About the program
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 leverage the benefits of increased surveillance coverage, while ensuring that the safety of air navigation remains our most important consideration.
The Airspace Modernisation 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 considered.
The changes that Airservices have consulted on are:
- Increase the volume of Class E airspace and reduce volume of Class G airspace through lowering the base of Class E airspace to FL125 nationally (where current base is FL180).
- Transfer of control jurisdiction of procedurally controlled 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 to a lower limit of 5,500ft (AMSL)
- Standardisation airspace across regional aerodromes
Airservices will continue to keep industry informed as progress continues.
As we progress with implementation, Airservices will consult with and directly engage airlines and the broader aviation industry to provide additional information to assist airspace users with any transitions.
Updates and information will be provided directly to stakeholders, as well as at various forums including the National Operations Service Enhancement Forum, Industry Operations Forum, Regional Airspace Procedures Advisory Committee (RAPAC) Meetings and other key industry forums.
Stages of the Program (Tranches)
The below outlines the three tranches of the Airspace Modernisation Program.
Tranche One – Completed May 2019 (expand point 1)
Tranche One saw the transfer of control jurisdiction from the air traffic control tower to enroute, from 8,500ft to 4,500ft at Tamworth, Alice Springs, Albury, Launceston and Hobart.
This change did not affect the classification of airspace, but amended who is controlling airspace (transferring from the non-surveillance air traffic control tower to the surveillance enroute controllers). This change in service provision responsibilities removed some variations of regional Class D aerodrome airspace management and contributed to providing 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:
Tranche Two – Changes approved by CASA in November 2019 (expand point 2)
Airservices received approval for two airspace change proposals (ACPs) under Tranche Two, being the lowering of Class E airspace and to conduct a twelve month trial of Class E steps at Ayers Rock.
Increased Enroute Class E Airspace
The ACP to lower Class E airspace across Australia has been approved and will come into effect on 21 May 2020. This change improves safety by providing enhanced services to instrument flight rules (IFR) operators without impacting on those operators conducting visual flight rules (VFR) operations in the airspace.
The airspace will be amended to reflect:
- Class E airspace remains as is, in high and medium density airspace.
- Class E lowered to 12,500ft (FL125) in low density continental area excluding existing Class C control area (CTA) steps.
- Class E airspace remains above FL125 in the Tasmania, Dubbo and Mildura Class E corridor areas but those areas become indiscernible with the newly lowered Class E airspace around them.
- Class E steps above FL125 surrounding Broome and Karratha are removed with the newly lowered Class E airspace in these areas.
More information on this proposed change is available on the Lowering of Class E Fact Sheet.
Class E Trial at Ayers Rock
Airservices has received approval for this ACP. Changes will be implemented on 21 May 2020 in line with the AIRAC publishing cycle.
The approved airspace design shows the Class E steps as:
- A055 as the Lower limit within 25nm
- A065 as the Lower limit from 25 to 35nm
- A085 at the Lower limit from 35 to 50nm
- FL115 as the Lower limit from 50 to 60nm
- With FL125 as the Lower limit outside 60nm
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.
Class C Terminal Service Upgrade at Tasmania
In line with the update provided to industry in May 2019, Airservices is continuing to design the introduction of Tasmania Approach and Class C terminal airspace update at Hobart and Launceston. Consultation on this ACP will begin in late 2019.
Tranche Three – Consultation to commence in 2020 (expand point 3)
Airservices consulted on Tranche Three in early 2019. Due to the delay associated with previous ACPs, Tranche Three has been rescheduled for 2021.
Airservices will re-consult on Tranche Three in 2020.
The formal consultation period for Tranche 1 and 2 changes has now closed. If you have any further questions regarding these changes, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org