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144 posts

Master Geek


  # 2327541 1-Oct-2019 11:12
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I don’t see what the big problem is. I’ve been flying when the Airways Control Centre has been evacuated. They instigate TIBA (Traffic Information Broadcasts from Aircraft), so all aircraft flying in a certain area transfer across to another frequency that is monitored by a local control tower.

 

We broadcast our position and intentions and go back to basics and seperate ourselves from the other traffic and land at our destinations. It really isn’t that hard, you just talk directly to the other aircraft to find out who is around you and manage your climb or descent with the other aircraft around you. We get far more complex problems to deal with in the simulator training every 6 months. It’s just that once we land, we can’t depart until things are operational again.

 

Unfortunately, aviation is a victim of its own success. It has become so reliable that passengers don’t realise the hundreds of things that have to go right to get a flight away successfully. But do notice when one of the big ones fails. As I tell my crew when we start work each day, the schedule is just a guideline, we only depart when we are ready and I’ll put the park brake on and stop immediately if anyone has any concerns. Frankly, Getting you there on time always comes second to getting there alive.

 

So to those who want to eliminate the whole risk out of Airways, where would you put the control centres? Anywhere South of the Manawatu is a high risk of earthquakes, North of the Manawatu has volcanoes, the Manawatu has farmers and contractors who cut the Airways Fibre Link (that cable has been cut three times in five years, there was one outage where both the primary and secondary cables were cut in different places at the same time, so why don’t be build 3 or 4 or 765 cables just in case they get cut?).

 

 

 

 


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  # 2327548 1-Oct-2019 11:25
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frankv:

 

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.

 

 

I think you are getting confused about various technologies. TCAS does not rely on an aircraft being equipped with ADSB. TCAS relies on Mode C transponders and all aircraft operating in controlled airspace have to have an operative Mode C transponder or better. To that effect all transport category aircraft I know of have two transponders to ensure redundancy in this regard.

 

So far as arrivals at regional airports go, any ATC service if there is one provided at that airport, is done by the local control tower.

 

Even though the tower controllers are not rated to provide a service using a radar signal, in most cases the tower has a feed of the radar signal to enhance situational awareness. It's my guess in an emergency they would use this information to avoid an accident.

 

At many regional airfields there is no ATC service what so ever and the arriving/departing aircraft work out their own separation to avoid conflict.

 

 

 

P.S. See that above post to see how things are handled  in an en-route situation when ATC go off the air.





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Uber Geek


  # 2327551 1-Oct-2019 11:28
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For some clarity of those who did not watch the Airways 4pm media release yesterday.

 

It wasn't just an evacuation. The secondary UPS failed, and let the magic smoke out. Triggering both a redundancy fallover to the secondary or manual/backup as described (with limited plate board control from towers no doubt). AND a building evacuation of those that do the controlling due to the smoke.

 

Had it been just an evac (happened before) less impact would likely have been felt outside a 'hold until we get ontop of manual boards again'. But this took a bit longer, and required the shutdown of some systems and fail-over.

 

 

 

No pretty screens to look at to pre-plan separation and flight levels makes for fun times with avoidance in built up airspace and keeping track on where everything is


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  # 2329334 4-Oct-2019 00:36
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MikeB4:

 

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

 

 

I don't pretend to know the detailed breakdown of where each dollar of one's airfare goes to in NZ but in the likes of the US, typically taxes and non-airport charges make up to 20% of the cost of each flight. Unless you have better evidence, I think it's safe to assume that NZ is broadly comparable. It's hard to believe that radar redundancy would itself make up a sizable part of such a percentage of each air ticket that the NZ govt would immediately look to recover in one giant whack, as opposed to spreading the costs out over time. I further note that your previous interlocutor's point about redundancy previously being in place and its disappearance not having led to any price decrease was, as usual, met by another feeble one-liner from you.

 

In any event, given that air travel is seen as so desirable by many people in business and a luxury for which many are prepared to pay a considerable amount, it's hard to imagine that too many people will be jumping up and down to quibble over, say, a few dollars extra on each flight. Furthermore, you might like to have a look at the number of passenger movements in NZ's international airports in 2019 (i.e. nearly 14 million - source). A couple of bucks extra for each trip would go quite a long way each year, especially when any capital investments will be amortised over many-a-year.

