Airservices is Australia's air navigation service provider - we provide air traffic control, aviation rescue and fire fighting and air navigation services.

Airspace Modernisation

Airservices have developed an Airspace Modernisation Program that will deliver a series of enhancements to Australian airspace over the next five years. This program will improve service outcomes for the aviation industry through national standardisation and leveraging the benefits of increased surveillance coverage, while ensuring that the safety of air navigation remains our most important consideration. The program is a key enabler for Airservices to deliver the benefits of the OneSKY Australia program and ensures that Airservices future operating concepts across the entire network are taken into account.

Industry were notified of the Airspace Modernisation Program in October 2018. Airservices consulted with industry the first tranche of proposals (the national standardisation of Class A and E airspace and the transfer of control responsibility of surveilled Class C airspace). Consultation with industry occurred on the second tranche proposal (a trial to lower Class E airspace at Ayers Rock) in January 2019. Two of these proposals are subject to Airspace Change Proposal (ACP) approval by CASA.

Airservices is progressing into tranche three of the Airspace Modernisation Program, focusing on providing standardisation across our regional aerodromes and increased access to enroute airspace.

Update 20 May 2019

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is currently undertaking an Airspace Review of Hobart. Airservices will be making a submission to this review, that Hobart tower is upgraded from Class D to Class C. Therefore, Airservices is removing Hobart from our existing Tranche Three proposal, pending the Hobart Airspace Review. This decision is based on industry feedback provided during our Tranche Three consultation, the potential future growth in Hobart, the Airspace Research Application (ARA) triggers and internal safety work, which shows that Hobart is closer to other major airports with approach services.

Tranche Three

Tranche 3 of the Airspace Modernisation Program consists of five initiatives to further standardise regional aerodromes and en route airspace use and access:

  1. Re-classify Class C airspace to Class E airspace at eight regional aerodromes (Albury, Alice Springs, Coffs Harbour, Hamilton Island, Launceston, Mackay, Rockhampton and Tamworth).
  2. Replace the out of tower hours Terminal Class E or Class D airspace with Class G airspace from the surface to 4,500ft Above Mean Sea Level (AMSL) at thee regional aerodromes (Launceston, Mackay and Rockhampton).
  3. Lower the out of tower hours Class E airspace steps to 4,500ft AMSL at three Class D regional aerodromes (Albury, Alice Springs and Tamworth).
  4. Lower the Class D airspace upper limit from 5,500ft AMSL to 4,500ft AMSL at two Class D regional aerodromes (Broome and Karratha).
  5. Lower the base of Class E airspace at Ayers Rock from 5,500ft AMSL to 4,500ftAMSL *

*Ayers Rock will not be implemented until the proposed trial of Class E is complete and has been included to bring consistency in the application of Class E airspace at regional aerodromes across Australia.

These initiatives will provide Australia’s regional aerodromes and surrounding airspace with a single generic service configuration, resulting in a more appropriate service level provided for the current level. Resources, technology and procedures will be better optimised, benefiting all airspace users and ensuring safe, secure, efficient and environmentally responsible services to the aviation industry.

More information on the individual tranches, and the affected aerodromes is available on the following fact sheets:

Industry Consultation

Airservices is consulting widely on these proposals, and welcome feedback from all airspace users. This feedback will be used to feed into our design and safety work in preparation for the Airspace Change Proposal submission.

We recognise that this information is being distributed just prior to the Easter holiday period however consultation is open for five weeks to ensure that industry stakeholders have sufficient time to review the information and provide feedback on these initiatives.

Consultation and information distribution mechanisms include:

