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  • Move AC to Shannon/Cork?

    Wishful thinking?

    CASA CN235 at Cork Airport as Naval Service Air Wing.

    Attached Files
    "The Question is not: how far you will take this? The Question is do you possess the constitution to go as far as is needed?"

  • #2
    The radar automatically filters ground clutter so that is a non issue. In a SAR scenario I assume the CG will have a location of the vessel. If not then the casa will prob carryout a search pattern.

    Why would you need to base the aircraft in cork? 1 hours fuel Vs Hangarage, personnel, catering, maintenance etc are all costs that would have to be accounted for. The country isnt that big!! If the aircraft captain believes the mission will go on for longer than 7/8 hours then they can top off the tanks at one of the airports.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by balkanhawk View Post
      Why would you need to base the aircraft in cork? 1 hours fuel Vs Hangarage, personnel, catering, maintenance etc are all costs that would have to be accounted for. The country isnt that big!! If the aircraft captain believes the mission will go on for longer than 7/8 hours then they can top off the tanks at one of the airports.
      Hence the question mark after the wishful thinking comment.



      Originally posted by Fouga View Post
      Is that an image of a 1 way or return to EIME Journey?
      Line represents range of out and return flight.
      "The Question is not: how far you will take this? The Question is do you possess the constitution to go as far as is needed?"

      Comment


      • #4
        1 hours fuel Vs Hangarage, personnel, catering, maintenance etc are all costs that would have to be accounted for.
        Hangarage and maintenance could be outsourced in Shannon, rather the Cork, cheaper then providing same dedicated in Bal. Catering provided by airline caterers in Shannon would also be cheaper then paying for staff in Bal. As for personnel if the decision is made to move then the personnel do also if not tough luck your job is gone and give it to somebody who will.
        The decision isnt about fuel its about what provides the best service. If that means moving to Cork or Shannon then cost, which would actually be cheaper, isnt a reason not to.

        Comment


        • #5
          Catering... I'd love that. Unfortunately I have to cook for myself.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Tadpole
            The decision isnt about fuel its about what provides the best service. If that means moving to Cork or Shannon then cost, which would actually be cheaper, isnt a reason not to.
            It was suggest on the board years ago that the AC CASA should be based at Shannon.


            Hangarage and maintenance could be outsourced in Shannon, rather the Cork, cheaper then providing same dedicated in Bal. Catering provided by airline caterers in Shannon would also be cheaper then paying for staff in Bal. As for personnel if the decision is made to move then the personnel do also if not tough luck your job is gone and give it to somebody who will.
            If it was AC CASAs how would it be?

            Hangarage is already in Baldonnel, already paid for there so it would need to be leased in Shannon.

            Maintenance - some personnel would need to be relocated, thereby reducing the numbers available in Baldonnel and therefore have a huge effect on servicability of all aircraft in the fleet (the CASAs would have to go back to Baldonnel for more intensive servicing).

            Catering - already provided at Baldonnel.

            Unfortually a lot of the time the DF don't operate like that (it isn't just the AC) but things have started to change.

            Comment


            • #7
              Dev,
              i agree that a lot of the services currently reside in Bal but to be honest the sum of the whole (Air Corps) cost way too much for its individual parts. ie 750 personnel for about 20 aircraft. Yes I know the 750 personnel do other jobs but are they needed, for example.

              1. Airfield operations including airfield maintenance, ATC, Firecrew - close Baldonnel and move to a regional airfield that already has all of these services in place or sell the airfield to civies.

              2. Aircraft maintenance - outsource to civil operators who operate 24hrs and are not hamstrung by the military system. Your choice to number 1 above could be important here as an example Shannon has a number of MROs easily capable of handling the entire AC fleet.

              3. Catering, barracks etc. Have an operational building for each unit, crews provide their own catering as per civiy land and if not rostered to be used be at home.

              4. Close all messes, accommodation and other non essential services. ie medical aid post , god forbid go to a doctor if your sick and let the AC pick up the bill it will still be cheaper then running a self sufficient MAP.

              The above are only off the cuff suggestions but the up shot would be lower personnel numbers, lower cost to the taxpayer, a more efficient service and I dare say more money available to provide more actual flight services such as Top Cover. Is this such an outlandish idea? (Barring of course the usual, Im not moving, what rate would I be on etc)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Tadpole
                Dev,
                750 personnel for about 20 aircraft.

                749 at the moment!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tadpole
                  Dev,
                  i agree that a lot of the services currently reside in Bal but to be honest the sum of the whole (Air Corps) cost way too much for its individual parts. ie 750 personnel for about 20 aircraft. Yes I know the 750 personnel do other jobs but are they needed, for example.

