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Update @ 1122 EST

SYD Port Coordinator advises the following update.

  • a) NBM has diverted to OOL due to holding requirements (ETA OOL is 1205).
  • b) NBQ, NBO and WBC in sequence have all been given an approach (using RWY34L).
  • c) NBQ crew has advised that they have enough fuel for one approach and, if not successfi.il, will divert to CBR.
SYD weather - status @1125

Figure 7.3 SYD weather - status @1125

d) The weather conditions on the ground still favour RWYs 34L/R and the airport is open for all operations, although heavy rain has commenced, and wind speed increased.

The diversion of NBM was not surprising, given the information received about its fuel reserves and the АТС holding requirements. The fundamental thought is the aircraft’s next commitment, while Crewing consider the crew commitments and the CJM team consider tranships beyond SYD. The CJM team will also start to examine ways to get the CNS-SYD customers to SYD should the IOC need to send the aircraft elsewhere. The aircraft is currently committed for 304 SYD-BNE (indicated by an ‘x’ on Figure 7.3), followed by the international operation 702/705 BNE-NOU-SYD with a subsequent curfew limitation in SYD.

Update @ 1125 EST

SYD Port Coordinator relays the next update.

  • a) NBQ has just had a missed approach due to wind shear on final, and has diverted to CBR (ETA CBR is 1220).
  • b) NBO is about to have an approach.
  • c) Not sure of the whereabouts of WBC; trying to find out from АТС.
  • d) NBRhas been given additional 10 minutes holding (hold until 1210).
  • e) NBN has been given additional 20 minutes holding (hold until 1245).

In the IOC, the CJM team advise that NBN 322 CBR-SYD has a 45- member joint Australian and Noumea Government delegation of senior ministers and their respective departmental staff travelling to Noumea on 322 CBR-SYD/304 SYD-BNE/702 BNE-NOU. With this latest information - notably the diversions and the government travel, the IOC needs to consider the immediate impact, in particular the likelihood of NBN landing in SYD.

The Gantt chart is likely to be updated as shown in Figure 7.3 opposite.

The diversion of NBQ to CBR results in another shortage of aircraft in SYD, this time to operate 217 SYD-MEL (indicated by an ‘x’ on Figure 7.3). Now with the loss of two aircraft in the SYD area, the IOC would start to consider cancellations in order to re-balance the flights. An orderly consideration of issues may appear as follows: a) With NBQ diverting to CBR, either this aircraft could just refuel and operate back to SYD or a SYD-CBR flight could be cancelled. The problem with getting NBQ back to SYD is exacerbated by the deteriorating weather conditions at SYD and the accumulation of holding as a result, so in all probability this would take several hours. Thus, the thought may be for cancelling 323 SYD-CBR (currently NBO), and by swapping patterns around, using NBQ to operate 335 CBR-MEL as this would be a ready solution and would also help to preserve the schedule for the remainder of that current flying pattern. If NBQ did not refuel and operate back to SYD, a search of the Reservations system would be conducted to establish any seats CBR-SYD available to uplift the HBA-SYD customers, preferably on the next CBR- SYD flight (or if necessary, on a competitor’s), and similarly, ways to uplift the 323 customers SYD-CBR. The SYD-CBR customers can in fact all be accommodated on 327 departing at 1630 (35 seats) and 329 departing at 1950 (123 seats). However, only 14 seats are available CBR-SYD (on 328 departing CBR at 1805). As CBR-SYD is about four hours road time, a feasible customer recovery may include the use of buses CBR-SYD for many of the diverted 380 HBA-SYD customers.

  • b) With NBM diverting to OOL, there is a shortage of aircraft in SYD for 304 SYD-BNE and scanning across the utilisation, this can be seen as a critical flight, as within its ground time in BNE (2 hours), the aircraft needs to be unloaded, towed from the domestic to the international terminal, and then readied for an international operation (702 BNE- NOU), requiring additional preparation than for a domestic service. Delaying this service also has curfew implications in SYD.
  • c) The main consideration for NBM is whether to ferry this aircraft OOL-BNE such that it could operate 702/705 BNE-NOU-SYD on schedule, or whether it should refuel and operate immediately to SYD, which guarantees that the CNS-SYD customers get to SYD without further disruption, and also covers the growing shortfall of aircraft in the SYD area. Further, it may serve as insurance in case other aircraft divert from SYD. The occasion of thunderstorms often is limited in time and impact, and if NBM were to depart OOL at 1230, the aircraft would not be in the SYD area until 1400, well after the storms have passed. As this sector is considerably shorter than CNS-SYD, a greater fuel load can be uplifted with a longer holding time (if necessary).
  • d) The status of NBN now also comes into play, as (i) it has been given further holding such that it is now very close to the latest diversion time for CBR and (ii) it has the governmental delegation on board for Noumea. A number of thought processes in the IOC could consider the range of options as follows.

i. The first may be to request the NBN 322 crew to calculate whether they can use BNE as their alternate instead of CBR, and if so (bearing in mind the additional distance to BNE compared with CBR), what would then be their latest divert time? Diverting NBN to BNE has merit - it would both guarantee an aircraft for 702 BNE-NOU on schedule and importantly, facilitate connection for the government delegation. Weighing against that, though, is the impact for the other CBR-SYD customers on the flight as they would travel via BNE and then need to be accommodated on the next available BNE-SYD flight (this would be 307 WBE which has 114 vacant seats) and would arrive in SYD at 1750.

ii. The second option if NBN cannot use BNE as the alternate, is for the aircraft to divert to CBR, refuel, then operate back to SYD, weather permitting. However, this option revisits the situation described in (c) above, requiring NBM to ferry OOL-BNE to operate 702/705 BNE-NOU-SYD, with the CNS-SYD customers either misplaced in OOL or taken to BNE for next available uplift to SYD.

iii. The third option if NBN were to divert to CBR, would be to cancel 322 CBR-SYD and send the aircraft direct CBR-BNE. NBN is holding south of SYD, so if it diverted immediately, it would arrive CBR at about 1215, could re-depart at about 1245 and arrive BNE at 1425. This may cause a small delay on 702 BNE-NOU, but would provide an aircraft and facilitate the connection for the government delegation as described above. The 322 CBR-SYD customers would then be accommodated as described in point (a) above.

 
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