On 4 March 2010, a Boeing Company 717-200 (717) departed Perth,
Western Australia (WA) on a scheduled passenger service to Port
The aircraft was tracking on a GURAK 3 standard instrument departure, which involved transiting through Pearce military controlled airspace. While maintaining flight level (FL) 1201 and turning left onto a heading of 330 degrees under the control of Pearce air traffic control (ATC), the crew
received a traffic advisory (TA) warning from the traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS). The crew advised ATC and were instructed to continue the turn onto a heading of 360 degrees. During the turn, the crew received a resolution advisory (RA). The crew responded and climbed the aircraft to FL125.
The crew were advised by ATC that the conflicting aircraft, a military-operated Raytheon Aircraft Company 350 (King Air) descending through FL120 on a reciprocal track, had the 717 in sight and was maintaining separation. By this time, the radar separation standard had reduced below the required distance of 3 NM (5.6 km).
This occurrence reinforces the importance of effective coordination between ATC positions, and highlights the challenges faced by air traffic controllers when managing aircraft operating within the same airspace, but under the control of different ATC positions.