Aeronautical Study of Horn Island

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					               Aeronautical Study of
                   Horn Island
                                            October 2009




Aeronautical Study – Horn Island (YHID) – October 2009     Version: 2.0
Office of Airspace Regulation                                 Page 2 of 46




DOCUMENT SPONSOR: OFFICE OF AIRSPACE REGULATION (OAR)

PROJECT NUMBER:                       48-08

TRIM REFERENCE:                       ED09/151576

FILE REF:                             EF09/3473




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     1. Executive Summary
     This aeronautical study was commissioned in response to a requirement under the
     Australian Airspace Policy Statement for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)1
     to undertake regular and ongoing reviews to meet its obligations under Section 13 of
     the Airspace Act (Act). The Office of Airspace Regulation (OAR) undertakes a risk
     based approach in determining which locations are studied.
     The purpose of the study is to review the airspace classification above Horn Island
     aerodrome in Queensland. Particular emphasis is placed on the safety of passenger
     transport operations.

     1.1 Operational Context
     Horn Island is located in the Torres Strait, approximately 425 nautical miles (nm)
     north, north west of Cairns, in far north Queensland. Horn Island aerodrome is a
     certified aerodrome, owned and operated by the Torres Shire Council. It is located
     on the northern side of the island, approximately 5 kilometres (km) from the Wasaga
     township. The aerodrome has an elevation of 43 feet (ft).
     The aerodrome services both business and tourist travellers, supporting passenger
     transport operations conducted by QantasLink and Westwing Aviation. Barrier Air
     has a base at the aerodrome and operate Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander (BN-2)
     aircraft.
     Horn Island aerodrome currently supports in excess of 65,000 passengers2 annually
     and, based on past growth, this number is projected to increase at approximately 6%
     a year.
     Aircraft types operating at Horn Island include medium size turbo-prop aircraft such
     as the DHC-8 (Dash 8) and BE-200 King Air. A range of single-engine aeroplanes
     including the turbine engined Cessna Caravan (C208) and a large fleet of
     twin-engined BN-2 aircraft.
     Australian Helicopters operate the Aerospatiale AS-350 Squirrel and Bell 412
     helicopters from Horn Island. Australian Helicopters also operates a Bell 206 from a
     helicopter landing site on the northern side of nearby Thursday Island. The company
     also regularly operate to the Thursday Island Hospital landing site using the Bell 412
     on search and rescue and emergency medical service tasks. Cape York Helicopters
     operate the Robinson R44 helicopter from the aerodrome. Helicopter operations at
     Horn Island make up approximately 4% - 8% of total movements.
     Horn Island is a non-controlled aerodrome in Class G airspace with a dedicated
     Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF), and has a requirement for the
     mandatory carriage and use of radio; that is, it is designated as a CTAF(R)
     aerodrome. Above Class G airspace is Class E airspace with a lowest useable level
     of Flight Level (FL)180.
     There is no radar coverage in the area surrounding Horn Island. A Directed Traffic
     Information (DTI) service is provided from Brisbane Centre by Enroute controllers to
     aircraft operating under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). A flight following service is
     provided, on request, according to normal controller workload priorities, for aircraft
     operating under Visual Flight Rules (VFR).

     1
      A full list of acronyms used within this report can be found at Annex A.
     2
      From Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE),
     http://www.bitre.gov.au/publications/91/Files/Airport%20traffic%20tables%20Web.xls

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     1.2 Issues
     The key issues raised by airspace users during the generative interviews have been
     broken into two categories: airspace and infrastructure as follows:
               a. Airspace issues:
                    •    An Area Navigation (RNAV) / Global Navigation Satellite System
                         (GNSS) approach for runway 26 would be beneficial to operations.
                    •    Having an Automatic Weather Information Service (AWIS) broadcast
                         on a radio frequency would benefit operations during marginal
                         weather.
                    •    Changing the CTAF broadcast area boundary to be 30 nm Horn Island
                         (and to include Northern Peninsula aerodrome) is seen by local
                         operators as a better solution to frequency congestion and would
                         enhance safety.
               b. Infrastructure issues:
                   •    The absence of a parallel taxiway, hinders operations.
                   •    The area available for aircraft parking is limited. This is particularly an
                        issue when air safari tours arrive at the aerodrome.

     1.3 Modelling
     One airspace procedure was modelled:
          •    Class G airspace with CTAF(R) procedures – the current situation.
     The risk methodology employed estimated that Class G airspace with CTAF(R)
     procedures would result in a midair collision with eight or more fatalities once in
     3,829 years or more.

     1.4 Findings
     CASA has reviewed the airspace around Horn Island in accordance with Airspace
     Act, 2007, Part 3 (Section13), and has found that:
     •    the Airspace classifications are appropriate to the volume and complexity of
          traffic.

     •    the level of Air Traffic Service and facilities is appropriate.

     •    there is safe and efficient use of the airspace providing equitable access for all
          users.

     •    Feedback from the Passenger Transport (PT) stakeholders was positive toward
          the airspace architecture.

     •    Horn Island is a high traffic aerodrome – particularly during holiday periods.

     •    The absences of a parallel taxiway, hinders operations.

     •    An RNAV/(GNSS) approach for runway 26 would be beneficial to operations.



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•   Having an AWIS broadcast on a radio frequency would benefit operations during
    marginal weather.

•   Changing the CTAF broadcast area boundary to be 30 nm Horn Island (and to
    include Northern Peninsula aerodrome) is seen by local operators as a better
    solution to frequency congestion.

•   Local operators have concerns over the safety of operations since the Northern
    Peninsula aerodrome changed to having a discrete CTAF frequency.

•   The area available for aircraft parking is limited.



1.5 Recommendations
The report makes the following eight recommendations:

            1. Airspace users, through the aerodrome operator to approach Airservices
               Australia to design an RNAV / GNSS approach for runway 26.

            2. The aerodrome operator to progress development of a parallel taxiway
               and/or a holding bay at the thresholds for runway 08/26.

            3. Airservices Australia to report to the North Queensland Regional
               Airspace and Procedures Advisory Committee (RAPAC) on their ability
               to establish a Very High Frequency (VHF) Air Traffic Service
               (ATS) station on either the Yorke Island or the Yam Island telecom
               towers.

            4. Airservices Australia to investigate reducing the outbound timing for the
               NDB approach from three and a half minutes to two minutes.

            5. The aerodrome operator to undertake a feasibility study to provide an
               AWIS on a radio frequency.

            6. An entry be placed in the En-Route Supplement of Australia (ERSA)
               stating that Horn Island is a high traffic aerodrome, particularly during
               holiday periods and that suitable area for aircraft parking is limited.

            7. That the local operators make a submission to the North Queensland
               RAPAC to amend the CTAF broadcast boundary surrounding Horn
               Island to 30 nm. The new boundary would include the Northern
               Peninsula aerodrome – which would revert the Northern Peninsula
               CTAF frequency to be the same as the Torres (Horn Island) frequency.

            8. The OAR maintain a watch of activity at Horn Island aerodrome during
               the bi-annual review of movement data, and, if total aircraft movements
               significantly increase, an aeronautical study should be conducted to
               reassess the risk to passenger transport operations.




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         Contents

1.         EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ........................................................................................ 3
2.         INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................. 7
           2.1 Overview of Australian Airspace ............................................................. 7
           2.2 Purpose................................................................................................... 7
           2.3 Scope ...................................................................................................... 7
           2.4 Objective ................................................................................................. 8
3.         AIRSPACE ......................................................................................................... 9
4.         AERODROME AND INFRASTRUCTURE ................................................................. 13
5.         STAKEHOLDER CONSULTATION ......................................................................... 17
           5.1 Internal .................................................................................................. 17
           5.2 Aerodrome Operator / Local pilots ........................................................ 18
           5.3 Passenger Transport (PT) Operators.................................................... 18
           5.4 Military................................................................................................... 20
           5.5 Airservices Australia (Airservices)......................................................... 20
           5.6 Review of Aeronautical Publications ..................................................... 21
6.         SUMMARY OF INCIDENTS AND ACCIDENTS .......................................................... 21
           6.1 Electronic Safety Incident Reports (ESIRs)........................................... 21
           6.2 Air Safety Incident Reports (ASIRs) ...................................................... 22
7.         MODELLING METHODOLOGY AND RISK ASSESSMENT .......................................... 22
           7.1 Methodology Outline ............................................................................. 22
           7.2 Airspace Risk Assessment.................................................................... 23
8.         FINDINGS ........................................................................................................ 28
9.         RECOMMENDATIONS ........................................................................................ 29
10.        NEXT STEP ...................................................................................................... 29
           Annex A – Acronyms..................................................................................... 31
           Annex B – Australian Airspace Structure ...................................................... 33
           Annex C – Stakeholder input provided by: .................................................... 34
           Annex D – Aerodrome Operator Data ........................................................... 35
           Annex E – Airservices Australia Data............................................................ 36
           Annex F – Charts .......................................................................................... 39
           Annex G – BITRE Data ................................................................................. 40
           Annex H – ATSB Data................................................................................... 42
           Annex I – Media Release .............................................................................. 46




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2. Introduction
2.1 Overview of Australian Airspace
The Office of Airspace Regulation (OAR)3 within the Civil Aviation Safety Authority
(CASA) has sole carriage of the regulation of Australian-administered airspace, in
accordance with section 11 of the Airspace Act 2007 (Act). Section 12 of the Act
requires CASA to foster both the efficient use of Australian-administered airspace
and equitable access to that airspace for all users. CASA must also take into
account the capacity of Australian-administered airspace to accommodate changes
to its use.
In line with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 11 and as
described in the Australian Airspace Policy Statement (AAPS), Australian airspace is
classified as Class A, C, D, E and G depending on the level of service required to
manage traffic safely and effectively. Class B and F are not currently used in
Australia. The classification determines the category of flights permitted and the
level of air traffic services (ATS) provided. Annex B provides details of the classes
of airspace used in Australia. Within this classification system, aerodromes are
either controlled (i.e. Class C or Class D) or non-controlled.
Non-controlled aerodromes in Australia are subject to either Common Traffic Area
Frequency (CTAF) or designated CTAF (radio required) (CTAF(R)) procedures; the
latter requiring all aircraft operating at the aerodrome to be equipped with a
serviceable Very High Frequency (VHF) radio.

