Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Proposed New Radio Procedures

New rules for pilots operating at non-controlled aerodromes
New rules relating to minimum required calls by pilots operating at and in the vicinity of all non-controlled aerodromes will be finalised and introduced in the first quarter of 2009.

The rules will replace current regulations which stipulate mandatory calls at designated non-controlled aerodromes, known as CTAF® aerodromes, and for straight-in approaches at all non-controlled aerodromes.

The rules will ensure pilots of radio-equipped aircraft operating at and in the vicinity of all non-controlled aerodromes make the radio broadcasts that are necessary to ensure ongoing safety.

These rules will be designed to establish safety outcomes and provide consistency in radio use. The decision to finalise these rules has been made following extensive consultation with members of the aviation industry and a thorough analysis of current operating arrangements.

The decision also follows recommendations made by a study commissioned by the Office of Airspace Regulation to look at the relative safety benefits of CTAF versus CTAF®.

The study has made several recommendations pertaining to operations at non-controlled aerodromes, including the recommendation that a limited number of radio calls be mandated.

The CASR Part 91 Control Board was also asked to review recommendations relating to radio calls, made as part of a National Airspace System (NAS) 2c post -implementation review conducted in 2006 to provide advice to CASA on what radio calls should be made.

CASA also sought advice from the Standards Consultative Committee (SCC) through two sub-committees: the Operational Standards Sub-committee and the Airspace and Infrastructure Users Group.

CASA’s priority is the safety of passenger transport operations. CASA is confident the decision to mandate minimum required radio calls in the regulations will provide guidance and consistency to pilots and ensure passenger safety is maintained.

From early 2009, pilots of radio equipped aircraft will be required to make the radio calls that are necessary for safety purposes when operating at or in the vicinity of a non-controlled aerodrome.

At a minimum, radio calls will be required:

When the aircraft enters the "vicinity of an aerodrome"
Immediately before joining the circuit pattern or, in the case of a straight-in approach, at least 5 nm from the threshold of the runway
Immediately before, or during, taxiing
Immediately before entering a runway.
Regarding aircraft that are operating in the “vicinity of an aerodrome,” a call will be required at 10 nm or eight minutes flying time from the aerodrome, whichever occurs first.

This rule will apply not only to aircraft that are inbound to the aerodrome, but also to aircraft that are overflying the aerodrome or simply transiting through this airspace, if the aerodrome is depicted in the aeronautical charts and the aircraft is flying at a height that could put it in conflict with aerodrome traffic.

The regulations, aeronautical information publications and industry education publications will all be updated to ensure they contain consistent requirements and advice on radio broadcasts at non-controlled aerodromes.

A Notice of Final Rule Making (NFRM) will be issued as soon as legal drafting can be completed, with the expectation that the new rules will be introduced in early 2009.

CASA will provide extensive training and education for pilots on the new rules, prior to their introduction.

Also, feedback is now sought from industry on the remainder of the recommendations from the CTAF versus CTAF® study. Written comments on those recommendations are sought by Monday, 1 December, 2008.

You can contribute your feedback either by e-mail to: or to The Office of Airspace Regulation, GPO Box 2005, Canberra ACT 2601.