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CASA and Government mates, invent a new airspace classification!

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CASA and Government mates, invent a new airspace classification!

Old 9th Jun 2022, 06:47
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CASA and Government mates, invent a new airspace classification!

Australia though SUP H50/22 continues to defy worldwide attempts to standardise airspace classification by inventing a new one. Class U for "unknown anywhere else in the world"!

Instead of complying with ICAO and introducing either Class D or Class E airspace, CASA has decided that it knows better than the rest of the world, and has introduced a hybrid that it continues to insist is Class G!
I have to assume that this is because the Minister has directed CASA in the AAPS 2021 Para 17 as follows: The airspace classification system to be used in Australia is specified below: (below contains the ICAO classifications).

Instead, and to quote:
As carriage and use of a radio is mandatory, all aircraft operating within the YBNA MBA will receive a Traffic Information Service providing advice on conflicting traffic between:
a) IFR and IFR flights;
b) IFR and VFR flights; and
c) VFR and VFR flights.
This will enable ATS to provide enhanced traffic information to all pilots when surveillance and/or other information warrants


So what is this? In short, it is Class D airspace without the Government, that is CASA and Airservices, taking responsibility for the separation required in that airspace by the Geneva Convention. To do that would require either a control tower (Class D) or sufficient surveillance (Class E), neither of which we poor Australians can afford.
Perhaps the new Minister, Catherine King and assistant Minister Carol Brown, can re-visit the Australian Airspace Policy Statement and just rename it the Australian Airspace Advisory Statement.
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Old 9th Jun 2022, 14:47
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Ahhhhh Australia, the only developing country where you can drink the water.
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Old 9th Jun 2022, 19:20
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The key word here is “advice” that is a lawyers word.

‘’It raises the obvious question “what are we expected to do with the “advice”? Is the “advice” any good? What if the “advice” is ambiguous, incomplete, self serving, biased, not timely or wrong?

What happens to someone who won’t or can’t follow the “advice”?

This could end up like faulty towers……..Basil giving instructions to Sybil..
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Old 9th Jun 2022, 22:56
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I don't know what you're all getting so upset over. There's no separation standard in Class G - Or Class U for that matter! As long as you don't trade paint, it's all good.
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Old 10th Jun 2022, 00:51
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It's not just in Australia, the FAA is still trying to nut out the problems with high traffic CTAFs such as in Alaska, where there have been multiple mid air collisions. So far the only thing working is when all aircraft have some form of ACAS/TCAS fitted, yet all agencies seem so reluctant to mandate working transponders in these areas. The last major collision was between aircraft where both had ACAS, but one had it switched off. Yes ADSB can be swamped but the system tends to prioritise close contacts so that means that unless you have 18+ aircraft within 5 miles it should still work fine. Class D can not work in the Ballina area, its way too complex to efficiently operate a tower there and blocking out airspace for CTA will then condense the VFR private traffic even further creating more risks for them. Move into the 21st century guys, get transponders, use them and its all good. As for separation standards in class G, don't collide, sounds great, but TCAS applies a bubble around those fitted so when you sneeze close to each other you get an RA and that's a mandatory report to be investigated.
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Old 10th Jun 2022, 00:53
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I am surprised Airservices agreed to it, if I am honest. I think it shows a lack of understanding of the issues on the Airservices management side, as well as a lack of understanding of their role.

I do have a serious question......what are the procedures in the event of a radio failure? How does the traffic information service work in this situation? Seems that the risk we are trying to mitigate is still a risk in this scenario.

I think its about time we had a fundamental look at the operating conditions of our ANSP, against the services they are obliged to provide to see which of those services may not be compatible with the commercial business model of the ANSP......like they are doing in NZ https://simpleflying.com/new-zealand...system-review/
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Old 10th Jun 2022, 05:18
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As carriage and use of a radio is mandatory, all aircraft operating within the YBNA MBA will receive a Traffic Information Service providing advice on conflicting traffic between:
a) IFR and IFR flights;
b) IFR and VFR flights; and
c) VFR and VFR flights.
This will enable ATS to provide enhanced traffic information to all pilots when surveillance and/or other information warrants
Why the dot points? Does this not say the same thing? Who's not getting traffic?

