SAWS becoming Unafordable

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tanglefoot
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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by tanglefoot » Fri Nov 26, 2010 6:30 pm

For fear of repeating myself (again :wink: )

Barry Gonin (Equal share director - according to Chris_WIS - of WIS and FF (although CIPRO don't reflect the FF part)) said:
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Posted on: 26 Oct 2008 20:49

Re: Missing content: Tell us here please - Aviation
Good evening,

This site will not replace the http://aviation.weathersa.co.za site, so all the aviation products that SAWS publishes will remain unaffected. This site is purely for the average man in the street.

Those products are of way too specialised a nature to be included here. We apologise for any information that has lead anybody to believe otherwise.

Happy flying
Barry
He knew something then that they seem to have forgotten. Maybe it all revolves around Commercial Aviation scr3wing them, so they have to scr3w us :?: I would highlight parts but the WHOLE post is quite emphatic. I especially like the apology.

Now here's a proposal that a company with any backbone whatsoever could not refuse:
Leave the aviation website alone (as promised) with aeroclub links et al. Develope your own product and entice customers to your product like normal people have to.
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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by Swampdonkey » Fri Nov 26, 2010 7:01 pm

Romeo E.T. wrote:
FATBOY wrote: I would like to know how the travelling public would feel if this information is being held to ransom by some racketeering business.
=D> =D> =D> =D>

exactly Chris, how would feel sitting in the back at Cpt Intl about to dept for ORTIA knowing that the weather forcast that we were issued in "hard-copy" at OPS is by now already 4 hours and older, and a fuel and routing decision is made on this basis, and in the meantime all hell is about to break loose in JNB with thunderstorms that no-one has planned for or anticipated according to 4 hour old weather....or vice-versa about to depart for CapeTown on a forecast Cavok and when we get there the entire coastal belt including all of our alternates is below CAT 1 minima, and our fuel palnning didn't cater for this eventuality...

this has happened on a few occasions previously.

Now I sit on the flight deck and about 15 to 20 mins prior to pushback I get on my cell-phone and have a look at the latest satelitte, radar and metars/tafs pages to update my mental model, and have been known to recal the fuel bowser to uplift more fuel based on info I have just recieved....now I cannot do this anymore, unless I have a desktop at hand or a laptop with Internet connection at hand.

this is going to be a serious safety issue one in the future.....and I for one will not hesitate to make specific mention of this thread, your company etc in my AirSafety HAzard or Incident report after things have gone "pear-shaped" wether it be a diversion, declaring an emergency due to low fuel, or heaven forbid an incident/accident.....and who knows you might have been/could be a passenger on such a flight...I hope you can live with your "money/profit making" ideas when safety is compromised.

for your info these are the current pages that I refer to on my laptop (when my laptop is available) before each and every pushback
1)http://aviation.weathersa.co.za/ftpfile ... type=RADAR
2)http://aviation.weathersa.co.za/ftpfile ... type=RADAR
3)http://aviation.weathersa.co.za/ftpfile ... type=RADAR
4)http://aviation.weathersa.co.za/satellite_viewer.php
5)http://aviation.weathersa.co.za/aviatio ... ar&view=nw
6)http://aviation.weathersa.co.za/aviatio ... fc&view=nw
7)possibly other radar stations such as Durban or Port Elizabeth etc etc

these were previously available via my cell phone
"Ladies and Gentlemen, This is your captain speaking. Regretfully we shall no longer be able to depart on schedule due to the fact that the Weather Information that you, as Tax Payer, have paid for is now no longer immediately available to your flight crew. The delay in sourcing the latest, albeit seriously restricted, weather information has now caused us to lose our Departure slot time which in turn will cause another 1 hr 30 min delay. We are sure that you understand, and please accept our sincere apologies on belf of the company Future Foresight that apart from solving the worlds Aids crises has now also dabbled in aviation matters and significantly degenerated the infrastructure that we were once so proud of."
"Excuse me while I kiss the sky!" ---Jimi---1967-
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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by Chris » Fri Nov 26, 2010 7:58 pm

What has also been forgotten (conveniently) is that GA ARE entitled to all weather information. SAWS is bound to supply the information to aviation at the fee published by the regulator. The regulator has published the fees - and guess what? Light aircraft are entitled to the information at a ZERO rate. Until the regulator issues a new permission SAWS are bound by the current one.

