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Wednesday, 6 May 1987
Page: 2443

(Question No. 1666)

Senator MacGibbon asked the Minister representing the Minister for Aviation, upon notice, on 17 March 1987:

(1) How many air traffic controllers are rostered on for each shift at each airport in Australia, and how does this differ from 5 years ago, in each case.

(2) Is there a Senior Operations Controller in charge of each shift; if not, what is the specified experience for the person in control of each shift at different airports throughout Australia.

(3) Does the Department of Aviation specify the number of controllers on each shift at each airport, and the experience and/or qualifications of the controller in charge of each shift.

(4) How many airports around Australia also have a Search and Rescue Co-ordinator.

(5) At those airports which have a Search and Rescue Co-ordinator, is that person one of the rostered controllers or is that a separate position.

(6) At those airports which have a Search and Rescue Co-ordinator, if that person held a dual role of also being one of the rostered controllers, is there an on-call controller who can be called in to take over when a search and rescue mission is being mounted.

(7) Are there any airports in Australia where it is intended to reduce the number of controllers.

Senator Gietzelt —The Minister for Aviation has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) Answering this part of the question would require an unreasonable diversion of resources in the Department of Aviation to extract the information.

(2) There is a Senior Operations Controller in charge of each shift at each Operational Control Centre during its hours of operation.

For aerodrome, approach, en-route control or flight information functions the officer in charge is required to have or have had rated competence in providing the specific service(s) and experience appropriate to the scope of the shift management responsibilities involved.

At all other air traffic control units the specified experience of the officer in charge of each shift varies depending on the function of the unit.

(3) Yes.

(4) Nine.

(5) The Search and Rescue Mission Co-ordinator function is undertaken by the rostered Senior Operations Controller.

(6) There is no nominated on-call controller. Off duty officers are called in to take over one of the dual functions (Senior Operations Controller/Search and Rescue Mission Co-ordinator) when a major search and rescue emergency has occurred.

(7) Yes. As part of its Airways planning the Department intends to consolidate a number of Air Traffic Control functions into major centres. This will reduce the number of controllers required at some airports.