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senate enquiry into noise


Experienced Pilot
Speaks Out
It's Too Noisy



Local Residents Say Enough Is Enough
It's Stress Related
Injury Caused By Our Government



Noise Up
Safety Down
Home Values Down
Planning Restrictions Up
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28 Planes Overhead
In Just Over An Hour

A Common Experience

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Imagine Listening To This Sort of Noise
All Day

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An Identification Chart
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Learn More About Aircraft Noise - What Causes It
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15 Ways To
Quieten  The Skys

(US Citizens Aviation Watch)



 

VISUAL FLIGHT RULES (VFR) - MESS AT MOORABBIN

         76%  of Aircraft Not Following Safety & Environment Guidelines

There are 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.

In 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.

Using VFR 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 airport. 

The study confirmed:

  • 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)

For some 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 a 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?

Confusingly 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.

Also worrying 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 again.

We’ve all 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*
(The 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 aircraft movements.)

VFR STUDY MOORABBIN - SOUTH - CARRUM


*ref: https://www.casa.gov.au/sites/g/files/net351/f/_assets/main/pilots/download/melbourne.pdf


1. 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

3. Melbourne Basin Visual Pilot Guide 2010  https://www.casa.gov.au/sites/g/files/net351/f/_assets/main/pilots/download/melbourne.pdf

4. http://ontrack.casa.gov.au/

5. http://shop.casa.gov.au/products/sp161

6. http://www.airservicesaustralia.com/aip/aip.asp