Recommendation R20060024

Recommendation issued to: Civil Aviation Safety Authority

Recommendation details
Output No: R20060024
Date issued: 16 December 2006
Safety action status: Closed - Action Taken
Background: Why this Recommendation was developed

Output text

Safety Issue: RNAV (GNSS) approach late notice of air traffic control clearance.

Late notice of clearance by air traffic control to conduct an RNAV (GNSS) approach was identified as the most common difficult external condition affecting an RNAV (GNSS) approach, particularly for high capacity airline pilots. An examination of opportunities to improve training and/or procedures for pilots to help ensure timely approach clearances is warranted.

Safety Recommendation

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau recommends that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, in conjunction with Airservices Australia, address this safety issue.

Initial response
Date issued: 06 March 2007
Response from: Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Action status: Monitor
Response text:

In respect of recommendations 20060023 and 20060024, CASA is happy to work with Airservices Australia on these issues. However, CASA would appreciate further information on the type of training enhancements envisaged by the recommendations, given that 86% of those responding described the training as adequate, with 14% who described it as inadequate citing lack of practice as the cause of any problems.

ATSB response:

CASA noted the findings of the surveyed pilot population to the questions about training for the RNAV (GNSS) approach endorsement. However, the ATSB's intention with this recommendation was to draw attention to one of the other findings, that some airline pilots identified late clearances by air traffic control (ATC) to make an RNAV (GNSS) approach caused additional time pressures during a busy phase of flight, partially due to the extensive preparation airline pilots conduct prior to these approaches.  Accordingly, we made recommendation 20060023 (directed to Airservices Australia) and 20060024 (directed to CASA), asking both agencies to consider what additional training or education opportunities might exist to ensure both pilots and controllers were aware of the respective workloads of the other, so that requests for, or clearances for, an RNAV (GNSS) approach could be advised in a timely manner.  Hence, CASA might like to consider what information could be provided to Airservices Australia to assist them alert air traffic controllers to the difficulties that might be imposed by late advice of an RNAV (GNSS) approach clearance. 

Similarly, CASA might consider what information could be provided to aircrew, particularly in relation to ATC responsibilities and workloads, that would better prepare them for the possibility of a clearance for this type of approach being issued later than desired. 

Further correspondence
Date issued: 26 March 2007
Response from: Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Response status: Closed - Accepted
Response text:

In respect of Recommendation 20060024, while operational practices and procedures for the provision of air traffic control are the responsibility of Airservices Australia, CASA does undertake operational surveillance of heir application. The issues of clearance delivery or changes are well known to both organisations and will continue to be reviewed. CASA well understands the value of pilot education and awareness and will continue to undertake such education with both the pilot and air traffic controller community.

Last update 05 April 2012