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Unattended Aerodromes Instrument Flight Procedures (IFPs) Review
(Supporting information referred to on the newspaper advertisements on the 2nd November 2013)
What is the review about?
This is a review of instrument flight procedures (IFPs) at unattended locations at which Airways provides a limited service e.g. no visual or electronic navaids. In 2008, Civil Aviation Rule (CAR) Part 173 changes required that IFPs at these locations are kept up to date through regular maintenance for safety reasons.
This review is about working with aerodrome operators so they can make an informed decision about:
- whether they want Airways to be their IFP maintenance provider. There are other providers that can provide maintenance services;
- what IFPs they want at their aerodrome. Some IFPs are rarely used and may no longer be required; and
- whether they agree to pay the annual maintenance fee (assuming they want Airways to be their provider).
We encourage aircraft operators to talk to their airport operators if they use IFPs at an aerodrome that is part of this review.
The review only includes procedures that Airways originally created and does not include those designed by other providers.
The CAA regulatory changes mean that the resources required to maintain IFPs have significantly increased. Airways now needs to charge for this service directly in order for Airways to be able to provide a sustainable Part 173 maintenance service. Airways will be charging the aerodrome operators directly if they choose to use Airways as their IFP maintenance provider. There will be no direct charge from Airways to users of IFPs for this service. However, aerodrome operators may ask the users of the procedures to make a contribution towards the annual maintenance cost of the IFPs.
If you have any questions, please contact:
- Greg Perris, Team Leader Aeronautical Design & Development – (04) 460 0704; or
- E-mail : ADD@airways.co.nz
Which aerodromes will be affected by this review?
How will the review affect aircraft operators?
How the review will affect aircraft operators depends on what an aerodrome operator chooses to do in response to the review. The review could impact on an aircraft operator if:
- An aerodrome operator decides that some procedures are no longer needed. We encourage users of procedures to talk to their aerodrome operator about their requirements.
- An aerodrome operator chooses to pass on the cost of maintaining the procedures. This could result in new or increasing aerodrome landing fees.
Why has Airways changed how it charges for these services?
Previously, before the CAR rule part changes, the cost of maintaining these IFP was minimal. The service was indirectly funded by a national network price which meant that the service was not always funded by those that used it.
Airways, in consultation with various industry participants including aerodrome operators, released its Services and Pricing Frameworks in July 2012. The Frameworks set out the pricing structure for those services provided by Airways at unattended aerodromes. Where Airways provides services at unattended aerodromes other than visual navigation aids and electronic navigation aids, Airways will charge aerodrome operators for these services directly. This will ensure the service is funded by those that use the service.
The reason aerodrome operators are now charged directly is the relatively low cost of the service and low aircraft volumes makes charging aircraft operators directly inefficient and often ineffective as the volumes are sometimes too low to recover the full cost.
What is Airways seeking from aerodrome operators?
- an agreement that their aerodrome can be used for instrument flight procedures designed by Airways;
- a commitment to engage Airways to maintain their procedures;
- identification of which procedures are needed at their location;
- an agreement to provide the relevant survey results for obstacle assessment; and
- an agreement to the annual lump sum charge for the maintenance of procedures.
What does the maintenance and review of instrument flight procedures involve?
Review of IFPs involves conducting an assessment of each procedure to determine whether it remains compliant with current ICAO and CAA published requirements. The periodic review ensures procedures meet current safety standards as prescribed by those organisations. An example of a recent ICAO change is the requirement to assess the visual segment surface for obstacle penetrations. In addition, IFP reviews consider recent survey data as supplied by the aerodrome operator to ensure that the approach and departure areas are not penetrated by obstacles. Where penetrations are identified, maintenance in the form of re-design work is required and covered by the annual price. Data storage and the provision of up-to-date aeronautical information that supports the Aeronautical Navigation Register are also functions that Airways carries out as part of its Part 173 maintenance obligations. The process will also involve a review of whether all of the current procedures are still required.
How will Airways determine the applicable price for services at each unattended aerodrome?
Airways is aware that it is not the only Part 173 service provider available in New Zealand and is committed to a pricing framework which is both sustainable and competitive.
Therefore, Airways will consult with each affected aerodrome operator to determine which instrument procedures are required. Based on the procedures required, Airways will apply an annual price which is based on an average review time for each type of procedure and a calculation of the resources required over a five year period for the provision of maintenance. The annual price spreads the cost over a five year time period to make it more affordable.
What is an Instrument Flight Procedure (IFP)?
An instrument flight procedure is a prescribed flight path designed to international standards that enables safe, efficient and predictable flight for aircraft that are being navigated by reference to aircraft navigation instruments. It includes departure, en-route, arrival and approach flight paths.
What is an unattended aerodrome?
An unattended aerodrome is an aerodrome which does not have air traffic control services being provided to aircraft that operate on or within the vicinity of the aerodrome. Generally, unattended aerodromes have low volumes of light aircraft traffic that does not warrant the provision of air traffic control services.
How can regional aerodromes recover the money?
It is the decision (and responsibility) of the regional unattended aerodrome operators to determine how they want to recover the cost of making the procedures available at their aerodromes.
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