Recently BeCA posed some questions to SCRC and SC Airport representatives, as well as local MP’s regarding training circuits and take off and landing procedures at Caloundra Airport. You can see BeCA’s original queries HERE. BeCA has just received this informative reply from Jason Rainbird, Operations Manager of the Sunshine Coast Airport. Jason’s response outlines the facts regarding ‘approved’ aircraft circuits and take off and landing procedures at Caloundra Airport.
Here is his full response with some minor editing of names.
With regards to your queries please see below;
1. The helicopter training area as you have described it is more commonly known as the Circuit Training Area. This operates under aviation rules and regulations established and overseen by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). Circuit training areas are situated at aerodromes so that pilots, be they training on fixed wing or rotary aircraft can practice take offs and landings as required. This is commonly known as circuit training. To that end the major issues I would see in moving / removing the circuit training area would be;
* A change such as this can only be determined by the CASA Office of Aerospace Reform (OAR). To that end a number of things would be required of which an Environmental Assessment (EA) would be key. The role of the environmental assessment is to determine all of the different effects, be they social, ecological, noise or emissions of the change in an existing procedure. If a new process / procedure is to be tabled the EA must be commissioned so as to comment on the potential impact on the aforementioned factors. This requires a sizeable investment both time and monetary wise.
* I am pretty confident there would be nil support from the local operators for the existing circuit training area to be removed and I am reasonably sure CASA would be asking this question. Circuits can be flown at any aerodrome as the procedures are common ones and are the same for all aerodromes unless there are specific directions to be aware of, which are generally weather dependant. To say to the operators fly your circuits at Caboolture or Redcliffe would not be economically viable I am sure for the tenants that have based themselves at Caloundra for a number of years, predicated on the fact the aerodrome has been utilised for training for decades.
2. I have attached CASA collateral detailing the requirements of circuit training at aerodromes utilising Class G or uncontrolled airspace. It shows how the circuit looks and provides some additional details on heights that certain types of aircraft should do the circuits at. It also shows joining points for the circuit if transiting to the aerodrome.
3. The Caloundra CBD area would not be located under the circuit training area unless the pilot is very lost or is joining the circuit from a track that brought them in over water.
Air Services Australia as the Aircraft Traffic Service (ATS) provider confirmed the airspace reform issues with me. I am happy to discuss further with you if you so desire. I hope the information assists.
Sunshine Coast Airport
Jason refers to two .pdf attachments which you can download from these links: