It has now been revealed that CASA has rated Hobart Airport as ‘high risk’ following last year’s string of serious safety incidents caused by new flight paths - see article below from The Weekend Australian.
Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that CASA scored Hobart in its highest risk category in the first half of 2018: 10 out of a possible 10. As a result of the incidents, Airservices was forced to revert to manual operation as a temporary. This problem has still not been corrected.
As a further consequence, CASA has been obliged to undertake another review of Hobart’s airspace to determine whether it should be upgraded to capaital city status (Class C). CASA has not published details of this review and appears to be trying to complete it during the federal election caretaker period to avoid scrutiny.
Despite its dramatic growth in passenger traffic (almost 3 million passengers per year), Hobart’s air traffic control infrastructure is straight out of the 1950s, with no radar, no ground-based navigation, very limited opportunities for visual flight.
Yet it appears that CASA is seeking to collude with Airsevices to leave Hobart without a capital city standard air traffic control service, risking safety, forcing aircraft to fly extra miles and inflicting unnecessary noise on quiet communities.
CASA estimates radar would cost $10 million. That sounds like a lot, but Hobart Airport recently received a staggering $80 million just to introduce Customs and the AFP to accommodate international flights. The airport itself is supposedly investing $200 million to upgrade its terminal facilities. Surely air safety deserves some investment too?