Airspace change proposal – Class E airspace trial – Ayers Rock Aerodrome

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) to trial the lowering of Class E airspace to 5,500 feet above mean sea level (AMSL) over Ayers Rock Aerodrome. 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 27 respondents provided feedback to this proposal through CASA’s Consultation Hub. One written submission was received by email and not via the Consultation Hub.

Of the responses received 10 supported the proposal; 11 did not support the proposal, six were supportive but with changes (in design or altitude); one did not answer.

We Did

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

The proposal was submitted in response to the Minister for Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development (DIRD) - Statement of Expectations 2018-2019, which stated that ‘Airservices will work with DIRD, Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and Defence to provide options for enhancing the level of safety and efficiency of Australian controlled airspace including at major regional airports’. Non towered locations such as Ayers Rock have surveillance capability to the ground. An enhanced level of service along with segregated departure and arrival tracks could be provided to IFR aircraft, commensurate with the level of electronic surveillance.

In response to public comments, the final airspace design was reduced to lessen the impact on visual flight rules pilots and still be beneficial to instrument flight rules aircraft. The trial of Class E airspace in the vicinity of Ayers Rock Aerodrome 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 introduce Class E airspace in the vicinity of Ayers Rock aerodrome. Airservices Australia is proposing the change as part of its airspace modernisation program to standardise its approach to airspace management.

Airservices is proposing to trial Class E airspace above the existing Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) from 5,500 feet (ft) above mean sea level (AMSL) in the form of new Class E control area steps, replacing the current Class G airspace in the vicinity of Ayers Rock aerodrome.

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 Trial of Class E Airspace at Ayers Rock fact sheet 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
  • Sports aviation operators
  • Hot air balloon operators
  • Air traffic controller
  • Air traffic service providers

Interests

  • Airspace and infrastructure