2.2 Purpose
The purpose of this Aeronautical Study was to conduct a risk assessment of the
airspace within the vicinity of Horn Island, Queensland. The Study forms part of the
OAR Work Program as required by the Act.

2.3 Scope
The scope of the Study includes identification and consultation with stakeholders to
gather necessary data and information related to airspace issues around the Horn
Island aerodrome. As a minimum this includes consultation with regular passenger
transport operators, charter aircraft of non-freight carrying operations, flying training
schools, military operators, emergency services operators and the aerodrome
operator.
The scope of this Study is not intended to examine aerodrome facilities and
infrastructure issues unless any weakness or failings in these areas have a
significant impact on the safety of airspace operations the vicinity of Horn Island.




3
 A full list of acronyms used within this report can be found at Annex A
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2.4 Objective
The objective of this Study is to examine the airspace around Horn Island
aerodrome to determine the appropriateness of the current airspace classification
and the level of aviation services provided. This was accomplished by:

     a. Analysis of current traffic levels and mix of aircraft operations within the
        existing airspace in relation to the level of services provided;

     b. Identifying any threats to the operations, focussing as a priority on the safety
        and protection of Passenger Transport (PT) Services;

     c. Identifying appropriate and acceptable risk mitigators to the known threats;

     d. Carrying out a qualitative and quantitative risk assessment of the current
        airspace environment and the expected impact of any changes;

     e. Investigating through stakeholder consultation, the appropriateness of the
        current airspace classification, access issues, expected changes to the
        current traffic levels and mix of aircraft operations within the existing airspace.

     f. Reviewing extant Aeronautical Information Publications (AIP) entries for
        applicability;

     g. Ensuring that the issues are passed onto the relative stakeholder group for
        their consideration; and

     h. Providing assurance to the Executive Manager, Office of Airspace Regulation
        of the levels of airspace risk associated with Horn Island and to review the
        airspace in accordance with the Airspace Act, 2007, Part 3 (Section13).




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3. Airspace
The airspace within 20 nautical miles (nm) of the Horn Island aerodrome (hereafter
referred to as “Horn Island”) is Class G (i.e. uncontrolled airspace) from the
surface (SFC) to Flight Level (FL) 180. Class E airspace exists from FL180 to
FL245. Class A airspace exists above FL245.

CTAF(R) procedures apply to the airspace in the vicinity of the aerodrome.

The Torres CTAF broadcast area exists around Horn Island. The area extended
approximately 40 nm to the north, north west and continues clockwise to the south,
then an approximate straight line to the north, north west. The Torres CTAF
broadcast area contains the aerodromes at:

     •    Badu Island
     •    Mabuiag Island
     •    Kubin
     •    Warraber Island
     •    Turtlehead Island
     •    Northern Peninsula (formally Bamaga / Injinoo). Northern Peninsula was
          excluded from the broadcast area, and changed to a different CTAF (R)
          frequency, as at 27 August 2009. (See figure 1A.) The En Route Chart Low 6
          will be amended in November 2009 to reflect the change.

These aerodromes are outside the scope of this Study, however, the details have
been included for completeness.




  Figure 1: Extract from the En Route Chart Low 6 (ERC L6) – effective date 4 June 2009, showing
                                   the area around Horn Island.

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Figure 1A: Extract from the AIP Supplement (AIP SUPP) - H26/09 – effective date 27 August 2009,
showing the new Torres CTAF broadcast area boundary around Horn Island and Northern Peninsula.

Restricted Area The declaration of a Restricted Area (RA) creates airspace of
defined dimensions within which the flight of aircraft is restricted in accordance with
specified conditions. Clearances to fly through an active RA are generally only
withheld when activities hazardous to the aircraft are taking place, or when military
activities require absolute priority. RAs are mainly declared over areas where
military operations occur. However, RAs have also been declared to cater for
communications and space tracking operations or to control access to emergency or
disaster areas. RAs are generally promulgated at specified times and dates. For
example, a temporary RA may be declared for special events where there may be a
public safety issue – such as the Avalon Air Show or the Commonwealth Games.

There are two Restricted Areas within 20 nm of Horn Island, and are contained in
the area to the south west of Horn Island.

     •    R607A exists from FL125 to FL245. The area is activated by a Notice To
          Airmen (NOTAM). It is used by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) for
          Military Flying.
     •    R607B exists from FL245 to FL600. The area is activated by NOTAM. It is
          used by the RAAF for Military Flying.


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Danger Area The declaration of a Danger Area (DA) defines airspace within which
activities dangerous to the flight of aircraft may exist at specified times. Approval for
flight through a DA outside controlled airspace is not required. However pilots are
expected to maintain a high level of vigilance when transiting DAs. DAs are
primarily established to alert aircraft on the following:

     •    Flying training areas where student pilots are learning to fly and / or gather in
          large numbers;
     •    Gliding areas where communications with airborne gliders might be difficult;
     •    Blasting on the ground at mine sites;
     •    Parachute operations;
     •    Gas discharge plumes; and
     •    Small arms fire from rifle ranges.

There is one Danger Area within 20 nm of Horn Island, and it is contained in the
area to the south west of Horn Island.

     •    D606 exists from the surface to FL125. The area is activated by NOTAM. It
          is used by the RAAF for Military Flying.

The Restricted and Danger Areas are depicted in Figure 2.

Prohibited Area: The declaration of a Prohibited Area (PA) defines an area through
which aircraft may not fly. PAs have activity times and lateral and vertical limits.

There are no prohibited areas surrounding Horn Island.




         Figure 2: ERC L6 Extract – effective date 4 June 2009, depicting the Danger Area D606
                               and Restricted Areas R607A and R607B.

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3.1 Class E Corridor
The Study considered the option of classifying a volume of airspace as a Class E
corridor to encapsulate the Cairns – Horn Island route. Three corridor options were
considered.

Option 1: The corridor would be in incremental steps, commencing at the existing
FL180, 70nm from Horn Island, and finishing with a step 4,500 ft above mean sea
level (AMSL), 30nm from Horn Island. The bottom of the final step would be a circle
– with a 30nm radius centred on Horn Island.

Option 2: The corridor would be in incremental steps, commencing at the existing
FL180, 70nm from Horn Island, and finishing with a step 1,500 ft AMSL.

Option 3: The corridor would be in incremental steps, commencing at the existing
FL180, 70nm from Horn Island, and finishing with a step 700 ft AMSL of radius 10nm
Horn Island. The lower step would contain the circuit traffic at Horn Island.

The steps would be designed to contain the descent profiles of the IFR traffic using
the route. The corridor may also contain the Cairns – Northern Peninsula route.

It is difficult to quantify the safety implications of the reclassification of Class G
airspace to Class E, as VFR aircraft do not require a clearance to enter Class E
airspace. Aircraft operating in Class E would require a serviceable transponder, and
therefore become visible to aircraft fitted with Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance
System (TCAS).

The absence of radar coverage in the Cape York and Horn Island area means that
surveillance of aircraft in the Class E corridor is not possible without significant
investment in additional infrastructure (radar or multi-lateration units). Without
additional infrastructure, the Class E corridor would become a “transponder veil
corridor”, and provide benefit only to those users climbing to or descending from
FL180.

It was also estimated that additional air traffic control (ATC) costs would be incurred.

To provide one ATC position, it was estimated that three air traffic controllers would
be required for rostering coverage and short breaks. It was not clear whether an
additional ATC console would be required. In addition, it was expected that for
Option 2 and Option 3 that there would be significant delays for IFR aircraft as they
would have to be separated procedurally in the absence of surveillance.

Airservices Australia have installed an Automatic Dependant Surveillance Broadcast
(ADS-B) station on Thursday Island. An ADS-B equipped aircraft determines its own
position using a global navigation satellite system and periodically broadcasts this
position and other relevant information to ground stations and other ADS-B equipped
aircraft. With ADS-B, both pilots and controllers will see radar-like displays with
highly accurate traffic data from satellites – displays that update in real time and
don't degrade with distance or terrain.        In the first stage of Australian ADS-B
implementation in December, 2013, ADS-B units will be mandatory for aircraft
operating at or above FL290. There is currently no direction to mandate the fitment
of ADS-B units in aircraft operating at lower levels.



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Taking all these factor into consideration is was considered that there was additional
risk associated with any change including this one and that the benefit was not
greater than the anticipated costs.

