• A graphic showing how Airservices Australia's revised Class E proposal would work. (Airservices Australia)
    A graphic showing how Airservices Australia's revised Class E proposal would work. (Airservices Australia)

Airservices Australia yesterday released documents on a revised proposal for Class E airspace on the eastern seaboard.

Previously, Airservices' proposed lowering the base of Class E from Cairns to Melbourne to 1500 AGL, which drew a lot of criticism from the general aviation community.

The revised proposal would now see the base of the Class E lowered to either 4500, 6500 or 8500 feet AMSL depending on the terrain below.

According to Airservices, the new levels will:

  • improve safety of IFR operations by providing greater control services
  • minimise adverse impact on the needs of airspace users, particularly those without transponder or radio equipment and preserve greater volumes of Class G
  • provide greater safety of operations outside proposed Class E airspace to avoid terrain, including a minimum of 1360 feet of Class G airspace between terrain and the base of Class E airspace
  • remove potential for confusion regarding the operation of aircraft in Class E or Class G airspace, and which frequency the pilot should be on, by referencing airspace levels to AMSL
  • reduce the impact of frequency transfer during critical high-workload phases of flight between area frequency and CTAF while transiting across Class E and Class G airspace.

Airservices says the revised proposal is in response to feedback from the industry.

"Airservices would like to thank all airspace users and aviation industry stakeholders that provided feedback on our proposal to lower the base of Class E airspace along the east coast of Australia.

"During the initial consultation period of 20 January to 15 February 2021, we received over 1,000 responses including significant feedback from general aviation operators around safety, risk, operational needs, aircraft fitment, cost/benefit and operator workload considerations."

Consultation on the revised proposal is open until 30 April on the Airservices Australia's engagement website.

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