The AFAP is actively involved in matters affecting airports in Australia. Some recent activity has been with Melbourne third runway and advertising lighting, Brisbane tailwind, Moorabbin inappropriate development, Essendon OLS and ATSB report, Mangalore Safety alerting service.


Distracting advertising lights at Melbourne Airport during RWY 27 finals turn:

The AFAP has been actively engaged in addressing ongoing safety concerns related to distracting high-intensity lights at Melbourne Airport during RWY 27 finals turn. Our collaborative efforts with AusALPA involve ongoing representation and advocacy initially through the Melbourne Airport Local Runway Safety Team, where some solutions have been proposed on trial.

Preliminary proposed mitigation measures from Melbourne Airport such as limiting colours, reducing brightness and removing flashing of advertising screens near the runway were discussed. Further evaluation is required to properly assess solutions and ensure compliance with CAR 94 and CASA Part 139 (Aerodromes) Manual of Standards requirements.

APAM and CASA are now engaged in assessing the issue and determining appropriate actions to ensure aviation safety compliance in accordance with CAR 94 and MOS.

The AFAP and AusALPA will continue advocating for rigorous evaluation and enforcement of regulatory requirements to appropriately address and resolve the safety risks. Escalation options will be considered if satisfactory resolution is not achieved. We encourage pilots who are distracted by these lights whilst on approach to YMML RWY 27 to report via an ATSB REPCON , please send a copy to,au

M3R – Melbourne Third Runway

AusALPA are represented in the working group for Melbourne Airport 3rd Runway. Some of the considerations currently are managing mitigation measures for the five operational risks previously identified one of which include Status Lights and Final Approach Runway Occupancy Signals. There is a need for regulations to cover these systems before they can be installed in Australia. Overall, the WG is making good progress and the decisions are generally in line with the AusALPAs thinking.


The AFAP continues work with regards to opposing Brisbane Airport tailwind increase facing challenges to political pressures that prioritize addressing "noise" complaints over adhering to ICAO standards. Despite a push to increase tailwind limits, CASA remains firm on maintaining the 5kt international standard at BNE. Recently, CASA addressed concerns raised by AusALPA regarding the tailwind matter, emphasizing their decision to reject the exemption request at BNE. AusALPA's submission and subsequent discussions with CASA were acknowledged, highlighting collaboration on the issue.


After the initial rejection of Moorabbin Airport's draft Master Development Plan (MDP) by the former minister, MAC, the lease holder, is now working on a new MDP without consulting key stakeholders like AFAP and AusALPA. In response, both organizations have informed the minister of their significance in the MDP process. Collaborating with Kingston Council through the MSMF, they aim to advocate for a halt in Moorabbin's development. Despite challenges, the recently approved MDP now includes language prioritizing the protection and enhancement of aviation infrastructure at the federally owned airport. This positive development follows years of inappropriate building encroachments in and around the airport.

Stakeholders at Moorabbin Airport feel concerned about ongoing investment in their businesses beyond the current Master Development Plan.


Having waited 5 years, the ATSB finally released its report into the approval process of development at Essendon Airport. The report largely agrees with the AFAP’s findings from 2016, and although phrased in bureaucratic language, there is clear evidence that the regulator was not doing its job. The report finds that Essendon Airport effectively gave itself “a retrospective grandfathered approval”. Overall, the findings demonstrate that government departments have allowed inappropriate development for non-aviation purposes.

The published findings include various factors such as grandfathering, conservative aerodrome design, graded runway strip portions, aircraft weight limits, and raised landing minima contributed to maintaining a runway strip width below required standards. Although these factors mitigated risks, the risk assessment conducted by the aerodrome operator, along with safety statements by the regulator, did not encompass all relevant risk information. The ATSB found limited guidance from the International Civil Aviation Organization and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority regarding risk considerations for obstacle limitation surfaces around the runway strip during the approach to land. The ATSB suggests an opportunity for greater clarity on the application of these surfaces through the work of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Obstacle Limitation Surface Taskforce.

Aerodrome design standards and the Bulla Road Precinct development at Essendon Fields Airport, Melbourne, Victoria | ATSB


Airservices are reviewing removing the Safety Alerting Service (SAS) in Mangalore's airspace, citing concerns about the Surveillance Flight Information Service (SFIS) as a non-standard and inappropriate alternative. AusALPA have written to Airservices suggesting Class F might have been more suitable and asserts that the current SAS provides no extra safety benefits. The letter recommends ceasing the SAS to allocate resources more efficiently for regular Air Traffic Services (ATS). AusALPA also emphasizes the need to separate combined ATS sectors in Mangalore's airspace to ease ATC workload. Overall, AusALPA sees the proposed changes as a correction to a flawed approach and urges Airservices to exercise greater consideration and consultation in future airspace modifications.

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