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Is the FAA paying to fix the Brazilian ATC system?

Discussion in 'FAA News, Opinion and Articles' started by Richard Wyeroski, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    A lot of you Airnation folks know me. I was a former Inspector with the FAA and I have done a bit of investigating in my time. Well the Summer Olympics is coming to Brazil. Their Air Traffic Control System is not to reliable and in the past has caused to many accidents?

    One of these accidents is published here in Airnation. The GOL flt 1907 disaster. So, Brazil is fixing their ATC system and it seems the FAA is helping to pay for it.

    Brazil Upgrades Air Traffic Technology For World Cup And Olympics

    Systems To Be Expanded To 23 Airports Around The Country

    In the run up to the FIFA World Cup this year, and the Olympics in 2016, air traffic management company SITA is working with the Comissão de Implantação do Sistema de Controle do Espaço Aéreo (CISCEA) in its drive to upgrade Brazil’s air traffic management technology. CISCEA is the body responsible for developing and implementing new technologies for DECEA, the Brazilian Air Navigation Service Provider.
    [​IMG]
    SITA already provides Departure Clearance (DCL) and Digital-Automatic Terminal Information Service (D-ATIS) datalink services at both Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo’s GRU Airport. These solutions will now be extended to 23 airports across Brazil.
    Major Brigadier Carlos Vuyk de Aquino, President of CISCEA, said: “Brazil has the busiest airspace in South America and we are very proud to be hosting two of the world’s biggest sporting events. We want everyone flying to, from and within Brazil to have smooth and uneventful journeys. It is therefore essential that our air traffic managers have access to the very best technology available.
    “This investment is not only for these big events, but is part of SIRIUS, DECEA’s major modernization program. A cornerstone of this program is the delivery of datalink services at Brazil’s main airports to transform air traffic communications. We have been working with SITA over the past ten years and we are confident that the SITA team will deliver exactly what we need.”
    DCL, using SITA’s datalink solution integrated with local systems, streamlines departure control. The pilot requests departure clearance by sending a text message to the control tower and the controller responds, also by datalink. Likewise, using D-ATIS, real-time airport operational and weather information is transmitted to the pilot over datalink. Together DCL and DATIS will reduce overloading of the VHF voice frequency and so improve overall efficiency and safety.
    “Using datalink makes flying more efficient and even safer. The transmission of data in text format is highly reliable,” said Philip Clinch, SITA Vice President of Aircraft Services. “It reduces workload for both air traffic controllers and pilots by improving the accuracy of their communications. And information can be transmitted at any phase of the flight, in advance of the busy time period of departure and approach.”
    The project began in December 2013 and is progressing as planned. The technology is being delivered in batches to four airports at a time and will be completed in time for the Olympic Games in 2016.
    (Image of unidentified control tower provided by SITA)
    FMI: www.decea.gov.br/en/?i=about


    So... the FAA is paying to fix up the system....some might wonder why? Is it because of the GOL 1907 accident?

    I know a lot about this accident. My investigative nose tells me, yes. You see the FAA closed the case and the NTSB will not investigate any further and that is that. It appears that a deal was struck and the cost of retribution is the FAA pays to fix the system.

    This is good because we can not have an Olympics with a bad ATC system.

    FAA PAYS
    TO FIX BRAZIL's ATC SYSTEM
    http://www.ustda.gov/news/pressreleases/2012/LAC/Brazil/USBrazilAviationPartnership_040912.asp
     
  2. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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  3. Lord Leighton

    Lord Leighton Hangar Gold Member I

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    If I remember rightly Rich, it was you as one aboard that surviving flight in Brazil a while back? If I'm correct, I think you agree that Brazilian airspace needs to be modern ATC controlled instead of their military control for safe growth. I think the US painted themselves into a corner on how they handled that one for the US to agree to upgrade Brazil.....Correct me if I'm wrong. :)
     
  4. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    Lord

    To keep the record straight, I was not aboard GOL 1907. My point had been, I would have recommended a what is called a "Strategic Lateral Offset Procedure" SLOP, which is nothing more then flying the aircraft off center line a half mile and up or down 100' feet.

    This is standard operating procedure for pilots, SOP when there is a doubt about reliability flying in countries with ATC problems. Brazil's reputation is none to good, partly because their ATC system is run by the military. Pilots flying in Brazil routinely use "SLOP." Certain countries in Africa have literally no en route ATC guidance and pilots fly off altitude and talk on a common frequency!

    One of my main points in the GOL 1907 thread was, why did no one aboard 1907 fly or recommend the "SLOP" procedure. I know "IF" I was aboard, I would have recommended it to the captain.

    The Summer Olympics is coming to Brazil. So an improved ATC system is imperative and needed.

    Most countries like Brazil have limited ATC traffic and literally no "General Aviation" G/A operations and do not have an ATC system like the US with 50,000 airline operations a day and Europe with 25,000 operations a day! The US also has an unknown amount of G/A operations a day. My guess would be 20-40,000 thousand?

    The Mystery to me will always be why did Flight 1907, not operate using SLOP procedures.... why? Lastly, why did the TCAS system (the collision warning system) suddenly start to operate after the collision ?

    Too many "whys" with a closed case in my opinion.