                  1. Airfield operations including airfield maintenance, ATC, Firecrew - close Baldonnel and move to a regional airfield that already has all of these services in place or sell the airfield to civies.

                  2. Aircraft maintenance - outsource to civil operators who operate 24hrs and are not hamstrung by the military system. Your choice to number 1 above could be important here as an example Shannon has a number of MROs easily capable of handling the entire AC fleet.

                  3. Catering, barracks etc. Have an operational building for each unit, crews provide their own catering as per civiy land and if not rostered to be used be at home.

                  4. Close all messes, accommodation and other non essential services. ie medical aid post , god forbid go to a doctor if your sick and let the AC pick up the bill it will still be cheaper then running a self sufficient MAP.

                  The above are only off the cuff suggestions but the up shot would be lower personnel numbers, lower cost to the taxpayer, a more efficient service and I dare say more money available to provide more actual flight services such as Top Cover. Is this such an outlandish idea? (Barring of course the usual, Im not moving, what rate would I be on etc)
                  You have to bear in mind that those 750 don't just support and fly the fleet, they secure the base, serve overseas, train apprentices, train DF personnel in survival, sweep for FOD, are available for ATCP/ACTA (if required) etc etc.

                  1. Baldonnel is a 100% secure facility with restricted access, you can't for example fence off a ramp in an airport. Also to move base, build new hangers, upgrade runways etc would probably be more expensive (remember the nearest suitable location would probably be Weston (after that Cork/Shannon/Knock/Waterford/Galway).

                  2. Possible on some aircraft but this isn't a big country, you are assuming that eg Shannon Aerospace can get technicians rated on the PC-9 and maintain the AC fleet (and still do it cheaper than the AC). Also the AC is the only organisation in the State that trains rotary wing technicians. There is also the specialist & weapons aspects to consider.

                  3. Catering in the vast majority of cases is now centralised. ie 1 kicthen for the entire barracks (with 2-5 cooks) plus front of house catering, there are certain circumstances when personnel are entitled to free meals (not everyone is). Kicthen's is now an area that the DF has been very efficient, there used to be a lot more personnel involved. Also for example there may be legislation to consider, eg HACCP.

                  4. Mess would be the equivalent of a TV room & coffee shop if on duty. It would account for some personnel but not actually that many (apart from officers' mess). There is room for improvement here across the DF but remember the guy behind the counter will also do overseas and duties etc etc. MAPs across the country are heavily reliant on civilian GPs (over 74% of appointments which costs the DF around € 3 million per year), a military can't operate with civilian GPs giving out sick notes like there is no tomorrow. DF personnel are entitled to free medical care. Again there is massive efficiencies to be made here (across the DF), this is in the process of being addressed.

                  You are assuming the Government would put any savings back into flight ops!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Dev,
                    Good points but all off them allude to either non aircraft related tasks or inefficiency in the system.
                    The fact is that the Air Corps are a provider of aerial services to the state, that is their primary purpose. For the budget cost to the taxpayer the Air Corps has way too many people per airframe and cost way too much per flight hr provided.
                    At very quick run through the last DF budget the only AC specific cost I could find was about €75m but this is nowhere near the full costs as it does not include transport, medical etc. In the same year (excluding the Gardai because they are a separate service primarily funded by Justice with DF claw back for pilots) the AC produced about 2500 operational hours. Thats €30,000 per flight hr. Remember that price is for an hr in a GIV or a Cessna 172!
                    Add a very generous allowance for training to give a total of 6000 hrs per yr that gives a whopping €12,500 per flight hr. Even at this its over the top for an Ad hoc chater of a GIV let alone a 172.

                    If the AC wants to survive it needs to ditch the unneeded tasks such as securing an entire airfield (if Shannons security is ok for major airlines why not the AC(Leave the guns in Lmk Bks unless needed)), MAPs, countless levels of overlapping admin staff etc, become more efficient and provide and effective efficient service.

                    You are assuming the Government would put any savings back into flight ops!
                    I agree wholeheartedly with this but in its current guise the AC is an easy target. A more efficient service would be much harder to shove to one side, particularly on cost grounds.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DeV
                      .... Baldonnel is a 100% secure facility with restricted access, you can't for example fence off a ramp in an airport. Also to move base, build new hangers, upgrade runways etc would probably be more expensive (remember the nearest suitable location would probably be Weston (after that Cork/Shannon/Knock/Waterford/Galway) .....
                      But aren't many airports in Europe, the US and elsewhere, shared by civilian and military operators?

                      If the CASAs were moved to Shannon - the obvious location, IMHO: better weather than Cork, co-location with the SAR helicopters - there would be no need to spend money on runways, ATC, etc. And Shannon is well used to providing security for military aircraft, it's just that they're usually American rather than Irish!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by easyrider
                        But aren't many airports in Europe, the US and elsewhere, shared by civilian and military operators?

