A spokesman for the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, says the use of the word ‘supervision’ in his announcement about changes to air navigation procedures at Launceston and other regional airports really does mean ‘control’ from the top of descent right down to landing.

He acknowledged that the word ‘supervision’ had a more defined meaning in aviation than in general usage, and made the following points:

1.The issue here is the difference in interpretation and the meaning of the term “supervision”.

2.The current situation after tower hours is that the enroute centre provides, once leaving controlled airspace, a traffic information service to the aircraft until it advises it is changing to the Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF). This could be interpreted as ‘supervision’ and therefore Sandilands is making comment that the Ministers announcement is a continuation rather than a change.

3. The proposed changes announced by the Minister to be implemented in the next 6 months are full control services using the surveillance coverage. This means that the service from the enroute centre will be full air traffic control approach services. This type of service cannot be interpreted as ‘supervision’ as it would be no different to the type of control services (or protection) at Melbourne, Sydney etc.

4. The aircraft that were involved in incident are not scheduled outside of current tower hours (and therefore avoid charges). On the night in question both aircraft were running late – therefore they arrived outside of tower hours – i.e. it isn’t the schedule and it isn’t about avoiding charges.

These are important clarifications. For those who wish to, please discuss.

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