Aviation safety issues and actions

Elevated risk from non-precision approach with low-level circling and non-stabilised approach procedure

Issue number: AO-2015-066-SI-01
Who it affects: Nauru Airlines
Issue owner: Nauru Airlines
Transport function: Aviation: Air transport
Background: Investigation Report AO-2015-066
Issue release date: 16 March 2018
Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Issue status justification:

The fitment of GPS navigation equipment and the training of flight crew in its use, as well as obtaining regulatory authorisation for the use of GPS based instrument approach procedures, has enabled the operator to conduct runway aligned stabilised approaches into Kosrae.

Safety issue description

The operator commenced regular public transport operations into Kosrae with the only instrument approach available for use being an offset procedure based on a non-precision navigation aid. The risk associated with this type of approach was amplified due to the need to use a 'dive and drive' style technique instead of a stable approach path, and that it required low level circling manoeuvring from the instrument approach to align the aircraft with the runway. Furthermore, there was very high terrain in close proximity to the runway and the airport did not have a manned air traffic control tower. For this occurrence, the risk was further elevated as a result of the approach being conducted at night-time in poor weather conditions.

Proactive Action

Action number: AO-2015-066-NSA-005
Action organisation: Nauru Airlines
Date: 16 March 2018
Action status: Closed

GPS navigation equipment has been fitted to all aircraft, flight crews have been trained in the use of GPS type instrument approaches and regulatory authorisation to conduct these types of approaches has been obtained.

Flight crews have also been instructed to use runway aligned approaches.

Last update 16 March 2018