Frequency congestion at Ballina, Lismore and Casino aerodromes

Closed 11 Jul 2021

Opened 9 Jun 2021

Feedback updated 25 Aug 2021

We asked

From 9 June 2021 to 11 July 2021, the Office of Airspace Regulation (OAR) invited public comment on frequency congestion in the vicinity of Ballina and the allocation of a different common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) for Lismore, Casino and Evans Head aerodromes.

The survey asked a number of questions.

  • Should Lismore and Casino Airports be allocated a different CTAF to Ballina?
  • If Lismore and Casino Airports are allocated a different CTAF, should CASA declare a broadcast area 10 nautical miles (nm) around Lismore and Casino aerodromes?
  • If a broadcast area is declared around Lismore and Casino - what would be an appropriate upper limit (in feet above mean sea level)?
  • Should the Evans Head CTAF change?
  • Should the Ballina broadcast area be reduced in size from 15nm to 10nm in radius of Ballina?
  • Should the upper limit of the Ballina broadcast area be lowered from 8,500 feet above mean sea level (AMSL) to 4,500 feet AMSL?

Respondents were also asked for other suggestions or concerns with the airspace in the vicinity of Ballina, Lismore and Casino aerodromes.

You said

The OAR would like to thank all of the contributions provided by respondents and acknowledges that their feedback is beneficial for the consultation process. The consultation received responses from 84 individuals or organisations.

Key feedback

Responses validated the issues of frequency congestion and over transmission of radio calls. Responses were largely supportive of the proposal to allocate Lismore and Casino aerodromes a different CTAF to Ballina.

The results of the survey are published on the Consultation Hub.

We did

In response to the consultation, the OAR will develop a formal proposal to change the CTAF of Lismore and Casino and will consult with industry prior to making a final determination.

The results of the survey and comments received will be included in an airspace review of Ballina which is currently underway.

Results updated 25 Aug 2021

Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback. A summary report is available below. 

Files:

Published responses

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

Overview

The Office of Airspace Regulation has identified that frequency congestion around Ballina, Lismore, Casino and Evans Head aerodromes could be reduced through the allocation of a separate Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) for Lismore and Casino, or the establishment of a separate broadcast area.

Background

Ballina aerodrome shares its radio frequency of 124.2 MHz with Lismore, Casino and Evans Head aerodromes. These aerodromes have a large mix of traffic and over the last decade have become busier. Changes have been made in the Ballina area to create a broadcast area to ensure radio calls are being made to help other flights with traffic awareness.

The OAR has visited the Ballina area on numerous occasions and has conducted extensive consultation with stakeholders. Through these visits, stakeholders have consistently raised their concerns regarding the radio congestion in the area as a result of the shared radio frequency.  

Proposal

It is proposed that Lismore and Casino Airports be allocated their own discrete frequency to reduce the radio congestion described above. This proposal is separate to (and independent of) Airservices’ Surveillance Flight Information Service (SFIS) proposal which has been delayed.

Documents for review

A copy of the consultation is provided below. 

If you would like to provide further feedback, please email OAR@casa.gov.au. Feedback submitted by email will be considered but cannot be published publicly. 

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

Why your views matter

Why we are consulting

We are seeking your feedback regarding the allocation of a new frequency and other airspace issues in the Ballina region.

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 the final report on our 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 operators
  • Instructors and flight examiners
  • Flight training organisations
  • Pilots
  • Sports aviation operators
  • Air traffic controller
  • Air traffic service providers
  • Part 173 of CASR Instrument flight procedure designers
  • Aerodrome owner/operators

Interests

  • Airspace and infrastructure