Airspace review - Southport, Queensland

Closed 15 Jun 2023

Opened 1 Jun 2023


We are seeking industry feedback on airspace around Southport, Queensland.

This follows the tragic mid-air collision between 2 rotary wing aircraft on 2 January 2023 in this airspace.

An initial review of the airspace has not indicated there are any safety issues relating to airspace arrangements, but this broader work will seek input from airspace users and operators.

We want all pilots and operators that fly in this area to let us know about their experiences.

While the investigation of the incident remains ongoing by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), any information that becomes available to the public from their investigation will be considered as part of this review.

The airspace review will gather information from stakeholders to better understand risks to users of the airspace.

This airspace review will assess the suitability of the airspace bordered:

  • between seven (7) nautical miles (NM) and 20 NM to the north of the Gold Coast Airport (YBCG)
  • between the eastern coastline and controlled airspace boundary to the west, from the surface to 1,500 feet (FT) above mean sea level (AMSL).

The area is adjacent to the Gold Coast Control Zone (CTR), below the Class C airspace established for operations into the YBCG and depicted below under 'Related'. The airspace volume in this review area is wholly Class G (uncontrolled airspace).

The traffic mix is largely rotary wing helicopters operated by sightseeing organisations. These sightseeing activities do appear to be confined to known routes within controlled and non-controlled airspace. Sightseeing operations are characterised by seasonal peaks and troughs.

There is a considerable flow of mainly visual flight rules (VFR) traffic, which transit via controlled airspace along the coast. The VFR Lane to the west is an alternative to the coastal route for aircraft transiting to the north.

The scope of this airspace review includes:

  • An analysis of aircraft operations within the review area.
  • Analysis of aircraft landing areas (ALAs), helicopter landing sites (HLS) and the surrounding airspace architecture within the review area.
  • Analysis of risks that may impact the safety of airspace users to determine the need for any changes to existing airspace architecture, services or procedures.
  • Consider the need for any changes including changes in airspace classification, architecture, or the provision of services.
  • Subject to the availability of the ATSB Aviation Safety Investigation report, consideration of any airspace related safety issues by the ATSB regarding the recent mid-air collision.

Why your views matter

Why we are consulting
We conduct regular reviews of Australian-administered airspace through the Office of Airspace Regulation.

Airspace reviews may be initiated based on information related to annual aircraft and passenger movements, aviation incidents and any feedback or information provided on issues related to airspace activity.

We are seeking feedback on the suitability of the airspace within an area around Southport aerodrome in Queensland.

If you are unable to provide feedback via the survey link, please email The subject line should include ’FO23/340 Class G Airspace Review Southport’ to assist with identification. Feedback submitted by email will be considered but cannot be published publicly. 

What happens next

What happens next
This first stage involves collecting data to inform a formal airspace review.

The data collected will help CASA analyse aircraft operations, aircraft landing areas, helicopter landing sites and the surrounding airspace. This will be used to inform a formal airspace review.

Once the consultation has closed, we will:

  • review all comments received
  • make responses publicly available on the consultation hub (unless you request your submission remain confidential)
  • publish a summary of the feedback received and outline next steps.

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.


  • CASA Staff
  • Air operators
  • Pilots
  • Air traffic controller/s
  • Drone operators
  • Air traffic service provider
  • Certified aerodrome owner/operator
  • Unregulated aerodrome owner/operator
  • Aerodrome owner/operators
  • Aerodrome industry consultant
  • Aircraft owner/operator
  • Holder of RPAS remotely piloted aircraft operator’s certificate (ReOC)
  • Holder of RPAS and remote pilot licence (RePL)
  • Commercial drone operator
  • Recreational drone flyer


  • Airspace and infrastructure