Previously I could get the information I needed off the web - this is no longer possible as usage to vital sections has been restricted. What that means is a long telephone call to the forecaster. Somewhere I read that SAWS wanted people to use the web rather than phone their valuable resources who can use their time better in developing the forecasts. Is this now what SAWS wants?

I would like Chris WIS to comment on this one as well as the previously unanswered questions.

I would also like to know what the maritime industry is contributing to SAWS on a user pays basis.
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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by kosie » Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:27 pm

Chris wrote:What has also been forgotten (conveniently) is that GA ARE entitled to all weather information. SAWS is bound to supply the information to aviation at the fee published by the regulator. The regulator has published the fees - and guess what? Light aircraft are entitled to the information at a ZERO rate. Until the regulator issues a new permission SAWS are bound by the current one.

Previously I could get the information I needed off the web - this is no longer possible as usage to vital sections has been restricted. What that means is a long telephone call to the forecaster. Somewhere I read that SAWS wanted people to use the web rather than phone their valuable resources who can use their time better in developing the forecasts. Is this now what SAWS wants?

I would like Chris WIS to comment on this one as well as the previously unanswered questions.

I would also like to know what the maritime industry is contributing to SAWS on a user pays basis.
Amen. Don't hold your breath Chris. In terms of the law, so very conveniently ignored by messrs FF, we are still entitled to access. Maritime gets it for free because they can't bill every ship that sails our seas. Just let them go ahead and finally stop access. Would love to test it in court. The lawyers are rattling the sabres.
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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by tanglefoot » Sat Nov 27, 2010 9:30 pm

Sorry Chris_WIS, I can't help myself. The internet is such a wonderful place. You can get SO much info for free :!:

FutureForesight Have told us about all their successes and pro bono (means "for the public good" and not "free" as some might think) work.

The HUGELY successful MTN's expansion into Iran was obviously not one of the "pro bono" projects [-X

http://www.tradeunlock.com/networks/Ira ... 0Irancell/
Why is my mobile phone locked to MTN Irancell Iran?
When you buy a cell phone it will be offered at a discounted price by MTN Irancell Iran. They "lock" your cell phone to MTN Irancell Iran in order to tie you in to their service and recouperate their costs.
Oh, well, I suppose "the public good" only applies to SOME projects :roll: SAWS Perhaps :^o

Is Futureforesight an honourable company?

Do they commit to what their directors say they will do :?:

A short, late night, anecdote. When I was in the army we used to know long in advance when our "long"weeks leave was due. About 1 week before the leave the officer would walk in and cancel the leave (With a long BS story to suite). The day before our leave was due to start he would summons us again and inform us that we could have a weekend. You can't imagine the joy from the troops at getting a weekends' leave! Some of the older Avcommers might recognise the strategy. Some of the younger Avcommers may have learnt it at Wits Business School. Nevertheless, it is BS.

Does the MTN business model ring a bell (The "locking in bit") :?:

Maybe FutureForesight operate BEST in an dictatorship (or monopoly) environment :?: (You know, give a little, take a lot)

PS: It is really worth spelling out the FutureForesight name. You won't believe what it is doing to their google ratings :shock:
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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by Jester » Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:25 pm

tanglefoot wrote:
Why is my mobile phone locked to MTN Irancell Iran?
When you buy a cell phone it will be offered at a discounted price by MTN Irancell Iran. They "lock" your cell phone to MTN Irancell Iran in order to tie you in to their service and recouperate their costs.
I think it's a bit unfair to attribute network locked handsets to FF.