As carriage and use of a radio is mandatory, all aircraft operating within the YBNA MBA will receive a Traffic Information Service providing advice on conflicting traffic.
This will enable ATS to provide enhanced traffic information to all pilots when surveillance and/or other information warrants

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Old 10th Jun 2022, 05:30
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But the traffic service will not be aware of any aircraft that have no transponder or are not squawking and have not broadcast their position, so we'll be back to square one of what you don't know is there will still get in your way. Or have we already forgotten that the Mangalore mid air was between two aircraft that were required to carry and use radio and under a traffic information service of which both were known to each other. So the system has already proven to be flawed... Simple answer is to mandate all capable aircraft to carry and use transponders from taxi to shut down, IFR aircraft to be fitted with ACAS and you will solve most of the problem.
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Old 11th Jun 2022, 01:38
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Alphacentauri - you think Airservices "agreed" to SFIS, about which you are surprised. I took part in preliminary Zoom meetings with Airservices and can assure you that they invented it, CASA is simply their echo chamber when it comes to airspace. Various royal commissions into other aspects of government refer to this as "regulatory capture". I also totally agree with your comment about Airservices business model.

43 Inches - I agree that eventually "ATC" might devolve to separation based on "sense and avoid". However, I also believe that this concept is much further in the future than we are being led to believe by the driverless car industry and the driverless drone industry. The question I am posing is what do we do in the meantime?

The point of this thread is that ICAO provides rules and procedures that member nations have signed up to, they include the airspace categorisation. The Minister is allowing CASA and Airservices to ignore those rules and procedures and invent a hybrid which may or may not work. (I am also pretty sure the Minister would not understand the nuances) Airservices claims to have written a safety case around SFIS, but has refused to release the document. CASA OAR wrote a report about Mangalore which apparently decided SFIS would not work. I say apparently because the report was removed from the CASA web site almost as soon as it was posted. No doubt at the behest of Airservices. The very essence of a safety case is that it should be public (not to mention how a publicly owned government agency is allowed to have secrets!). So my only conclusion has to be that it contains conclusions that SFIS created either a Class A (unacceptable) or Class B (can only be accepted by a General Manager) risk that is being withheld from the flying public.

ICAO tells us that we can choose Class G, E or D (C, B and A are not necessary). In my opinion, a Class D Tower with enhanced low level surveillance would provide acceptable safety. You also assert that "Class D can not work in the Ballina area, it's way too complex to efficiently operate a tower there and blocking out airspace for CTA will then condense the VFR private traffic even further creating more risks for them." I'm not sure whether you are an air traffic controller or pilot, but I can assure you that I have seen Class D operations in far busier environments than Ballina, and they work just fine. ATC facilities need to be concentrated where they will have the most safety effect, statistically this will be around runways where there is "competition" for the airspace caused by speed and other performance differentials. Classically, a Control Tower resolves these issues by knowing pilot intentions, and aircraft performance, in order to ensure that pilots, IFR or VFR, are in the right place and the right order to operate the aerodrome safely and efficiently. The fact that other pilots may avoid the airspace only serves to remove flights from the terminal airspace that do not need to be there. This removes the "way too complex" you refer to and is in use all over the world.




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Old 11th Jun 2022, 01:44
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and class D at Ballina creates one more effing East Coast road block for Recreational aircraft.
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Old 11th Jun 2022, 02:05
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Originally Posted by Geoff Fairless View Post
Alphacentauri - you think Airservices "agreed" to SFIS, about which you are surprised. I took part in preliminary Zoom meetings with Airservices and can assure you that they invented it, CASA is simply their echo chamber when it comes to airspace. Various royal commissions into other aspects of government refer to this as "regulatory capture". I also totally agree with your comment about Airservices business model.

43 Inches - I agree that eventually "ATC" might devolve to separation based on "sense and avoid". However, I also believe that this concept is much further in the future than we are being led to believe by the driverless car industry and the driverless drone industry. The question I am posing is what do we do in the meantime?

The point of this thread is that ICAO provides rules and procedures that member nations have signed up to, they include the airspace categorisation. The Minister is allowing CASA and Airservices to ignore those rules and procedures and invent a hybrid which may or may not work. (I am also pretty sure the Minister would not understand the nuances) Airservices claims to have written a safety case around SFIS, but has refused to release the document. CASA OAR wrote a report about Mangalore which apparently decided SFIS would not work. I say apparently because the report was removed from the CASA web site almost as soon as it was posted. No doubt at the behest of Airservices. The very essence of a safety case is that it should be public (not to mention how a publicly owned government agency is allowed to have secrets!). So my only conclusion has to be that it contains conclusions that SFIS created either a Class A (unacceptable) or Class B (can only be accepted by a General Manager) risk that is being withheld from the flying public.