4. Aerodrome and Infrastructure
4.1 Background
Horn Island is located in the Torres Strait, approximately 425 nautical miles (nm)
north, north west of Cairns, in far north Queensland. Horn Island is a certified
aerodrome, owned and operated by the Torres Shire Council. It is located on the
northern side of the island, approximately 5 kms from the Wasaga township, which
has views across Ellis Channel to Thursday Island. The aerodrome has an elevation
of 43 ft.

            The Civil Constructional Corps and the Department of Main Roads
            began construction of an advanced operational airbase on the island
            during World War II, commencing in 1940. The aerodrome was
            completed in January 1942. It was used as a staging base for Allied
            aircraft moving between Australia and New Guinea. The airfield
            consisted of two intersecting runways.4

The aerodrome offers direct services through Qantas (Dash 8 aircraft) to Cairns.
Westwing Aviation, Barrier Air and other local businesses offer flights from Horn
Island to other islands in the Torres Strait. The local operators utilise helicopters,
the Cessna Caravan (C208) and the Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander (BN-2) aircraft.




                             Figure 3: Diagram of Horn Island aerodrome
        (from the Departure and Approach Procedures (DAP) Chart – effective date 5 June 2008)

4
    Sourced from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horn_Island_Airport#World_War_II
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4.2 Aerodrome
4.2.1. Runways
Horn Island has two runways. The main runway (designated as 08/26) is
1,389 metres long, 30 metres wide and has a bitumen surface. The pavement
strength is suitable for operations by medium sized aircraft such as the C208, BN-2
and the Dash 8-300. Larger aircraft, such as the Dash 8-400 have allegedly, caused
deformation to the runway due to the increased capacity of the aircraft.

The second runway (designated as 14/32) is 1,235 metres long, 23 metres wide and
has a bitumen surface.

Aerodrome Pilot Activated Lighting (PAL) is available on the radio frequency
126.5 megaHertz (MHz). The lighting system activates the white runway lights
(runway 08/26); the blue taxiway lights and the wind direction indicators. Portable
lighting is available for runway 14/32 with prior notice.

4.2.2. Aprons and Taxiways
Horn Island has one taxiway, which leads from the southern end of runway 14/32 to
the terminal building and a number of secondary parking areas.

The absence of a full length, parallel taxiway results in traffic entering and
backtracking the runway prior to departure (if using runway 08) and to backtrack
after landing (if using runway 26). A Passenger Transport (PT) aircraft may occupy
the runway for up to 3 minutes whilst it backtracks and prepares to take-off.

4.2.3. Automatic Weather Information Service
Current meteorological information can be obtained through the Automated Weather
Information System (AWIS). The AWIS information can be acquired by telephoning
the service on: 07 4069 2615.

4.2.4. Navigational Aids
Horn Island is serviced by a Non-Directional Beacon (NDB). The NDB has a
range of 50 nm over land and 100 nm over water.

The NDB is located on the southern side of the aerodrome, near the main apron.

4.2.5. Landing Aids
  • Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) on the left hand side of Runway
     08/26.
  • Two illuminated Wind Direction Indicators, located on the northern side of the
     main runway.
  • Numerous red beacons have been installed on surrounding hills and obstacles
     to warn pilots of high terrain.

4.2.6. Instrument Approaches
  • Runway aligned, NDB and Area Navigation (RNAV) Global Navigation Satellite
     System (GNSS) approaches are published for runway 08.
  • Runway aligned, NDB approach is published for runway 14.
  • Circling instrument approaches are published for Global Positioning System
     (GPS) arrivals.




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4.2.7. Radio Communications / Facilities
Horn Island utilises the radio frequency of 126.5 MHz to facilitate CTAF(R)
procedures at the aerodrome. The aerodrome utilises an Aerodrome Frequency
Response Unit (AFRU) which is also known as a "beepback" unit. The AFRU
automatically responds to a radio broadcast to notify the pilot of the frequency used.

The air traffic services / flight information area frequency of 120.3 MHz can be
received on the ground at the aerodrome.

4.2.8. Improvements / Developments
A report from Sinclair Knight Merz Consulting Engineers has revealed serious
damage to the runway pavement. The report revealed that rutting has occurred on
the main runway from the western end of 08 to the intersection of 14/32 runway,
which is used as the taxiway for the larger aircraft including the Dash 8-300 and
Dash 8-400.

The Council have plans to extend and strengthen both runways at the aerodrome.
Federal and State funding has been applied for. A press release relating to the
planned improvements has been attached to Annex I. Press releases and a
PowerPoint presentation can be found on the Torres Shire Council website:
http://www.torres.qld.gov.au/council/Airport/airport.shtml

4.2.9. Local Traffic Regulations
  • Due to terrain, take-off on runway 14 and landing on runway 32 is not
     permitted.
  • Bird hazard exists (migratory).
  • Blasting at quarry 1.6 nm south south west of the aerodrome from mid-April
     until mid-December from the surface to 500 ft Above Ground Level (AGL).

4.2.10. Additional Aerodromes
Horn Island plays a vital role as the primary regional transport hub and stepping
stone for aircraft movements not only to the 15 populated outer Torres Strait Islands
but to Papua and West Papua as well as the Indonesian Archipelago. Some of the
islands which are serviced from Horn Island are:

     •    Badu Island
     •    Poruma Island
     •    Coconut Island
     •    Boigu Island
     •    Kubin
     •    Saibai Island
     •    Mabuiag Island
     •    Yorke Island
     •    Murray Island
     •    Warraber Island
     •    Darnley Island
     •    Yam Island




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There are no aerodromes within 20 nm of Horn Island, however, there are five
aerodromes which share the Torres CTAF broadcast area. These aerodromes are
outside the scope of this Study, however, the following details have been included
for completeness. These aerodromes are:

     •    Northern Peninsula (formally Bamaga / Injinoo).   This has recently been
          excluded from the Torres CTAF broadcast area.
     •    Badu Island
     •    Mabuiag Island
     •    Kubin
     •    Warraber Island
     •    Turtlehead Island

Note: Due to frequency congestion and other issues, the Northern Peninsula
aerodrome was removed from the Torres CTAF area, effective 27 August 2009.

Northern Peninsula (formally Bamaga/Injinoo) is a certified aerodrome, operated by
the Northern Peninsula Regional Council. The aerodrome has one runway
(designated as 13/31) which is 1,600 metres long, 30 metres wide and has a
bitumen surface.

The Northern Peninsula aerodrome is not serviced by any ground based
navigational aids. Runway aligned RNAV/GNSS approaches are published for both
runways.

Pilot Activated Lighting is available on frequency 119.6 MHz. The lighting status is
confirmed on the CTAF frequency.

CTAF(R) procedures are in operation at the aerodrome utilising the frequency
126.6 MHz. Note: The frequency came into effect from the 27 August 2009.

The aerodrome is serviced by Regional Pacific Airlines with flights each weekday to
Cairns and Skytrans Airlines with three flights a week (Monday; Wednesday and
Friday) to Cairns.

Pilots are requested to make maximum radius turns on the runway to prevent
pavement damage.

Torres CTAF Broadcast Area:
The airspace around the Torres CTAF broadcast area is Class G from the surface to
FL180. Class E airspace between FL180 and FL245. Class A airspace exists
above FL245.

Badu Island is an uncertified aerodrome, operated by the Torres Strait Island
Regional Council. The aerodrome has one runway (designated as 12/30) which has
an unrated bitumen surface.

CTAF(R) procedures are in operation at the aerodrome utilising frequency
126.5 MHz.




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Mabuiag Island is an uncertified aerodrome, operated by the Torres Strait Island
Regional Council. The aerodrome has one runway (designated as 15/33).

CTAF(R) procedures are in operation at the aerodrome utilising the frequency
126.5 MHz.

Kubin is an uncertified aerodrome, operated by the Torres Strait Island Regional
Council.   The aerodrome has one runway (designated as 11/29) which is
1,000 metres long, 18 metres wide and has an unrated bitumen surface.

CTAF(R) procedures are in operation at the aerodrome utilising frequency
126.5 MHz.

Warraber Island is an uncertified aerodrome, operated by the Torres Strait Island
Regional Council. The aerodrome has one runway (designated as 12/30) which is
705 metres long, 18 metres wide and has an unrated bitumen surface.

CTAF(R) procedures are in operation at the aerodrome utilising frequency
126.5 MHz.

Turtlehead Island is an uncertified aerodrome. The aerodrome has one runway
which is approximately 550 metres long and has an unrated gravel surface.

CTAF(R) procedures are in operation at the aerodrome utilising frequency
126.5 MHz.


5. Stakeholder Consultation
OAR representatives sought input from a number of operators and stakeholders who
operate in and around Horn Island aerodrome. Stakeholder interviews were
conducted over the period of June, July and August 2009.

5.1 Internal
CASA employs Aviation Safety Advisors (ASA) throughout Australia as an integral
mechanism for providing safety promotion and educational material to the various
industry segments. CASA Aviation Safety Advisors liaise with local operators, and
discuss airspace issues. Feedback from the Aviation Safety Advisors is included in
this report.

Consultation was conducted with CASA Flight Operations Inspectors (FOI) from the
region. The FOIs raised two issues with Horn Island and the surrounding area: The
issues were:
     •    That parking is now becoming a problem at the aerodrome, and they are
          aware of two recent ground collisions. The Police Air Wing has recently built a
          hangar which has effectively removed at least 4 parking spaces.
     •    That all the island aerodromes in the area, could do with a GPS arrival
          procedure. This is due to the lack of ground based navigational aids.




