Aviation safety issues and actions

Airport Wind Modelling during building development

Issue number: AO-2010-008-SI-03
Who it affects: The Canberra Airport operator and all flight operations to runway 12, at Canberra Airport
Issue owner: Canberra Airport Pty Ltd
Transport function: Aviation: Airports
Background: Investigation Report AO-2010-008
Issue release date: 05 April 2011
Current issue status: Partially addressed
Issue status justification:

Report has stated that the ATSB accepts Canberra Airport's proposed actions but has also stated that it would be benefiical if an entry into ERSA was also made.

Safety issue description

The limited consideration of the potential wind impact of the two buildings to the north of runway 12 during northerly wind conditions has resulted in continued operations to that runway in those conditions without any alert to affected pilots about the associated risk.

Proactive Action

Action number: AO-2010-008-NSA-007
Action organisation: Airservices Australia
Date: 05 April 2011
Action status: Closed

Canberra Airport Pty Ltd has proposed the following:

• the continued commissioning of wind impact studies for future developments; and

• that Canberra Airport will discuss with operators at the Airport the use of runway 12, whether there have been any other turbulent events, and assess their views on what action should be taken, if any, to maintain safety in the use of the runway.

Airservices Australia advised the following: Current procedures state, upon receipt of a pilot report and/or a forecast of moderate, strong or sever wind shear, alert all arriving and departing aircraft by ATIS broadcast, and directed transmission where the aircraft is not in receipt of the ATIS information.

When aware of the presence of significant wind shear, nominate a more favourable runway, if available, and provide the appropriate flight information. Given that no previous reports had been received, before the occurrence, Airservices was unable to provide this consideration and implement the alerting system.

Finally, as no standards exist for assessing the potential wind impact of aerodrome building developments in conjunction with the actual wind direction and speed, Airservices is not in a position to accurately predict where and when mechanical turbulence will be experienced on approach to Runway 12.

ATSB comment:

The ATSB acknowledges the action taken by Canberra Airport to addresses these safety issues. However, there is the potential for the inclusion of an entry in the En Route Supplement Australia, similar to that affecting aircraft operations to runway 35 at Canberra during strong westerly winds, to alert pilots of the possibility of turbulence during operations on runway 12 in north easterly winds.

Last update 18 March 2016