Home' Australian Aviation Magazine : January February 2010 Contents 56
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2010 AUSTRALIAN AVIATION
ervices have been very good at finding
solutions to that."
Interestingly, there appears to have been
some disconnect between CASA and Air-
ser vices in the implementation of the cap
on aircraft in the circuit. In correspond-
ence from CASA to RACWA provided
to Australian Aviation, McCormick said
that air traffic controllers were given some
discretion to allow more or less aircraft into
the circuit on an as required basis.
However, an Airservices spokesman
noted that, "In relation to the numbers of
aircraft in the circuit, we have implemented
the directions as issued by CASA." As such,
Airservices had no reports of individual
controllers allowing more than six aircraft
into the circuit at any one time.
When CASA initiated the changes to
GAAP, it noted that they were an interim
measure ahead of a move towards institut-
ing Class D airspace during April 2010.
McCormick explained that this is also
being done without consultation, as it will
be the most effective way to get the chang-
es through the industry, once and for all.
" e Ambidji report said that GAAP was
suitable in the short to medium term... If
I (were to) change it to something interim
and it takes five years, and then we have
the increase in aviation activity that we're
all after... they're not looking at changing it
again from what has just been set down.
"Well, I don't want to do that. So let's
change it once. We're changing it to D."
When Australian Aviation contacted
CASA in December for comment about
the move to Class D, it declined to make
any comment, citing at the time that it was
preparing to release its review of GAAP,
and would not give any further details
about the move to Class D.
While the move to Class D has been
accepted by some flying schools as a posi-
tive as it will allow for better integration of
foreign students, not all operators are happy
with it. Hoffman is totally opposed to
instituting Class D. "We're of the view that
Class D is not going to achieve improve-
ments in safety at Jandakot," he said.
Instead, " e solution to this is to tell
us the areas of concern that are causing
you to believe that this area is less safe,
and work with industry to find a solution
to it," he said.
at solution will not be a return to the
previous form of GAAP, though. "We don't
subscribe to the theory that says it was OK
before so leave it alone," said Hoffman.
" 'Ain't broke don't fix it' doesn't work in
this case, because industry does need to be
more focused in this area of safety."
An Aircraft Owners and Pilots Associa-
tion spokesman also told Australian Avia-
tion that in September the organisation's
board had passed a resolution "supporting
retention of existing GAAP airspace with
repair of the risk factors arising in the Am-
bidji report, including inbound reporting
points, via suggested industry consultative
As such, many operators have been try-
ing to guess at what Class D will entail,
particularly whether it will follow the US
FAA or ICAO versions. Despite its prefer-
ence for a modified GAAP, AOPA says
that FAA Class D "appears preferable to
ICAO D for GA operations."
Broadly, FAA Class D requires clearance
or 'implied clearance', pilots are responsible
for collision avoidance in VMC conditions,
while air traffic control provides traffic ad-
visories as work permits and also separation
between IFR flights.
While considered favourable over ICAO
Class D, McCormick notes that there are
some difficulties in adopting the FAA ver-
sion carte blanche in the local context. "If
we went Class D FAA, there would be no
special VFR flights because it doesn't exist
in Class D FAA."
Similarly, AOPA notes that FAA
Class D would require some changes to
operate in the Australian context, particu-
larly as a number of the airports it would
be implemented in are primarily involved
in flight training, and thus pilots have vary-
ing skill levels. Nevertheless, it notes that
the move to D will be safer than GAAP
because of the greater involvement of air
On its part, Airservices says that it has
been in close consultation with CASA
and is preparing for the move to Class D.
"We are aware of CASA's timeframes for
introduction of alternative airspace ar-
rangements and are working to ensure we
have the resources in place to meet these
deadlines," a spokesman said.
A number of operators have expressed
their disappointment that CASA is not
SIX IS ENOUGH ATC has had no reports of individual controllers allowing more than six aircraft into the
circuit at any one time. (Paul Sadler)
WHICH WAY? Many operators have been trying to guess at what Class D will entail, particularly whether it
will follow the US FAA or ICAO versions. (Paul Sadler)
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