Case study: CASA's links to deep space
CASA's Office of Airspace Regulation is working closely with the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex at Tidbinbilla in the ACT, where the construction of a new antenna is underway.
The complex is part of the deep space network owned by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which comprises three facilities. The others are located at Goldstone in California's Mojave Desert and at Robledo near Madrid in Spain. The placement of these three facilities enables constant communication with spacecraft as the Earth rotates.
Airspace restricted areas have been established by CASA to ensure the safety of aviation in the vicinity of the space complex when the facility is communicating with spacecraft.
Following an airspace change proposal lodged with CASA in late 2012, CASA has been working with both the complex and Airservices Australia to review the dimensions of the restricted areas.
There are two parts to the project, with the first stage becoming effective in June 2013.
These changes aim to take into account the addition of two new 34-metre beam wave guide antennas. The first is due to be finished in 2014 and the second in 2016.
CASA is closely examining the impact of the potential airspace change on the affected industry, given the wide range of aircraft operations in the airspace surrounding Tidbinbilla.
The Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex is managed in Australia on NASA's behalf by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).