Safety concern regarding lack of Terminal Area Chart (TAC) for the Pilbara, WA region
There are 10 airports within 150 NM, and 7 airports within an 80 by 45 NM corridor. With the exception of Paraburdoo and Newman, none of these airports have on-ground VHF ATC coverage, nor do they have reliable ADS-B coverage below approximately 6,000 ft AMSL. Despite significant traffic of high capacity regular passenger transport operations to the area, there is no TAC.
The reporter believes that the absence of a chart poses a serious threat to the safety of high-capacity aircraft due to reduced situational awareness for pilots. Charts provide relative locations and air routes into and out of close-by airports. This is vitally important information for pilots when self-segregating and for general situational awareness, especially when off-route diversions or holding are required due to inclement weather such as thunderstorms or low cloud.
The Office of Airspace Regulation (OAR) conducted a preliminary airspace review of the Pilbara region. Stakeholder feedback has reinforced the need for the TAC. The review will recommend that a TAC for the Pilbara be published no later than May 2021. The TAC was released in the November 2020 AIP SUP.