12. Airservices Australia flight planning
- Pre-flight pilot briefing service
NOTAM and MET information can be requested by entering an authorised aerodrome abbreviation (e.g. YMAY) or a location common name (e.g. ALBURY) if location briefing is selected. Australia is divided into about 30 aviation forecast areas; area MET information (area forecast plus the METAR and TAF for each aerodrome in the area) can be obtained by selecting the ARFOR area (e.g. 22). NOTAM for airfields are also provided.
- NAIPS pilot briefing services
The National Aeronautical Information Processing System provides a user friendly on-line browser pilot briefing service but you need to register a username, set up a password and provide an Aviation Reference Number (ARN). Persons without an ARN that wish to use the register should send an e-mail request to email@example.com.
To access AVFAX you will also need an account number which will be provided with confirmation of your registration.
Rather than using this on-line browser version you may download the software for doing much of the planning off-line; as next.
- NAIPS software
Download the Internet Access Client Software for flight planning, weather forecasts, notam and subsequent flight plan submission to the National Aeronautical Information Processing System. Fairly simple to use, your aircraft details etc are stored and NAIPS will provide confirmation of flight plan acceptance.
- Airservices online store
You can purchase aeronautical charts and other navigation material, books and manuals via this site.
- Airservices online publications
This site features a number of essential documents downloadable in PDF format, free of charge, including the Aeronautical Information Package [AIP] — the AIP Book, the AIP supplements [AIP SUP], the Aeronautical Information Circulars [AIC] and the Enroute Supplement Australia [ERSA].
13. Civil Aviation Safety Authority handbooks and guides
- CASA's 'Visual Flight Rules Guide' (version 4) is now only available in pdf format, downloadable in six sections totalling 14 MB.
- The five 'Visual Pilot Guides' are pdf format guides to VFR operations near Australia's major cities. The main purpose is to facilitate route planning into or from the six Class D general aviation aerodromes — which is not of much interest to most RA-Aus pilots. However the guides also help familiarise recreational aviators with the recommended VFR routes, altitudes and VHF frequencies that provide safe navigation around and under the Class C and Class D airspace steps, military control zones and restricted areas.
- 'OnTrack' is an online, interactive, guide to VFR operations near Australia's major cities. The main purpose is to provide guides on how to fly inbound and outbound tracks into the six Class D general aviation aerodromes. OnTrack features interactive maps with added visual terminal chart (VTC) information utilising video, audio, pop-up alerts and text. OnTrack is not of much interest to most RA-Aus pilots because, unlike the Visual Pilot Guides, the Class C and Class D bypass routes don't seem to be included (yet?).
- CASA has developed an online eLearning program providing detailed information relating to the June 3, 2010 changes to operations at and in the vicinity of non-towered aerodromes. Each tutorial topic takes 5–10 minutes to complete and the whole tutorial can be completed at your own pace. In addition the eLearning program offers another tutorial on the Class D airspace procedures that came into effect June 3, 2010.
- Also a new booklet plus DVD titled 'Operations at non-towered aerodromes' is now available. The CASA Safety Promotions department has kindly offered to post a copy directly to RA-Aus members if they supply their name and postal details via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise the booklet/DVD is available from the CASA online shop product code SP86.
- The BOM's aviation weather services web page. If a user name is requested use 'bomw0007' and the password 'aviation'. The latest synoptic surface analysis charts and national forecast charts; area forecasts, TAFs, METARS and a great deal of other information is available from this page.
- Plain English weather briefing
Ian Boag has produced an excellent, freely available, online, plain English conversion of current ARFOR, METAR and TAF for all Australian ARFOR areas. The encoded version is also shown.However pilots must still get the NOTAM from the Airservices site.
- BOM's Aerodrome Weather Information Service [AWIS] page. For an example of the service from the automatic weather stations [AWS] call 08 8091 5549 to hear the AWS aerodrome weather at Wilcannia, NSW.
- Images from the BOM's weather radar displays. 'Snapshots' of radar images (precipitation location and intensity), from about 50 weather watch radars, are taken at 10 minute intervals. The images cover an area of 256 km radius from the radar. The last four snapshots from each radar may be looped to provide a good indication of current storm development and intensity plus direction and rate of movement.