Latest news and insights from Australia’s airports

Securing regional airports’ future

A senate committee report on regional airfares released last week uncovered the complexity that comes with delivering air services on a small scale. The frustration of regional residents was evident throughout the inquiry, as poor economies of scale have resulted in little competition between airlines, and less choice of when to fly and at what cost. Those same economies of scale are at the heart of the challenges faced by regional airports, ...

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Airservices plans for next generation of fire-fighting

Recently returned Airservices Australia executive Rob Porter is on a mission to modernise the nation’s aviation rescue and fire-fighting services and take them from “the Flintstones to the Jetsons”. The former general manager of Mackay Airport and deputy chair of the Australian Airports Association board returned to Airservices in January as executive general manager aviation rescue and fire fighting (ARFF), after 11 years away. One of his first acts was to issue ...

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Runway rename success is all in the details

Renaming Brisbane Airport’s soon-to-be parallel existing runway may look straight forward but as project manager Adam Tull discovered, coordinating more than 170 changes requires some detailed planning. Tull, who joined Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) in 2017 to manage the renaming project, had not previously worked in aviation, although his father was a private pilot. He had been an army engineer who had worked in Afghanistan, Timor and Papua New Guinea before joining ...

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New regulations welcome step for industry

The much-anticipated confirmation of new Part 139 Aerodrome regulations was high on the agenda at the recent Australian Airports Association (AAA) inaugural safety forum in Melbourne. About 200 people signed up for the forum, organised jointly by CASA and the AAA, and CASA Senior Standards Officer Darren Angelo said Part 139 and the manual of standards was a key area of interest for the aerodromes sector. Whilst the Part 139 changes are ...

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Drones safety the focus of new project

Eye-in-the sky drones that venture near mainland capital city airports are themselves being scrutinised by a Civil Aviation Safety Authority project underway at the moment. The authority is keen to know how many drones, or remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), are operated near airports ahead of rule changes later this year that will require all drones above 250 grams be registered. The project was launched before the recent drone problems at London’s ...

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Greg Hood: On emergency response and working with the ATSB

The aircraft is on fire, there are a number of vehicles around it and suddenly something resembling a missile streaks from the wreckage. The sobering video clip aired at this year’s Australian Airport Association national conference by Australian Transport Safety Bureau chief commissioner Greg Hood showed the unexpected hazards first responders can face at serious crashes. The 15 May 2018 accident involved an aircraft that had been conducting night circuits at Orange ...

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Scratching the surface on drone potential

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s hard-fought campaign to convince the growing number of drone users to stay away from airports and aircraft appears to be paying off. While the number of drones continues to increase, CASA chief executive Shane Carmody told the Australian Airports Association national conference in Brisbane that the volume of safety reports about conflicts between drones and aircraft appeared to have plateaued. Carmody said drones, regulatory reform and improved ...

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Infrared cameras improve sights on security

When Evan Collins wanted to find a new way to monitor Perth Airport’s airside perimeter fence, he looked to the skies for inspiration. The airport’s new approach to its perimeter patrols was developed in an Australian airport first after seeing the effectiveness of videos used on police helicopters. Inspiration struck as Collins’ team sought to improve aviation protection officers’ ability to more accurately monitor the airport’s expansive fence line.

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‘Walk a day in my shoes’: Airport Safety Week preparations get underway

Gary McGivern says the myriad organisations working side by side at an airport is one of the great things about the industry – and also one of its challenges. As chair of the AAA Airport Operations Safety Network Group, he has seen firsthand how safety outcomes can be enhanced through good collaboration and a shared understanding of airport safety. So when deciding on the theme for this October’s Airport Safety Week, ...

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