Tasmanian airspace safe and efficient

7 Jul 2015

Airservices has reaffirmed that air traffic operations in Tasmania are safe and that navigation equipment used across the state is state-of-the-art.

Safety remains Airservices number one priority and Airservices continues to be ranked among the world’s top air navigation service providers.

The Wide Area Multilateration (WAM) system was introduced to Tasmania in 2010 to provide a greater level of air traffic control surveillance than was previously provided by radar over the state, with additional coverage at lower levels at Hobart than what was previously possible with a Launceston-based radar.

The system also offers enhanced en route surveillance of air traffic across all of Tasmania and into Bass Strait through the use of satellite technology known as Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast, ADS-B.

Procedural separation of aircraft is a procedure used at a number of airports around the country where traffic volumes permit, including many large regional airports.

Hobart and Launceston airports each receive on average 23 000 movements annually.

This is lower than other locations where similar levels of services are provided, such as Broome (32 000), Rockhampton (32 000), Alice Springs (25 000), Karratha (32 000), Coffs Harbour (26 000), Tamworth (74 000) and Mackay (37 000).

By comparison, Sydney sees more than 327 000 movements at Sydney.

In Tasmania, aircraft below 7000 feet are generally separated by 20 nautical miles. This varies depending on flight conditions (climb, cruise or descent) and aircraft equipment.

Controllers based in Hobart and Launceston towers use the information provided by WAM to provide them with greater situational awareness of aircraft operating in the area.