Where can I find out more information about the impact of the final design on where I live?

    During our Face to Face sessions on 30 and 31 May, we will be able to demonstrate where and how aircraft will fly on the flight paths, including relative to your home.

    When will aircraft start using the new flight paths?

    The new flight paths will be operational from 7 November 2019.

    How is the operational date of 7 November 2019 determined?

    Once the ACP is approved, a number of other changes have to be coordinated to ensure that aircraft flying in the airspace do so safely and with the correct procedures. These changes include amendments to aeronautical charts, approach plates and published procedures. Approved changes come into effect on predetermined dates according to the international Aeronautical Information Regulation and Control (AIRAC) system to ensure that aircraft operating in the skies all have the same latest information.

    Airservices is reviewing its environmental assessment process following recommendations by the Aircraft Noise Ombudsman's investigation of the Hobart flight path design. Why was the final decision on the Hobart flight paths made before the completion of the environmental assessment process review?

    We have followed all of our processes and conducted the Hobart Airspace Design Review in accordance with the recommendations provided by the Aircraft Noise Ombudsman (ANO). Our review of the environmental assessment process will be completed by 30 June 2019.

    We believe that the final Hobart flight path design provides safe operations and delivers efficiency and environmental benefits to the community. We want to realise those benefits as soon as we can.

    CASA has approved the flight path changes and we are proceeding with implementation on 7 November 2019. The next opportunity to implement the changes, if we were to delay for any reason, would not be until May 2020.

    What consultation evidence was used for the Hobart Airspace Design Review Airspace Change Proposal (ACP) submission to CASA?

    When we submit an airspace change proposal to CASA for consideration, we must attach evidence of the consultation to support the change. CASA seek evidence that we have consulted with communities on the flight path changes that will occur in the new airspace, and with aviation industry users who will be affected by the proposed airspace changes.

    For the Hobart Airspace Design Review ACP, we provided CASA with the summaries of our community consultation and industry consultation. CASA approved the ACP on 8 May 2019.

    Why has the Airspace Change Proposal (ACP) been approved when CASA is currently conducting an airspace review?

    The ACP process and the CASA airspace review are separate and different activities. Airservices submitted an airspace change proposal to CASA to amend the airspace around Hobart to contain new arrival flight path. CASA’s role is to approve changes to airspace, and they approved the Hobart Airspace Design Review airspace on 8 May 2019.

    The CASA Preliminary Airspace Review is part of CASA’s cycle of airspace reviews around the country. CASA’s public consultation opened on 10 May 2019 and closes on 31 May 2019.  Their findings of their airspace review will be released on their website in August 2019.

    How will the use of approaches change over time?

    The final design includes both area navigation approaches (RNAV) and Smart Tracking (Required Navigation Performance – Authorisation Required (RNP-AR)) approaches. Smart Tracking approaches use the latest technology to provide both lateral and vertical guidance for aircraft, which enhances safety and improves predictability of landing in almost all weather conditions.  The Smart Tracking approaches are also able to be designed closer to the airport than the traditional RNAV approaches.

    We expect more aircraft will use the Smart Tracking approaches over time.

    Why did Airservices apply for so much airspace to the east of Hobart when the eastern flight path has been removed?

    This airspace change is required in order to accommodate the final flight path design, including keeping aircraft in controlled airspace who may be operating around weather or being sequenced for operations.

    Can you advise why the option to move the route approximately 5km on average closer to Dunalley and Copping was not subject to stakeholder consultation?

    The final design, including the removal of the east coast over the water flight path and the amendment to the Runway 12 SID, are the result and outcome of community consultation.  The final design was shaped directly by the community feedback obtained through consultation.

    What changes have been made to the approach path to Runway 30?

    For aircraft currently flying to Runway 30 there is one approach flight path that is designed for all types of aircraft – called the area navigation (RNAV) approach.

    Following community feedback, this approach has been re-designed and moved closer to the airport. It no longer flies over the World Heritage Coal Mine Site, and reduces the effect of aircraft operations on communities.

    Why are there so many more flight paths than what we currently have?

    The current flight path design has only one approach path and one departure path for each end of the runway. While this is safe, it reduces the efficiency of the airport operations, while concentrating flight operations over certain residential communities.

