Statement

Adelaide air traffic control is safe and will remain safe

18 Feb 2015

Airservices today reaffirmed that air traffic operations at and around Adelaide Airport would continue to be safe under changes to the way in which airspace is managed.

Safety remains our number one priority – there will be no reduction in the number of air traffic controllers, control towers or level of service provided to the aviation industry and passengers as a result of co-location of facilities.

The co-location is part of Airservices preparations to safely and effectively manage the growth in air traffic that is projected to occur over the next 10-20 years.

Airservices is extending to Adelaide the method it has been safely using for Canberra and the Gold Coast for the past 20 years. This will involve co-locating its Terminal Control Units (TCUs) or ‘radar’ facilities into its main air traffic control centre in Melbourne in 2017.

Importantly, it will see no job losses. Staff who have indicated that they wish to stay in Adelaide will be redeployed to other air traffic control roles in Adelaide. Other staff who choose to do so, can transfer to other facilities.

The decision follows extensive consultation with our Adelaide staff, unions, customers, stakeholders, and government over the past 12 months.

Airservices has consulted closely with the air traffic control union, Civil Air, who have confirmed that they do not have safety concerns with the proposed change.

The air traffic control towers at Adelaide and Parafield will not be impacted by these changes. Airservices recently constructed a new $17 million control tower in Adelaide including fitting it with the latest digital tower technology.

All aspects of operational safety have been considered as part of the planning, with a safety case under development for final approval by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

Air traffic control services for more than 95 per cent of all Australian airspace are already provided from the two main air traffic control centres in Melbourne and Brisbane. This includes terminal control unit services for Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne and Canberra, as well as approach services for numerous other cities.