Transition to satellite technology and navaid decommissioning

7 Jul 2015

With the support of the aviation industry, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) introduced regulations that will ensure most passenger aircraft in Australia are fitted with satellite based navigation systems from May 2016.

Satellite navigation does not require any ground based navigation aids and provides many safety and efficiency benefits as well as reducing maintenance and operating costs for both aircraft operators and aviation agencies.

To ensure that any flight could be safely completed in the unlikely event of a satellite service disruption, a network of ground based navigation aids was selected by industry working groups to form the ‘backup navigation network’ or BNN.

Navigation aids that form the BNN were selected by industry in 2004, and following industry validation in 2010, some additional aids were added. This composition of the BNN formed part of the consultation that CASA undertook when considering the new regulations.

Of approximately 400 current navigation aids, around 165 navigation aids operated by Airservices and 25 that are privately owned do not form part of this BNN.

Subject to approvals by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, these navigation aids are expected to be de-commissioned from May 2016. This includes the Horsham Non Directional Beacon (NDB).

Consultation with industry stakeholders on this program is ongoing.