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5.2 Aerodrome operator and local pilots
The aerodrome operator facilitated a meeting between the OAR and local pilots.
Issues raised during the meeting were:
Radio Calls:
There is confusion as to radio call requirements. There are different requirements
listed in different CASA publications e.g. Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP),
Civil Aviation Regulations (CARs), Visual Pilot’s Guide (VPG).
OAR described the Regulatory Reform Project that was underway and which will
bring consistent approach to radio calls. Intention is to have a CAR which states
that if you have a radio then you must use it to aviate safely.

High traffic periods:
Local operators meet Qantaslink for arrivals and departures. Many other charter
flights operate to the other Torres Straight Islands. Holiday traffic can get quite busy
– Qantaslink flights increase from two to four flights a day, which also increases the
local traffic.
A number of safari flights had recently been to Horn Island. In one case it involved
19 aircraft. This activity was not formally arranged with the airport management.
There is potential for problems with aircraft parking and circuit congestion if such
flights are not well coordinated.
The aerodrome operator believes that an entry should be included in ERSA to
highlight that Horn Island is a high traffic aerodrome and that aircraft parking spaces
are limited.
Automatic Weather Information Service (AWIS):
The meeting discussed the availability of broadcasting meteorological information on
an AWIS discrete frequency.
The OAR has provided to the aerodrome manager details of cost and availability of
AWIS broadcast systems.
CTAF broadcast area:
There was discussion about changes through an AIP SUPP for Northern Peninsula
CTAF(R) frequency.
It was suggested that the broadcast area could be made to include 30nm of Horn
Island. This would include Northern Peninsula, Horn Island, Badu and Kubin
aerodromes. The meeting thought that this would be a useful improvement.
Warraber aerodrome would be excluded from the broadcast area, however the
30nm lateral boundary would coincide with a 10nm call inbound to Warraber.
Mabuiag Island and Turtlehead Island aerodromes would also be excluded.

5.3 Passenger Transport (PT) Operators
OAR representatives sought input from the Public Transport Operators who operate
in and around Horn Island aerodrome. Stakeholder comment was sought over the
period of July and August 2009.

5.3.1 QANTASLINK
Instrument Approaches
Support the introduction of a RNAV(GNSS) approach for runway 26. This is now
becoming the default approach and at busy locations there should be one for
each main use runway. There is no other (terrestrial) approach to that runway.

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Aerodrome
A parallel taxiway to access Runway 08/26 would significantly improve operations.

Land and Hold Short Operations (LAHSO)
A number of local fixed-wing operators are starting to conduct semi-LAHSO
operations. The operators are continuing to land on runway 14, on the premise
that they will hold short of runway 08 – which is the active runway for the PTO
aircraft. Qantaslink aircraft have been forced to conduct go-arounds due to the
procedure.

The airline strongly objects to the practice.

A CASA safety seminar is scheduled to be held at Horn Island in late October to
discuss the matter, and cover other topics relating to safety and airmanship.

5.3.2 WESTWING AVIATION
Horn Island Airspace
The existing CTAF broadcast area is adequate. The Northern Peninsula (Bamaga)
aerodrome should not be on a separate CTAF frequency. The CTAF boundary to the
north of Horn Island could be brought in to 30 nm. Most traffic inbound from the
north is less than 160 knots. Reducing the northern boundary to 30 nm from Horn
Island, would exclude Mabuiag Island from the broadcast area.

Horn Island Aerodrome
Any redevelopment should include an off runway holding bay at the threshold of
runway 08. Aircraft using 08, occupy the runway during backtrack and takeoff.

A taxiway parallel to Runway 32 for access to Runway 08 while aircraft are on
approach to Runway 14 would significantly improve operations.

Communications
Public Transport (PT) operators are required at times, to monitor 3 radios at once
(the CTAF on 126.5 MHz, Air Traffic Services (ATS) Brisbane Control on 120.3 MHz
and Flightwatch on the High Frequency (HF) radio when at low level or on the
ground at most of the islands).

Frequency congestion is a problem when the frequency 120.3 MHz is combined by
ATS with area frequencies from all over Cape York and the Northern Territory. At
times it is difficult to get the required calls through.

The establishment of a VHF ATS station on either the Yorke Island or the Yam
Island telecom towers may remove the requirement to monitor the HF radio.

NDB Instrument Approaches
Both the runway 08 and runway 14 NDB approaches, which start at 2,000 ft AMSL,
go three and a half minutes outbound (and of course three and a half minutes
inbound) to reach the 900 ft AGL minima. This requires the aircraft to cover a great
distance for a height loss of only 1,100 ft. Reducing the outbound timing to two
minutes would be sufficient to lose the required height, without covering
unnecessary distance.




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5.3.3 REGIONAL PACIFIC AIRLINES PTY LTD
Regional Pacific Airlines supports the review and its recommendations.

Regional Pacific Airlines supports the reduction in the northern boundary of the
Torres CTAF area.

The CTAF frequency for Northern Peninsula should revert to be the same as the
Horn Island frequency. Since the change of frequency to Northern Peninsula, airline
aircraft now has to monitor three frequencies on descent into Northern Peninsula
and four frequencies climb out to Cairns. These are:

1.         Area Frequency 120.3
2.         Northern Peninsula CTAF 126.6
3.         Horn Island (Torres) CTAF 126.5
4.         High Frequency (HF) on climb for traffic

The reason for monitoring Horn Island CTAF is to monitor VFR traffic that departs
Horn Island for Cairns or other southern destinations. This traffic is not given by the
Area controllers, as it is not IFR traffic and the aircraft do not transmit on Northern
Peninsula CTAF, either because that are in cruise south of Northern Peninsula, but
conflicting with aircraft during descent or they do not see the need.

It is unsafe for the airline not to monitor and transmit their intentions because this is
usually the only way we know other aircraft are in the vicinity. The airline now has to
actively monitor and transit on three frequencies during the most crucial phase of
flight (descent into a terminal area). The airline believes that operating into Northern
Peninsula has become less safe than combining Horn Island and Northern
Peninsula on the one frequency.


5.3.4 OTHER AIRLINES
A number of airlines have an Air Operators Certificate (AOC) which enables them
to operate into Horn Island, but they do not have regular flights. These airlines
include:
     • Airlines of Papua New Guinea
     • Skytrans Airlines

5.4 Military
The Military have no significant aviation activities at Horn Island.

5.5 Airservices Australia (Airservices)
       •    With the demise of the airline, Aero-Tropics during 2008, traffic levels have
            decreased. The reduction of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) traffic significantly
            reduced the workload for ATS staff.

       •    A new operator Westwing Aviation has taken over the routes once operated
            by Aero-Tropic. It is expected that IFR traffic levels will increase to pre-2008
            levels.

       •    Current airspace design is suitable for the area, on the assumption IFR
            traffic levels will potentially increase to the levels experienced prior to the
            demise of Aero-Tropics.
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         •    To service the island communities, the IFR traffic level in the Torres Strait is
              high with operations to these communities operating out of Horn Island as a
              hub. A large amount of traffic information is required and a large number of
              flight plan amendments take place.

         •    Third party communications are provided by the Australian Flight
              Information Centre (AusFIC) via HF, to a large portion of the airspace. This
              requires constant coordination between ATS and AusFIC.


5.6 Review of Aeronautical Publications
The OAR reviewed a number of aeronautical publications for accuracy of
information and consistency. No discrepancies or inaccuracies were found. The
following documents were reviewed as part of the Study:

     •       En-Route Supplement of Australia – effective 12 March 2009
     •       En-Route Supplement of Australia – effective 27 August 2009
     •       En-Route Chart (Low 6) – effective 4 June 2009
     •       Torres Strait World Aeronautical Chart – Edition 13
     •       Departure and Approach Charts
     •       Designated Airspace Handbook – effective 4 June 2009
     •       Aeronautical Information Publications
     •       Aeronautical Information Publication – Supplement (H26/09) – effective 27
             August 2009



6. Summary of Incidents and Accidents
6.1 Electronic Safety Incident Reports (ESIRs)
During the twelve month period 1 May 2008 to 30 April 2009, three Electronic Safety
Incident Reports (ESIR) were submitted to Airservices Australia for the airspace
surrounding Horn Island. The incidents can be broken into two groups:

                                                                              Number of
                                   Type of Incident
                                                                              Incidents
              Search and Rescue Time (SARTIME)                                    2
              Emergency Operations                                                1
              Table 1: Breakdown of ESIRs at Horn Island (1st May 2008 – 30th April 2009)

The two SARTIME incidents relate to pilots contacting ATS and requesting that their
SARTIME for arrival at Horn Island be cancelled. In both cases, ATS informed the
pilots that no SARTIME was being held for their aircraft.

The emergency incident related to a Dash 8 aircraft which declared an emergency
due to an engine problem. The engine was shut down in flight, and the aircraft
diverted to Weipa. The aircraft landed at Weipa, damaging the nose wheel. No
injuries were reported.

A search of ESIRs for the other aerodromes in the Horn Island CTAF broadcast
area, found only one SARTIME incident at Kubin, during the period.