ICAO tells us that we can choose Class G, E or D (C, B and A are not necessary). In my opinion, a Class D Tower with enhanced low level surveillance would provide acceptable safety. You also assert that "Class D can not work in the Ballina area, it's way too complex to efficiently operate a tower there and blocking out airspace for CTA will then condense the VFR private traffic even further creating more risks for them." I'm not sure whether you are an air traffic controller or pilot, but I can assure you that I have seen Class D operations in far busier environments than Ballina, and they work just fine. ATC facilities need to be concentrated where they will have the most safety effect, statistically this will be around runways where there is "competition" for the airspace caused by speed and other performance differentials. Classically, a Control Tower resolves these issues by knowing pilot intentions, and aircraft performance, in order to ensure that pilots, IFR or VFR, are in the right place and the right order to operate the aerodrome safely and efficiently. The fact that other pilots may avoid the airspace only serves to remove flights from the terminal airspace that do not need to be there. This removes the "way too complex" you refer to and is in use all over the world.
The problem is not that class D won't work AT Ballina, but the problem is the multiple close CTAFs causing this problem and the traffic between them. If this was a simple case of one airport that is saturated by its own traffic that would be a simple answer of, yes, a class D is required to sort it out. However, as it is, Ballina and Lismore traffic already have IFR approach conflicts and then there's all the private traffic between several ports. Hence why I say this has more in common with the issue in Alaska than any other place in Australia, lots of CTAFs in close proximity all with their own traffic blasting randomly in all directions.

In regard to ACAS/TCAS, this is nothing new to aviation. I'm not at all saying the aircraft takes over and flies, it is a system that first of all alerts a pilot to other aircraft in proximity, and then some will direct a course to avoid. Being alerted that something is near you is all that is required, with almost all giving you some picture of where it is. Radio alerts are vague and prone to communication error, both in what is said, overtransmits blocking information and lastly interpretation and understanding there is a conflict, let alone being unfamiliar with local terms a local may use, fine in light traffic, ask for clarification, in heavy traffic another conflict will come up while you clear up your ambiguities. A device in the cockpit that says something is close, and look out, is much easier for all to understand and the required technology has existed for 30 years. TCAS/ACAS are a last line of defense, this is after you have communicated via radio and looked out the window to see and avoid. Talking is fine when you have 2-3 aircraft communicating, several aircraft in a similar location will just turn into a squeal of noise. Class D is not a quick fix, it requires infrastructure and provision of trained controllers, plus fields like Lismore will be severely impacted by the airspace, let alone the large amount of through traffic as Sunfish points out.

Lastly a PA-28 almost collided with an ATR in Albury Class D airspace when there was pretty much no other aircraft in the area. This line from the report "The crew of the ATR were aware that there was traffic in the area but did not assess the position of the PA-28, in relation to their aircraft until activation of the TCAS TA". So Controlled airspace, Class D, radio communication, three parties aware of traffic, and TCAS most likely saved the day.

Last edited by 43Inches; 11th Jun 2022 at 02:25.
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Old 11th Jun 2022, 03:44
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and class D at Ballina creates one more effing East Coast road block for Recreational aircraft.
Not if it was done the way Class D was meant to be done
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Old 11th Jun 2022, 04:59
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Originally Posted by Sunfish View Post
and class D at Ballina creates one more effing East Coast road block for Recreational aircraft.
I don't think it'd be a huge issue. The Class C step is 8500, so they'd 'probably' install E between the two, which you could transit, same as Camden (though that'd G/D, not E/D, admittedly...). Realistically though, the only destination you wouldn't be able to fly to would be the Gold Coast, but if you're going north in anything sans VH- on the side, you're going to hit the Gold Coast C steps 20NM after Ballina anyway. If you're going beyond the GC, then you'll need to be inland and that'll take you clear of any Class D at Ballina.

