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Frequency use in Class G airspace summary of consultation published

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Frequency use in Class G airspace summary of consultation published

We have published the Summary of Consultation (SOC) detailing the feedback and our response to the frequency use in Class G airspace public consultation.

 

Outcome on radio procedures for low level airspace

We have carefully reviewed the feedback received throughout consultation on the issue of radio frequency use in uncontrolled airspace, which has helped shape the way forward.

 

Feedback on proposal –126.7 MHz at uncharted aerodromes

Feedback on the second proposal – to allow 126.7 MHz in the circuit at uncharted aerodromes – confirmed a preference among some sectors to use 126.7 MHz in non-controlled airspace. While 58 per cent did not believe the proposal introduced issues of safety or practicality, of the 42 per cent that did, almost half suggested the proposal would introduce complexities and confusion.

 

Issues highlighted in consultation

Feedback throughout consultation highlighted a range of issues that currently exist around radio use in non-controlled (Class G) airspace, and issues that could be introduced with a change to radio frequency procedures.

 

The main issues raised by respondents have been:

  • uncertainty on procedures for inbound calls if frequency boundaries change
  • radio congestion and clutter
  • workload issues with frequency changes, especially for sport and recreational aircraft
  • confusion over the concept of ‘uncharted aerodromes’ and calls for these to be added to the maps
  • concerns about too little or two much communication, and inconsistency of terminology between IFR and VFR pilots
  • concerns about decreased situational awareness with different frequencies in use in the same airspace
  • concern there is a low level of awareness around the correct radio procedures.

Next steps

After exploring options for change and considering all feedback, we believe the safest and simplest system is the one currently in place. In other words, the recommended radio frequency to use in non-controlled airspace are:

  • ‘in the vicinity’—within 10nm, and at a height where your operations could be in the way of other traffic—of any non-controlled aerodrome published on aeronautical charts, pilots should use the CTAF (126.7 MHz or discrete frequency) as published
  • anywhere within a Broadcast Area, pilots should use the dedicated Broadcast Area CTAF
  • in all other non-controlled airspace, pilots should be on Area VHF.

Instead, we will focus on addressing the issues raised in consultation through an education and communication campaign, rather than through a policy change.

 

We are working closely with Airservices Australia to increase the number of charted aerodromes on the visual aeronautical charts (WAC, VTC and VNC) to provide better situational awareness for pilots.

 

We intend to make some editorial changes to consolidate and clarify the radio use guidance in the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) and the Civil Aviation Advisory Publication – CAAP 166-01. We anticipate consulting publicly on the amendments to CAAP 166-01 during November 2018.

 

We will also release a suite of new safety education products and information and promote these widely. The products will contain guidance and reminders about using the radio safely and effectively in non-controlled airspace.

 

A safety education campaign will be rolled out in the coming months.

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I have been trying to get at CASA, but to no avail.

The frequency to use depends on wether or not, the strip is on the charts.

I see that my home strip at Rods Bay is now on AvPlan and Ozrunways, but only if you call up ALAs. It is not on the planning chart. It is given the designation YIVG, supposedly Iveragh, not Rods Bay.

I still don’t know if I should use 126.7 or area frequency.

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It’s on a chart used for navigation so 126.7 is the choice in the absence of a dedicated frequency.

 

CASA has said it is working with ASA to add many more ALAs to the charts. As always, you need to refer to both WAC and VTC.

 

KAZ

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Yep, including the hand-written amendments to WAC per AIP SUP: I see that, in Victoria, Beaufort and Moama are included now but Woodvale is deleted. That Beaufort one and Moama are on VNCs so Avplan picks them up. It seems that Woodvale hasn't yet made it to the VNC but AvPlan's ALA overlay picks it up - but the overlay is not a chart per CASA.

I don't know how many people bother to check the AIP SUP for manuscript amendments?

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CASA tell me today that it has to be on the paper charts. I don’t know if it is or not, but it doesn’t show on AvPlan unless you tick the box to show ALAs. I have to find a current chart, but CASA are looking into it.

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CASA tell me today that it has to be on the paper charts. I don’t know if it is or not, but it doesn’t show on AvPlan unless you tick the box to show ALAs. I have to find a current chart, but CASA are looking into it.

 

Here’s your new VNC Yenn . Not sure if it’s any assistance though. ...... Bob

http://www.airservicesaustralia.com/aip/pending/aipchart/vnc/Rockhampton_VNC_08NOV2018.pdf

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It’s on the new VNC along with quite a few others by the look of it.

 

Kaz

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It’s on the new VNC along with quite a few others by the look of it.

 

Kaz

Here’s your new VNC Yenn . Not sure if it’s any assistance though. ...... Bob

http://www.airservicesaustralia.com/aip/pending/aipchart/vnc/Rockhampton_VNC_08NOV2018.pdf

 

OzRunways has not updated my maps yet and in any case it will not be valid before 08Nov18 so I would continue to use 119.55 (area) until 8Nov to follow those following the rules. It is always good to see ALAs on the maps so that there are no surprises as you follow the road into YGLA.

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Once again CASA ignores the majority view and chooses the worst option on the table. This is not news.

