12. Airservices Australia's online information services
- Airservices Australia [AsA] provides the NAIPS Internet Service [NIS], 'a multi-function, computerised, aeronautical information system. It processes and stores meteorological and NOTAM information as well as enabling the provision of briefing products and services to pilots and the Australian Air traffic Control platform'. NIS is accessed through the internet with any web browser or access is integrated within some flight planning software. The Bureau of Meteorology provides all the weather products to the NIS.
You must register with AsA before you can access the NIS. You are required to create a 'user name' and a password. If you don't have an ARN or Pilot Licence Number leave that field blank, don't use your RA-Aus or other sport and recreational organisation membership number, it may conflict with someone's Aviation Reference Number. Download the
NIS user documentation
When registered, you can log in; enter user name and password, and then click the required link. If you choose 'Area Briefing' you can select up to five briefing areas by clicking on the map or by entering the required areas in the entry boxes, and then click on the 'Submit Request' button.
- 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, guides and videos
- 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 email@example.com. Otherwise the booklet/DVD is available from the CASA online shop product code SP86.
- CASA has established a YouTube channel called CASABriefing at www.youtube.com/user/casabriefing containing safety-related videos.
- The BoM's aviation weather services. The latest synoptic surface analysis charts and national forecast charts; area forecasts, TAFs, aviation warnings, wind and temperature forecast charts for 5000 feet (FL050) and 10 000 feet (FL100) 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.
- The telephone numbers of BoM's automatic weather stations [AWS] that make up BoM's Aerodrome Weather Information Service [AWIS] can be found by entering the 'Location information' page and downloading the pdf for the relevant state. For an example of the service from the automatic weather stations [AWS] call 08 8091 5549 to hear the current 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.