I don't have an easy answer, but See and Avoid, even Alerted See and Avoid, is fraught with danger when you have sufficiently different performance classes in the same airspace. About the only thing I could think of in the short term would be to mandate every aircraft in the BA be fitted not only with radio, but ADS-B or the EC-device equivalent. They're small & cheap enough now there's not really any excuse for anyone not to have one, IMHO, no matter where they fly.
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Old 11th Jun 2022, 05:12
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The fact that other pilots may avoid the airspace only serves to remove flights from the terminal airspace that do not need to be there.
And puts them where the JQ Airbus just missed the Jabiru, about 20 km away from BNA.
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Old 11th Jun 2022, 05:21
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Originally Posted by Traffic_Is_Er_Was View Post
And puts them where the JQ Airbus just missed the Jabiru, about 20 km away from BNA.
And that is precisely why the US idea of going straight over the top of LAX, SFO etc works. Yes you need clearance if <10,000, but you can do it and safely as everything is either well above you and descending, or well below you and taking off or landing. Of course, you can go above 10,000 and do it without clearance, too, IIRC...
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Old 11th Jun 2022, 06:43
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TIEW - I believe that has got more to do with instrument approaches being designed without any thought to airspace classification or traffic separation. That's fine in Class C or D airspace with ATC present, but silly in Class G regardless of the speed differentials. The non-aligned IFR approach for a Cessna 172 may be fine, but high performance aircraft should arguably have separate IFR approaches that keep them above bug-smasher altitudes until aligned with the runway.
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Old 11th Jun 2022, 23:26
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All this talk about how a Class D tower would affect Lismore, etc, then how does Hobart and Cambridge get around it? I operate a B73 into HB all the time with lighties in the Cambridge circuit. Seems to work out OK……….
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Old 12th Jun 2022, 04:07
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Originally Posted by No Idea Either View Post
All this talk about how a Class D tower would affect Lismore, etc, then how does Hobart and Cambridge get around it? I operate a B73 into HB all the time with lighties in the Cambridge circuit. Seems to work out OK……….
You are comparing what can be effectively handled as a second runway at Hobart, with sighting from the tower and ground radio contact, to managing another airfields airspace 15 miles away. The Hobart/Cambridge runways are almost parallel vs Ballina/Lismore runways that have directly conflicting approach and departure paths. Then significant traffic moving between numerous other ports in the area. Nothing in common at all. Problem here is Ballina is in a pool with Evans Head, Lismore, Casino, and several other small strips nearby with heavy RAA traffic. And where do they want to go for a scenic jaunt? the coast, Ballina etc. Just mandate that everything that can do, equip with some sort of Transponder so those that have ACAS/TCAS can see them, easy, problem for big stuff fixed. Scenario with all having transponder, A320 approaches, "Hey Bob there's something hovering around our IAF", "OK, I'll slow down, see if you can contact them and get intentions", they talk and separate or come up with some other solution as to avoidance. Scenario without Transponder class D, "Bob we just ingested something large through the left engine, I think it was a Jabiru", "Ok I'll tell the tower someone must've violated CTA without a TXPD".

Last edited by 43Inches; 12th Jun 2022 at 04:18.
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Old 12th Jun 2022, 07:05
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You couldn’t make this stuff up.

A cabal of people in one part of CASA (with the support or acquiescence of ATSB and Airservices) will go to almost any lengths to make sure that RPT passenger jets continue sharing uncontrolled airspace and uncontrolled aerodromes with aircraft that are not required to be fitted with transponders nor certified as airworthy by CASA (nor any other NAA) and being flown by pilots who aren’t licensed by CASA nor certified as medically fit by CASA (nor any other NAA). Meanwhile, in a different part of CASA a different cabal of people (supported by the medical industry) is running a sham process in an attempt to produce ‘evidence’ to justify an expansion in the scope of CASA Avmed’s empire (even potentially capturing drone pilots).


CASA’s invented ‘Schrödinger's Pilot’ - A pilot of a light aircraft, sharing uncontrolled airspace and aerodromes wth RPT passenger jets, who is simultaneously ‘acceptable’ and ‘not unsafe’ without a licence and medical certificate issued by CASA at the same time as being ‘unacceptable’ and ‘unsafe’ without a licence and medical certificate issued by CASA. You don’t know which until you open the box to find out what symbols are painted on the light aircraft and find out to what organisations the pilot belongs.

It all makes perfect sense. On the planet Coosebane.

With their current collective wisdom and expertise I reckon they’d make a more cost-effective contribution to the safety of air navigation if one cabal concentrated on just digging holes and the other on just filling them in.
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Old 12th Jun 2022, 07:14
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The biggest problem is that controlled airspace DOES NOT stop collisions, as far as traffic lights don't stop them. You still have to have the human element make a decision as to compliance with instructions. Planes and cars will rarely fly into each other on purpose, they collide when they think it's clear around them, have a little box squawking at you when things get close and you take notice. ATC gives you a false impression of safety because everyone should be doing as told, which means you are perfectly set up to have problems when they don't, ie reduced lookout, because I assume someone else has made the path clear. As I said earlier a PA-28 almost collided with an ATR in Albury airspace in plain view of the tower, but only TCAS alerted the ATR crew that there was an aircraft in proximity and prompted a go-round. Also the Metro vs the Cirrus in the US recently, at a controlled airport. Mandate carriage and use of transponders to all mandatory radio areas, TCAS/ACAS is the only thing that will make significant difference without severely limiting airspace.
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