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6.2 Air Safety Incident Reports (ASIRs)
All accidents and incidents involving Australian registered aircraft, or foreign aircraft
in Australian airspace must be reported to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau
(ATSB). The ATSB maintains its own database, the Safety Investigation Information
Management System (SIIMS), in which all reported occurrences are logged,
assessed, classified and recorded. The information contained within SIIMS is
dynamic and subject to change based on additional and/or updated data. Each
individual report is known as an Air Safety Incident Report (ASIR) and for
identification purposes is allocated its own serial number.

During the period 1 January 2008 to 31 May 2009, 28 ASIRs were submitted to the
ATSB for the airspace surrounding Horn Island. The incidents can be broken into
five groups.


                                                                            Number of
                                       Type of Incident
                                                                            Incidents
               Mechanical                                                       15
               Bird strike                                                      7
               Miscellaneous                                                     4
               Violation of Controlled Airspace                                 1
               Loss of Separation Assurance                                      1
              Table 2: Breakdown of ASIRs at Horn Island (1 January 2008 – 31 May 2009)

A summary of the ASIRs can be found in Annex H.


7. Modelling Methodology and Risk Assessment
7.1 Methodology Outline
The OAR used the Airspace Risk Model (ARM) to model the airspace surrounding
the Horn Island aerodrome. The ARM and a FN-curve was developed by CASA and
utilised by the OAR.

CASA has developed ‘acceptable risk’ criteria with regards to the risk of midair
conflicts within regional aerodrome terminal areas. The collision risk model,
developed by CASA in 1996, is focused on a non-radar controlled terminal area
model and no significant changes have been made since its development and
presentation to the Review of the General Concept of Separation Panel, now the
Separation and Airspace Safety Panel of the ICAO.

This method includes the ARM, which is used to calculate benefits in terms of
fatalities avoided by implementing safety measures. The ARM presumes that there
is a ‘Potential Conflict Pair’, i.e. a pair of aircraft whose manoeuvres are such that if
no intervening action is taken, the aircraft will reach a point where it will be too late to
take evasive action and chance becomes the determining factor in whether the
aircraft collide or not. This is called the Loss of Control point in this Study.

The ARM model is based on the Linear Criterion concept which stipulates that the
frequency of an accident should be inversely proportional to its severity, i.e. an
accident involving one or more fatalities may happen ten times as often as an
accident involving ten or more fatalities.

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7.2 Airspace Risk Assessment
7.2.1. Assumptions
The operational environment referred to in the model is non-controlled non-radar,
Class G terminal area. It has a radius of 15 nautical miles and extends to 5,000 ft
AGL.

7.2.2. Summary of Movement Data

A summary of passenger movements is given in Table 1 below. Passenger
movements in charter and private aircraft are not recorded by the aerodrome
operator. The total passenger numbers recorded by the aerodrome operator each
year only represents those passengers that transit through the airport on PT
operations - this data being provided by the airlines on a monthly basis. Therefore
the aerodrome operator passenger movement data is statistically very similar to the
Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) data recorded
for the same periods.

BITRE passenger movement and aircraft movement numbers summarised in Table
3 and 4 below was sourced from their website5, an extract of which can be found at
Annex G. This data only captures passenger and aircraft movement numbers from
scheduled PT services at the subject airport.
Airservices data was sourced using their Aerodrome Research Application (ARA)
tool, inclusive of VFR data as supplied by Avdata. Detailed ARA data for the 12
months ending October 2008 can be found at Annex E.

The ARA data differs from the previously mentioned sources in that it involves a
more comprehensive data gathering process that includes assessment and use of
BITRE data. ARA data captures passenger and traffic movements involved in
private and charter flights, plus includes circuit movements in the overall movement
totals.

                                  Year               Year                 Year               Year         Year
       Data Source
                                 2003/04            2004/05              2005/06            2006/07      2007/08
           BITRE                  46,939             47,899              49,923              55,620      64,889
      % growth on
                                   3.67%             2.05%                4.23%              11.41%      16.66%
      previous year
       Airservices
                                       -                 -                    -                    -     66,569
        Australia
                      Table 3: Passenger numbers for Horn Island – previous 5 years.


                                  Year               Year                Year                Year         Year
    Data Source
                                 2003/04            2004/05             2005/06             2006/07      2007/08
        BITRE                      1,772              1,748               1,737                  1,800    1,875
    % growth on
     previous                     -2.10%             -1.35%              -0.63%                  3.63%    4.17%
       year
                      Table 4: Passenger Transport movements for Horn Island – previous 5 years.


5
    To view http://www.bitre.gov.au/publications/91/Files/Airport%20traffic%20tables%20Web.xls
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The above Table 3 and Table 4 show clearly that passenger numbers have
increased significantly whilst the PT movements have increased slightly. The
average number of passengers per PT movement has increased from approximately
26.5 in 2003/04 to 34.61 in 2007/08, indicating that the capacity of aircraft flying into
Horn Island has increased.

For the purpose of this Study the aerodrome operators’ data set for the 12 months
up to July 2009 has been used, as it more accurately represents the true total air
transport service movements inclusive of circuits.

7.2.3. Estimated Traffic Mix
A brief summary of the estimated traffic mix utilising Avdata and Airservices data at
Horn Island is shown in Table 5 below:

                                                           No of              % of
                          Traffic Type
                                                         movements         movements
                           VFR Light                       10,391            51.14%
                            IFR Light                       8,095            39.83%
                          IFR Medium                        1,018            5.01%
                           IFR Heavy                         815             4.01%
                              Total                        20,318           100.00%

                                Table 5: Traffic mix for Horn Island aerodrome




                                         Traffic Mix for Horn Island




                                                                                          VFR - L
                                                                                          IFR - L
                                                                                          IFR - M
                                                                                          IFR - H




                  Figure 4: Graphical breakdown of traffic mix at Horn Island aerodrome

As can be seen from Table 5 and Figure 4 the majority of aircraft movements are by
VFR aircraft with IFR light and medium aircraft.




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7.2.4. Collision pairs were calculated applying the CASA collision formula
Conflict pairs were grouped into 16 categories and are listed in Table 4. Groupings
differentiate between flights in Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) and flights
within Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC).
                                                                          Collision
                                    Collision Types
                                                                           Pairs
                      VFR - VFR                                              79
                      IFR( L) - VFR                                          55
                      IFR(L) - IFR(L) in VMC                                 38
                      IFR(L) - IFR(L) in IMC                                 10
                      IFR (M) - VFR                                           7
                      IFR(M) - IFR(L) in VMC                                  4
                      IFR(M) - IFR(L) in IMC                                  1
                      IFR(M) -IFR(M) in VMC                                   1
                      IFR(M) -IFR(M) in IMC                                   0
                      IFR(H) - VFR                                            5
                      IFR(H) - IFR(L) in VMC                                  3
                      IFR(H) - IFR(L) in IMC                                  1
                      IFR(H) - IFR(M) in VMC                                  0
                      IFR(H) - IFR(M) in IMC                                  0
                      IFR(H) - IFR(H) in VMC                                  0
                      IFR(H) - IFR(H) in IMC                                  0
                                Table 6: Estimated collision pairs for Horn Island

                VFR including gliders and helicopters
                IFR (L) = IFR Light - less than 10 passengers
                IFR (M) = IFR Medium - 10 to 38 passengers
                IFR (H) = IFR High - more than 38 passengers
The conflict pairs were grouped in proportion to traffic and in addition the following
assumptions were made:
            •     Factor up like pairs by 1½
            •     Factor down unlike pairs by ⅔
            •     IFR-IFR pairs are 80% in VMC and 20% in IMC
            •     In total 204 collision pairs were estimated.

7.2.5. Evaluation of Airspace Models and Data Analysis Results
Annualised total traffic movement data was applied to the ARM developed by CASA.
The results are shown in Figure 5 – Risk Model.

The following scenario was considered for Horn Island:

     •    CTAF (R) procedures (blue line)

The blue line in Figure 5 indicates the risk level estimated for Horn Island when
CTAF (R) procedures are in place. The line is well below the scrutiny line however it
is still in the middle as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP) region.

It is estimated that a midair collision with eight or more fatalities may occur only once
in 3,829 years. Because it is assumed that the collision pairs are overestimated, it is

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reasonable to assume that a midair collision with eight or more fatalities should
occur less frequently than the results indicate.

While the FN curve plotted is well below the scrutiny line, it is important that all
reasonable practices are in place at the aerodrome to ensure ALARP and any
additional work should be focused towards aspects relating to good practice.

It is important to note that, for the purposes of the modelling, a CTAF(R)
environment is equated to the old Mandatory Broadcast Zone (MBZ) and VFR
compliance in this area was estimated to be in the range of 99% (Manual of the
Airspace Risk Model, Acceptable Risk Criteria, Value of Statistical Life, Version 1:
June 2006).

“Considering the reportedly high radio equipage rates of Australian registered
aircraft, it is Ambidji’s assessment that the mandatory requirement for all aircraft to
be radio equipped when operating in the vicinity of a CTAF(R) aerodrome alone
offers only a small contribution to measured compliance rates and hence traffic
separation safety.

The effective use of radio and adherence to prescribed procedures is a significant
contributor to improved traffic separation safety at non-controlled aerodromes.
Improved pilot training and education should be implemented to improve compliance
with these aspects.”6

The modelling results estimate that with CTAF (R) procedures, approximately,
0.00210 fatalities per annum can be expected. In addition, it is estimated that Horn
Island has a likelihood of having one midair collision approximately every 3,829
years with an estimate of eight fatalities.




