Aerospace Publications Pty Ltd: Weston Creek, ACT Australia, 1992.
  5. R. Nader and W.J. Smith, Collision Course: The Truth About Airline Safety, TAB Books, Blue Ridge Summit, PA, 1994, p. xviii.
  6. See Report from the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Transport, Communications and Infrastructure (HORSCTCI), Plane Safe, Inquiry into Aviation Safety: the Commuter and General Aviation Sectors, The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, AGPS, Canberra, December 1995 and M.L. James, Acceptable Transport Safety, Research Paper No.30 1995-6, Parliamentary Research Service, Department of the Parliamentary Library, Parliament of Australia, Canberra, 28 May 1996.
  7. Nader and Smith, op.cit., and M. Schiavo and S. Chartrand, Flying Blind, Flying Safe, Avon Books, New York, 1997.
  8. Airservices Australia, Airservices Australia Annual Report: 1996-1997, AGPS, Canberra, September 1997.
  9. Civil Aviation Safety Authority Australia, Annual Report: 1996-97, AGPS, Canberra, October 1997.
  10. Department of Transport and Regional Development, Annual Report 1997, AGPS, Canberra, October 1997.
  11. Federal Airports Corporation (FAC), Annual Report 1997, AGPS, Canberra, October 1997.
  12. N.A. Ashford, M.H.P. Stanton and C.A. Moore, Airport Operations, Pitman, London, 1991, p. 294.
  13. ibid.
  14. ibid., p. 320.
  15. H. Hopkins, 'Airborne separation assistance systems are the latest way of handling air-traffic management', Flight International, 3-9 September, 1997, pp. 27-28.
  16. Departures and Approach Procedures (DAP) 24/04/97-14/08/97 in Aeronautical Information Service, Airservices Australia, Aeronautical Information Publication Australia, Airservices Australia, Canberra 1997. This publication comprises the AIP book, En Route Supplement Australia, Departures and Approach Procedures, Terminal Area Charts, En Route Charts, Planning Chart Australia, Visual Terminal Charts and Designated Airspace Handbook, in separate volumes as regularly updated.
  17. DAP12/09/96, ibid.
  18. Bureau of Air Safety Investigation, Aviation Safety Indicators, Canberra, December 1996 and An Analysis of Incidents Involving Aircrew Failing to Comply with Air Traffic Clearances June to August 1996, Canberra, January 1997, p. vi.
  19. Airservices Australia, H49 Supplement in AIP 1997, op.cit. (AIP 1997: H49 Supplement).
  20. ibid, 7.
  21. Thomas, 'Difficulties delay new radar system', The Australian Financial Review, 12 August, 1997.
  22. Airservices Australia, H36/95 in AIP 1997, op.cit.
  23. Airservices Australia, The Long-Term Operating Plan for Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport and Associated Airspace - Report Summary, Airservices Australia, Canberra 1996.
  24. Airservices Australia , Annual Report, op.cit., p.10.
  25. B. Learmount, 'The future's controller', Flight International, 11 October, 1995, p.42.
  26. B.Sandilands and R. Pascoe, 'TAAATS A Year Away From Implementation', Australian Aviation, March 1997, pp.28-30 and M.Schiavo and S.Chartrand, op.cit., pp.144, 156.
  27. Airservices Australia, Airservices Bulletin, bimonthly, Canberra, June1997, p.3.
  28. Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Flight Safety Australia, Canberra, Quarterly, September 1997, p.8.
  29. Airservices Australia, Airservices Bulletin, op.cit., p.14.
  30. Aeronautical Information Service, Aeronautical Information Publication Australia, op.cit.
  31. Thomas, 'Qantas wants radar cover for shared airspace', The Australian Financial Review, 11 September 1997, p.6.
  32. Airservices Australia media release 12/97 25 August 1997: Airspace 2000 concerns addressed.
  33. R.Wilson, 'Computer-Aided Disaster', The Australian, 17 October 1996.
  34. B.D. Nordwall, 'FAA: English ATC Standards Needed', Aviation Week and Space Technology, McGraw Hill, New York, 29 September 1997, pp.46-47.
  35. The Australian and New Zealand Societies of Air Safety Investigators (ANZSASI), Aviation Safety for the 21st Century in The Asia Pacific Region, Proceedings of the 1997 Asia Pacific Regional Seminar, Brisbane Novotel, 29-31 May, 1997.
  36. ibid.
  37. E.S. Greenslet, 'Avionics take the high ground', Interavia, August 1996, p.42.
  38. Airservices Australia, Airservices Bulletin, op.cit., p.28.
  39. Bureau of Air Safety Investigation, Aviation Safety Indicators, op.cit.
  40. M. Schiavo and S. Chartrand, op.cit., p.89.
  41. ibid., pp. 16, 244.
  42. M.L. James, International Airline Travel and Consumer Issues, Research Note No.8 1996-97, Parliamentary Research Service, Department of the Parliamentary Library, Parliament of Australia, Canberra, October 1996.
  43. International Air Services Commission, Annual Report 1996-97, International Air Services Commission, Canberra, September 1997.