 

 

 

[Mod edit (MF): post edited to remove last off topic paragraph).


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  # 2329356 4-Oct-2019 07:37
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Looks like centralized train control doesn't look like a good idea after yesterday.




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neb

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  # 2331509 6-Oct-2019 17:19
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Technofreak:

ADSB and multilateration are just a replacement for the the old tech spinning SSR radar heads that will be decommissioned.

 

 

One thing about ADSB is that using it relies on single every aircraft in the sky having it enabled and operating correctly. Ground-based radar isn't dependent on this. So I'd use ADSB as a backup for radar, but not as the primary indicator for air traffic.

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Master Geek


  # 2331510 6-Oct-2019 17:29
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neb:

One thing about ADSB is that using it relies on single every aircraft in the sky having it enabled and operating correctly. Ground-based radar isn't dependent on this. So I'd use ADSB as a backup for radar, but not as the primary indicator for air traffic.


In the case discussed here, the radar worked. The signals from everyone’s transponder was being received by the SSR’s around the country, so was the MLAT signals from down south. However the centre was at fault. It wouldn’t matter if there was ADS-B because that will still run into the same system fault as SSR and MLAT.

ADS-C may have helped. But we’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars per aircraft to be fitted.

MLAT: Mutli-Lateration, basically radar without a radar head, cheaper to implement and only requires an aircraft to be fitted with a Mode S transponder.
ADS-B: Automatic Dependant Surveillance - Broadcast. The aircraft transmit their position to receivers on the ground.
ADS-C: Automatic Dependant Surveillance - Communication. Does the same as ADS-B but information such as clearances and traffic information can be communicated to the aircraft without the need for voice communication.

 
 
 
 


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  # 2331674 7-Oct-2019 07:32
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neb:
Technofreak:

 

ADSB and multilateration are just a replacement for the the old tech spinning SSR radar heads that will be decommissioned.

 

One thing about ADSB is that using it relies on single every aircraft in the sky having it enabled and operating correctly. Ground-based radar isn't dependent on this. So I'd use ADSB as a backup for radar, but not as the primary indicator for air traffic.

 

Ground-based radar in NZ isn't really radar. I'm pretty sure that the primary radar has already been decommissioned. What we have now is dependent on aircraft having transponders (currently Mode C, but the transition to Mode S is underway). So we already rely on aircraft being transponder-equipped. And on the Mk1 eyeball.

 

 


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  # 2332225 7-Oct-2019 20:54
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neb:
Technofreak:

 

ADSB and multilateration are just a replacement for the the old tech spinning SSR radar heads that will be decommissioned.

 

One thing about ADSB is that using it relies on single every aircraft in the sky having it enabled and operating correctly. Ground-based radar isn't dependent on this. So I'd use ADSB as a backup for radar, but not as the primary indicator for air traffic.

 

ADSB is the replacement for radar. ADSB is no more reliant on an aircraft being equipped with a Mode S transponder than the current Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR) is reliant on a Mode C transponder. All aircraft that wish to operate inside Controlled Airspace now must have at least a Mode C transponder, before too long the minimum requirement will be a Mode S transponder.

 

ADSB is not going to be a back up for SSR, it replaces SSR.

 

Due to the technologies they use ADSB and SSR have a much greater range than PSR. This is why they are the primary source of "radar" information to ATC.





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  # 2332235 7-Oct-2019 21:04
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frankv:

 

Ground-based radar in NZ isn't really radar. I'm pretty sure that the primary radar has already been decommissioned. What we have now is dependent on aircraft having transponders (currently Mode C, but the transition to Mode S is underway). So we already rely on aircraft being transponder-equipped. And on the Mk1 eyeball.

 

 

Ground based radar in New Zealand at the current time comprises both Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR) and Primary Surveillance Radar (PSR). There are PSR heads at Auckland Wellington and Christchurch. These are used for backup purposes. It's my understanding PSR will still be used as a back up once SSR is replaced by ADSB. Primary radar has the advantage it can still "paint" a target that isn't equipped with a transponder or has had a transponder failure.





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