6
    Report into CTAF versus CTAF(R) by the Ambidgi Group Pty Ltd. http://casa.gov.au/oar/download/CTAFvCTAF_R.pdf
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                                                                                                                                    Acceptable Risk
                                                                                                Horn Island
                                                                                                                                        Criteria

                                                                             1

                                                                                                                                         1
                                                                                                                                       0.1
                                                                                                                                      0.01
                                                                                                                                     0.001
                                                                            0.1                                                    0.0001
                                                                                                                                  0.00001
                                                                                                                                 0.000001




                                                                           0.01
              Annual Frequency of N or More Fatalities (Likelihood)




                                                                          0.001




                                                                         0.0001                                                              Intolerable Risk Line




                                                                        0.00001                                                                Scrutiny Risk Line




                                                                       0.000001                                                               Middle ALARP Line




                                                                      0.0000001                                                              Acceptable Risk Line
                                                                                   1            10                 100            1000
                                                                                                      Fatalities



                                                                                  CTAF ( R )




                                                                          Figure 5: Results of the Airspace Risk Model for Horn Island

The dark blue (centre) line represents the current level of risk when (i.e. CTAF (R)
with AFRU) procedures are applied. The light blue (outer) lines have been
introduced to represent a standard deviation, taking into account the probability of
±10% discrepancies in the traffic movement data modelled.



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8. Findings
CASA has reviewed the airspace around Horn Island in accordance with Airspace
Act, 2007, Part 3 (Section13), and has found that:

8.1       The Airspace classifications are appropriate to the volume and complexity of
          traffic.

8.2       The level of Air Traffic Service and facilities is appropriate.

8.3       There is safe and efficient use of the airspace providing equitable access for
          all users.

8.4       Feedback from the passenger transport stakeholders was positive toward the
          airspace architecture.

8.5       Horn Island is a high traffic aerodrome – particularly during holiday periods.

8.6       The absences of a parallel taxiway, hinders operations.

8.7       An RNAV/GNSS approach for runway 26 would be beneficial to operations.
          The cost of adding an approach is approximately $20,000 with an extra
          $10,000 - $20,000 for the validation flight process.

8.8       Having an AWIS broadcast on a radio frequency would benefit operations
          during marginal weather.

8.9       Changing the CTAF broadcast area boundary to be 30 nm Horn Island (and
          to include Northern Peninsula aerodrome) is seen by local operators as a
          better solution to frequency congestion and would enhance safety.

8.10      Local operators have concerns over the safety of operations since the
          Northern Peninsula aerodrome changed to having a discrete CTAF
          frequency.

8.11      The area available for aircraft parking is limited.




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9.     Recommendations
9.1 The report makes the following eight recommendations:

     1. Airspace users, through the aerodrome operator to approach Airservices
        Australia to design an RNAV / GNSS approach for runway 26.
     2. The aerodrome operator to progress development of a parallel taxiway and/or
        a holding bay at the thresholds for runway 08/26.
     3. Airservices Australia to report to RAPAC on their ability to establish a VHF
        ATS station on either the Yorke Island or the Yam Island telecom towers.
     4. Airservices Australia to investigate reducing the outbound timing for the NDB
        approach from three and a half minutes to two minutes.
     5. The aerodrome operator to undertake a feasibility study to provide an AWIS
        on a radio frequency.
     6. An entry be placed in the En-Route Supplement of Australia stating that Horn
        Island is a high traffic aerodrome, particularly during holiday periods and that
        suitable area for aircraft parking is limited.
     7. That the local operators make a submission to the North Queensland RAPAC
        to amend the CTAF broadcast boundary surrounding Horn Island to 30 nm.
        The new boundary would include the Northern Peninsula aerodrome – which
        would revert the Northern Peninsula CTAF frequency to be the same as the
        Torres (Horn Island) frequency.

     8. The OAR maintain a watch of activity at Horn Island aerodrome during the bi-
        annual review of movement data, and, if total aircraft movements significantly
        increase, an aeronautical study should be conducted to reassess the risk to
        passenger transport operations.


10. Next step
10.1      The OAR will write to Airservices Australia requesting that they address
          recommendations 3, 4 and 6.

10.2      The OAR will write to the aerodrome operator requesting that they address
          recommendations 1, 2, 5 and 7.

10.3      The OAR will monitor the activity at Horn Island aerodrome during the
          bi-annual review of movement data, and, if total aircraft movements
          significantly increase, an aeronautical study should be conducted to reassess
          the risk to passenger transport operations.




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Annexes:
     A.   Acronyms
     B.   Australian Airspace Structure
     C.   Stakeholders
     D.   Aerodrome Operator Data
     E.   Airspace Research Application (ARA) Data
     F.   Charts
     G.   Bureau of Infrastructure Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) Data
     H.   Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) Data
     I:   Media Release




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  Annex A – Acronyms
      AAPS                      Australian Airspace Policy Statement, 28 June 2007
      ACAS                      Airborne Collision Avoidance System
      Act                       Airspace Act 2007
      ADS-B                     Automatic Dependant Surveillance Broadcast system
      AFRU                      Aerodrome Frequency Response Unit
      AGL                       Above Ground Level
      AIP                       Aeronautical Information Publication
      AIP SUPP                  Aeronautical Information Publication Supplement
      Airservices               Airservices Australia
      ALARP                     As Low As Reasonably Practicable
      AMSL                      Above Mean Sea Level (in feet)
      AOC                       Air Operators Certificate
      ARA                       Airspace Research Application
      ARM                       Airspace Risk Model
      ASA                       Aviation Safety Advisor (CASA)
      ASIR                      Aviation Safety Incident Report
      ATC                       Air Traffic Control
      ATC                       Air Traffic Control
      ATS                       Air Traffic Services
      ATSB                      Australian Transport Safety Bureau
      AusFIC                    Australian Flight Information Centre
      AWIS                      Automatic Weather Information Service
                                Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics
      BITRE
                                (Department)
      BN-2                      Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander twin engine aeroplane
      C208                      Cessna Caravan C208 single turbine engine aeroplane
      CAR                       Civil Aviation Regulations 1988
      CASA                      Civil Aviation Safety Authority
      CTAF                      Common Traffic Advisory Frequency
      CTAF(R)                   Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (Radio Required)
      CTA                       Controlled Airspace
      CTR                       Control Zone
      DA                        Danger Area
      DAH                       Designated Airspace Handbook (AIP)
      DAP                       Departure and Approach Procedures (AIP)
      Dash 8                    Bombardier Dash 8, twin-engined, medium range turboprop airliner
      DCEO                      Deputy Chief Executive Officer
      Defence                   Department of Defence
      DTI                       Directed Traffic Information
      ERC L6                    En Route Chart – Low (Chart number 6)
      ERSA                      En Route Supplement of Australia
      ESIR                      Electronic Safety Incident Report
      FIR                       Flight Information Region
      FIS                       Flight Information Service
      FL                        Flight Level
      FN Curve                  Frequency /Severity Risk Curve
      FOI                       Flight Operations Inspector
      ft                        feet
      GNSS                      Global Navigation Satellite System (Navigational Aid)


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      GPS                       Global Positioning System
      HF                        High Frequency
      ICAO                      International Civil Aviation Organization
      IFR                       Instrument Flight Rules
      IFR (H)                   IFR Heavy - more than 38 passengers
      IFR (L)                   IFR Light - less than 10 passengers
      IFR (M)                   IFR Medium - 10 to 38 passengers
      IMC                       Instrument Meteorological Conditions
      kg                        kilograms
      km                        kilometre
      LAHSO                     Land And Hold Short Operations
      MAC                       Mid-Air Collision
      MBZ                       Mandatory Broadcast Zone
      MHz                       megaHertz
      MOS                       Manual of Standards
      NavAid                    Navigational Aid
      NDB                       Non-Directional Beacon (Navigational Aid)
      nm                        nautical miles
      NOTAM                     Notice to Airmen
      OAR                       Office of Airspace Regulation (CASA)
      OCTA                      Outside of Controlled Airspace
      PA                        Prohibited Area
      PAL                       Pilot Activated Lighting
      PAPI                      Precision Approach Path Indicator
      PT                        Passenger Transport
      PTS                       Passenger Transport Service
      RA                        Restricted Area
      RAAF                      Royal Australian Air Force
      RAPAC                     Regional Airspace and Procedures Advisory Committee
      RIS                       Radar Information Service
      RNAV                      Area Navigation
      RPT                       Regular Public Transport
      RWY                       Runway
      SARTIME                   Search and Rescue Time. (Time search action required)
      SFC                       Surface
      SIIMS                     Safety Investigation Information Management System
      TCAS                      Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System, a type of ACAS
      VFR                       Visual Flight Rules
      VHF                       Very High Frequency (radio)
      VMC                       Visual Meteorological Conditions
      VPG                       Visual Pilots Guide