<hijack>
The networks don't care about handsets - they care about connections. The more connections they make, the more revenue they generate. They discount handsets heavily to entice consumers to sign up to their network, and lock these discounted handsets to ensure that the cost of subsidising the handset is recouped. It was standard practice in South Africa not too long ago, especially in the lower end of the handset market.
</hijack>
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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by Chris_WIS2 » Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:29 am

kosie wrote: Amen. Don't hold your breath Chris (Green Chris, I believe). In terms of the law, so very conveniently ignored by messrs FF, we are still entitled to access. Maritime gets it for free because they can't bill every ship that sails our seas. Just let them go ahead and finally stop access. Would love to test it in court. The lawyers are rattling the sabres.
Blue text added by me to avoid mistaken identities.

SAWS is required to provide the information required by SOLAS (saving lives at sea) as a public good service. Other products can be delivered for a fee. We have not addressed that market as of yet, but given time, we will most probably provide them with a paid service too.

Aviation services are clearly defined in schedule two of the SAWS act as a commercial service. We are working on making it better - some aviation bodies and individuals are contributing constructively to the debate. At this point a lot of requests are for more locations to be covered. We are getting feedback on more services, and we will work on widening both the reach and scope of aviation services being provided.

We can do these enhancements with a constructive debate. We look forward to an positive engagement with you.

Warm regards
Chris
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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by vc » Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:50 am

Chris wrote:What has also been forgotten (conveniently) is that GA ARE entitled to all weather information. SAWS is bound to supply the information to aviation at the fee published by the regulator. The regulator has published the fees - and guess what? Light aircraft are entitled to the information at a ZERO rate. Until the regulator issues a new permission SAWS are bound by the current one.
....
Did a search on Google about the ZERO rate and came across this extract published in SAWS Aviation news letter (Vol 3: Issue 4 of 2008).
Can anyone explain this reference to the ZERO rate - does it mean ZERO rate may not necessarily mean zero or no pay ? (ZERO rate not = ZERO pay)
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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by heisan » Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:26 pm

Hmmm... The way I read the South African Weather Service Act of 2001 http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cac ... RpE8DT1GMA), together with government gazette 33072 (http://www.greengazette.co.za/docs/2010 ... 209254.pdf), it seems the sum total of fees SAWS may charge for aircraft under 2000kg MCM is zero?

It doesn't look like the Act allows them to set fees beyond what the minister propogates?
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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by D2O » Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:21 pm

heisan wrote:Hmmm... The way I read the South African Weather Service Act of 2001 http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cac ... RpE8DT1GMA), together with government gazette 33072 (http://www.greengazette.co.za/docs/2010 ... 209254.pdf), it seems the sum total of fees SAWS may charge for aircraft under 2000kg MCM is zero?

It doesn't look like the Act allows them to set fees beyond what the minister propogates?
Hmmm...
Point 12 of schedule 1, public good services:"The provision of meteorological support for aviation and maritime search and rescue activities in accordance with international obligations of the government."

Whereas point 3 of schedule 2, commercial services:"The provision of aviation meteorological services"

Looks to me as though there is a split between what should be provided as a "meteorological support" function by SAWS as its required as a service to the public, and the commercial "meteorological services". It's not specific about what the limitations of those "meteorological support functions" are, so this would be interesting to test in court should it get that far.
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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by RudiGreyling » Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:15 am