Appendix: English Air Traffic Control Standards

Despite a common misconception, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) does not require English as the official language for air traffic control (ATC). Further, there are no ICAO standards of language proficiency for pilots or controllers and no local benchmarks to measure the adequacy of English to fly in Australian airspace. Incorrect communications, as a potentially deadly action in ATC, is of growing concern to airline transport pilots with the global expansion of air travel.(1)

An accident near Cali, Colombia in December 1995 highlighted the importance of good communication to help pilots maintain situational awareness as well as the influence of automated flight systems. In that crash, an American Airlines Boeing 757 flew into a mountain, killing all but four of the 163 passengers and crew. A controller was aware that the crew had passed an important way-point, but could not communicate the message to the crew in English. Had he been able to do so, it could have contributed to the crew's situational awareness, and may have been a factor in helping to prevent the tragic accident. The crew also mistakenly told the computer to fly to an incorrect beacon. An edited transcript of the communications as presented here makes for compelling reading, with the author's clarifications added in italics within square brackets '[]'. Note that the names Tulua, Cali, Rozo1 and Rozo refer to separate beacons in the general area, B757 to the pilot and ATC to Air Traffic Control. Other abbreviations occur in the acronynms listing.

B757 Flight 965 leaving flight level 240 and descending to 200. [Aircraft descends].

ATC Cleared to Cali VOR. Descend and maintain 15,000ft. Report Tulua VOR.

B757 Understand, cleared direct to Cali VOR (report Tulua), is that correct sir?

ATC Affirmative. Are you able to approach runway 19?

B757 Yes sir, we'll need a lower altitude.

ATC Cleared VOR DME approach runway 19 Rozo1 arrival, report Tulua VOR.

B757 {I thought he said Rozo1 arrival... Tulua1 ... Rozo there it is ... ... ... off Tulua.} Can ... we go direct Rozo and do the Rozo arrival? [Note that Rozo is not Rozo1.]

ATC Affirmative. Take the Rozo1 and runway 19. [Apparently doesn't note error.]

B757 Alright ... (Rozo) the Rozo1 to 19 ... thank you. [Aircraft starts to turn wrongly.]

ATC Report Tulua and 21 miles, 5,000ft. [Aircraft sets speed-brakes and descends.]

B757 Tulua and 21 miles 5,000ft ... Flight 965. [Automated aircraft systems deactivated].

ATC Distance DME. [Aircraft continues off course left away from Rozo, Cali and ATC. During this period, ATC attention diverts elsewhere, not noticing the wrong path]

B757 Distance from Cali is 38. {Where are we?... we're going out to... where are we? ... Let's come to the right a little bit... Doesn't look right on mine ... where are we? ... come to the right now, right now... in heading select to right... }. [GPWS Terrain warning alert heard prior to impact near the top a mountain ridge.]

Some three minutes after the last ATC broadcast, the aircraft corrected right and crashed into a mountain. For a full account and possible explanation refer to Dornheim, M.A. 1996, 'Recovered FMC Memory Puts New Spin on Cali Accident', Aviation Week & Space Technology, McGraw-Hill, New York, 9 September, pp. 58-60. See also Nordwall, 1997.


1. B.D. Nordwall, op.cit.


ACAS airborne collision avoidance systems designed to alert pilots (see TCAS)

ADF automatic direction finding equipment ground navigation aid

AIP Aeronautical Information Publication prepared by an AIS specified by ICAO

AIS Aeronautical Information Services within ASA prepares various publications

ASA Airservices Australia body that provides airspace management and rescue

ASAS Airborne separation assistance systems proposed to rely more on pilots

ASDE airport surface detection equipment used to identify taxiing aircraft

ATC air traffic control is an organised and systematic set of flight safety procedures

ATS/M air traffic services/management performed in Australia by ASA

BASI Bureau of Air Safety Investigation that reports on aviation incidents

CASA Civil Aviation Safety Authority regulates the safety of civil aviation

CFIT controlled flight into terrain term used to describe a crash into the ground

CNS communication, navigation and surveillance for air traffic management

CRM cockpit resource management safety training that fosters crew communication

DME distance measuring equipment radio provides range between plane and airport

DTI directed traffic information from ASA provides information and traffic advice

FANS future air navigation system international plan for CNS/ATM concepts

FTC failure to comply incident where flight crew fail to follow ATC clearance

GNSS Global Navigation Satellite System used to provide location information

GPWS ground proximity warning system that alerts pilots of proximity to the ground

ICAO International Civil Aviation Organisation agency that sets safety standards

IFR instrument flight rules air traffic control system requiring instrument guidance

ILS instrument landing system multi-radio beam, airport runway guidance aid

LAAS local area augmentation system for GNSS satellite-based precision approaches

LAHSO land and hold short operations (previously SIMOPS) for cross runway use

LTOPS long-term operating plan for Sydney Airport and associated airspace

MLS microwave landing system multi-scan beam, airport runway guidance aid

NDB non-directional beacon situated at airports to assist pilots determine bearing

