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How does CASA and Air Services decide whether an airport has a Control Tower?

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How does CASA and Air Services decide whether an airport has a Control Tower?

Old 26th May 2016, 14:21
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How does CASA and Air Services decide whether an airport has a Control Tower?

Hi Everyone,

Quick question:

How does CASA and Air Services Australia decide if an airport gets a control tower?

I am doing a uni assignment and I am looking for a reference regarding this. I thought there was some threshold based on aircraft capacity and/or frequency of movements however I am unable to find a reference in any of the reg's, MOS or supporting documentation.

Any assistance or information to point me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers, Rosso.
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Old 26th May 2016, 16:57
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"Enhanced air traffic services at regional airports

After consultation with other aviation agencies and industry, Airservices defined the implementation plan for improving air traffic service arrangements at a number of major regional airports.

Priority was given to regional airports that show a predicted growth in traffic levels, which have existing surveillance infrastructure that is of suitable quality to provide the approach services. During the review, the surveillance methods considered included the use of new and existing technologies that were developed over recent years, these include Automatic Dependant Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) and Wide Area Multilateration (WAM).

The plan outlines a phased approach to the introduction of Regional Approach Services (RAPPS) using surveillance, initially focusing on seven locations, namely Hobart, Launceston, Rockhampton, Mackay, the Sunshine Coast and Alice Springs. Other airports listed in the mandate will be reviewed periodically to determine if the traffic density warrants the need for SAFRA-type services."


found this is the airservices website. not exactly about towers but gives an small indication of their process.
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Old 26th May 2016, 23:38
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Control Tower Establishment

Rosso

In years gone by, DCA/CAA used to rely on simple aircraft movement and traffic mix critieria to determine whether a control tower (or a flight service unit) was required or not e.g. total number of aircraft movement per annum, number of RPT movements pa, percentage of IFR vs VFR movements etc. These movement considerations were then overlaid with a subjective assessment of environmental factors that could impact on safety e.g. presence of terrain, adverse weather effects, complexity of surrounding airspace etc. It should be noted that there were also traffic movement criteria for discontinuing a control tower or a flight service unit.

In subsequent years, this simple establishment/discontinuance process matured to include basic collision risk modelling and societal impact modelling to determine the impacts of not only implementing a control tower but understanding the potential consequences of not establishing a tower. Proposed changes were also subject to a cost benefit assessment to ensure (safety and efficiency) benefits outweighed the cost of any new service. My recollection is that all ATS units were eventually subject to regular review but I can't recall the timing.

My understanding of the process today is that CASA now uses the aircraft movement data as a simple "trigger criteria" i.e.to determine whether a more detailed and comprehensive aeronautical study is required to support changes to airspace classifications or the air traffic service to be provided (e.g. CTAF (R), Unicom, CA/GRS or control tower). The aeronautical study conducted by CASA will establish the level of risk at an airport after consideration of all the factors listed above and make a recommendation as to the appropriate airspace classification and/or air traffic service to be provided at the airport to reduce perceived risk to acceptable levels. CASA's recommendations are then reflected in an airspace change proposal that is subject to a CBA and consultation with industry stakeholders before implementation.

Once coordinated and approved, the changed arrangements are implemented. My understanding is that CASA formally reviews the risk profile at certified airports at 5 year intervals.

Quite happy for others to correct me if my understanding of the process is incorrect as it has been some time since my involvement in such matters. But it might also be useful for you to ring CASA and ask to speak to someone in the Office of Airspace Regulation who will certainly be able to give you guidance on the correct process.
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Old 26th May 2016, 23:47
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CASA is the airspace and aviation safety regulator. It is they who make the legal determination what level of air traffic service is required in an area or at and in the vicinity of an aerodrome. They do that by conducting aeronautical studies, the outcome of which determines what if any action is required.

Airservices is the civil airspace air traffic service provider, and they provide the services that CASA deem necessary.

Suggest you contact CASA's Office of Airspace Regulation:

[email protected]

https://www.casa.gov.au/airspace/lan...ace-regulation
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Old 27th May 2016, 00:04
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Just plug those key words into Google and see what you dig up. You may have to go in maybe a dozen pages worth but you will find the formula. It is solely based on annual pax movements. Not only tower services but also Rescue Fire Fighter Services (RFFS). Ballina is on the cusp of requiring a service whilst Avalon may lose theirs. Research Lad! Learn something by looking
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Old 27th May 2016, 01:49
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In addition to what CaptainMidnight said, from the CASA OAR page, have a look at the recent supplementary airspace review of Gladstone, along with the two prior Gladstone airspace reviews to see this decision-making in practice.
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Old 27th May 2016, 05:21
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Before my time all jet airline aircraft had to operate with a control tower.

That's why the multimillion dollar tower was built at Gove.

I stopped this ridiculous mis allocation of resources and our Board agreed to use the FAA establishment and discontinuance formulae.

This resulted in the closing of towers like Mt Isa and many others . The Gove Tower has never been used. Can someone post a photo- does it still have a fake goldfish hanging from the ceiling?

Since my time Peter Cromarty introduced a new system which I would imagine keeps the status quo.

