Jandakot Airport is the major general aviation airport in Western Australia and is one of the busiest airfields and largest pilot training bases in Australia. Fly Neighbourly is a voluntary code of conduct for pilots that was introduced at Jandakot Airport in January 2000. While it is impossible to stop aircraft noise emanating from an airport, Fly Neighbourly recognises that there are opportunities to reduce the effect of aircraft noise on surrounding communities.
Jandakot Airport seeks to balance the economic viability and sustainability of the airport and its stakeholders with the amenity impacts of operations on surrounding residential communities. Pilots are expected to undertake operations in a manner which is considerate of local residents. Jandakot Airport recognises that safety is the primary concern of air navigation and operations, and implementation of the Fly Neighbourly principles is therefore subject to safety and operational considerations. Air traffic procedures and instructions must be complied with at all times.
There will be times that it is necessary for Police, Fire response, Medical, Search and Rescue, other Emergency Services, infrastructure monitoring and aerial survey/spraying aircraft to require access to low level airspace and operate contrary to typical procedures. Pilots that operate at low levels (less than 500ft above ground level) are required by legislation to obtain a Low Level Endorsement on their pilots licence.
Operators at Jandakot Airport will:
1. Comply with noise abatement procedures included in the Air Navigation Regulations, Departure Approach Procedures (DAP) and En-Route Supplement Australia (ERSA) guide, irrespective of Air Traffic Control Tower hours of operation.
Aviation is a heavily regulated industry. The Convention on International Civil Aviation, signed in Chicago on 7 December 1944 (“the Chicago Convention”), came into force on 4 April 1947. This Convention establishes rules of airspace, aircraft registration, and safety, so that international civil aviation can develop safely and efficiently. Australia is a signatory to the Chicago Convention, and as such, Australia's aviation safety regulatory system is based upon the international standards, recommended practices and procedures adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Aircraft operators and pilots are required to comply with a suite of legislation that includes the Air Navigation Act 1920, Air Navigation Regulations 1947, Air Navigation (Aircraft Noise) Regulations 1984, Civil Aviation Act 1988, Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 and Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998. Every airport also has its own unique operating procedures and requirements. Flights are planned by pilots referencing the airport specific procedures that are detailed in the Airservices Departure Approach Procedures (DAP) manual and the En-Route Supplement Australia (ERSA) pilot guide. These Fly Neighbourly principles are included in the ERSA pilot guide.
2. Ensure that environmental awareness and noise management is included in pilot familiarisation and training.
One of the most obvious environmental impacts of airport operations on the surrounding community is aircraft noise. The Perth area is affected by aircraft noise from six airfields - Perth Airport, Jandakot Airport, Pearce RAAF Base, Murrayfield Airport (Mandurah), Serpentine Airport and Rottnest Island Airport – and all suburbs are subject to varying levels of aircraft noise.
Jandakot Airport has been one of the busiest pilot training bases in Australia since its opening in 1963. Over 80% of all aircraft movements are pilot training related. Much of this training is for cadets seeking a commercial pilot licence and this level of training requires a detailed understanding of environmental considerations. In addition, a number of flying schools are focused on training pilots that will one day be airline captains and this syllabus involves learning environmental and noise management procedures that airlines use.
Subject to Air Traffic Control and safety requirements, pilots will endeavour to:
3. Avoid lengthy engine run-ups and conduct non-pre-flight engine run-ups in designated areas or in locations where the wind or distance helps minimise the carriage of noise off airport.
4. Where practicable, small jet aircraft should be towed for start-up to a location that avoids causing jet-blast damage.
Aircraft engines need to be tested during and/or following engine maintenance so that engineers can verify that the engines are working properly. In addition, piston engines are tested by pilots prior to every flight. During ground running, engine settings are increased and decreased in order to simulate the different power settings during flight. For safety reasons, engines are faced into the wind.
5. Use sufficient runway length and best rates of climb to maximise height over populated areas. High performance and twin-engine aircraft are to conduct full length take-offs where possible.
6. Minimise noise after take-off by reducing engine revs as much as possible.
Due to the extra power required to get the aircraft airborne, departing aircraft are usually louder than arriving aircraft. Each aircraft has a different climb capability, based on the size and weight of the aircraft, engine type and performance (e.g. jet or propeller), fuel load (aircraft with a full fuel load cannot climb as rapidly), payload (e.g. fire bombers cannot climb quickly with full water tanks) and specific aerodynamic performance. Once the aircraft is airborne and stable in flight the pilots adjust the engines to optimal (less noisy) settings.
7. Maintain the published or ATC cleared tracks after take-off. Where practicable, all IFR aircraft are to depart via the appropriate standard instrument departure (SID).
8. Maintain required altitudes, particularly over residential housing. As much as possible, avoid flying over residential areas, hospitals and schools and maximise the use of flight paths over less densely populated areas such as water, forest and highways.
The Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 require pilots to maintain a safe altitude at all times. Except during landing or take off, and unless otherwise directed by Air Traffic Control for traffic segregation, fixed wing aircraft must remain at a minimum height of 1,000ft (304.8m) above ground level over populous areas or 500ft (152.4m) over uninhabited areas and the sea. Helicopters will fly at 700ft (213m) above ground level in the circuit area to allow them to be safely segregated from fixed-wing aircraft in the circuit. These altitudes are set to ensure that aircraft can operate in airspace that is clear of all obstacles and provides sufficient manoeuvring space in the event of an emergency.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) may approve aircraft operations to routinely operate at lower altitudes, such as emergency service aircraft (e.g. Police, bushfire water bombers, search and rescue operations), and special types of air work for which the operator has a permit (e.g. media helicopters, aerial surveying and environmental spraying). There may also be times where aircraft need to fly at lower heights due to the weather (e.g. low cloud).
