Good news for flights in bad weather
Australia’s airline passengers are set to face fewer flight delays and cancellations in the future due to poor weather.
Airports and airlines can introduce new special low visibility categories of operations that will allow aircraft to land safely in deteriorating weather conditions.
It has been estimated this could lead to savings of more than $10 million a year for the aviation industry and the community.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has developed the special low visibility categories of operations after consultation with the aviation industry and a review of international best practice.
These operations will take advantage of advanced technology in large passenger aircraft such as pilot head up displays and automatic landing systems.
Using this technology means safety standards can be maintained during low visibility landings without the requirement for aerodromes to install all of the additional runway and approach lighting normally required for these operations.
The aircraft technology and supporting flight procedures removes the need for a full array of airport lighting.
Aerodromes may still need to install some equipment, depending on the lighting and other equipment already in place.
While there is no requirement for airlines and airports to utilise the new special low visibility categories a number of major airports have expressed an interest in doing so. Australia’s major airlines and many foreign airlines already have aircraft fitted with suitable technology.
CASA’s Director of Aviation Safety, Mark Skidmore, said the new low visibility categories are great news for passengers and the aviation industry.
“CASA has worked with the airlines and major aerodromes to develop standards that offer real benefits while maintaining the appropriate safety standards for flights in low visibility,” Mr Skidmore said.
“This is a win for the travelling public who face fewer delays, a win for the airlines who can use technology already in their aircraft and a win for the airports who face lower costs when introducing low visibility operations.
“Passengers can be confident there will be no reduction in safety as a result of the changes.”
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