When I have influence again we will continue with the cost reductions including opening the towers up to competition. The ATCs told me they wanted to set up there own business that could halve the cost of D towers.

In the USA about half the towers are run under contract with major cost savings.

Not really necessary in Aus with the ex military running our aviation system because the airlines don't seem to worry about the rip off costs.
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Old 27th May 2016, 05:33
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By the way, is Kim Jones still involved in airspace? In my time he seemed to do everything to support the existing system and undermine my cost saving reforms.

Perhaps Kim could come on and advise if he has changed his views now that GA is almost destroyed?

Of course. If I am incorrect and Kim supports cost saving I will readily apologise and become his greatest supporter.
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Old 27th May 2016, 05:36
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When I have influence again........

Is this a thought bubble or are you actually planning something?
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Old 27th May 2016, 05:40
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Surely it's clear that in another five years or so our aviation industry will be so destroyed they would even accept the devil to do something to make a fix .
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Old 27th May 2016, 06:10
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swh

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Just plug those key words into Google and see what you dig up. You may have to go in maybe a dozen pages worth but you will find the formula.
isnt just

P{tower}=1/(Distance from Canberra)^2

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Old 27th May 2016, 07:54
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Dick,

An associate and I recently had an exchange with Kim Jones which resulted in his providing support for a potentially major change in one of the ICAO SARPS. Based on that support and positive words from others I self funded travel to Montreal earlier this month to meet with one of the AN14 WGs.

In my earlier life in CAA and AsA and some later interactions with CASA, I always found Kim willing to listen to and assess change proposals based on their merit. Perhaps that is where your problem lies.

MJG
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Old 27th May 2016, 09:40
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So what is his position?

And what is the change? Will it save money for our industry- especially GA ?
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Old 27th May 2016, 11:13
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Thank you everyone for the detailed replies and for taking the time to respond, it is appreciated.


Originally Posted by OZBUSDRIVER View Post
Just plug those key words into Google and see what you dig up. ... Research Lad! Learn something by looking
Damn, you caught me. Google, why didn't I think of that? And here I was hoping I could get my degree via PPRuNe!

Thanks for your insight OZBUSDRIVER. There's always one.
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Old 27th May 2016, 11:16
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As an aside, the TWR at Gove was built to a standard design and assembled on site. The internal cabin fitout was never fully completed. The console etc is probably still in there, as it would have been assembled in situ and wouldn't fit down the stairs. The TWR was prefabricated, but could not be economically defabricated. In my later capacity with the airport operator, we approached many potential users, but in the end, we basically couldn't give it away, even as scrap, as transport costs ex Gove were too high. Initially the overlying ATC VHF and UHF radio gear were in its equipment room, but they were eventually transferred to the Satellite Comms site, and Airservices then pretty much gave all their no longer required buildings to the local council. Myself and another bloke stripped all the racks and wiring out of the equipment rooms of the TWR and FSU and the space was let as offices to charter operators.
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Old 27th May 2016, 12:07
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Rosso,
The actual answer is: It is all in the CASR/ MOS, establishment and disestablishment criteria etc.
With--- as we know, huge disconnects, giving us fire services (economic waste in classical economics ) at Ballina, but not even a Unicom (by whatever name you want to call it) or even the unique Australian bastardisation, CAGRO.
Tootle pip!!
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Old 28th May 2016, 02:53
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So what about Dubbo, Broken Hill etc go when Ansett NSW operated the F-28's in NSW during the early 1970's?

Did DCA hand out a dispensation for no ATC or was the F-28 below a certain weight?

Did Broken Hill have a RFFS in those days?

The old flight service unit and briefing office were located behind the terminal building from memory.
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Old 28th May 2016, 05:08
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Thanks for the info Leadsled.

Unfortunately I cannot find anything in the CASR's or MOS about establishment and disestablishment criteria relating specifically to the determination of whether an Airport will be ATC controlled or not.

It refers to ARFF which is straight forward - the category determined by ICAO guidelines in the ICAO Airport Services manual and Cat 6 and above in Australia supplied with the service through ASA. I thought a similar clear cut process would be in place for a deciding if a tower service was required and was my original motivation for the post as I couldn't find a reference similar to the ARFF criteria. It appears the process may be a little more subjective (and contentious) given some of the examples listed in this and other similar threads on the issue.

I have reworded my work and referenced the Airspace Regulation 2007. It was the closest thing I could find given the context of the paper.

Thanks again for the replies. It is appreciated.
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Old 28th May 2016, 05:26
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Originally Posted by Green on, Go! View Post
In addition to what CaptainMidnight said, from the CASA OAR page, have a look at the recent supplementary airspace review of Gladstone, along with the two prior Gladstone airspace reviews to see this decision-making in practice.
Thanks for the heads up on the Gladestone review Green on, go. It certainly makes for some interesting and insightful reading.
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Old 28th May 2016, 11:20
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F28 to Broken Hill was in the 80s - no ARFF. FSU was about 150 metres from terminal, consoles faced away from runway - great decision, not. Jet RPT required approval to operate outside CTA (OCTA for younger pruners). I think Gove was the only place that had approval for DC9 to operate without ATC.
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