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Multicom vs area frequency

Old 2nd Sep 2014, 10:13
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AR201400052 - The Reporter expressed a...

Having fun Creamy??

Maybe this might help but judging from this thread the timeline may need updating...and the NOTAM has expired : AR201400052
Reporter's concern
The reporter expressed a safety concern regarding the confusion surrounding which frequency should be used at aerodromes which do not have a dedicated CTAF allocated.
The reporter has recently been advised by an Air Safety Advisor that the Area frequency should be used at non-towered aerodromes which do not have a CTAF allocated. This contradicts the information which was supplied by CASA in response to REPCON AR201400031.
If there is confusion by the CASA Air Safety Advisors then there will be confusion throughout the industry.
The reporter has suggested that CASA should release a NOTAM to pilots to clarify the issue.

A second report was received in relation to this and forwarded to CASA:
CASA's release of Civil Aviation Advisory Publication 166-1(2) has created a potential safety risk that undermines the concept of radio-alerted see and avoid at non-towered aerodromes that do not have a CTAF, which is likely the majority of aerodromes and airstrips in Australia.

To summarise the timeline whereby this situation has developed:
  • More than a decade ago, CASA and Airservices Australia widely published a NAS concept which included a nationwide Multicom frequency of 126.7 MHz. The Multicom was the frequency to be used at every non-towered aerodrome and airstrip in Australia that does not have a CTAF.
  • Airservices Australia continues to publish the Multicom concept in its AIP Book. Refer to current AIP GEN page 2.2-17 for the Multicom definition, and to ENR page 1.4-8 para 3.2.1 for an elaboration.
  • CASA updated CAAP 166-1 to version 2 last December. At paragraph 6.6.2, this version specifically discounts the use of 126.7 MHz in favour of the Area Frequency. Previous versions of the CAAP did not have this statement.
  • Therefore, since December last year, pilots flying in Australia have had conflicting information from the airspace regulator and the airspace service provider as to the appropriate frequency to use at non-towered aerodromes without a CTAF. This is a situation potentially worse than unalerted see and avoid because of the 'comfort' (expectation) that radio-alerted see and avoid procedures provide.

Regulator's response (Regulator 1)

I refer to your emails of 1 July 2014 and 23 July 2014 requesting comment by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) on Australian Transport Safety Bureau REPCON AR201400052 about reported concerns regarding the confusion over which frequency to use at non-towered aerodromes which do not have a CTAF.
CASA has reviewed the REPCON. Civil Aviation Advisory Publication (CAAP) 166-1 provides advice on the correct frequency to use in the vicinity of a non-controlled aerodrome. The equivalent advice in the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) currently does not align with the CAAP. An AIP amendment rectifying this inconsistency comes into effect on 21 August 2014. In the interim, a Notice to Airmen has been issued to inform pilots about the correct frequencies to use at non-controlled aerodromes. CASA has also taken action to standardise the advice given by CASA's Aviation Safety Advisors.
It was identified in the second report related to this REPCON that paragraph 6.6.2 of CAAP 166-1 (2) appears to "discount" the use of 126.7 MHz (the Multicom frequency) in favour of the area frequency. There is a note following that paragraph, which if read in isolation could give that impression. To address this, CASA has undertaken to amend that section of CAAP 166-1 (2) to ensure it is consistent with the 21 August 2014 AIP amendment and the NOTAM. CASA would like to encourage the REPCON reporters to review the educational material on operations at non-controlled aerodromes which further explain frequency use at these aerodromes. The educational package can be accessed at: www.casa.gov.au

HEAD OFFICE NOTAM C119/14

C119/14

OPERATIONAL FREQUENCY REQUIREMENTS

IN LIEU OF CURRENT AIP INFORMATION REGARDING OPERATIONS AT OR IN THE VICINITY OF NON-CONTROLLED AERODROMES, PILOTS MUST USE THE FOLLOWING FREQUENCIES FOR BROADCASTS:

A. IN THE VICINITY OF AN AERODROME DEPICTED ON AERONAUTICAL CHARTS, WITH A DISCRETE FREQUENCY, THE DISCRETE CTAF SHOWN (INCLUDING BROADCAST AREA CTAF), OR OTHERWISE;

B. IN THE VICINITY OF AN AERODROME DEPICTED ON AERONAUTICAL CHARTS, WITH NO DISCRETE FREQUENCY SHOWN, THE CTAF 126.7;

OR

C. IN ALL OTHER CASES, AREA VHF.



PROCEDURES INCORPORATED IN AIP EFFECTIVE 21 AUG 2014.

FROM 07 180435 TO 08 201559
Here is the link for REPCON - AR201400031.

Cheers..
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Old 2nd Sep 2014, 10:41
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Comedy gold!

The blind leading the deaf leading the cart before the horse thinking inside the box.

"non-towered aerodrome and airstrip". Do a search for that on the electric interweb and see what you find.

CASA's response starts with the CAAP as the source of the wisdom.

Australia: The only third world country in which you can drink the water.
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Old 2nd Sep 2014, 10:46
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Are you not returning JR's calls because you're 'just not in to him', or because you need time with your own friends on 126.7?
Half of Vic & half of NSW
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Old 2nd Sep 2014, 12:05
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Last time I was nearby a non-towered aerodrome and had an air strip nearby my Course Deviation Indicator needle pointed directly forward.

Last edited by FokkerInYour12; 2nd Sep 2014 at 14:03.
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Old 2nd Sep 2014, 22:09
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I say again: Calling all VFR pilots and instructors of VFR students in the Melbourne area.

What rule book do you use? What parts of the "Melbourne Basin Visual Pilot Guide" are contrary to your rule book?

