Australia’s airways could soon become less safe

Pilots and aviation experts around Australia are raising urgent concerns over the country’s future air safety. Airservices Australia, the organisation
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Pilots and aviation experts around Australia are raising urgent concerns over the country’s future air safety.

Airservices Australia, the organisation overseeing air traffic control throughout the country’s major airports, currently plans to axe a quarter of its staff – around 900 jobs. 

Pilots, aviation workers and assorted insiders have raised major safety concerns over the plans, but say it’s fallen on deaf ears.

“We haven’t seen any of the safety work that’s being done to justify this being a safe course of action” air traffic controller Tom McRoberts told ABC News

“Airservices say they’ve done it all but we haven’t seen any.”

Mr McRoberts believes that if the engineers responsible for keeping equipment in order are made redundant, it could present a large threat. 

Airservices Australia, a government-owned organisation, claims the cuts will only affect back office and technical staff. “We are not reducing the size of our operational and rostered air traffic control or aviation rescue firefighting staffing,” said a spokesperson.

However, insiders have told the ABC that these worries have fallen on deaf ears, and that the organisation has not offered any real clarification or reassurance over Australian air safety.

They believe the lack of technical staff can itself present a major risk.

“When you get multiple faults happening that’s where you get into trouble,” said CPSU president Alistair Waters.

“That’s why those highly skilled technical staff are just so critical.”

Ben Morgan, executive director of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia, called the idea “utterly disgraceful”.

“I find it almost incomprehensible that the senior executive team of this billion-dollar organisation have not been able to secure the futures of these people who they are now asking to leave.”

“The people that are going to feel this the most are the low end. This is going to be another exercise in the top end of the organisation band-aiding their problems and their mistakes by asking the people at the bottom end of the chain to sacrifice their day-to-day work.”

Do you share the concerns of these air safety professionals? 

  1. Duncan  

    Makes me sick to the stomach to think my safety, & that of my fellow air-travellers, is in jeopardy due to saving dollars’.

    Air safety is just SO important, it should be handled by the Federal Government, NOT private enterprise.

    Bring back the Department of Civil Aviation Portfolio, & all that it entails.

    • David Gons  

      Duncan, AirServices Austrslia is still a 100% Federal Government owned Corporation. Raise your concerns with the Transport Minister through your local parliamentarian (MP).

  2. Gavin Weston N.F.P.  

    This action is so like Government departments and some companies where the people up the top of the organisation cut the working staff to save money but do not cut the overhead staff of administration that is not effective in carrying out the purpose of the department or company, in this case the safety of the Australian public and aircrews flying the Australian airways and overseas flights. After hearing of things like this I sometimes feel that it takes 4 years or so at University to get to know how to muck things up and this type of operation by the Admin staff only confirms my feeling. In a totally objective view the Admin staff are servants to the operational staff but fail to see this. The operational staff actually do the work that is required of that service and actually are responsible of bringing in the income of the Department or company. The admin staff do not bring in income or if so in a minority form. It is time to put things in perspective and put things where they should be. If workers have their positions cut then the Admin and managers etc need to cut their staff. I have seen this over a long business life and still shake my head in disbelief of the stupid things educated people do and then blame someone else.

  3. John  

    Can “journalist” do anything else than being scaremongers?
    Anyone who has worked at AirServices or been a contractor there will tell that it’s a day care for adults.
    Look at employees review of the company. Despite being a monopoly with 1 billion of revenue, they managed to lose 120M$!! What an utter disgrace.
    The safety of passengers is not put at risks by getting rid of overpaid office barnacles.

  4. Ex staff member  

    John the staff that have gone were not the barnacles. It was the top heavy management, supposed specialists and many of those contractors you mentioned who cost the company and weighed it down. Can someone explain why during the start of the restructure only 120 managers were let go. Over 500 employees with more to go employees to go went. When I left a couple of months ago, the new structure had more Managers than possibly needed, including some with no to a couple of staff. John it is the staff who kept the wheel turning on ASA’s aging infrastructure that were let go not those barnacles you mentioned they’re still there.

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