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What Happened to Lower Class E?

Old 18th Dec 2014, 04:00
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What Happened to Lower Class E?

Many will remember that as part of NAS there was a plan to follow the USA and bring in some low-level Class E airspace to cover instrument approaches at non-tower airports. This airspace was to drop to about 1,200 feet AGL at airports like Ballina.

Of course, the low level enroute controllers would have to be trained at doing approach work, however if they can do this in the USA and Canada and Europe, surely they can in Australia.

I note this system has not gone ahead even at one airport and I think most would agree that being separated by air traffic control on a dark night in IMC is safer than a do-it-yourself calling-in-the-blind system of traffic information when there is no separation standard at all.

If you remember, we had a number of serious incidents – one at Bundaberg where two passenger-carrying aircraft were trying to do an instrument approach at the same time and another incident at Orange where the REX aircraft was coming in from the east on instrument approach and another aircraft was coming in from the west on an approach, both in cloud at the same time – problems if one had to do a missed approach!

So I also ask – have there been any further incidents that have been reported?
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Old 18th Dec 2014, 04:16
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Isn't there 'low' Class E now above the likes of Rockhampton and Mackay when the tower is closed (down to 700 feet)?
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Old 18th Dec 2014, 05:08
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Mackay and Rockhampton do indeed have lower Class E airspace to 700AGL at night when Class D is inactive. They have a dedicated Approach Controller (same controller, different frequency for Mackay and Rockhampton).

The approach controller issue's clearances for departure via a Radar SID and also clearances for an instrument approach. On Taxi they will issue a clearance for the SID, they will ask for a report once at the holding point for the assigned heading and also a report once rolling for departure.

Standard CTAF calls still apply inbound and outbound, on ground the approach controller assumes the duty of an area controller (cancel sarwatch, etc.).

There was an AIP SUP for the procedures but it has since been absorbed into the AIP and I can no longer find it to clarify further information.

Last edited by dayzel87; 18th Dec 2014 at 05:19. Reason: Detail correction.
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Old 18th Dec 2014, 05:34
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I am actually referring to non tower airports. Why hasn't the E gone ahead at these airports.
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Old 18th Dec 2014, 05:56
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dayzel87

You sure?

AIRSPACE RECLASSIFICATION OUTSIDE TWR HR
Class C Airspace/CTA steps WI 36 DME TL BLW 8,500FT AMSL reclassified Class G


From ERSA.
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Old 18th Dec 2014, 06:16
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As you've been told numerous times in the past, we don't have the resources. It's not just a matter of training Dick. Where are all the extra controllers and consoles going to come from and who is going to pay?
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Old 18th Dec 2014, 06:23
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Chief_galah

I am very sure, the airspace is presented in the DAH/AIP handbook under YBBB/ROCKHAMPTON and MACKAY E1 through to E4 also the approach frequencies are on all the DAP's for both of those airports.

It is also in the Jepps APT DIR AU-236 "OUTSIDE TWR HOURS ROCKHAMPTON AIRSPACE CLASS D BECOMES CLASS E ABOVE 700' AGL WITHIN THE LATERAL BOUNDARY OF THE CTR (ABOVE 1000' AMSL) AND WITHIN THE STEPS ABOVE 1000' AMSL TO AN UPPER LEVEL OF 4500' AMSL. SURFACE-700'AGL INCLUSIVE WITHIN THE LATERAL BOUNDARY OF THE CTR BECOMES CLASS G."

I think you are quoting the reference for Townsville, TL = Townsville.
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Old 18th Dec 2014, 06:33
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dayzel87

Yep, you're correct of course.
My only defense is that I was looking at Townsville.

Just as an aside, what's it like when there's more than one aircraft in IMC?
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Old 18th Dec 2014, 06:34
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chief_galah

All Good, I would much rather head to Townsville for a spin anyway.
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Old 18th Dec 2014, 06:39
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Le Pingouin.

The system is rediculous. You provide a enroute separation service where the collision risk is minimal and then force a " do it yourself" 1920's radio traffic only service in the terminal area at quite busy airports like Lismore and Ballina .

The NAS plan was to provide the safer separation service at selected airports.

Arn't you putting profits in front of safety ? Surely if half your last profit dividend was spent on providing a class E terminal service at non tower airports serviced by airline aircraft safety would be improved.
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Old 18th Dec 2014, 06:51
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"Arn't you putting profits in front of safety ? Surely if half your last profit dividend was spent on providing a class E terminal service at non tower airports serviced by airline aircraft safety would be improved."