Are you not returning JR's calls because you're 'just not in to him', or because you need time with your own friends on 126.7?
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Old 3rd Sep 2014, 05:01
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Relax Creampuff, what's with the crusade? It's no skin off my nose if they don't listen/call. Dunno how many times I've got to say it: I'm just telling you what's actually happening on the frequency.
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Old 3rd Sep 2014, 06:41
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-
From the very first post on this thread in relation to giving CASA mandated circuit calls on the ATC area frequency


"We tried this on a navex, got told to bugger off by the area controller."

Imagine if you worked for CASA and had to be part if this fiasco - I bet the morale is low.

Of course the last thing competent area controllers want is VFR pilots blocking ATC separation frequencies with self announcements.

I phoned the head of Airspace and Aerodromes at CASA. Peter Cromarty and he informed me that it was not his decision and I should talk to the operations people. I did this and was told that CASA was correct and the calls at unmarked aerodromes must be on the Area Frequency.

So there you have it- nothing like the Governments NAS airspace policy but do what CASA says. Bet they all run a mile if an incident or accident is caused by these incorrect requirements
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Old 3rd Sep 2014, 07:29
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Of course we'll wait for an accident or incident to happen (it's the Australian way) before something's done about stupid procedures.

That accident will maim or kill. Then there will be the court cases apportioning blame to persons that haven't got the financial resources or aren't alive to defend themselves.

But don't worry about the above because there's not enough GA activity to cause the above accident/incident in the first place. Another unique Australianism to be proud of, let an industry die then there'll be no problems caused by it
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Old 3rd Sep 2014, 08:52
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Airservices Australia continues to publish the Multicom concept in its AIP Book.
and
had conflicting information from the airspace regulator and the airspace service provider
A minor point, but not well known it seems: Airservices as the AIS provider only publishes AIP Book.

The content with respect to most of it in particular this sort of thing is firmly owned by CASA. They file the text amendment requests with Airservices who make the changes. I gather CASA did so last year and presumably did so a month or so ago for the 21 August amendments.
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Old 3rd Sep 2014, 09:35
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Captain Midnight is correct again.

My guess is that the fabric of the CASA organisation is so weakened that it assumes some minor amendments to the CAAP and a paragraph of the AIP and voylar: Job done!

Cart pushing horse...

It's fascinating how each individual's limited perspective drives their perception of the entirety of the prevailing risks and how they should be mitigated.

Accidents that "maim and kill" can be caused by all sorts of holes in the swiss cheese. For every scenario that someone can come up with to justify the teensey weensey tiny number of broadcasts from unmarked strips being made on area, there will another scenario to justify those broadcasts not being made on area.

That's one of the reasons societies make rules. Someone has to decide which option out of a range of mutually incompatible options will prevail.
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Old 3rd Sep 2014, 09:39
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....but in australia creampuff politicians rate anything requiring some nouse as too hard for normal people and appoint experts to independently make up the rules as they go along.

the only reason that australian aviation legislation works is that it isn't policed and it can be ignored.
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Old 3rd Sep 2014, 09:44
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If broadcasts on the area frequency are going to cause a 30,000' death plunge, they must be banned.

If broadcasts on the area frequency are going to prevent a 30,000' death plunge, they must be mandatory.

Go forth and scare punters into what ever option you want.

Last edited by Creampuff; 3rd Sep 2014 at 21:25. Reason: Corrected spelling "mandatory"
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Old 3rd Sep 2014, 11:49
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One goat Creampuff, one goat.
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Old 3rd Sep 2014, 12:11
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Would a vertical split in ATC sectors avoid the potential frequency problem?

Perhaps make the high level cruise sectors larger above FL210, and smaller geo sectors below?

Greater minds would have thought of this no doubt, must be a reason for not doing something similar.
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Old 3rd Sep 2014, 12:55
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Everyone seems to be whinging here. Can anyone suggest a proper procedure?
How would an overflyer know that there is a strip if it is not shown on any maps?
How would someone departing from such a strip be on 126.7 when everyone overflying is on the ATC frequency?
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Old 3rd Sep 2014, 13:37
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Dick Smith wrote:


"I phoned the head of Airspace and Aerodromes at CASA. Peter Cromarty and he informed me that it was not his decision and I should talk to the operations people. I did this and was told that CASA was correct and at unmarked aerodromes the calls must be on the Area Frequency."

(My emphasis.)


I'm always prepared to apologise for my ignorance, if I'm wrong.


But isn't this pretty well what Creampuff has been arguing about, all along?
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Old 3rd Sep 2014, 21:28
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Uncle8

No need for anyone to "suggest" a "proper" procedure.

The one you are using is the one required by the rules.

Last edited by Creampuff; 3rd Sep 2014 at 21:53.
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Old 3rd Sep 2014, 21:59
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So CASA can now knuckle down, educate the industry through the CFI's & CP's the proper radio procedures so that we're all on the same page

318 posts later we've got this cat skinned
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Old 4th Sep 2014, 06:51
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Jack. No we havn't. The CASA NOTAM is WRONG!

The multicom is clearly the correct frequency for non marked runways based on the decision made on airspace policy by Federal Cabinet.

We will see how long it takes for the NOTAM to be corrected- probably quite a while. In the meantime remember if you comply you could be blocking out important ATC instructions to large air carriers - and this could result in an accident.

In this case do what safety dictates is the right thing. Sometimes the law is an ass.
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Old 4th Sep 2014, 08:19
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CAsA is the arse dick.

if area frequency broadcasts are causing problems then declare ctaf frequencies to be used at the airfields.

the two airfields south of perth share a ctaf frequency.

oh, and make them put in beep back units in each ctaf.
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