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Airspace regulation

Sunshine Coast Airspace

The Office of Airspace Regulation (OAR) in the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is currently reviewing an airspace change proposal submitted by Airservices Australia (Airservices) regarding the realignment of the runway at Sunshine Coast Airport.

The OAR has received a large number of submissions from members of the public outlining their concerns with the proposed modification to the flight paths associated with the runway. However the OAR can only consider those issues which relate to its function of airspace regulation. The OAR assesses all airspace change proposals to determine if the proposal meets the regulatory requirements for classification of airspace, the level of air traffic services that are proposed within that airspace and any impact on airspace users. While the OAR reviews any safety information that supports a decision about a proposed airspace change, matters such as possible bird strike and the availability of runways fall outside the consideration of an airspace change proposal.

CASA does not assess flight paths as part of an airspace change proposal. The design of flight paths, environmental considerations and the conduct of public consultation are the responsibility of Airservices and the Sunshine Coast Airport. CASA understands that the proposed airspace and flight path designs for Sunshine Coast Airport are consistent with the Environmental Impact Statement that was approved by the Queensland State Coordinator General on 19 May 2016.

We manage the regulation of airspace in Australia, which represents 11 percent of the world’s airspace. This is done through our Office of Airspace Regulation (OAR).

The OAR is responsible for the administration of the Australian airspace architecture under the Airspace Act 2007 and Airspace Regulations 2007.

The administration of the airspace includes managing the establishment, amendment or disestablishment of:

  • various classes of airspace (A to G)
  • air routes
  • prohibited, restricted and danger (PRD) areas.

All of which have their own associated conditions and rules of use.

The various classes of airspace and PRD areas have defined volumes and boundaries that can be changed. Air routes are not volumes of airspace and their locations are defined by co-ordinates.

Aircraft operations within the airspace

The OAR aims to ensure that the Australian administered airspace is fit for purpose as specified in the Australian Airspace Policy Statement (AAPS). This does not include controlling aircraft operations within the airspace or managing ground-based activities that may affect aircraft operations and flight paths. The responsibility for controlling aircraft operations generally falls with the aircraft operators and the air navigation service providers.

Airspace change process

Proposed changes to the Australian airspace architecture are managed through the airspace change process. This includes:

  • emergencies
  • temporary activities such as military training exercises and air shows
  • permanent airspace changes.

Submit an Airspace change proposal form 1284 (pdf 1.25 MB).

Airspace reviews

The OAR reviews airspace to ensure aircraft operations are safe and airspace architecture is fit-for-purpose. Reviews are triggered by an airspace change proposal or an aeronautical study.

Read our latest airspace reviews.

Reviews open for public comment

Policy and legislation

Relevant legislation and regulations on airspace management are covered under Airspace Act 2007 and Airspace Regulations 2007.

The  OAR Strategic work plan (pdf 161.98 KB) details the OAR priorities, processes and strategies over the next five years to ensure that Australian airspace complies with the Airspace Act 2007 and Airspace Regulations 2007.

Contact the Office of Airspace Regulation

For enquiries on airspace reviews, policy and urgent emergency requests, check the contact details for the Office of Airspace Regulation.

Last modified: 6 November 2019