There have been reports out there that CASA have approved the flight paths to the new runway.


CASA have advised us that they don’t approve flight paths, they approve changes to ‘airspace’ classification.

They may sound like the same thing but they’re not – and the distinction is important because it means that the flight paths ARE NOT APPROVED!

Which means the fight is not over!

Here’s how it was explained to us by CASA, written in layman’s terms 😉

Airspace is classified (basically) as either ‘controlled’ or ‘uncontrolled’. The reason for changing airspace to ‘uncontrolled’ to ‘controlled’ is so that it becomes a mandatory requirement for Air Traffic Management Services (from the airport control tower) to be provided for all aircraft entering that ‘controlled airspace’.

Controlled airspace is needed to ensure safe passage of aircraft into and out of an aerodrome on approach and departure. Different airports have different volumes of controlled airspace around them depending on air traffic density and frequency of aircraft movement etc.

It’s like an upside down wedding cake – you know the one where there are smaller, middle sized, and bigger layers. That’s what CASA was reviewing and making a decision about – CASA is not reviewing and or approving flight paths.

The term ‘Flight paths’ is a bit of a misnomer – what actually happens is that a track gets roughly designated (and airspace volume gets designed / built around it accordingly) and then approach and departure procedures are designed for aircraft using those routes.

These procedures are mapped according to coordinates. These approach and departure procedures do go back to CASA for review at a later stage – so that they can check the procedures fit within the designated airspace volume safely but this may not happen until next year.