In a week when the ATSB account of how AirServices ‘lost awareness’ of a Virgin Australia 737 most of the way between Sydney and Brisbane should have received more attention, the organisation is engaged in paper warfare.

All three holed or pronged documentation is being hunted down and replaced with four holed files. It’s a matter of structural integrity, as three hole punched paper sags dangerously from the top when stored vertically.

These are extracts from the top secret operation, sent in by someone claiming to be Maxwell Smart, Agent 86,  using a shoe phone (upgraded to handle scanned images.)

That smoke haze you might notice at airports over the coming days could be from the three holed documents.

For those who recall the 2012 stuff up with the Virgin jet,  don’t you feel better knowing this essential public service is going to such trouble to stop paperwork sagging when it also has to address staff shortages and training deficiencies?

The document hints at cost offsets in concluding that:

Any ATC unit which does not have access to a four hole punch will need to make their own arrangements to purchase one.

This is the best photo we have of our informant, who risks prosecution under federal secrecy laws.

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