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     Annex B – Australian Airspace Structure
   Class                Description                      Summary of Services/Procedures/Rules
                       All airspace above            Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) only, all separated by Air Traffic Control (ATC). No speed limitation.
      A            Flight Level (FL) 180 (east       Continuous two-way radio required. Transponder required for all aircraft.
                        coast) or FL 245             Clearance required from ATC to enter airspace.
      B            Not currently used in Australia
                                                     IFR separated from IFR, Visual Flight Rules (VFR) and Special VFR (SVFR) by ATC. No speed limitation for IFR
                   In control zones (CTRs) of        operations. Continuous two-way radio required. Clearance required from ATC to enter airspace.
                     defined dimensions and          VFR receives traffic information on other VFR but not separated from each other by ATC. SVFR separated from
      C                 control area steps           SVFR when visibility (VIS) is less than Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC).
                    generally associated with        VFR and SVFR speed limited to 250 knots (kt) Indicated Air Speed (IAS) below 10,000 feet (ft) Above Mean Sea
                      controlled aerodromes          Level (AMSL)*. Continuous two-way radio required. Clearance required from ATC to enter airspace.
                                                     Transponder required within radar coverage.
                                                     IFR separated from IFR and SVFR. Traffic information provided on all VFR.
                    Regional locations such          VFR receives traffic on all other aircraft but not separated by ATC.
      D              as Hobart and Alice             SVFR separated from SVFR when VIS is less than VMC.
                           Springs                   All aircraft are speed limited to 250 kt IAS below 10,000 ft AMSL*. Continuous two-way radio required. Clearance
                                                     required from ATC to enter airspace.
  General                                            In VMC all operations are VFR, traffic information only provided.
 Aviation                                            In Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC), IFR separated from all traffic.
                      High density General
Aerodrome                                            SVFR separated from SVFR when VIS is less than VMC.
                      Aviation aerodromes
Procedures                                           All aircraft are speed limited to 250 kt IAS below 10,000 ft AMSL*. Continuous two-way radio required. Clearance
  (GAAP)                                             required from ATC to enter airspace.
                                                     IFR separated from IFR by ATC, traffic information provided on known VFR. Clearance required from ATC for IFR
                                                     to enter airspace.
                     Controlled airspace not         VFR provided with Flight Information Service (FIS), search and rescue (SAR) and a weather update service. On
      E             covered in classifications       request and ATC workload permitting, a Radar Information Service (RIS) is available within radar coverage.
                              above                  Clearance from ATC to enter airspace not required.
                                                     Transponder required for all aircraft.
                                                     All aircraft are speed limited to 250 kt IAS below 10,000 ft AMSL*. Continuous two-way radio required.
       F           Not currently used in Australia
                                                     IFR receives FIS on IFR and known VFR traffic. Continuous two-way radio required.
                                                     VFR provided with FIS, SAR and a weather update service. On request and ATC workload permitting, a RIS is
                                                     available within radar coverage. VHF radio required above 5,000 ft AMSL and at aerodromes where carriage and
      G                   Non-controlled
                                                     use of radio is required.
                                                     All aircraft are speed limited to 250 kt IAS below 10,000 ft AMSL*.
                                                     Clearance from ATC to enter airspace not required.
     * Not applicable to military aircraft

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       Annex C – Stakeholder input provided by:
                       Position                                             Organisation

      Aerodrome Manager                                Torres Shire Council (Aerodrome Operator)

      Deputy Chief Pilot                               Westwing Aviation

      Manager Regulatory Affairs                       QantasLink Airways

      Chief Pilot                                      Regional Pacific Airlines

      Licensing Compliance Manager                     Airservices Australia

      Information and Co-ordination Officer            Australian Transport Safety Bureau

      Senior Defence Advisor                           Department of Defence

                                                       Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO) Operations,
       Aviation Safety Advisor (ASA)
                                                       CASA

       Flying Operations Inspector (FOI)               General Aviation Operations Group (GAOG), CASA




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     Annex D – Aerodrome Operator Data

                                                              1 July 2008 – 30 June 2009
Total aircraft movements                                                20,318




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     Annex E – Airservices Australia Data




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Annex E – Airservices Australia Data (Continued)




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Annex E – Airservices Australia Data (Continued)




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     Annex F – Charts




Chart 1: Extract of the Torres Strait World Aeronautical Chart (WAC), Number 3097 – Thirteenth Edition.
    The Chart shows Horn Island and the island contained in the associated CTAF broadcast area.




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     Annex G – BITRE Data
     REPORT PERIOD: 1997-98 to 2007-08
     Regular Public Transport (RPT) operations only
     AIRPORT TRAFFIC STATISTICS - TRAFFIC ON BOARD BY STAGES FOR DOMESTIC,
     and UPLIFT/DISCHARGE DATA FOR INTERNATIONAL & REGIONAL.
                                 DOMESTIC                  REGIONAL                                     INTERNATIONAL                  TOTAL PASSENGERS
                            Revenue Passengers         Revenue Passengers                              Revenue Passengers              Revenue Passengers
     AIRPORT             Year      INBOUND     OUTBOUND       TOTAL   INBOUND   OUTBOUND   TOTAL    INBOUND    OUTBOUND    TOTAL    INBOUND   OUTBOUND     TOTAL

     HORN ISLAND        1997-98        0            0           0      21,660    21,653    43,313      0           0            0    21,660    21,653      43,313
     HORN ISLAND        1998-99        0            0           0      22,294    22,527    44,821      0           0            0    22,294    22,527      44,821
     HORN ISLAND        1999-00        0            0           0      23,852    23,716    47,568      0           0            0    23,852    23,716      47,568
     HORN ISLAND        2000-01        0            0           0      22,536    23,056    45,592      0           0            0    22,536    23,056      45,592
     HORN ISLAND        2001-02        0            0           0      22,332    22,349    44,681      0           0            0    22,332    22,349      44,681
     HORN ISLAND        2002-03        0            0           0      22,579    22,697    45,276      0           0            0    22,579    22,697      45,276
     HORN ISLAND        2003-04        0            0           0      23,336    23,603    46,939      0           0            0    23,336    23,603      46,939
     HORN ISLAND        2004-05        0            0           0      23,906    23,993    47,899      0           0            0    23,906    23,993      47,899
     HORN ISLAND        2005-06        0            0           0      25,025    24,898    49,923      0           0            0    25,025    24,898      49,923
     HORN ISLAND        2006-07        0            0           0      27,876    27,744    55,620      0           0            0    27,876    27,744      55,620
     HORN ISLAND        2007-08        0            0           0      32,160    32,729    64,889      0           0            0    32,160    32,729      64,889


                                               DOMESTIC                        REGIONAL                     INTERNATIONAL              TOTAL MOVEMENTS
                                           Aircraft Movements              Aircraft Movements              Aircraft Movements           Aircraft Movements
        AIRPORT          Year      INBOUND     OUTBOUND       TOTAL   INBOUND   OUTBOUND   TOTAL    INBOUND    OUTBOUND    TOTAL    INBOUND   OUTBOUND     TOTAL

     HORN ISLAND        1997-98        0            0           0       927       925      1,852       0           0            0     927       925         1,852
     HORN ISLAND        1998-99        0            0           0      1,045      1,048    2,093       0           0            0    1,045      1,048       2,093
     HORN ISLAND        1999-00        0            0           0      1,373      1,371    2,744       0           0            0    1,373      1,371       2,744
     HORN ISLAND        2000-01        0            0           0       936       937      1,873       0           0            0     936       937         1,873
     HORN ISLAND        2001-02        0            0           0       876       876      1,752       0           0            0     876       876         1,752
     HORN ISLAND        2002-03        0            0           0       908       902      1,810       0           0            0     908       902         1,810
     HORN ISLAND        2003-04        0            0           0       886       886      1,772       0           0            0     886       886         1,772
     HORN ISLAND        2004-05        0            0           0       874       874      1,748       0           0            0     874       874         1,748
     HORN ISLAND        2005-06        0            0           0       869       868      1,737       0           0            0     869       868         1,737
     HORN ISLAND        2006-07        0            0           0       900       900      1,800       0           0            0     900       900         1,800
     HORN ISLAND        2007-08        0            0           0       937       938      1,875       0           0            0     937       938         1,875




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Annex G – BITRE Data (Continued)

                                                                                                            HORN ISLAND
                                                                             70




                                                  Passengers (thousand)
                                                                             60

                                                                             50




                                                     Total Revenue
                                                                             40
                                                                             30

                                                                             20
                                                                             10

                                                                              0
                                                                                  1997-   1998-   1999-   2000-   2001-   2002-   2003-   2004-   2005-   2006-   2007-
                                                                                   98      99      00      01      02      03      04      05      06      07      08
                                                                                                                   Financial Year

                                                                                              Passenger numbers 1997 - 2008

                                                                                                            HORN ISLAND
                                                                          3,000
                                              Total Aircraft Movements




                                                                          2,500

                                                                          2,000

                                                                          1,500

                                                                          1,000

                                                                           500

                                                                             0
                                                                                  1997-   1998-   1999-   2000-   2001-   2002-   2003-   2004-   2005-   2006-   2007-
                                                                                   98      99      00      01      02      03      04      05      06      07      08
                                                                                                                   Financial Year

                                                                                          Air Transport movements 1997 - 2008




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     Annex H – ATSB Data
    ATSB 
                   Occurrence 
  Reference                                 Location          Occurrence Type     Model                             ATSB Summary 
                      Date 
   Number 
                                           Horn Island                                        During the take‐off run the aircraft's right windscreen 
 200800112         03/01/2008                                    Birdstrike       BE‐200      struck a bird. 
                                           Aerodrome 

                                        Warraber Island                                       During the landing flare, the aircraft struck a small 
 200800952         08/01/2008                                    Birdstrike       C208B       unidentified bird that impacted the windscreen. 
                                            (ALA) 
                                                                                              After takeoff, the crew observed a torque split between 
                                                                                              the engines. The crew switched from auto fuel control to 
                                                                                              manual control. A PAN was declared and the helicopter 
                                        near Horn Island 
 200800760         08/01/2008                                   Mechanical        Bell 412    was returned to base without further incident. 
                                          Aerodrome 
                                                                                              Engineering could not replicate the fault when the fuel 
                                                                                              control was switched back to auto control. 