Chris_WIS2 wrote:Hi Rudi,

OK, MOST of your suggestions are now implemented - but NOT comitted! This is temporary - it'll hold if we get traction I guess, but it's the interim position you suggested.
Key changes:
  • Used our existing R35/250 mechanisms - getting Exact mobile to put in new ones is far from a joke. The R10/day covers off people who want cheaper cos of occasional use.
  • Took a few hi-bandwidth/graphics items out of free. People really do have to cover SOME of our brutal costs and R35 is truly insignificant. Not even 2 cappuccinos
  • Took a couple of truly hi-tech items out of R35
  • Did EVERYTHING else - the LOT. Try not to strut out this 'win' too much please :D
Modified grid here for FULL transparency:
ACCESSGRID.jpg
Ai Chris_wis,
good try but critical elements for SAFE FLIGHT is still missing in each category, and you move them to the higher cost rates for your gain. In addition the R250 per month is just too high. I also believe there are other info on aviation weather site you are not duplicating, and if I would have paid the higher rate that I should expect. (I don’t have access to your site so I can’t verify)

I am trying to provide positive feedback, but the way you go about business is rubbing a lot of people the wrong way.

The poll as of this morning still says more than 50% people believe it should be free.
vote_result.JPG
As a responsible business you need to get the user base on your side, I am trying to hint you down that route, but I am failing miserably.
I am afraid you are heading for a fight with Aviation Bodies.

I rest my assitance, and will take my plea to the Aviation Bodies.

Kind Regards
Rudi
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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by RudiGreyling » Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:24 am

Chris wrote:What has also been forgotten (conveniently) is that GA ARE entitled to all weather information. SAWS is bound to supply the information to aviation at the fee published by the regulator. The regulator has published the fees - and guess what? Light aircraft are entitled to the information at a ZERO rate. Until the regulator issues a new permission SAWS are bound by the current one.

Previously I could get the information I needed off the web - this is no longer possible as usage to vital sections has been restricted. What that means is a long telephone call to the forecaster. Somewhere I read that SAWS wanted people to use the web rather than phone their valuable resources who can use their time better in developing the forecasts. Is this now what SAWS wants?

I would like Chris WIS to comment on this one as well as the previously unanswered questions.

I would also like to know what the maritime industry is contributing to SAWS on a user pays basis.
Hi Chris,

1) Have you taken you plea to aviation bodies, cause these tactics of barring access and forced charges without proper permissions, is an accident waiting to happen...
2) I also remember reading they want us to use WEB instead of Talking to forecaster. A forecaster got annoued with me on Saterday with asking many questions to try and build a mental picture.
3) I also would like to hear the answer to the crux of the matter, but I believe we will not get it here. Only maybe in January from Kosie, but then it might be too late...in the mean time we suffer.

Regards
Rudi
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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by Chris » Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:41 am

Has anyone been refused an access password? ie if you go to http://aviation.weathersa.co.za/ and register - have you been refused a password to access the site? I am not talking about the special VFR stuff.
If you have you need to let your representative body know so they can inform the regulator.
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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by kalahariballoon » Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:12 pm

23 May 2010
Update: SA Weather Radar Images


The original posting by the SA Weather Service refers:

"Radar information is commercially very sensitive and the South African Weather Service had a long-time bleed going through metsys.weathersa.co.za. You may still be able to access this site for a few days, but it is being moved into the South African Weather Service Intranet where it belongs. It really is a tool used by our forecasting team only.
If you would like radar products, please have a look at the various subscription options we have available by clicking here to access the subscriptions benefits page"

The SAWDIS would like to make it very clear that this article is not published to "flame" the SA Weather Service in any way. There has been a very good relationship between the SAWDIS and the SAWS and that is the way the SAWDIS would like to keep it. However the SAWDIS is very disappointed in the decision and the reasons given by the SAWS to sell weather radar images and other weather data in future to members of the general public. I believe South Africa is the first country in Africa if not the World to sell weather radar data and information to its citizens. Be as it may the decision was taken by whoever to go the commercial route and it will have a devastating and detrimental effect on the man in the street in months and years to come. As already mention in a previous post it is the poorest of the poor that suffers the most by this decision of the SAWS.

