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Airservices Class E changes

Old 19th Mar 2021, 09:06
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Finally yes, lower-level Class E would require more sectors, more staff, a different rating or endorsement system for the ATCs, and probably another building. I doubt the current two centres could contain the expansion unless they move the Approach Control units (BNE, CNS, MEL, and ADL) out.


And that’s ‘game over’ for any real expansion of Australian E.

That is, of course, until the RPT collision with a ‘sport/private aircraft’ at an aerodrome in ForG, which collision will result in breathless amazement and outrage, on the part of punters, at the concept of an aerodrome without air traffic control, and a demand for action that will be difficult to ignore, politically. That’s when a version of Australian D will be introduced. Which version....

(Heard today an RPT reporting to Centre that it had to go around at YGTH, as a consequence of an aircraft on the runway either on the wrong CTAF, or not hearing or transmitting on the CTAF. The Roulette Wheel continues to be spun...)
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 10:26
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I doubt you’ll see a tower at YGTH any time soon. The roulette wheel spins every day at regional airports with no fix-all on the horizon.
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 11:00
  #383 (permalink)  
 
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I doubt you’ll see a tower at YGTH any time soon
Who needs a tower? An RPT did a go around because it was not safe to land. Non issue it seems.
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 11:18
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Originally Posted by Capt Fathom
Who needs a tower? An RPT did a go around because it was not safe to land. Non issue it seems.
Exactly my point!
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 22:38
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And now you know why, Gentle_flyer!
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Old 20th Mar 2021, 00:57
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Originally Posted by 10JQKA
So could it not be possible that with our G providing a higher service level as a hybrid than of ICAO G that in fact there is no need to provide low E and is a waste of time and resources and will only cause delays compared to current G operations ?
This idea that ATC would cause delays keeps recurring. What it means is that either pilots do a better job of separating aircraft in IMC than ATC do (which I do not believe), or that class G operations operate without standards on a basis of "if no-one saw it, it didn't happen".

There have been a number of instances where pilots completely screwed up separation in IMC. Some instances in addition to Mangalore:
https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications...r/ao-2008-030/
https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications...r/ao-2015-108/

The first is RPT, a 737 and a A320.

I am sure there are many we never hear about for every one that results in a report.

I am not convinced the extra workload would be as much as is being made out. In many cases there is only 1 IFR aircraft, it seems like "No reported IFR traffic" becomes "cleared XYZ approach" with the only additional requirement the need to keep track of the clearance.

Traffic information is not efficient with multiple aircraft, I heard on area an instance where 5 IFR aircraft were each being given traffic information on the other 4 aircraft. This didn't seem to be an efficient process to me. To make it harder, it was a twin behind 4 C172 all on the same track. That would be hard to sort out if it was actually IMC, e.g. with levels limited by icing. In IMC, a controller with a plan would make things much easier.
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Old 20th Mar 2021, 05:42
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With all due respect to our friends in the RPT world, might I suggest that a contributing factor in some of these incidents involving RPT (jet) aircraft is related to the currency that those crews might have in Class G operations? I would guess that the number of times an RPT jet crew operate into the likes of Yulara or Ballina would vary, however it would certainly not be a regular everyday occurrence. As opposed to the regional carriers whose bread and butter is in and out of Class G airfields. From my observations the obvious lack of any standardisation within the jet operators is obvious as they all seem to do it differently. Mind you the lack of standardisation is apparent in the regionals as well. The understanding of the average GA pilot in airspace structure and procedures is quite dismal and this I suggest is due to the lack of training and standardisation in the training world of CASA approved flying schools, who seem to be responsible for such training. (I have no idea how the RAAus schools address this part of training. Have to have a radio to start with!) Even the CASA examiners have their differences so where does one start in order to provide some training and standardisation? Why do some schools teach to call every leg of a circuit? No understanding and no standardisation!

Changing the airspace and the introduction of more Class E may be seen by some as the answer, however we have history back in the Flight Service days when there was significant traffic OCTA, especially in WA when the mining boom started and I don’t recall such problems. Of course there was a time when it was a requirement for RPT jets to only operate to locations where there was a tower. What killed the never used tower at Gove? Things have been different ever since and it seems nobody can but a finger on how to sort it out.

One option to follow the USA model is to take the transponder requirement away from Class E and then you can have as much E as you like. Is the risk any greater in Oz than it is over there, especially considering the difference in traffic levels? That would be a difficult call.

