Lowering Class E on the East Coast

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

During 20 January to 15 February Airservices Australia commenced industry consultation on a proposal to lower the base of Class E airspace to 1,500ft Above Ground Level (AGL) in medium and high density enroute airspace to maximise existing surveillance capabilities and to increase the volume of controlled airspace.

We are currently reviewing all feedback received and determining the next steps including how best to refine the detailed design to address industry feedback. We will provide an update to industry in the week starting 22 February 2021 with supporting information via our Engage platform, email communications and additional industry meetings.


UPDATE – 16 FEBRUARY 2021

Airservices would like to thank all airspace users and aviation industry stakeholders that provided feedback on our initial proposal to lower the base of Class E airspace along the East Coast.

For the initial consultation period from 20 January to 15 February 2021, we received over 1,000 responses from all aspects of industry, including airlines, industry associations such as Recreational Aviation Australia (RAAus), Gliding Federation, Australian Airline Pilots’ Association (AusALPA), Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Civil Air and various general aviation (GA) operators.

Your feedback is absolutely critical in deeply understanding the potential impacts on our industry. As previously communicated, we are assessing all feedback received to input into our detailed design process. In particular, the industry has highlighted the following key issues and we are revising our proposal to address the feedback:

  • facilitate continued access to Class G airspace by VFR aircraft that do not meet the current transponder and radio communications fitment requirements in Class E airspace
  • cater for the operational context and desired safety outcomes in Class G and Class E airspace, considering factors such as traffic mix, operational needs and characteristics of different types of airspace users and controls against threats such as terrain, engine failure or inclement weather
  • avoid potential for confusion in relation to the airspace boundary reference to above-ground-level (AGL) versus above-mean-sea-level (AMSL)
  • effectively manage the human factors aspect of the change, including operational complexity, workload, communication/coordination, training and education implications from both air traffic controllers and pilots’ perspectives
  • reduce surveillance and communications coverage gaps within controlled airspace
  • reduce the likelihood of delays on departures and arrivals
  • clarify the safety case for change, with consideration to cost/benefit implications to stakeholders impacted by the proposal
  • allow industry sufficient opportunity to consider and provide feedback on the details of the proposal.

We will provide an update to industry in the week starting 22 February 2021 with supporting information via our Engage platform, email communications and additional industry meetings. We will continue to consult with industry and take on board any further industry feedback on the revised proposal before proceeding with the formal Airspace Change Proposal (ACP) to be assessed by the airspace regulator, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

We are committed to listening to the needs of all airspace users and working with industry to develop an optimal solution to modernise our airspace architecture. We are acutely conscious of the need to minimise adverse impacts on airspace safety, access, efficiency and environmental outcomes, while being able to deliver service enhancements to operators that can already benefit from today’s modern surveillance capabilities.


Information on Airservices initial consultation and proposal is available on the right hand side of this page under ‘Initial Proposal Documents’

During 20 January to 15 February Airservices Australia commenced industry consultation on a proposal to lower the base of Class E airspace to 1,500ft Above Ground Level (AGL) in medium and high density enroute airspace to maximise existing surveillance capabilities and to increase the volume of controlled airspace.

We are currently reviewing all feedback received and determining the next steps including how best to refine the detailed design to address industry feedback. We will provide an update to industry in the week starting 22 February 2021 with supporting information via our Engage platform, email communications and additional industry meetings.


UPDATE – 16 FEBRUARY 2021

Airservices would like to thank all airspace users and aviation industry stakeholders that provided feedback on our initial proposal to lower the base of Class E airspace along the East Coast.

For the initial consultation period from 20 January to 15 February 2021, we received over 1,000 responses from all aspects of industry, including airlines, industry associations such as Recreational Aviation Australia (RAAus), Gliding Federation, Australian Airline Pilots’ Association (AusALPA), Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Civil Air and various general aviation (GA) operators.

Your feedback is absolutely critical in deeply understanding the potential impacts on our industry. As previously communicated, we are assessing all feedback received to input into our detailed design process. In particular, the industry has highlighted the following key issues and we are revising our proposal to address the feedback:

  • facilitate continued access to Class G airspace by VFR aircraft that do not meet the current transponder and radio communications fitment requirements in Class E airspace
  • cater for the operational context and desired safety outcomes in Class G and Class E airspace, considering factors such as traffic mix, operational needs and characteristics of different types of airspace users and controls against threats such as terrain, engine failure or inclement weather
  • avoid potential for confusion in relation to the airspace boundary reference to above-ground-level (AGL) versus above-mean-sea-level (AMSL)
  • effectively manage the human factors aspect of the change, including operational complexity, workload, communication/coordination, training and education implications from both air traffic controllers and pilots’ perspectives
  • reduce surveillance and communications coverage gaps within controlled airspace
  • reduce the likelihood of delays on departures and arrivals
  • clarify the safety case for change, with consideration to cost/benefit implications to stakeholders impacted by the proposal
  • allow industry sufficient opportunity to consider and provide feedback on the details of the proposal.

We will provide an update to industry in the week starting 22 February 2021 with supporting information via our Engage platform, email communications and additional industry meetings. We will continue to consult with industry and take on board any further industry feedback on the revised proposal before proceeding with the formal Airspace Change Proposal (ACP) to be assessed by the airspace regulator, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

We are committed to listening to the needs of all airspace users and working with industry to develop an optimal solution to modernise our airspace architecture. We are acutely conscious of the need to minimise adverse impacts on airspace safety, access, efficiency and environmental outcomes, while being able to deliver service enhancements to operators that can already benefit from today’s modern surveillance capabilities.


Information on Airservices initial consultation and proposal is available on the right hand side of this page under ‘Initial Proposal Documents’

  • Close of consultation

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    16 Feb 2021

    Consultation on Airservices proposal to lower the base of Class E to 1,500ft closed on 15 February 2021. We received over 1,000 responses from all aspects of industry and we thank all airspace users and aviation industry stakeholders for this critical feedback.

    Further information on how Airservices is considering industry feedback is available in the main section of this page.

  • Charts are now available

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    01 Feb 2021

    The proposed WAC are now available to assist in our consultation. These can be found on the right hand side of the page.

    Please note that these charts are not for operational use and are quite large. They may take some time to download.