Airspace and traffic management

Airspace and traffic management covers the policies, standards, regulations, and processes needed to support new airspace users. It must maintain an airspace and traffic management environment that is safe, efficient, provides fair access and operates across all airspace users. This includes:

  • airspace structure

  • rules of the air

  • separation and conflict management (such as detect and avoid technologies)

  • traffic management

  • airports, vertiports and vertipad operations

  • equipage and information exchange.

Airspace and traffic management
Image of an air-traffic control tower, Airspace and traffic management

What we want to achieve

We aim to create an integrated national airspace across all airspace classes. This will be based on a risk and performance-based approach that has minimal restrictions on user access to achieve an acceptable level of safety performance that is agnostic of the type of aircraft or pilot.

The activities identified in the roadmap must be informed by other National Emerging Aviation Technologies (NEAT) Policy Statement initiatives. This includes Australian Future Airspace Framework (AFAF), the Uncrewed Aircraft Systems Traffic Management (UTM) action plan and the Airservices Flight Information Management System.

How we will do this

  • Through the AFAF, develop a transparent, consistent, and scalable method to administer Australian airspace that supports remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) and advanced air mobility (AAM) integration.

  • Research how existing separation standards may apply to RPAS and AAM and identify future changes required including conspicuity and equipage considerations.

  • Review existing flight rules against the future needs for RPAS and AAM.

  • Work with the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications and Airservices Australia to develop a regulatory oversight framework for UTM.

  • Develop an implementation plan for airspace modernisation that is flexible, scalable and supports all airspace users.

  • Begin initial implementation to ease identified risks and support RPAS and AAM airspace integration.

  • Undertake an analysis to understand the crossover point from self-separation to a 'managed' environment.

  • Consider new separation standards, that use new technologies, for RPAS-to-RPAS and RPAS-to-AAM.

  • Consider standardised requirements for RPAS in controlled airspace.

  • Consult with all airspace users on the appropriateness of proposed rules for RPAS and AAM.

  • Develop standards and capabilities to support the implementation of low level traffic management systems for RPAS.

  • Consider regulatory requirements for integrating air traffic management systems.

  • Develop airspace requirements for vertiport operations.

  • Continue airspace modernisation to support RPAS and AAM integration into all airspace environments.

  • Develop new separation requirements to support and use improving technologies such as autonomy.

  • Review and update rulesets for integration, global approaches, and requirements for increasing levels of autonomy.

  • Develop an integrated traffic management framework to support all airspace users.

  • Develop and implement airspace structures to support all airspace users in a seamless airspace environment.

  • Develop standards and capabilities to support cooperative participation and levels of self-separation between all airspace users.

Published date: 5 June 2022
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