Project SS 16/03 - Frequency use in Class G airspace
Under regulation 166 of the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988, pilots must make a radio broadcast when operating in the vicinity of a non-controlled aerodrome whenever it is reasonably necessary to avoid a collision or the risk of a collision. Multicom (126.7) is a VHF frequency to be used in the vicinity of a non-controlled aerodrome. In 2013, CASA received feedback from a number of pilots about confusion as to the appropriate VHF frequencies to use. CASA heard from recreational pilots, local aero clubs and flight schools, as well as pilots involved in fire-bombing operations.
In May 2013, CASA published a clarification in the AIP that the Area VHF was the appropriate frequency to monitor and, if necessary, make a broadcast when operating in the vicinity of aerodromes that are not marked on an aeronautical chart. The safety basis for this approach was that if an aerodrome is not marked on an aeronautical chart it is not always possible for pilots to be aware of its existence and switch from the Area VHF frequency to the Multicom frequency, meaning the benefits of alerted ‘see and avoid’ procedures would not be available to pilots when operating on separate frequencies.
Some members of the VFR pilot community—mainly those represented by the Regional Airspace and Procedures Advisory Committee (RAPAC) convenors have voiced concerns about the consultation process that led to the AIP amendments in May 2013 and believe that current procedures introduce risks associated with frequency congestion on frequencies used by Air Traffic control (ATC), Area VHF frequency low-level coverage and aerodromes being close to Area VHF boundaries. The RAPAC convenors believe that a common low-level VFR frequency is more appropriate and have requested that CASA review frequencies used in class G airspace.
The objective of this project is to develop a Discussion Paper (DP) to look at the two options described below and any other options that are identified:
- maintain the current situation whereby the Area VHF frequency is used as the appropriate VHF frequency in the vicinity of an aerodrome not published on an aeronautical chart
- promulgate a common low-level VFR frequency for use in Class G airspace.
The risks associated with each option will be outlined and industry will be asked to identify appropriate frequencies for use in Class G airspace.
An industry project team will be established to assist CASA to review responses to the DP.
Responses to the DP will assist CASA to determine the appropriate frequencies to use in Class G airspace.
This project was approved by the Acting EM, Standards Division on 29 April 2016.
Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP)
Project Leader: Roy Tuomela
Project Sponsor/s: EM Standards Division
Standards Consultative Committee (SCC)
|Consultation updates in 2016|
Project SS 16/01 – Frequency use in Class G airspace
29 April 2016