We had a really good airspace system in 2003/4. Didn't listen to the irrelevant blather on area unless you wanted to (near congested airspace a good idea to listen to the radar guy), the rest of the time just tune up the nearby CTAF (if near one) unless just listening on 126.7 which you used at marked and unmarked aerodromes unless another frequency was assigned to it. MUCH better situational awareness.

The IFR twin turboprops could simply make their position call going below 10,000 feet on area and then on the CTAF. Everyone knew what was going on. Wrecked by the air Traffic controller trade union thugs and a spineless Minister (John Anderson).

This country really does have an unhealthy obsession with radio for traffic separation. Most of us are flying day VFR. Start looking out. I've taken evasive action on a number of occasions while enroute without benefit of radio alerting. May have missed but would have been quite close without action.

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CASA is missing the main point: all aircraft in the same approx location MUST be on the same frequency. Listening to area is a total turn-off with the dribble from far away and high altitude aircraft making 99% of all transmissions. All I need to hear is who is doing what in a 30-50nm radius of my position.

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pluessy, exactly why I said the 2003/4 airspace system was good. It achieved what you are talking about. It is also essentially what is in use in the USA. There, there is no compulsion to be on any frequency when flying VFR en route.

Listening to Qantas etc at high altitude is a useless distraction when enroute VFR below 10,000 feet.

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Wait until the new charts come out. There will be many more ALAs marked and they will be 126.7 which is what you want.

 

Of course, there will be a heap of them and the frequency will no doubt be “busy” because there is also a number of much more active aerodromes that use 126.7, too.

 

VFR pilots using the remaining unmarked ALAs with very occasional traffic can do what they like, in my view because no-one other than the locals will know they are there, anyway. You can live in hope that passers by will be overflying at a height greater than your circuits or you can make a call on area.

 

There are half a dozen unmarked private strips in a 20 mile radius of Shepp and I’ve never heard anyone operating out of them make a call on the occasion of their arrival or departure at those locations whether on Area or the Shepp CTAF or 126.7. I suspect it’s the same everywhere else.

 

Kaz

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Listening to Qantas etc at high altitude is a useless distraction when enroute VFR below 10,000 feet.

 

I disagree, above 5000ft area freq is very important.

  • Agree 1

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CASA is missing the main point: all aircraft in the same approx location MUST be on the same frequency. Listening to area is a total turn-off with the dribble from far away and high altitude aircraft making 99% of all transmissions. All I need to hear is who is doing what in a 30-50nm radius of my position.

Have a read of some of the responses.......a lot simply said "sounds good" to the proposal, but a lot also responded with waffling convoluted ramblings, which, in my opinion showed clearly that they didn't understand the proposal in the first place.

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Didn't ASA just work to REMOVE a heap of ALA where no one would take on responsibility for information?

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Just to be different I like to use the area frequency. My airstrip is about 5nm south of Lake Bathurst and Canberra controlled airspace LL is at 6500'. I have 3 other airstrips within 2nm of mine; one is commonly active with gyros. Also I'm directly on the flight path for military aircraft going backwards and forwards from Canberra to the secret airbase Albatross at Nowra, and many of their helicopters and fixed wing aircraft fly at around 1000'agl or below.....my normal circuit height. On a couple of ocassions listening in to the class G area frequency (which is actually Canberra Approach east) I have heard vhf aircraft circling at 4500 waiting for clearance into Canberra, and a quick call to the ATC has enabled us to maintain better seperation. I find listening in to the appropriate area frequency gives me better situational awareness, including on cross country flights and it also makes it easy to terminate or extend Sarwatch. However, the military is another beast. I have had to take evasive action to avoid a blackhawk when I was on downwind. I have emailed them about this but have not even had a reply...no idea what frequency they were on. I even suggested they could land at my place for a coffee so we can better arrange how avoid each other.

I thought the old concept of ALAs was ditched many years ago when the rules changed to require pilots to make a decision whether they could land/take-off from a location and that ALAs are now only relevant because some insurance company's will only cover the plane if it is operating from an ALA???

  • Like 1

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Thanks for the chart. I am in Sydney at the moment, so don’t have a paper chart available. My original thought was that CASA stuffed up, but after giving it some thought I agree that area is correct for strips, not on the chart.

Now at YIVG, which is really Rod’s Bay we overlap with YGLA on 118.8 so still not 100 percent safe. The other problem is that those using AvPlan and Ozrunways have to turn on ALAs to see them.

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However, the military is another beast. I have had to take evasive action to avoid a blackhawk when I was on downwind. I have emailed them about this but have not even had a reply...no idea what frequency they were on. I even suggested they could land at my place for a coffee so we can better arrange how avoid each other.

Have you considered installing ads-b? military will avoid you if they know where you are.

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Would love to. Waiting for the changes from CASA that will enable us to install a cheap version easily. I have an AIS marine transponder in my yacht (simliar to ADSB but without the ground stations/satellite links &;a lot slower). Its great...ships 'see' you, and if they don't you can ring an alarm in the bridge through their vhf radio. I did see an official marine rescue vessel once going 15kts sternwards from the AIS...they had made some installation error.

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I doubt that CASAs idea of a cheap version is much less than the current Garmin prices.

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