Recognition for unique instrument flight procedures
In July 2013, CASA's Airspace and Aerodrome Regulation Division received recognition from United States design company Jeppesen for its work in approving a unique flight instrument procedure.
An instrument flight procedure is a published procedure used by aircraft flying in accordance with the instrument flight rules. It is designed to achieve and maintain an acceptable level of safety in operations and includes an instrument approach procedure, a standard instrument departure, a planned departure route and a standard instrument arrival.
Jeppesen applied for and achieved a Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR) Part 173 Instrument Flight Procedure Design Certificate in April 2010, and was subsequently contracted by Maritime Safety Queensland to develop new instrument flight procedures.
The new procedures were to allow the transfer of local marine ship pilots by helicopter to ships in the Gladstone and Mackay harbours. Marine ship pilots are responsible for guiding foreign ships into the harbours using their local knowledge.
Although transfer by helicopter is quick and safe, it previously could be done only in visual flying conditions. In bad weather, pilots would be taken by boat to meet the ships, but the bad weather would increase the danger of the transfer.
The new flight procedures enable the transfer to take place via a helicopter in most weather conditions, and often give a flight planning advantage in that less fuel may need to be carried.
CASA's role is to oversight procedure design certificate holders and validate new procedures. In this case, an on-site validation of the procedures was undertaken in relation to the 'flyability' and obstacles at both Gladstone (Facing Island) and Mackay (Victor Island East and West).
Since the implementation of CASR Part 173, the design standards for instrument flight procedures are determined according to not only CASA's regulations but also criteria published in the International Civil Aviation Organization document Procedures for Air Navigation Services, Aircraft Operations.
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