Airspace change proposal – Lowering Class E airspace for continental Australia

Closed 23 Jun 2019

Opened 21 May 2019

Feedback Updated 1 Nov 2019

We Asked

In May 2019, we asked people to answer some questions regarding an airspace change proposal (ACP) lower Class E airspace to Flight Level (FL) 125 where the current base is FL180. Notification of the consultation process included:

  • an email sent to all pilots at the start of the consultation period and a reminder email was sent prior to the consultation period closing (approx. 40,000 pilots)
  • CASA Briefing newsletter (May 2019) – reached approx. 7,000 subscribers
  • being promoted via a link on the CASA home page (www.casa.gov.au) during the consultation period
  • an email to advise all RAPAC members (641 individuals and organisations) that consultation had opened, and the proposal was placed on the agenda at RAPAC meetings held during the consultation period
  • being promoted via CASA’s social media channels.

Consultation through CASA’s website was open for 30 days and was also available to all members of the public. Respondents included aircraft operators and airspace users, air traffic controllers and other interested persons. The process sought responses to questions which related to the background of the respondent, the nature of their operations, the impact of the change on them and their opinions on cost and safety impacts of the change.

You Said

A total of 77 respondents provided feedback to this proposal through the Consultation Hub. The majority of the responses received were airspace users (41), followed by other (17) with six air traffic controllers responding. One additional written submission was received by email and not via the Consultation Hub. Overall, 39 supported the change; 29 did not support the proposal and nine were supportive but with changes.

Two respondents provided a written response in addition to their submission through the Consultation Hub. One additional written submission was received by email and not via the Consultation Hub.

We Did

Feedback from the consultation hub was considered and assessed as part of the ACP process.

An improvement in surveillance capability due to the installation of Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) receivers nation-wide will provide benefits to airspace users. To realise these benefits, Airservices proposed to lower the base of Class E airspace over low density continental areas to F125 where it is currently FL180.

The lowering of Class E airspace to FL125 will commence on 20 May 2020.

Published Responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.

Overview

The Office of Airspace Regulation (OAR) within CASA is currently assessing an airspace change proposal (ACP) made by Airservices Australia to lower Class E airspace from Flight Level (FL) 180 to FL 125 nationally (where the current base is FL180). Airservices Australia is proposing the change as part of its airspace modernisation program to standardise its approach to airspace management.

This consultation makes reference to the ‘J Curve,’ which is the name given to describe the high traffic density area extending from Cairns down to Melbourne, and around to Adelaide.

The OAR manages the regulation of airspace in Australia and given the nature and magnitude of the proposed change is seeking industry feedback to inform its assessment and response to the proposal.

Further information about airspace regulation and the airspace change process is available on the CASA website.

Why We Are Consulting

We are seeking industry feedback to understand the impact of the proposal on current and future airspace users and the impact it could have on safety and operational efficiency.

Please note: Airservices Australia is also seeking feedback on similar initiatives under Tranche 3 of the airspace modernisation project. This proposal is a separate initiative.

Documents for review

A copy of the fact sheet Standardisation of Class E Airspace developed by Airservices is provided below (See Related).

We have also provided a downloadable Word copy and PDF of this consultation for ease of distribution and feedback within your organisation. However, please use the online consultation form to submit your final response. The word document and PDF should not be used as an emailed submission.

What Happens Next

Once the consultation has closed, we will register and review each submission received through the online response form. We will make all submissions publicly available on the Consultation Hub, unless you request that your submission remain confidential. We will also publish a Summary of Consultation which summarises the feedback received.

The OAR will use feedback received via this consultation to inform its decision on whether to approve the airspace change proposal.

Information about how we consult and how to make a confidential submission is available on the CASA website.

To be notified of any future consultations, you can subscribe to our consultation and rulemaking mailing list.

Audiences

  • CASA Staff
  • Aerodrome operators
  • Air operators
  • Instructors and flight examiners
  • Flight training organisations
  • Pilots
  • Air traffic controller
  • Air traffic service providers

Interests

  • Airspace and infrastructure