I would say that a significant training effort by CASA needs to be put in place with an emphasis on standardisation prior to any major proposal to introduce more Class E as ASA have just done.
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Old 20th Mar 2021, 07:46
  #388 (permalink)  
 
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the case in Australia where Airservices seems to want only to provide services where there is money to be made from existing resources.
In a user pays system like ours, where those that do pay most vociferously do not want to be paying for services for those that do not pay, that's only logical.
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Old 20th Mar 2021, 10:11
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Bonez

I plead guilty re the Gove Tower!

Also for the removal of the temporary towers at Birdsville and Bathurst.
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Old 20th Mar 2021, 12:33
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Dick, no problem, as it was not going to be cost effective and the procedures back then were a bit different. I don't have a problem with E so long as we follow how it works in the US. What ASA are now proposing is also not going to be cost effective and we have not seen the safety case as yet...... That is why we are not going to see at tower at Ballina unless Canberra demand it.

What I am saying is that there is more to it than just change the class of airspace.
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Old 20th Mar 2021, 12:35
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Originally Posted by bonez
What I am saying is that there is more to it than just change the class of airspace.
Yep, ain't that the truth.
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Old 20th Mar 2021, 15:26
  #392 (permalink)  
 
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Devil

Re ' Of course there was a time when it was a requirement for RPT jets to only operate to locations where there was a tower'......

There was never a 'tower' at Kalgoorlie, or Broome or Derby or Kunners or many other 'regionals' and...yep...jets did operate there....
Fk-28s every day.
Just sayin'....keep to the facts please......
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Old 20th Mar 2021, 23:46
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Talking about Ballina- imagine the decision to spend millions on RFFS without first putting in a class D tower to help prevent an accident in the first place.

The explanation is that at my time at CAA we updated the formula for the establishment of towers but I was not able to introduce an updated establishment formula for RFFS.
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Old 21st Mar 2021, 01:28
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I think we are a bit off the Class E track but you are now talking about a favourite subject of mine, and they are all inter-related!
The whole argument about when a Tower should be "required" is to my mind, far too prescriptive and bureaucratic. It also, I believe, leads to active neglect of air traffic hotspots caused by the mix of traffic as aerodromes develop their operations.
The requirements for a CASA review of whether a Tower is required can be found in the Australian Airspace Policy Statement (currently 25 Sep 2018). For Class D airspace with an ATC service, which implies, but does not state, a Control Tower, the threshold criteria are:
  • Total Annual Aircraft Movements 80,000
  • Total Passenger Transport Movements 15, 000
  • Total Annual Public Transport Passengers 350,000
Hence none of the so-called Metro D airports should have Towers, and indeed paragraph 21 states that CASA should consider downgrading them. Of course, we know that would never happen because of the political fallout if there was a subsequent accident, but what about the aerodromes that have traffic mix issues but never seem to get recommended for an upgrade?

To my mind, in a free market economy, aerodrome operators should be the ones deciding whether they would like a Control Tower, not a Federal Authority. I believe that the airspace surrounding an aerodrome should be considered an asset available to the aerodrome in order to pursue plans for development. Ballina has been mentioned above, and it is a great example, but there are others I have read about where the aerodrome has attracted international pilot training, and those basic-english students are now interacting with Dash 8 or F70/100 RPT movements. Another example is Wellcamp, 10NM west of TWB in Queensland. The owners are very entrepreneurial and have built a magnificent multi-purpose airport. They have attracted a Qantas pilot training school and have RPT operations plus weekly Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines freight flights. The aerodrome airspace is constrained on three sides by military R Areas (IMO unnecessary - don't get me started!) which funnel GA aircraft over Wellcamp. Should this complexity have some ATC oversight, of course, but it does not meet the MInister's threshold requirements. I believe the aerodrome owners should be able to establish their own control tower, if necessary, initially in Class G airspace, and then request Class D from CASA when real statistics and collision risks have been locally assessed. Is this possible in Australia, yes, but only with the permission of Airservices (CASR Part 172), that is another Federal Bureaucracy! I am told that Airservices has no intention of building any more control towers. It wishes to be seen to be on the cutting edge of ATC technology by introducing Remote or Digital Aerodrome Services. Good luck with that if my NBN service is anything to go by!

