Proposed change to Avalon airspace

Closed 23 Sep 2022

Opened 22 Aug 2022

Feedback updated 7 Jun 2023

We asked

We asked industry to provide feedback on the suggestion to remove Class E airspace from Avalon controlled airspace (CTA) in line with a recommendation made during the 2020 Avalon Airspace Review.

Removing Class E airspace will result in:

  • Class D airspace during tower hours of operation
  • Class G airspace operating outside tower hours below 4,500 feet (FT) above mean sea level (AMSL).

We sought feedback to understand industry and community issues, observations or positions about the suggested removal of Class E airspace at Avalon.

The consultation was open from 22 August to 23 September 2022. We received 59 responses via the Consultation Hub. Respondents included pilots of passenger transport operations, sport aviation operators and representatives of user groups.

You said

Overall, responses highlighted the effects of the suggested change from a range of perspectives but did not identify any unacceptable risks.

The feedback validated the issues identified in the Avalon Airspace Review with operations in Class E airspace.

The majority of supporters identified enhanced safety to their operations between instrument flight rules (IFR) aircraft and visual flight rules (VFR) aircraft.

The largest group concerned about the suggested change was Recreational Aircraft of Australia (RAAus). The removal of Class E airspace will impact RAAus operators’ ability to transit through the airspace without the requirement to obtain a clearance, and likely result in RAAus pilots operating at lower levels or increasing track miles to avoid the area.

Other users concerned about the suggestion to remove Class E airspace did not believe the risk to airspace users was the same as the risk to users during the period when the airspace review was conducted. Post airspace review, the traffic levels were reduced due to COVID-19, therefore aircraft were not exposed to the same risk level when higher numbers of air traffic operated in the area.

Alternatively, other users thought the action did not go far enough and the airspace classification should be Class C or Class B airspace.

We did

Each comment has been reviewed and was greatly appreciated.

Additional engagement and discussions regarding the airspace operations at Avalon is required to address issues raised during the consultation and feedback provided by industry.

The Office of Airspace Regulation intends to continue monitoring Avalon airspace in line with the recommendations from the 2020 Avalon Airspace Review.

Overview

The Office of Airspace Regulation (OAR) is seeking industry feedback on a proposed change to Avalon airspace.

Your feedback will help shape an airspace change proposal that is being prepared to remove Class E airspace and replace this with Class D airspace at Avalon. There are no changes to the existing airspace boundaries, air routes or instrument flight procedures.

The airspace change proposal is to include the existing control zone from the surface to 2,500 FT AMSL. It proposes:

  • Class D airspace will replace Class E from 1,500 FT AMSL to 4,500 FT AMSL. Class D airspace will be operational during Avalon Tower hours.
  • Outside tower hours, Class G airspace will be operational from the surface to the base of controlled airspace. Therefore, Class G airspace will operate from the surface to 4,500 FT AMSL within 30 NM DME Melbourne and surface to FL125 outside 30 NM DME Melbourne.

This change is an interim step that is intended remain until further examination of the Avalon airspace architecture to align with PBN criteria has been completed. Change to Avalon airspace is separate from expected airspace changes resulting from the new runway at Melbourne airport.

The following documents are available at the bottom of this page. We suggest you right click and open in a new tab or window:

  • Avalon airspace review - February 2020
  • Suggested Avalon airspace
  • Avalon airspace - Tower hours
  • Avalon airspace - Out of Tower hours

If you would like to provide further feedback, please email OAR@casa.gov.au

Why your views matter

Why we are consulting
In February 2020, the Office of Airspace Regulation published the final version of the Avalon Airspace Review. It recommends removing Class E airspace and replacing it with Class D or Class C airspace as appropriate. This proposed change will address the safety issues identified within the Airspace Review by optimising and enhancing the level of air traffic services provided at Avalon. 

We are seeking feedback to understand industry and community issues, observations or positions regarding the proposed airspace change.

What happens next
Once the consultation has closed, we will review each submission received through the online response form. 

Your feedback will help shape an airspace change proposal which will be published for feedback.

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

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

  • Aerodrome operator
  • Flight instructors and flight examiners
  • Flight training operators
  • Pilots
  • Sports aviation operators
  • Air traffic controller/s
  • Air traffic service providers
  • Part 173 of CASR Certified/Authorised Instrument Flight Procedure Designer Aerodrome
  • Aerodrome owner/operators

Interests

  • Airspace and infrastructure