Changes to Ballina Broadcast Area

Last edited: 21 January 2021, 3:48pm

Members operating in and around Ballina are to familiarise themselves with an Aviation Information Publications Supplement (AIP SUPP) released 13 January and effective 28 January 2021, which is related to the broadcast requirements when transiting or operating into Ballina airport. For background, in November 2019 CASA introduced a Broadcast Area within 10 nm of Ballina, which introduced mandatory radio calls and improve communications between aircraft in the vicinity of Ballina to reduce the risk of mid-air conflicts. There has been an increase in airline jet and turbo prop traffic over the past year and therefore CASA has needed to further refine the dimensions of the broadcast area to contain instrument approaches.

CASA have announced changes to the requirements for this Broadcast Area effective 202101271600 UTC, which increases the size of the Ballina Broadcast Area.

Ballina Broadcast Area

To summarise the AIP SUPP:

  • Carriage and use of radio is mandatory within the Broadcast Area using the frequency of 124.2 (with a radius of 15 nm around Ballina airport, excluding the 30 nm arc from Gold Coast DME as provided in the diagram above)
  • If a VFR aircraft is fitted with a transponder it must be serviceable (which includes calibration requirements), turned on and for Mode C transponders must include selection of ALT
  • A flight following service is available for aircraft fitted with two or more serviceable VHF radios and a transponder or ADS-B equipment. This is a free service and will enhance provision of traffic information for VFR and IFR pilots operating in the broadcast area.
  • VFR pilots are encouraged to become aware of potential conflict hotspots to the west and south of Ballina aerodrome and familiarise themselves with the Ballina and Lismore IFR approaches as provided on the charts in the AIP SUPP (an extract of one of these diagrams is provided below as an example)

Ballina Broadcast Area 2


Radio broadcast requirements

  • Pilots intending to fly through this area without landing must, prior to or as soon as possible after entering, make a broadcast which includes:
    • the aircraft call sign and type
    • their position
    • height
    • intentions for the flight
  • Pilots intending to land at an aerodrome in the area must, prior to entering or as soon as possible after entering, make a broadcast which includes:
    • the aircraft call sign and type
    • the aircraft bearing, radial or quadrant from the aerodrome and distance from the aerodrome
    • the aircraft altitude
    • intentions for the flight
  • Once the aircraft has joined the circuit, the pilot must broadcast:
    • the aircraft call sign and type
    • confirm the aircraft is joining the circuit
    • the leg of the circuit the aircraft is joining
  • If a straight in approach is intended to be made, the pilot must broadcast prior to commencement
  • If taking off from an aerodrome in the area, the pilot must, when starting to taxi, broadcast:
    • the aircraft call sign and type
    • if the aircraft is intending to operate under IFR, a statement to that effect
    • the aerodrome name and
    • either the proposed destination of the departure direction and the intended runway to be used for take-off
  • The pilot must, immediately prior to entering the runway, make a broadcast which includes:
    • the aircraft call sign and type
    • the runway to be used, and
    • a statement that the aircraft is entering the runway

Pilots operating in this broadcast area are expected to read the AIP SUPP in full and familiarise themselves with the amended broadcast area size, broadcast requirements, the possible approaches used by large passenger aircraft and the locations of possible conflict hotspots.

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