Aviation safety issues and actions

Local procedure intent and understanding

Issue number: AO-2011-147-SI-01
Who it affects: All Cairns based Airservices Australia air traffic controllers
Issue owner: Airservices Australia
Transport function: Aviation: Airspace management
Background: Investigation Report AO-2011-147
Issue release date: 04 February 2013
Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Issue status justification:

The ATSB is satisfied that the action taken by Airservices Australia has adequately addressed the safety issue.

Safety issue description

The Cairns air traffic control procedures on the management of missed approaches and the management of successive arriving aircraft were unclear in intent and function, increasing the risk of their incorrect application.

Proactive Action

Action number: AO-2011-147-NSA-026
Action organisation: Airservices Australia
Date: 04 February 2013
Action status: Closed

A national request for change has been raised [on the Cairns local procedure] to enforce a minimum Flow spacing to the same runway of three minutes in situations where there is no prior coordination with the tower. Any reduction in spacing (e.g. Sight and Follows) must be first agreed to by the tower.

Whilst the change identifies that spacing requirements will vary depending on the specific types of aircraft, controllers are required to ensure that there is sufficient time/distance between aircraft to ensure that separation will continue to exist in the event that one or both aircraft conduct a missed approach. [An additional] national request for change has also been raised to create ILS or localiser (LOC) Y and Z approaches to runway 15. The approach segments remain the same however the missed approach procedures segregate the low and high performance missed approach procedure tracks. This will improve separation assurance planning for both faster following and like type following scenarios. The planned implementation date for this change is 7 March 2013 to coincide with the AIRAC cycle.

The Cairns ATC missed approach procedure refresher training program has been updated to increase awareness of separation assurance issues relating the consecutive approaches. In the past, the focus of this refresher training has been on separation assurance between departing aircraft and aircraft conducting an ILS missed approach.

Last update 30 January 2014