NOTAM notices to airmen of urgent operational information published by ASA-AIS

NPA non-precision approach procedures used by pilots landing aircraft

NPRM notice of proposed rule making gazetted by CASA for public comment

SID standard instrument departures routing through a predetermined airspace path

SIMOPS simultaneous runway operations (now LAHSO) for cross-runway use

STAR standard terminal arrivals route through a predetermined airspace path

TAAATS The Australian Advanced Air Traffic radar control System introduced by ASA

TACAN tactical air navigation ultra high frequency radio ground navigation aid

TCAS traffic alert and collision avoidance system warns pilots of impending collision

TCU tower control unit

TRACON terminal radar approach control of the approach airspace for major airports

TDWR terminal Doppler weather radar system used to detect wind shear events

VFR visual flight rules typically used by general aviation based on pilot judgement

VMC visual meteorological conditions minimum criteria to permit VFR in airspace

VOR very high frequency omni-directional radio range ground navigation aid


AIS 1997, Aeronautical Information Publication Australia, Aeronautical Information Service, Airservices Australia, Canberra, intermittent (Consisting of the AIP Book, En Route Supplement Australia, Departures and Approach Procedures, Terminal Area Charts, En Route Charts, Planning Chart Australia, Visual Terminal Charts and Designated Airspace Handbook, in separate volumes as regularly updated).

ANZSASI 1997, Aviation Safety for the 21st Century in The Asia Pacific Region, Proceedings of the 1997 Asia Pacific Regional Seminar, The Australian and New Zealand Societies of Air Safety Investigators, Brisbane Novotel, May 29-31.

ASA 1996, The Long-Term Operating Plan for Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport and Associated Airspace - Report Summary, Airservices Australia, Canberra.

ASA 1997a, Airservices Australia Annual Report: 1996-1997, Airservices Australia, Canberra, September.

ASA 1997b, Airservices Bulletin, Airservices Australia, Canberra, bimonthly, June.

Ashford, N.A., Stanton, M.H.P., Moore, C.A., 1991, Airport Operations, Pitman, London.

BASI 1996, Aviation Safety Indicators, Bureau of Air Safety Investigation, Canberra, December.

BASI 1997, An Analysis of Incidents Involving Aircrew Failing to Comply with Air Traffic Clearances June to August 1996, Bureau of Air Safety Investigation, Canberra, January.

CASA 1997a, Annual Report: 1996-97, Civil Aviation Safety Authority Australia, Canberra, October.

CASA 1997b, Flight Safety Australia, Civil Aviation Safety Authority Australia, Canberra, Quarterly, September.

DOT 1997, Annual Report 1997, Department of Transport amd Regional Development, AGPS, Canberra, October.

FAC 1997, Annual Report 1997, Federal Airports Corporation, AGPS, Canberra, October.

Greenslet, E.S., 1996, 'Avionics take the high ground', Interavia, August, pp. 42-45.

Hopkins, H., 1997, 'Airborne separation assistance systems are the latest way of handling air-traffic management', Flight International, 3-9 September, pp. 27-28.

HORSCTCI 1995, Plane Safe, Inquiry into Aviation Safety: the Commuter and General Aviation Sectors, Report from the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Transport, Communications and Infrastructure, The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, AGPS, Canberra, December.

IASC 1997, Annual Report: 1996-97, International Air Services Commission, Canberra, September.

James, M.L. 1996a, 'Acceptable Transport Safety', Research Paper No.30 1995-96, Parliamentary Research Service, Department of the Parliamentary Library, Parliament of Australia, Canberra, May 28.

James, M.L. 1996b, 'International Airline Travel and Consumer Issues', Research Note No.8 1996-97, Parliamentary Research Service, Department of the Parliamentary Library, Parliament of Australia, Canberra, October.

Job, M. 1992, Air Crash: The Story of how Australia's Airways were made safe, Volume 2, Aerospace Publications Pty Ltd, Weston Creek.

Learmount, B. 1995, 'The future's controller', Flight International, 11 October, pp. 39-43.

Nader, R., Smith, W.J., 1994, Collision Course: The Truth About Airline Safety, TAB Books, Blue Ridge Summit PA.

Nordwall, B.D., 1997, 'FAA: English ATC Standards Needed', Aviation Week and Space Technology, 29 September, McGraw Hill, New York, pp. 46-47.

Sandilands, B., Pascoe, R., 1997, 'TAAATS A Year Away From Implementation', Australian Aviation, March, pp. 28-30.

Schiavo, M., Chartrand, S., 1997, Flying Blind, Flying Safe, Avon Books, New York.

Thomas, I., 1997a, 'Difficulties delay new radar system', The Australian Financial Review, 12 August.

Thomas, I., 1997b, 'Qantas wants radar cover for shared airspace', The Australian Financial Review, 11 September, p. 6.

Wilson, R. 1996, 'Computer-Aided Disaster', The Australian, 17 October, Sydney.

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