Due to the proximity to Perth Controlled Airspace, the Jandakot Control Zone is an allocated area of airspace that covers a 3 nautical mile (5.5km) radius from the airport up to a height of 1,500ft (457.2m). Within the Jandakot Control Zone, the normal outbound flight level is 1000ft above ground level and normal inbound flight level is 1,500ft above ground level. Unless otherwise authorised by Air Traffic Control, within 4 nautical miles of Jandakot Airport aircraft are expected to maintain an airspeed of less than 200 knots (370 km/hour).
The majority of aircraft operating at Jandakot Airport fly under Visual Flight Rule (VFR) procedures, where the pilots only use visual landmarks to determine the flight path, and as such the actual flight tracks can vary substantially. Although the term ‘flight path’ is commonly used and the tracks are shown as thin straight lines on maps, in reality an aircraft’s flight path occupies a region of space or set area and the resulting flight corridor can be a few kilometres wide. The main departure tracks from Jandakot are northwest via the Fremantle golf course, southeast via Armadale and south towards the Training Area, via Yangebup and Thompson Lakes. The main inbound tracks are via Canning Bridge, Forrestdale Lake and Adventure World. Jandakot Airport has a high volume of aircraft movements and the established flight tracks are designed to achieve efficient traffic segregation. These locations are selected because they are prominent landmarks that assist with visual navigation. In addition, medical and other emergency operations have priority access to and from the airport and will use the quickest flight track when required.
9. Only conduct ‘Touch & Go' Circuit Training between 0700-2230 Monday to Friday, and 0800-1800 Saturday and Sunday.
10. Fly circuits and conduct turns that minimise impact on residential areas.
Jandakot Airport is a major flying training base, with 80% of all movements being pilot training related. A vital part of pilot training is repetitive touchdown and take-off (‘Touch & Go’) circuit operations in both daylight and night-time conditions. The circuit path flown is designed according to ICAO requirements which dictate the circuit shape, location and proximity to the runway. This allows pilots to know where to expect, see and avoid other aircraft traffic. To decrease the noise impact on airport neighbours, circuit training hours have been limited to 0700-2230 Monday to Friday and 0800-1800 on weekends. Jandakot Airport Holdings provides financial incentives for aircraft conducting ‘touch and go’ operations within the Fly Neighbourly circuit hours.
While flight path areas and procedures are generally set, in busy airspace, Air Traffic Controllers may instruct an aircraft to deviate from the expected flight area for safety, expedition or other operational reasons. For example, when there is a mix of single and twin-engine aircraft in the training circuit at the same time, to maintain appropriate sequencing the twin-engine aircraft may need to fly wider circuits as they are faster and more powerful than single-engine aircraft.
Jandakot Airport operates 24 hours a day. Aircraft departing or returning to the airport may still need to fly around the circuit path to land or depart on the appropriate runway.
SIMULATED ENGINE FAILURE
11. Fixed wing aircraft must conduct simulated engine failures over the runway with recovery initiated prior to the airside boundary.
Simulated engine failure is an important component of pilot training curriculum and accreditation. A simulated engine failure is generally conducted with an instructor or assessor on board. The aircraft engine is deliberately brought to idle during flight to test the ability of the pilot to respond to the emergency and conduct a safe and successful glide landing onto the runway. Prior to a pilot experiencing a simulated engine failure, considerable time will have been spent overlearning the recovery procedure so that the pilot can rely on an automatic decision-making response that overcomes the initial surprise or shock. A simulated engine failure will always be done in such a way as to ensure there is no danger to the crew, aircraft or surroundings.
12. Perform aerobatics at least 600m laterally seaward off the coastline or away from residential areas when over land.
Aerobatics (sometimes referred to as acrobatics) is the term used to describe specialised flying manoeuvres not used in normal flight, such as loops, barrel rolls and spins. Pilots must receive an Aerobatics Endorsement on their pilots licence to be able to conduct these manoeuvres, and unless a separate Low Level Endorsement is also obtained, pilots are restricted to performing aerobatics at over 3,000ft above ground level. Pilots will learn aerobatics for recreation, entertainment, sport, or simply to improve aircraft handling skills (all military pilots learn aerobatics to refine flying skills for tactical use in combat).
13. When operating to, from and within the Training Area (D104), avoid populated areas where possible. After leaving Jandakot Class D Airspace, climb to the highest practicable level below the base of controlled airspace.
A lot of flight training takes place to the south of the airport in an area that is within Class G (Non-Controlled) Airspace. This Training Area, known as D104, roughly extends between Thompsons Lake (Success), Forrestdale Lake, Mandurah, Pinjarra, Serpentine Dam, and Lake Cooloongup. The Training Area has maximum airspace levels of between 2,500ft and 6,000ft. The Training Area is frequently used by operators from Jandakot Airport, Murray Field Airport (Mandurah) and Serpentine Airfield. It is often used for aerobatics practice.
14. Use correct take-off and landing areas to minimise the effects of rotor wash.
15. Minimise tight manoeuvres and turns, and avoid hovering, when operating over populated areas where possible.
16. Minimise rotor blade slap noise and utilise descent profiles with low-power and low-noise operations.
Helicopters are increasingly being used for emergency services response and support activities, fly-in and fly-out charters, infrastructure surveillance and maintenance, and aerial/environmental spraying (e.g. mosquitos). Helicopters are preferred over fixed-wing aircraft due to the immediate deployment capability, manoeuvring flexibility, and ability to hover for extended periods of time. Helicopters generally fly at much slower speeds than fixed-wing aircraft. To maintain safe segregation of the various types of aircraft operating, Air Traffic Control may hold a helicopter in a hover position until it is safe for the helicopter to continue its flight path.