    To enhance safety, improve efficiency and minimise the effect of aircraft operations on any one community, we have implemented separated departure flight paths for jets and non-jet aircraft, and introduced another approach path to each end of the runway, suitable for certain approved jet operations (‘Smart Tracking’). The result is more flight path options for both departures and arrivals, and this will reduce the total number of aircraft flying on any one particular flight path.

    Why does the new arrival path from IPLET waypoint to Runway 30 not traverse land like it does now and reduce the need for the airspace change proposal?

    With the removal of the proposed over the water eastern flight path, the standard instrument arrivals (STAR) needed to track over land via IPLET. We examined ways to have the final design approximate the current design for arriving aircraft from IPLET, however in order to ensure safety and maintain separation between arriving and departing aircraft, the STAR could not move further west than what is contained in the final design.

    Why is there a three-pronged fork at each end of the runway? Can aircraft fly to any one of those prongs?

    Every RNAV approach is designed with three ‘prongs’ (known as initial approach waypoints). However not all three approach waypoints are required to be used. In the Hobart final flight path design, only one flight path will connect to the Runway 30 RNAV. The other prongs are not going to be used.

    For Runway 12 arrivals, there is one flight path to the RNAV and smaller non-jet aircraft from the west may track from various locations to join the approach from the western initial approach point.

    What is Smart Tracking and how many aircraft will be able to use it?

    We have shared a video called "Example of Smart Tracking Flight Paths (Courtesy of UK NATS)" on this page.

    Only suitably equipped aircraft and appropriately trained pilots with approval from CASA are able to fly Smart Tracking procedures. 

    The majority of domestic airline operators in Australia are already approved and using Smart Tracking approaches around the country.

    Smart Tracking delivers safety benefits through high precision navigation which enables aircraft to land in almost all weather conditions.

    When will approved aircraft start flying the ‘Smart Tracking’ (RNP-AR) approach?

    The ‘Smart Tracking’ (Required Navigation Performance – Authorisation Required (RNP-AR)) approach will be available for use by aircraft authorised to use it from the date the final design is implemented – planned for 7 November 2019.

    When will the VOR be returned to service and will it mean flight paths can return to where they were before September 2017?

    The Hobart VOR will return to service as soon as possible. However, as the VOR has moved it is not possible to reinstate the previously flight paths that were designed around its use.

    It is a CASA requirement that passenger aircraft use satellite based navigation as the primary form of navigation, with ground based navigation aids to be used only as a backup aid in exceptional circumstances. With that as the operating framework, Hobart has led the way with regard to implementation of performance based navigation of SIDs and STARs as the primary source of navigation and this will position Hobart well for the forecast aviation growth to come.

    Who will be using the VOR and why?

    When the VOR is returned to service and the Noise Abatement Procedures are published, the VOR will only be available for small training aircraft to practice instrument approaches. We estimate that this will be an average of 3 training flights per day.

    In the final design, jet aircraft will be able to fly a number of approaches, including visual termination procedures on the Smart Tracking approach. The VOR, and associated new procedures, do not need to be flown by jet aircraft for training or pilot recency purposes. This will minimise the effect of these operations on the community. The procedures for the use of the VOR will be released in Noise Abatement Procedures.

    Why can’t airlines fly the VOR approach instead of the RNAV or RNP-AR?

    The VOR will form part of the national Backup Navigation Network. Jet aircraft will be able to fly the VOR approach but only when no other approaches are available. This is expected to only occur in exceptional circumstances, as a result of loss of satellite service, failure of on-board aircraft systems or in the event of an emergency.

    The final design provides airlines with several forms of approaches that enhance safety of operations while providing flexibility and efficiency.

    Why couldn’t the non-jet departure track from Runway 30 track to the west, to allow the jet departure to move closer to the airport?

    The non-jet departure track couldn’t move to the west of the airport as it would result in the mixing of air traffic with Cambridge general aviation and flight training operations, and would require aircraft to operate near terrain.

    Why are some departure flight paths further away from the airport than the current design?

    There are a number of things we needed to consider when finalising departure flight paths. This included how to ensure separation between non-jet and jet departures, and between departures and arrivals. Importantly we also wanted to avoid having arrival and departure paths fly over the same residential community areas, as much as possible.

    We identified that if we moved the departure flight path a bit further from the airport before it turned to cross land, we would reduce community overflight of populated areas near the coast, ensure the aircraft climb higher before crossing the coast, and climb faster and higher - away from a number of populated communities, all along the departure flight path.