  • Airservices representatives will be visiting the aerodromes where these changes are proposed, to discuss the initiatives with local operators and seek feedback. These are being scheduled within the five week consultation period.
  • Airservices will be hosting an Industry Operations Forum in early May for industry groups, including RAPAC Convenors, representative organisations and industry bodies. A presentation on the Airspace Modernisation Program (tranche three changes) and a Q&A session will form part of that agenda.
  • Airservices is meeting with senior airline operational and safety representatives to discuss these proposals.
  • RAPAC paper distribution out of session, noting State RAPAC meetings are not scheduled during this period Airservices can meet with/provide further information to other RAPAC convenors for their members as required.
  • Information sent directly to:
  1. Board of Airline Representatives Australia (BARA)
  2. Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA)
  3. Australian Airline Pilots Association (AusALPA)
  4. Recreational Aviation Australia (RAAus)
  5. Australian Strategic Air Traffic Management Group (ASTRA)
  6. Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA)
  7. Australian Business Aviation Association (ABAA)
  8. Gliding Federation of Australia (GFA)
  9. Australian Airports Association (AAA)
  10. Air Sport Australia Confederation (ASAC)
  11. Australian Parachute Federation (APF)
  • The Airservices website contains all information on these initiatives, including fact sheets for individual aerodromes, where feedback can be provided via email to stakeholder@airservicesaustralia.com
  • Airservices can provide further information and/or briefings with individual industry representatives as required during the consultation period.

Feedback

Please provide feedback directly via email – stakeholder@airservicesaustralia.com
Feedback can be submitted until close of business Friday 24 May 2019.

Completed Consultation – Tranche One and Two

As part of Airservices commitment to fostering and promoting civil aviation, a number of airspace modernisation initiatives will be implemented over the next five years to enhance the efficiency of controlled airspace in Australia, while ensuring and maintaining current levels of safety.

Three changes currently proposed are:

      • National Standardisation of Class A and E Airspace
      • Transfer of control responsibility of surveilled Class C airspace from Air Traffic Control Towers at five regional locations to an Enroute sector in either Melbourne or Brisbane Air Traffic Services Centres
      • Class E Airspace Trial at Ayers Rock from 5,500ft (AMSL)

This page will be regularly updated as progress continues on these initiatives.

The formal consultation period for these changes has now closed and Airservices is reviewing all feedback received regarding these changes. If you have any further questions regarding these changes, please email stakeholder@airservicesaustralia.com.

National Standardisation of Class A and E Airspace

The first proposed change is the national standardisation of Class A and Class E airspace over continental Australia. Airservices is proposing changes to the continental, low, medium and high density airspace. This will help standardise Australian airspace and deliver increased service consistency to all airspace users. Most importantly, it will enhance the safety and efficiency of operations in these areas.

This will allow VFR aircraft access to an increased amount of airspace that was previously not available to them to enter.

Subject to approval by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), this proposed change will be implemented in November 2019, which will benefit airspace users operating in continental, low, medium and high density areas with a greater level of surveillance and service.

More information on this proposed change is available on the National Standardisation of Class A and E airspace fact sheet.

Transfer of Control Responsibility of Surveilled Class C Airspace from the air Traffic Control Tower to Enroute Controllers at five regional locations

We are transferring services for arrivals, departures and transit traffic provided at five regional Class D aerodromes through the change of control jurisdiction from the Air Traffic Control Towers at Tamworth, Alice Springs, Albury, Launceston and Hobart Towers to a surveillance enroute sector in either the Melbourne or Brisbane Air Traffic Services Centres.

Proposed for implementation in May 2019, this change will not affect the airspace classification of airspace, but will amend who is controlling airspace (transferring from the non-surveillance Air Traffic Control Tower to the surveillance Enroute controllers and lowering the upper limit of tower control from 8,500ft to 4,500ft).

This change in service provision responsibilities will remove some variations of regional Class D aerodrome airspace management and will provide standardisation and consistency across the country.

For more information on this change, and to see local airspace charts, view one of the fact sheets below:

Trial of Class E Airspace at Ayers Rock

Airservices is proposing to trial the utilisation of Class E airspace above the existing Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) from 5,500ft (AMSL) in the form of new Class E control area steps, replacing the current Class G airspace at Ayers Rock. It was initially planned to conduct this trial from 1,200ft (AGL), however after feedback was received from airspace users and stakeholders, the decision was made to change the airspace design to provide a better service to all airspace users of Ayers Rock.

Subject to approval from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), the proposal will only affect Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operating aircraft, allowing them to receive a surveillance based separation service from air traffic control.

There will no change to the existing Certified Air/Ground Radio Service (CA/GRS) and VFR aircraft operating in Ayers Rock will continue to self-separate.

More information on this proposed change, including the proposed airspace design and information on flight paths is available on the Trial of Class E Airspace at Ayers Rock fact sheet.

Any queries or feedback regarding this proposal can be emailed to: stakeholder@airservicesaustralia.com