In 2004 the then Minister for Transport requested advice for the need and appropriateness of, options for improving airspace, air traffic service and facility arrangements at the 10 Regional Aerodromes covered by radar direction.
The resulting document was titled ”Report on Ministerial Direction 2004-4” and investigated Albury, Alice Springs, Coffs Harbour, Hobart, Hamilton Island, Launceston, Mackay, Sunshine Coast, Rockhampton and Tamworth airports. A review of the report has recently been released.
The 2004 report arrived at the conclusion due to the prohibitive cost of radar surveillance and traffic volumes to not to amend the level of service at that time. Over the last 5 years more cost effective surveillance methods have been developed and deployed Australia wide. The new surveillance technologies are Automatic Dependant Surveillance (ADS ) and Wide Area Multilateration (WAM) and are currently available to Air Traffic Control. Given this fact and also the increase in traffic volume the current Minister of Transport requested a review of the report.
The review has recommended an upgrade of the services offered by Airservices Australia at 9 of the 10 airports. The level of service proposed is the same as currently available at Gold Coast and Canberra airports but with a different surveillance system. Hamilton Island was the only airport which it was thought no change was required.
The improved surveillance services not only improve safety but also will allow for more efficient use of the airspace around these 9 airports. The report highlights that there may be a need for extra staff to provide the required services.
Copy of the report is available at http://www.casa.gov.au/scripts/nc.dll?WCMS:STANDARD::pc=PC_90447
Copy of report is available on this web site at pdf ministerial-direction-2004-4 (size 5mb).