76% of Aircraft Not Following Safety & Environment Guidelines
guidelines for aircraft which fly visually, they are called Visual Flight Rules
or VFR and the guidelines are called
VFRG. These guidelines take into
consideration important safety and environmental considerations for aircraft
leaving and approaching any airport.
highlighting the importance of VFR guidelines CASA (the Civil Aviation Safety
Authority) has reminded pilots that 50% of fatal accidents are associated with
poor route planning.
principles is international best practice – except it seems at Moorabbin
Airport where not only aren't these rules taken seriously but there are different
interpretations of them.
A recent VFR
study was commission by a local resident out of frustration over the refusal of
CASA and AirServices Australia to take seriously his complaints about VFR
activity near the coast. AirServices
Australia refused access to flight information under a freedom of information
request so the study utilised Webtrak data and analysed 70,000 flight records over
a continuous nine week period for aircraft approaching from the south of the
- Less than a quarter of aircraft comply
with the Melbourne Basin VFR guidelines for the area south of Moorabbin aerodrome
- There are consistent and heavily utilised routes which are not consistent with VFR tracking
- Examples of dangerous
flying exist e.g. helicopters heading from the airport to the coast directly into the predominant
tracking of planes which are returning to the airport.
- 6 out of 10 aircraft leaving
the airport do not follow CASA’s Fly Neighbourly Advice (ref 1)
reason Moorabbin is an airport where VFR is not compulsory even though it is one
of the busiest airports in the southern hemisphere. AirServices Australia has exploited the
apparent free for all by making irresponsible comments about aircraft being
able to fly wherever they want. The lack of imposed VFR has resulted in AirServices Australia allowing other predominant patterns
of aircraft tracking which are not VFR. In other words the safety and environmental
principles contained in VFR are being lost, exposing the community and pilots
to potential safety issues. The
community cops further environmental imposition by not having certainty about
patterns of aircraft activity. Not
good start when you are trying to decide where to buy a home and raise
a family and hoping for some measure of insight into the amenity and
safety impacts of the unreasonable level of aviation over a number of
suburbs in Melbourne's south and south east. The big
unanswered question is why wouldn't a peak
aviation body encourage VFR at Moorabbin even if it is not compulsory?
the peak bodies CASA and AirServices Australia do tout the
importance of VFR and try to convince the community that VFR has not been
abandoned at Moorabbin. There are even
VFR charts for Moorabbin. These charts
have tracking lines which aircraft are supposed to take note of when they plan
their flight route. Paradoxically it
seems these aircraft are being directed away from the tracking lines by
Moorabbin Air Traffic Control (ATC) which has control of the airspace within 5
nautical miles of the airport.
is the existence of different versions of the VFR tracking charts for Moorabbin. The most comprehensive guidelines were
published by CASA in 2010 shortly after a report (ref 2) announced that the Moorabbin
Airport posed an intolerable societal risk for residents. That publication is called the Melbourne
Basin Visual Pilot Guide (ref 3). Since then
CASA has launched a website called OnTrack (ref 4) which shows inconsistent VFR information for Moorabbin. CASA also sells a hardcopy VFR publication in
which the VFR tracking lines are non-existent (ref 5).
Meanwhile AirServices Australia provides pilots with an Aeronautical
Information Package (AIP) (ref 6) with VFR tracking information which is different
come to expect the commerce of aviation (and property developers running airports)
to demand unprecedented freedom but surely something a fundamental as VFR
should be taken more seriously? It seems
to be just another example of the unethical nature of the Moorabbin Airport farce and
its unconscionable impact on the community.
The resident made three attempts to contact AirServices Australia about the results of the study but did not receive a reply.
SEE A SUMMARY OF THE STUDY RESULTS The Melbourne Basin Visual Flight Rules For Moorabbin*
VFR tracks are the thick blue and red lines. The other lines
or "gates" across the VFR tracks were used in the study to monitor
Fly Neighbourly Advice is an attempt to encourage pilots to be more
considerate of the local community. It is a voluntary initiative
which is different to VFR.
2. The Ambidji
Group Research Report 2009: Utility of General Aviation Aerodrome Procedures to
Australian-Administered Airspace, Report to Office Of Airspace Regulation
Basin Visual Pilot Guide 2010 https://www.casa.gov.au/sites/g/files/net351/f/_assets/main/pilots/download/melbourne.pdf