***For this project, Aviation Projects was awarded the esteemed Corporate Project of the Year at the Australian Airports Association’s (AAA) 2017 National Airport Industry Awards.***

The infrastructure at Archerfield Airport was designed generally to accommodate small, low performance aircraft. A number of larger, higher performance and heavier aircraft regularly operate from the airport under pavement concession and with constraints to ground operations due to taxiway infrastructure limitations, and with significant constraints to operational reliability due to the airspace and procedures in place.

Project objectives

  • Provide airspace arrangements that enable the safe and efficient operation of up to performance category C aircraft under instrument meteorological conditions 24 hours per day
  • Safeguard Archerfield Airport’s ability to support all aircraft operations under instrument meteorological conditions 24 hours per day prior to and following the commissioning of Brisbane Airport’s new parallel runway
  • Safeguard Archerfield Airport’s ability to support flying training within established danger areas
  • Inform aircraft operators and alter perceptions about perceived barriers to safe and efficient operations through education and consultation

Key drivers

  • Airspace limitations constrain the actual and perceived utility and reliability of the airport, particularly for operations in IMC outside of ATC tower hours
  • Performance category C aircraft were not able to conduct an instrument approach to YBAF except under the provisions of AIP ENR 1.5 para 1.2.3
  • Airspace within the Brisbane Basin is being redesigned in preparation for the commissioning of the new parallel runway at Brisbane Airport

The project was aligned with and contemplated in the following strategic planning activities:

  • Archerfield Airport Master Plan 2017 – recently approved by the Minister for Transport and Regional Development
  • Airservices Australia and Department of Defence are jointly working towards the development of new airspace arrangements associated with the following significant changes to the scope of aircraft operations within the Brisbane Basin (Extended Manoeuvring Area to 150 nm from Brisbane Airport), within the next five years:
    • RAAF Base Amberley – increase in aircraft operations to include Heron (UAV), increase in KC30 and C17 aircraft numbers, new F-18G squadron, new C27 squadron and potentially the relocation of C130 aircraft from Richmond
    • Brisbane Airport – new parallel runway
    • Gold Coast Airport – ILS runway 14
    • Sunshine Coast Airport – upgrade to class C control zone with full surveillance control
    • Sunshine Coast Airport – new runway
    • Wellcamp Airport – progressive increase in aircraft operations including code F B747-800 freighters, narrow body code 4C aircraft (A320, B717 and/or B737) in addition to existing code 3C aircraft operations (Dash 8-400) and piston singles/twin flying training

Operational benefits

  • Higher performance (performance category C) aircraft such as the Challenger 604 and others will be able to operate to/from the airport in IMC
  • The airport will provide greater reliability for current and future aircraft operators regardless of performance category
  • The airspace within the Brisbane Basin will enable more efficient aircraft operations

A consequential benefit of the project is that airspace arrangements will no longer be a barrier to the attraction of aircraft operators and capital investment to Archerfield Airport.

Archerfield Airport Corporation commends the professional management of Aviation Projects which has driven this project and ensured we continue to make steady, but substantial progress towards achieving our strategic goals. Thanks to this shared commitment, we look forward to an exciting new chapter of growth at Archerfield Airport. 

Heather Mattes, General Manager, Archerfield Airport
Archerfield Airport Airspace Optimisation Project