Aviation safety issues and actions

Hazard associated with the inability to separate aircraft below the appropriate lowest safe altitude at night

Issue number: AO-2015-084-SI-01
Who it affects: Air traffic controllers employed in the Melbourne Tower
Issue owner: Airservices Australia
Transport function: Aviation: Airspace management
Background: Investigation Report AO-2015-084
Issue release date: 06 August 2018
Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Issue status justification:

The safety actions taken by Airservices Australia, assessed as adequate by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, addressed the safety issue identified by the ATSB.

Safety issue description

The hazard associated with the inability to separate aircraft that are below the appropriate lowest safe altitude at night was identified but not adequately mitigated. This resulted in a situation where, in the event of a simultaneous go-around at night during land and hold short operations at Melbourne Airport, there was no safe option available to air traffic controllers to establish a separation standard when aircraft were below minimum vector altitude.

Proactive Action

Action number: AO-2015-084-NSA-007
Action organisation: Airservices Australia
Date: 06 August 2018
Action status: Closed

Night LAHSO were suspended at Melbourne and Adelaide airports on 10 November 2015. An assessment of the obstacles in the Melbourne Airport area, conducted by Airservices Australia confirmed that aircraft complying with controller-issued headings of up to 50˚ left of the centreline of runway 27 and right of the centreline of runway 34 following a missed approach would safely clear all relevant obstacles. On 22 April 2016, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority issued an exemption to Airservices Australia to radar vector aircraft below the minimum vector altitude in relation to aircraft carrying out simultaneous go-arounds on runway 27 and runway 34 at Melbourne Airport at night during LAHSO. On the same day, night LAHSO were reinstated at Melbourne Airport, but have not been reinstated at Adelaide Airport.

Last update 06 August 2018