                                           Horn Island           Published                    It was reported that the aircraft did not conform with 
 200800624         15/01/2008                                                    BN2A‐20      CTAF procedures as per the AIP. 
                                           Aerodrome            information 

                                          Horn Island                                         While joining a left downwind for runway 16 on 
 200800598         31/01/2008          Aerodrome, NE M          Mechanical        C208B       approach, the passenger entry door popped open. The 
                                             4Km                                              approach was continued and the aircraft landed safely. 
                                                                                              While the aircraft was on short final approach to runway 
                                                                                              26, the crew received a "too low flaps" warning. A go 
                                        near Horn Island 
 200800698         05/02/2008                                   Mechanical       DHC‐8‐315    around was commenced and the GPWS flap 15 button 
                                          Aerodrome 
                                                                                              was subsequently found to be only half depressed. 

                                                                                              The helicopter's crew transmitted an urgency message 
                                           Horn Island 
 200800833         08/02/2008                                   Mechanical        Bell 412    and landed safely some eight minutes later. 
                                           Aerodrome 




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    ATSB 
                   Occurrence 
  Reference                                  Location          Occurrence Type        Model                              ATSB Summary 
                      Date 
   Number 
                                                                                                  During the climb, the cabin pressure warning light 
                                                                                                  illuminated. The bleed air switches were confirmed on as 
                                          Horn Island 
                                                                                                  was the bleed air flow switch to normal. The fault light 
 200801648         10/03/2008         Aerodrome, 135° M          Mechanical          DHC‐8‐402 
                                                                                                  remained on after the non normal checklist was 
                                            41Km 
                                                                                                  completed and the crew elected to return to Horn Island. 

                                       Warraber Island                                            During the initial climb, the aircraft struck a bird that 
 200801762         13/03/2008                                     Birdstrike          C500‐S      impacted the right engine cowl. 
                                            (ALA) 
                                          Horn Island                                             The aircraft entered controlled airspace without a 
 200801972         23/03/2008         Aerodrome, 184° M       Controlled airspace     BE‐200      clearance. 
                                            37Km 
                                                                                                   During the pre‐landing checks, the pilot noticed reduced 
                                      Overhead Warraber                                           brake pressure. The aircraft was returned to Horn Island 
 200802232         03/04/2008                                    Mechanical           C208B       for a landing. An engineering inspection revealed a 
                                            Island 
                                                                                                  leaking right brake fluid cylinder. 

                                           Horn Island                                            During the landing roll on runway 08, the aircraft struck 
 200802937         02/05/2008                                     Birdstrike         BN2B‐26      an Egret that impacted a propeller. 
                                           Aerodrome 
                                                                                                  After departing from runway 08, the pilot of the Pilatus 
                                                                                                  Britten‐Norman BN2A‐20 (Islander) was contacted by the 
                                           Horn Island                                            pilot of a Robinson R22 (R22) that had departed from 
 200803420         21/05/2008                                    Mechanical          BN2A‐20 
                                           Aerodrome                                              runway 14. Communication checks determined that the 
                                                                                                  Islander's radio was not functioning correctly. 

                                           Horn Island                                            As the pilot parked the aircraft, the right wing tip hit the 
 200804650         13/07/2008                                 Collision on ground    BN2A‐21      boundary fence. 
                                           Aerodrome 
                                                                                                  During the landing roll, the right main landing gear tyre 
                                           Horn Island                                            burst. The aircraft veered to the right, exited the runway 
 200804636         13/07/2008                                    Mechanical            P.68B 
                                           Aerodrome                                              and subsequently stopping on the grass. 




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    ATSB 
                   Occurrence 
  Reference                                  Location         Occurrence Type      Model                              ATSB Summary 
                      Date 
   Number 
                                                                                                While the aircraft was parked with the engine operating, 
                                        Warraber Island                                         a person approached the aircraft from the right side of 
 200804733         19/07/2008                                      Other           C208B 
                                            (ALA)                                               the aircraft and the pilot shut down the engine. 

                                           Horn Island           Incorrect                      The pilot landed with the left brake applied and the tyre 
 200805573         24/08/2008                                                      C208B        burst. 
                                           Aerodrome           configuration 
                                                                                                As the aircraft lined up for departure, the right engine 
                                        Warraber Island                                         failed. An engineering inspection revealed air in the fuel 
 200806306         25/09/2008                                   Mechanical        BN2A‐21 
                                            (ALA)                                               line. 
                                        near Horn Island                                        During the cruise, the aircraft's right engine failed. 
 200806276         26/09/2008                                   Mechanical        BN2A‐21 
                                          Aerodrome 
                                           Horn Island                                          During the take‐off run on runway 26, the aircraft struck 
 200808239         19/12/2008                                    Birdstrike      BE‐65‐A90‐1    two night curlews. 
                                           Aerodrome 
                                                                                                During approach, the pilot advanced the throttle but the 
                                                                                                engine did not respond. The pilot landed the aircraft in a 
                                      Northern Peninsula                                        paddock before the runway, resulting in minor damage 
 200900525         26/01/2009                                   Mechanical          C207 
                                         Aerodrome                                              to the right main landing gear strut fairing. An inspection 
                                                                                                revealed that the throttle cable had become detached. 

                                      Northern Peninsula                                        During the engine start‐up procedure, the left engine 
 200900944         27/02/2009                                   Mechanical       EMB‐120 ER     would not start. 
                                         Aerodrome 
                                           Horn Island                                          During the landing roll, the aircraft's nose landing gear 
 200901575         13/03/2009                                   Mechanical         C182Q        tyre deflated. 
                                           Aerodrome 
                                                                                                During the climb, the cabin crew heard a loud whistling 
                                        near Horn Island                                        noise from the cargo bay. The aircraft returned to Horn 
 200902070         04/04/2009                                   Mechanical       DHC‐8‐315 
                                          Aerodrome                                             Island. 




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    ATSB 
                   Occurrence 
  Reference                                  Location         Occurrence Type     Model                             ATSB Summary 
                      Date 
   Number 
                                                                                              While operating in class G airspace, the crew received a 
                                      Overhead Warraber 
 200902779         09/05/2009                                      TCAS          DHC‐8‐202    TCAS RA and responded by increasing the aircraft's rate 
                                            Island 
                                                                                              of climb to more than 1,500 ft per minute. 
                                           Horn Island                                        The landing gear did not extend when selected down and 
 200903196         26/05/2009                                   Mechanical         C210L      the aircraft was landed with the wheels retracted. 
                                           Aerodrome 
                                           Horn Island                                        During the take‐off run, the aircraft struck a sand piper 
 200903495         10/06/2009                                    Birdstrike      DHC‐8‐315    that impacted the left propeller. 
                                           Aerodrome 
                                           Horn Island                                        During the take‐off run on runway 26, the aircraft struck 
 200903531         10/06/2009                                    Birdstrike      DHC‐8‐315    a small bird. 
                                           Aerodrome 




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Annex I – Media Release

Horn Island Airport Runways Extension / Upgrade Up
14/01/2009
Torres Shire Council
Media Release - 14 January 2009
Horn Island Airport Runways Extension / Upgrade Update

Torres Shire Council vigorously seeks major funding of $9.4 million to enable it to
proceed with the urgent runways extension/upgrade for Torres Strait's regional
airport. This work has been deemed necessary following runway rutting which has
led to the cessation of the Q400 aircraft concession from early December.

This airport is the strategic gateway to Australia's northern international boundary
and is paramount for police, customs, border protection, defence, quarantine,
immigration, foreign affairs, health, emergency services, etc.

The high demand for regional domestic services including student travel and the
emerging tourism industry is dependant on an efficient and affordable air service.

Council is now lobbying many Federal and Statement Government Ministers and
other agencies for funding commitments towards this vital regional transport
infrastructure project.

Council has submitted an application for a minimum of $2.0 million funding for the
Airport extension/upgrade works in the second RLCIP round. The detailed
application has been supported by Torres Strait Regional Authority, Torres Strait
Island Regional Council, Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council and the Federal
Member for Leichhardt, Hon. Jim Turnour.

Torres Shire Council looks forward to a positive funding response to the RLCIP
application but there will still be over $7 million funding to be contributed from
government and other sources for this essential regional project to proceed.

The necessary airport runways upgrade and extension work will provide the Torres
Strait / Northern Peninsula Area region with a safe air service in larger and faster
planes which are required to allow this region to maintain similar transport, freight
and mail services as provided for the rest of Australia.

It must be acknowledged that there are no other existing passenger transport
systems, such as road rail or sea, between our nearest metropolitan city (Cairns)
and the Torres Strait. Due to the remote location and the separation of the Torres
Strait island communities; air transport is the only link through which Torres Strait
region people receive adequate government and community services and thus enjoy
an acceptable quality of life.

Approved

Mayor Napau Pedro Stephen




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