Again, Mr Smith, you seem to have trouble distinguishing (sp) between line controllers and the bean counters who sign cheques.

LP was saying what is blatantly obvious to any line controller : there are NO resources or the will to do what you are saying at management level.

Line controllers play the game as the Good Book dictates, we don't dictate the contents.

Rant Over.

Last edited by KeepItRolling; 18th Dec 2014 at 06:52. Reason: Splleieng.
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Old 18th Dec 2014, 07:29
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Keep it rolling. There are obviously plenty of resources available. Why spend $15 m on a fire station at Ballina to clean up after a mid air when you can give a class E approach service to help prevent the mid air in the first place?

How come they can put on 100's of extra Firies but no extra controllers ?

Something not logical here.
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Old 18th Dec 2014, 07:30
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You see Dick, this is where you don't know about airspace at all.
Just take a look at Flightradar24 or FlightAware and you'll soon see realise that the en-route collision risk is far from minimal. Come on, you've been at the forefront of aviation administration, surely you know more than this!
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Old 18th Dec 2014, 08:07
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Meanwhile, Joe Blogg's in his C172 can carry on through this stupid Class E without even needing to report to ATC.

In my company Dick, we avoid Class E in the same way as we avoid Class G. The risk of collision is too high with unreported VFR traffic.

morno
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Old 18th Dec 2014, 08:48
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Morno. You are just resisting change. Our class E has mandatory transponder and mandatory radio for VFR.

Wouldn't class E be a safety plus compared to the existing class G at Ballina ?

Or do you want to keep the old 1950s system!

And how do you avoid class G? Only go to tower airports? What do you think of all the airlines that go to non tower airports?

Chief. Last time I looked about 130 IFR aircraft airborne over the Aus mainland at one time. All vertically and laterally separated . Can't do that on a runway if one misses a call and lands on top of another!
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Old 18th Dec 2014, 09:04
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E goes down to 700'? 1200' in the US?
That is not runway separation.
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Old 18th Dec 2014, 09:05
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1. The college can barely keep up with current training requirements. Good luck with adding however many more on top of that.

2. There are literally no spare consoles available to provide the service and limited space to put any new ones assuming we could source the parts, which we can't.

Presumably oneSKY/CMATS will have the flexibility to accommodate adding new consoles at a later date but see 1.
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Old 18th Dec 2014, 09:17
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LP beat me to it!

Dick, if CASA had not jumped up and down about the ARFF stations, then ASA would not have built them.

And I say again, ATCs don't make this decision.

So jumping down the throats of ATC, particularly here, is pretty pointless.

Ask Senate Estimates, they are the latest experts.

KIR
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Old 18th Dec 2014, 09:58
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I am not jumping down the throats of any ATCs.

Sounds to me as if the people at CASA are not allocating the resources correctly.

CASA has mandated AsA to put on lots more RFFS personel when I would reckon upgrading G to E like the safer FAA system is more likely to improve safety.

What do you ATCs believe ?
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Old 18th Dec 2014, 10:15
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Arrghhhh, FFS!.

Dick – perhaps some homework and a little 'thinking' is required here: look and listen, carefully, to the last Senate estimates video and you will see, precisely and exactly where the problems lay. Give you a clue - it's not with the kids slaving at the coal face. KIR, LP, Morno, NB, AC and half a dozen other priceless ATCO; who actually care enough to bother reading PPRuNe and can find the 'responsibility' and energy to respond – after probably another long hard shift – try, repeatedly, to tell you where the areas of concern and responsibility lay. Want a target, watch the last estimates and get after the "Slick & Fick" crew, those are your real targets. Read their pitiful answers to the QoN. Piss in the pot or get off it, go after the real culprits, or is that a bridge too far? a challenge perhaps. The ATCO 'troops', regularly go above and beyond the call, often, at great personal risk.

I get very weary of reading personalised "Dick" speak, when the rest of the 'workers' are trying to make what they can of a totally buggered up, top heavy administrative, trough reared system. Find a solution, present an argument, use your vaunted influence; but, please, FFS stop this eternal sniping, bitching and 'twisting' the facts, from the sidelines to suit your own agenda. It's not only boring; it's counter productive and negative; which I could, probably live with- if it ever achieved anything.

Tell me what, in the past 12 month you have achieved or changed that makes this unholy system better. Nothing would be as good an answer as any; and we are still, no bloody closer to the damn truth.

JHFHCOAC.
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