    Thanks,
     
  5. Lord Leighton

    Lord Leighton Hangar Gold Member I

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    TY for clarifying Rich, and your right!
     
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  6. LandoPBM

    LandoPBM Hangar Bronze Member III

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    I hope they will be in time for 2016. They are definitely too late for the upcoming 'FIFA Worldchampion soccer' games which will be held in Brazil in June 2014. This will draw millions of people wordlwide to Brazil and I wonder what will happen to the already congested airports/roads/hotels etc.

    Thanks to Richard and this forum I learned about this SLOP procedure and as a safety manager am including it in the risk assessment & recommending it to my crew 'in advance' so they might consider using it next monday when we will have a flight crossing Brazil to Paraguay and then to Chile (and back).

    What is the status of their ATC system today, almost 8 years after this GOL1907 midair collision?
    Are they still being run by the Military? Anybody has a site/link to this info? Would be much appreciated ;)
     
  7. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    Yes the military is still running things. It is politics ans the system in Brazil is being up graded with the help of the the US State Department and FAA.

    "SLOP" is a good thing and it is a recognized SOP in many flight departments in the states!

    I can not tell you how many times I have been very close to another aircraft while training pilots. I use a form of SLOP, where I fly off altitude, using Visual Flight Rules VFR procedures. Just a 50' altitude deviation has keep me out of trouble.

    I sure hope Brazil improves for the Olympics in 2016
     
  8. LandoPBM

    LandoPBM Hangar Bronze Member III

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    Thank you Richard; you might not have made it till today if you did not use this procedure, so you know what you are talking about.
    I feel like little resistance when suggesting this procedures because as usual people don't think that it will ever happen to them (as did the GOL1907). And you know pilots don't like others to tell them what to do. But we have to do our job and the next step is to see if we can add it to the SOP's if it isn't there already
     
  9. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    I hope you can add it to the SOP. It is used widely in countries with questionable ATC capabilities. It is safe. If it was used back in 2006 the GOL 1907 disaster would have been averted.

    Thanks,
     
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  10. LandoPBM

    LandoPBM Hangar Bronze Member III

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    Sure, it will not hurt us, being based in South-America it looks like it should be 'required' :D
     
  11. Exuma Guy

    Exuma Guy Hangar Silver Member VI

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    Uhm, There are thousands of G/A airplanes in Brazil. I don't quite understand your statement here.
     
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  12. LandoPBM

    LandoPBM Hangar Bronze Member III

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    they have 100% of their airspace covered by radar, including the entire amazon rainforest
     
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  13. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    Most operations are airlines and private jets,. There is little G/A Activity. The student learning to fly does not exist in Brazil, like in the US
     
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  14. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    Well, I am not throwing rocks at you. I value your opinions:)
     
  15. LandoPBM

    LandoPBM Hangar Bronze Member III

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    Richard I do not feel offended at all. We all know the situation here. There are parts of South-America where it is not (that) safe to fly and we will have to face it if we want to improve; having said that, we are doing much better than Africa ;)
     
  16. Lord Leighton

    Lord Leighton Hangar Gold Member I

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    Africa is much worse in a few respects. Not only a bigger area with zero coverage but, wars, poiltical unrest and mostly a very unstable place to have to deal with.
     
  17. LandoPBM

    LandoPBM Hangar Bronze Member III

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    one thing is sure: no matter how sophisticated the new ATC equipment in Brazil will be, if it will stay in hands of military then it will not be as safe as it could get for reasons well known (human factors/see GOL1907 midair collision). It has some benefits but does not have to be the most safe option. To be honest I do not see them changing this...
     
  18. Edward Jeszka

    Edward Jeszka Hangar Gold Member I

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    I flew quite a bit in Africa and you might just as well be guessing where your traffic might be. Unless things have changed, you really depended on the other flight crews information for any separation And then really hoped they knew where they were really at. We used to do a whole lot of aircraft to aircraft communications and sometimes you would see you traffic and sometimes not. We really came to focus more on the reported altitudes than reported positions. And we normally flew off airways and sidestepped point to point. Just a different kind of aviation going on down there. But I agree 100% with Rich. You do whatever you need to do to keep yourself from meeting someone else head on. Bad day when that happens. Lots of the funding to improve those systems never made it to their intended destination. But that was 20 years ago or so and I would hope that things have imp[roved dramatically. I didn't leave anything down there so I can promise you I won't be going back to look. If you find yourself down there, just remember, you have to be twice as alert and 100% more imaginative and ingenious as to how to improve your safety.
     
  19. Lord Leighton

    Lord Leighton Hangar Gold Member I

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    I'm really hoping that if the State Dept and the FAA are paying $200 million, that they make sure that money isn't being sidetracked somewhere useless like most of the Russian Olympic venue did. Vancouver Winter Olympics, $8.7 Billion, 4 yrs later................Sochi, Russia $51 Billion. Hmmmmm. There needs to be transparency and accounting to Brazil.
     
  20. Exuma Guy

    Exuma Guy Hangar Silver Member VI

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    My numerous missionary friends would beg to differ with you. Also, one of my former pilots does nothing but deliver G/A airplanes down there, mostly turbo-props, but some pistons.
     

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