Aviation safety issues and actions

Location and design of taxiway J2 at Perth Airport

Issue number: AO-2018-032-SI-02
Who it affects: All flight crew and operators of jet aircraft using runway 03 at Perth Airport
Issue owner: Perth Airport Pty Ltd
Transport function: Aviation: Air transport
Background: Investigation Report AO-2018-032
Issue release date: 01 October 2020
Current issue status: Closed – Adequately addressed
Issue status justification:

The ATSB is satisfied that the action taken by Airservices Australia and Perth Airport Pty Ltd has addressed this safety issue.

Safety issue description

The location and design of taxiway J2 at Perth Airport significantly increased the risk of a runway incursion on runway 06/24 for aircraft landing on runway 03. Taxiway J2 was published as the preferred exit taxiway for jet aircraft and, although mitigation controls were in place, they were not sufficient to effectively reduce the risk of a runway incursion.  

Proactive action

Action number: AO-2018-032-NSA-40
Action organisation: Airservices Australia
Date: 01 October 2020
Action status: Closed

Effective 21 May 2018, Airservices Australia issued a temporary local instruction (TLI) requiring controllers at Perth Airport to issue an instruction to aircraft vacating at taxiway J2 to hold short of the other runway (when that runway was to be used for a subsequent arrival or departure). Subsequently, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority recommended that the TLI should be amended to require positive confirmation that an aircraft vacating via J2 has stopped.

Effective 26 June 2018, Airservices Australia issued a TLI requiring controllers at Perth Airport to not use taxiway J2. More specifically, the instruction stated:

Due to a Runway Incursion into RWY 06 on the 28 April 2018…, CASA have requested consideration be given to removing the risk of the situation occurring again.

AIP ERSA identifies RWY 06/24. TWY’s J2, J1 and A intersection as a runway incursion hotspot.

Airservices preliminary safety evaluation has determined that TWY J2 will not be used in any Perth Basin traffic management plans to reduce risk associated with aircraft operating within this hotspot.

Therefore to reduce risk associated with aircraft operating within this hotspot Perth Tower will not utilise TWY J2 for any operations…

As part of the TLI, the Perth automatic terminal information service (ATIS) was to include the operational information that taxiway J2 was not available.

Concurrently with the June 2018 TLI, Airservices Australia advocated through the local runway safety team (LRST) for the re-modelling of taxiway J2 to provide a 90° exit from runway 03 in order to mitigate the infrastructure hazard associated with a high speed exit leading directly to a second runway. Perth Airport subsequently advised Airservices Australia, through the LRST, that taxiway J2 would be temporarily closed by NOTAM pending an assessment of mitigation options. Perth Airport later determined that taxiway J2 would be closed permanently and a NOTAM was issued to that effect (see safety action AO-2018-032-NSA-052). Pending Perth Airport’s decision to close taxiway J2, the Airservices Australia TLI remained in effect to prevent aircraft exposure to the infrastructure hazard.

Proactive action

Action number: AO-2018-032-NSA-052
Action organisation: Perth Airport Pty Ltd
Date: 01 October 2020
Action status: Closed

As a result of this occurrence, Perth Airport Pty Ltd advised the ATSB it initiated the following safety actions:

  • After Airservices Australia issued a temporary local instruction to cease use of taxiway J2, Perth Airport took initial measures to close J2 by issuing a NOTAM making J2 unavailable and isolating airfield ground lighting and removing markings leading off runways 03/21 and 06/24 (and associated taxiways) into J2.
  • Perth Airport and Airservices Australia opened discussions with the local runway safety team on potential physical changes, including changing the geometry of the taxiway J2 entry from runway 03 to make it less representative of a rapid exit taxiway, or to change its exit geometry to exit onto the parallel taxiway A and not directly onto runway 06/24, or permanent removal of J2 entirely.
  • Following consultation with the local runway safety team, Perth Airport elected for the permanent removal of taxiway J2 and commenced pavement demolition early to mid-2019.
  • Taxiway J2 (connecting runway 03/21 with runway 06/24) was removed from the aeronautical information package aerodrome chart for Perth Airport in August 2019.
Last update 01 October 2020