The change is imposing substantial new costs on airline operators

The new system adds significant nautical miles to routes for commercial jet traffic, increasing flight times for passengers, and fuel costs for operators. Airservices also removed the ability of aircraft to fly ‘visual’ approaches, further reducing flexibility and efficiency.

The new system increases flying times for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, creating delays to transporting emergency patients and extra fuel costs.

Airservices also ‘forgot’ to include routes to and from the Antarctic, forcing operators into an expensive work-around which adds significantly to fuel costs and time in the air to a fuel-critical destination.

If weather or other factors do cause delays, there are limited backup options for quickly and safely landing aircraft.

Airservices has already spent over $1 million on the review, plus consultant fees and legal costs, trying to fix the problem. Airservices is funded by airlines, and this cost is borne by them - and ultimately passed on to passengers.

If the proposed changes progress, passengers will experience longer flight times and increased fares.

What’s required

 
  • Airservices must provide airlines with more flexible options that restore the previous mileage for operators, such as radar and the ability to fly ‘visual’ approaches.

  • Airservices should explore opening up the airspace to the west of the airport to provide shorter flight paths for aircraft travelling to and from Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.

 

References

Airservices documents

Introduction of RNP 1 SIDS/STARS at Hobart Post Implementation Review (PIR), December 2017. “The Albury RNP1 Separation Standard Safety PIR Review raised issues about separation efficiency and complexity that are relevant in the Hobart environment … While RNP1 separation may provide for more efficient separation between arriving and departing aircraft established on procedures at night or in IMC [instrument flying conditions], in VMC [visual flying conditions] and in low traffic periods, there are often other more efficient separation solutions available”.

Safety assessment of implementation - “Some arrivals will result in higher track miles being flown, with others having a reduction in track miles … With a reduction in the available standard arrival and departure paths there may be some delays due to mix of traffic.”

Industry feedback

Summary of airline feedback - “Industry stakeholders reported that they have been forced to absorb the inefficiencies due to the 2017 procedure changes, and would appreciate every effort being made to implement proposed efficiency changes as soon as possible”

Airlines of Tasmania submission to Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee - “Over the last 24 months, CASA/Airservices have mandated additional instrumentation to be carried on most of our aircraft. This was Airservices wishing to remove ground-based equipment for primarily cost saving measures. This equipment, including new GPS units and new ADSB transponder equipment did not result in any benefit to our operations and was simply a cost …. In theory, this was done to make airspace more efficient, however in Hobart and the lack of the use of radar being used … we are flying extra track miles.”

Media

Antarctic jets frozen out of Hobart flightpath plans.jpg