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Safety mesage for pilots - increase to eight aeroplanes in the circuit

Safety Message to Pilots

Increase to eight aeroplanes in the circuit

From 18 January 2010 the maximum number of aeroplanes operating in the circuit and undertaking circuit operations under the control of one Air Traffic Controller within a GAAP Control Zone (CTR) will be increased from six to eight.  Arriving and departing traffic to/from the GAAP CTR will be managed by Air Traffic Control, with no directed limitation imposed by CASA.

These changes follow a review initiated by the Director of Aviation Safety into the aeroplane circuit cap.  CASA and Aerosafe Risk Management conducted a series of workshops at GAAP locations.  CASA has determined that an increase in the circuit cap is warranted on the basis that pilots and operators have a heightened awareness of the operational risks associated with operating at GAAP aerodromes.

All pilots are reminded of the need for:

Situational Awareness – proper planning, lookout, radio use and flight management are all important aspects of maintaining effective situational awareness, which is particularly essential in high traffic density areas in and around GAAP CTRs:

  • Lookout – maintain an effective lookout by adopting the proper scan technique
  • Separation – you are responsible for separation from other aircraft within the GAAP CTR and circuit area.  Maintain the correct traffic spacing and sequence and advise ATC as soon as possible if this cannot be achieved
  • Radio use – make the correct radio calls using standard phraseology and listen for other transmissions to build situational awareness
  • Plan B – always have a pre-considered alternative if your request to ATC cannot be met, such as a denial of clearance into the GAAP CTR, or a denial of circuits

Transition to Class D

CASA anticipates requiring Class D air traffic services at the six GAAP aerodromes during the hours of daylight by 3 June 2010. The Class D airspace classification will be based on United States Federal Aviation Administration procedures. Changes will be made to align with the AIRAC cycle so that all publications and charts include the new procedures. CASA will undertake an extensive information and education program before the Class D airspace is introduced at GAAP aerodromes.