                        If the CASAs were moved to Shannon - the obvious location, IMHO: better weather than Cork, co-location with the SAR helicopters - there would be no need to spend money on runways, ATC, etc. And Shannon is well used to providing security for military aircraft, it's just that they're usually American rather than Irish!
                        And its the DF that provide that security
                        "The Question is not: how far you will take this? The Question is do you possess the constitution to go as far as is needed?"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi there,
                          The Casas could be moved to Shannon easily, as there is enough hangarage and parking available and the place is falling down with technical experience.The Casa is not that difficult to maintain, after all, being no bigger than an ATR-72. It's electronics are not so complicated, either, that they could not be supported. As for the rest, it could all be outsourced. Airlines set up and close down outstations all the time and there is no mystery attached to doing so. the Air Corps just make it a big deal to move one foot away from Baldonnel.
                          Just give the order, Ralphie, like you are paid to do.
                          regards
                          GttC

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tadpole
                            The fact is that the Air Corps are a provider of aerial services to the state, that is their primary purpose.
                            Yes, but the support services still have to be there.

                            At very quick run through the last DF budget the only AC specific cost I could find was about €75m but this is nowhere near the full costs as it does not include transport, medical etc. In the same year (excluding the Gardai because they are a separate service primarily funded by Justice with DF claw back for pilots) the AC produced about 2500 operational hours. Thats €30,000 per flight hr. Remember that price is for an hr in a GIV or a Cessna 172!
                            Where are you getting 2500 hours?:
                            2009 figures:
                            ATCP: 977 hours
                            Air Ambulance: 243 hours
                            Civil Assistance: 147 hours
                            SAR: 36 hours
                            Maritime Patrols: 1,666 hours
                            MATS: 500 hours (these hours are only the time a Minister was onboard)

                            That is over 3569 operational hours, excluding GASU hours, AC training, training with army/NS etc etc


                            If the AC wants to survive it needs to ditch the unneeded tasks such as securing an entire airfield (if Shannons security is ok for major airlines why not the AC(Leave the guns in Lmk Bks unless needed)), MAPs, countless levels of overlapping admin staff etc, become more efficient and provide and effective efficient service.
                            What about the rockets and machine guns to arm the aircraft? What happens in an emergency? How much is it going to cost to transport weapons to/from Limerick? How much is it going to cost to fly to Gormonston to do air-to-ground gunnery? How much is it going to cost to fly to the primary training areas (restricted areas and MOAs)? etc etc.

                            You have to remember the AC is a military organisation as well as being a State agency.


                            Originally posted by easyrider
                            But aren't many airports in Europe, the US and elsewhere, shared by civilian and military operators?
                            They are but do they have the IS threat that we have?

                            If the CASAs were moved to Shannon - the obvious location, IMHO: better weather than Cork, co-location with the SAR helicopters - there would be no need to spend money on runways, ATC, etc.
                            Do you think that CHC gets the use of the airport facilities for free? If they do the State is paying for it.

                            And Shannon is well used to providing security for military aircraft, it's just that they're usually American rather than Irish!
                            So the security is just done by army not AC personnel, the DF (and the taxpayer) still pays for it.


                            Originally posted by GoneToTheCanner
                            Hi there,
                            The Casas could be moved to Shannon easily, as there is enough hangarage and parking available and the place is falling down with technical experience.The Casa is not that difficult to maintain, after all, being no bigger than an ATR-72. It's electronics are not so complicated, either, that they could not be supported. As for the rest, it could all be outsourced. Airlines set up and close down outstations all the time and there is no mystery attached to doing so. the Air Corps just make it a big deal to move one foot away from Baldonnel.
                            Just give the order, Ralphie, like you are paid to do.
                            regards
                            GttC
                            CASA maintenance hours: 6.4 per flying hour
                            G IV maintenance hours: 2.07 per flying hour




                            There is massive room for improvement, eg they could sent apprentices to DIT to do the off the job training, freeing up a lot of instructors and then take them back for the on-the-job.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hi there,
                              I use to work on the Casas, which is why I know it's a comparatively simple aeroplane to maintain.It is no more complicated than an ATR, except for the shiny toys down the back, which demands a few extra avionics people in the system. Also, the 6.4 hrs maint/flight hour is an average, not the exact hourly rate of servicing required.
                              Fundamentally, there is no reason why they are not based, full-time, in Shannon. There is no issue relating to manpower, servicing, housing of aircraft and personnel, etc,etc, which cannot be resolved.
                              regards
                              GttC

                              Comment

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