The SAWDIS asked it's readers to comment on the decision by the SAWS. The SAWDIS received many concerned emails and even outraged comments from our readers in this regard. Every single email/comment received expressed disbelief that such and important system are no longer available to the man in the street. The reason given by the SAWS that weather radar is a tool used only by their forecasting team is not correct and misleading. A survey will prove that many members of the public use weather radar images to monitor severe and damaging thunderstorms on a daily basis during the stormy season. Noticeable is the timing of the SAWS to implement their monetary decision, just after the thunderstorm season when the focus is not on the availability of radar images.

The SAWS should not under estimate the intelligence and knowledge of the general public when it comes to analizing weather radar images. Since the inception of the SAWDIS in October 2008, the SAWDIS were involved in educating weather observers and the public throughout the country. This also included providing information on how to analyze weather radar maps and information. Information was however mutually exchanged between the SAWDIS and the general public up to a point were weather observers and the public were able to feed the SAWDIS with severe weather analysis using free radar images and real time weather observations. Many other non profitable organizations and schools formed part of this educational drive. In many instances learners were able to compile school related tasks about weather observation using SAWS Weather Radar Images and the SAWDIS Blog as references.

By using free SAWS Weather Radar Images and other information/sources the SAWDIS has developed into a very useful and informative educational organization thanks to the SAWS, general public and interested weather observers. With 68 registered weather observers around the country the SAWDIS is now the largest and most popular real-time weather observation organization in South Africa, which renders a free service to involved communities The decision by the SAWS relating to weather radar will however have a detrimental effect on the SAWDIS (a non profitable organization) and the General Public.

The SAWDIS will have to suspend the following services with immediate effect:

1. Real Time Weather Radar Related Updates. These entail Twitter and SAWDIS Blog messages/warnings send out by the SAWDIS in the event of an approaching severe and destructive thunderstorm reflected by radar.
2. SA Weather Radar Image Updates on TwitPic.
3. Analysis of a Severe Weather incident where property were damaged or destroyed as a result of a severe storm.
4. No record database of SA Weather Radar Images will be available for future reference.
5. The implementation and development of a Severe Weather Warning System for parts of South Africa.
6. The providing of educational weather radar information to school learners to enable them to complete school tasks successfully.
7. Monitoring of SA Weather Radar Images in the event of a deadly and destructive storm in South Africa and neighboring countries.
8. SA Weather Radar Emergency Communication data. (Twitter, Amateur Radio, Facebook, SMS etc.)

PLEASE NOTE: The above services have been suspended with immediate effect as a direct result by the SAWS to go the monetary subscription route.

The decision by the SAWS has a snow ball effect leaving the General Public vulnerable to Severe Weather and Storms. Not only this but the educational impact will definitely be felt by every citizen and scholar in this country. The effect on the future existence of the SAWDIS will be determined in the next month or two if the SAWS do not reverse it's original decision in this regard.

The SAWDIS plans to write a letter of concern to the SA Weather Service and the Minister of Environmental Affairs in this regard.

The future existence of the SAWDIS is at stake and unless we find an alternative or convince the SAWS to reverse their original decision, the future of the SAWDIS is at risk. The SAWDIS is a non-profitable community based organization which have no means of paying for any services rendered. If members of the public would still like to express their opinion in this regard or add a letter of concern or come up with an alternative they are most welcome to send the SAWDIS an email by clicking HERE.

Final date for submissions will be 31 May 2010.

J. Terblanche
SA Weather and Disaster Information Service
Mossel Bay
23 May 2010

Posted by SAWDIS at 5/23/2010 09:48:00 AM

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Re: SAWS becoming Unafordable

Unread post by wynand » Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:49 pm

Chris wrote:Has anyone been refused an access password? ie if you go to http://aviation.weathersa.co.za/ and register - have you been refused a password to access the site? I am not talking about the special VFR stuff.
If you have you need to let your representative body know so they can inform the regulator.
Now THAT, Chris, is a very pertinent question.
Anyone?
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