The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) was due to conduct a safety check of the Clarence Valley Regional Airport on February 1 and 2 (after the paper’s editorial deadline).
Airports servicing Taree, Port Macquarie, Kempsey, Coffs Harbour, Lismore and Ballina Byron Gateway airports were also due to be checked, “to make sure instrument procedure flight paths at the aerodromes operate safely”.
The safety checks are conducted every three years “to maintain a high level of air safety at all aerodromes”, CASA said in a media release.
“If poor weather or other factors do not allow the safety checks to go ahead on the planned days, they will be carried out as soon as possible.”
Clarence Valley Council’s general manager, Ashley Lindsay, said the safety checks are conducted independently of the airport’s manager/operator.
“CASA doesn’t inform ‘us’ (the airport operator) of their intentions to conduct these checks,” he stated in an emailed response; “‘we’ (airport operators) find out about these via the Airservices Australia (AsA) online Notice To Airmen (NOTAM) portal.
“NOTAM notifications alert pilots to any potential safety hazards along a flight route or in a specified location.
“They can also advise of changes to aeronautical/aerodrome facilities, services or procedures and are sent to Airservices Australia,”
“These specific flight paths are flown/navigated by pilots utilising instruments in the aircraft instead of just their vision are known as “terminal instrument flight procedures (TIFP).”
CASA said, Local residents may have noticed uncommon flying patterns, but this is to make sure obstacles are accurately marked on charts and no new obstacles exist.
“Obstacles can be towers, trees, masts or buildings that can be a danger to aircraft.”