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Lock him up!
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# 257392 30-Sep-2019 18:12
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There is an item on the news about domestic flights being shut down because of a fire alarm at the radar centre in Christchurch. I know nothing about how this works, but if all flights in the country can be halted because of a smoke alarm, I have to wonder if it is a good idea to have all the country's domestic flight radar centralised in a place known for devastating earthquakes. Is this a good idea? Maybe someone would like to explain the details.

 

  





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  # 2327248 30-Sep-2019 18:31
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This has been recognised. Airways are building a parallel facility in Auckland to give redundancy.


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  # 2327252 30-Sep-2019 18:46
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In fairness, Christchurch wasn't known for devistating earthquakes until recently.

 

Spark's mobile network falling over due to lack of redundancy, Auckland trains controlled from Wellington, a single oil pipeline. Seems we never learn.

 

Clearly the answer is cramming yet more people to our cities, pushing our aging and woefully inadequate infrastructure to failure.


 
 
 
 




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  # 2327255 30-Sep-2019 18:50
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It just seems pretty obvious to me that you would want more than a single point of failure for something as major as all the country's air transport.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  # 2327256 30-Sep-2019 18:52
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Rikkitic:

 

It just seems pretty obvious to me that you would want more than a single point of failure for something as major as all the country's air transport.

 

 

 

 

You would think so. 


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  # 2327301 30-Sep-2019 20:41
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Airways have ADS-B and multilateration available for tracking aircraft also. It's not like aircraft just drop out of the sky when ATC stops working, as evidenced by the large number of uncontrolled airports we have in NZ.




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  # 2327302 30-Sep-2019 20:45
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That may well be so, and as I said, I have no particular knowledge of this, but the news item today said all domestic traffic was halted while the problem was fixed, and planes did drop out of the sky (according to the item) because some of them  were directed to land at the nearest available airport!

 

 

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  # 2327307 30-Sep-2019 20:59
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There used to be radar centres in Auckland, Ohakea and Christchurch. Several years ago Airways in their wisdom decided to centralise the whole operation to Christchurch despite concerns being raised about the wisdom of doing this.

 

Since the Christchurch quakes Airways have decided that it might be a good idea to have some redundancy and are going to open a centre in Auckland.

 

ADSB and multilateration are just a replacement for the the old tech spinning SSR radar heads that will be decommissioned. The controllers still sit in the same room looking at the same or similar screens as they do now. A fire alarm going off will have the same effect ADSB or no ADSB.

 

Aircraft do not fall out if the sky because the radar stops working. However the number of aircraft that can be handled in the airspace covered by the radar network will decrease. Therefore the ability to handle the normal number of arrivals into the airspace around busy airports like Auckland Wellington and Christchurch reduces. This means diverting en-route aircraft to regional airports to reduce number of aircraft arriving at the busier airports.

 

Naturally while the capacity is severely impacted it doesn't make sense for aircraft be allowed to depart.

 

There has been other occasions in the past where similar events have occurred.





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  # 2327342 30-Sep-2019 22:00
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We could have multiple levels of redundancy on all sorts of systems but we are a small market place and given that how much are people willing to pay for it.





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  # 2327395 1-Oct-2019 08:06
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In my experience, the same people who say “surely it’s obvious ...” or “we never learn ...” are the same people who say “why should I have to pay ...”.





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  # 2327482 1-Oct-2019 10:16
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MikeB4:

 

We could have multiple levels of redundancy on all sorts of systems but we are a small market place and given that how much are people willing to pay for it.

 

 

Yes, true we are a small market. However we are talking about what is critical infrastructure. Had you considered what the outcome would have been if it had been a real fire that knocked out the ATC centre in Christchurch rather than just the false alarm it was yesterday? Air traffic in New Zealand would have likely have been severely impacted for a prolonged period.

 

There is history with Airways NZ regarding fires in control centres. While it was still operating there was a fire at the Ohakea centre. The disruption was almost unnoticed as air traffic control services for the area covered by Ohakea were able to be transferred to Christchurch until the centre was repaired. 





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  # 2327486 1-Oct-2019 10:21
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Technofreak:

 

MikeB4:

 

We could have multiple levels of redundancy on all sorts of systems but we are a small market place and given that how much are people willing to pay for it.

 

 

Yes, true we are a small market. However we are talking about what is critical infrastructure. Had you considered what the outcome would have been if it had been a real fire that knocked out the ATC centre in Christchurch rather than just the false alarm it was yesterday? Air traffic in New Zealand would have likely have been severely impacted for a prolonged period.

 

There is history with Airways NZ regarding fires in control centres. While it was still operating there was a fire at the Ohakea centre. The disruption was almost unnoticed as air traffic control services for the area covered by Ohakea were able to be transferred to Christchurch until the centre was repaired. 

 

 

yes I did consider this. So, would you be willing to pay a surcharge on air travel to fund redundancy?





Mike
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There is no planet B

 

 


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  # 2327504 1-Oct-2019 10:35
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MikeB4:

 

So, would you be willing to pay a surcharge on air travel to fund redundancy?

 

 

Or, you could ask why we have lost redundancy we previously had?

 

You can bet when the centralised system was introduced, costs didn't go down.


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  # 2327528 1-Oct-2019 10:46
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SirHumphreyAppleby:

 

MikeB4:

 

So, would you be willing to pay a surcharge on air travel to fund redundancy?

 

 

Or, you could ask why we have lost redundancy we previously had?

 

You can bet when the centralised system was introduced, costs didn't go down.

 

 

This  ↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑

 

 





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  # 2327532 1-Oct-2019 10:52
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SirHumphreyAppleby:

 

MikeB4:

 

So, would you be willing to pay a surcharge on air travel to fund redundancy?

 

 

Or, you could ask why we have lost redundancy we previously had?

 

You can bet when the centralised system was introduced, costs didn't go down.

 

 

That only addresses the historical it does not address the future.





Mike
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The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

There is no planet B

 

 


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  # 2327534 1-Oct-2019 10:54
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Technofreak:

 

Aircraft do not fall out if the sky because the radar stops working.

 

 

This isn't about radar not working... it's about ATC not working. Whilst aircraft won't fall out of the sky, the function of ATC is to ensure separation of aircraft in controlled airspace; i.e. to prevent midair collisions, in which case they *will* fall out of the sky.

 

 

This means diverting en-route aircraft to regional airports to reduce number of aircraft arriving at the busier airports.

 

 

Any kind of diversion is not possible unless ATC is there to command it, and to control the traffic to and arrivals at the regional airport. So diverting aircraft to another airport isn't going to help... in fact, it probably means that several large aircraft are sent to a common point, and what's more a point where there are probably aircraft that aren't ADSB-equipped.

 

Without ADSB and therefore TCAS, which allows the pilots to know where other ADSB-equipped aircraft are, loss of ATC is potentially catastrophic. At the point of ATC failure, two aircraft may be moving towards a collision, and neither may be able to see the other in time to avoid it. The best thing that could be done would be to command all aircraft to orbit exactly where they are.

 

 


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