It is perplexing to me that the Government, CASA, and Airservices seem to be very happy to rely on a USAF satellite system for sole-source IFR navigation, to contemplate a private US company, Aireon, providing ADS-B surveillance of Australia under contract, but not let Australian aerodrome operators run a simple Control Tower!
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Old 21st Mar 2021, 04:25
  #395 (permalink)  
 
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andrewr, re yr....

"This idea that ATC would cause delays keeps recurring. What it means is that either pilots do a better job of separating aircraft in IMC than ATC do (which I do not believe), or that class G operations operate without standards on a basis of "if no-one saw it, it didn't happen".

Disagree, have a look at an example of the airspace below R559 between RIC/NBR. Currently u can go underneath in G at A070 and get tfc info and sort each other out, but in the proposed E base A065 it is now CTA, so given u can't go up or down or in wx may not be able to take headings L or R or hold what would happen is effectively 1 in 1 out. So the 1st user gets the run at A070 and everybody else goes around the airspace. For example someone planning to go BK to points north like TW MOR etc now has to go around via MDG or via SGT as the DCT A070 OCTA route is no longer avbl. That means delays due more track miles, more fuel used and longer flight times. This is just 1 example. This has nothing to do with who does a better job of separating or that G ops are without standards, both of these assumptions are wrong as these consequences are because of poor airspace design proposal.

Last edited by 10JQKA; 21st Mar 2021 at 05:20.
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Old 21st Mar 2021, 05:48
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Originally Posted by 10JQKA
Currently u can go underneath in G at A070 and get tfc info and sort each other out
What advantage do you have sitting in the aircraft looking at the inside of a cloud that allows you to "sort each other out" when ATC can't? Of course, if you can visually separate it is different, but the assumption is that if you want to visually separate you switch to VFR and have appropriate cloud clearance requirements etc.

Originally Posted by 10JQKA
This has nothing to do with who does a better job of separating or that G ops are without standards, both of these assumptions are wrong as these consequences are because of poor airspace design proposal.
What are the separation standards for aircraft in IMC in class G? Who determines if they have been breached?

I agree that this proposal is poor. Basically it is typical Australian Class E - maximum inconvenience, minimum usefulness. Class E should be providing service to IFR aircraft. Instead this seems to be inconveniencing VFR aircraft, without providing separation services to IFR aircraft where they need it most: close to airports, i.e low level, in the approach.
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Old 21st Mar 2021, 11:26
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Originally Posted by Ex FSO GRIFFO
Re ' Of course there was a time when it was a requirement for RPT jets to only operate to locations where there was a tower'......

There was never a 'tower' at Kalgoorlie, or Broome or Derby or Kunners or many other 'regionals' and...yep...jets did operate there....
Fk-28s every day.
Just sayin'....keep to the facts please......
You are correct of course. Back then when MMA replaced the F27 with the F28, initially with MMJ, in late 69 I recall, the then DCA let it run on those F27 routes at those ports you mention. The folk in CBR considered the DC9 more of a jet for some reason and it was the DC9 service from DRW to CNS via Gove that brought about the tower at Gove.
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Old 21st Mar 2021, 11:29
  #398 (permalink)  
 
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not let Australian aerodrome operators run a simple Control Tower!
Even the US doesn't do that. The staff are either FAA, or contracted to the FAA with a lot of strings attached.
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Old 21st Mar 2021, 20:59
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Well they do kinda, in the context that Geoff asked the question, yes it should be allowed to happen
https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org...tain%20towers.

They also do it very similarly in the UK. I think the important thing to note is the funding for it comes from airport. If Ballina airport/industry wants to fund a tower why can't it be privately operated under contract to Airservices?
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Old 21st Mar 2021, 22:26
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To Geoff Fairless,

Thank you for your contributions. I found them very interesting.

I was wondering whether you could explain a couple of queries on the first and last sentences of your first post as per below:

“The Minister should step in and stop this nonsense from his Government-owned ATS provider known as Airservices Australia.”

“I call on the Minister and CASA DAS to stop this nonsensical process and follow Australian law as embodied in the Airspace Act and AAPS.”

You use the words “nonsense” and “nonsensical”. Could you explain why you have used these strong words?

Does it refer to the process and / or the changes proposed?


Your second sentence seems to imply the minister reads these posts?

Do you honesty believe that or does your statement imply you have written a letter directly to the minister using the same words as quoted?

Thanks in anticipation of your reply.

G_f.
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