Exercise Pitch Black 2024 - Northern Territory

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    Closed consultation
    Start 05/12/2023
    AEDT 09:00
    End 15/02/2024
    AEDT 17:00

    Submit feedback to

    Joint Airspace Control Cell  HQJOC

    Elements of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) will be conducting Exercise Pitch Black 2024 over the period 15 Jul – 01 Aug 2024.

    The issue

    Military Exercise Pitch Black 2024 (PBK24) is a major Australian and International military exercise incorporating a wide range of tactical flying activities across northern Australia over the period 15 July to 01 August 2024.  Aircraft will be operating from Darwin and Tindal.


       The activity will be conducted from Darwin and Tindal, and will incorporate large volumes of restricted and danger areas in the NT.

      This proposal notes the following key issues:

      • Northern Territory permanent and temporary Restricted and Danger Areas to be activated in the vicinity of Darwin (YPDN) and Tindal (YPTN) between 15 July and 01 August 2024
      • Priority departure windows for MIL ACFT (YPDN)
      • Increased air-traffic density resulting in delays to civil aircraft at YPDN
      • Civil aircraft diversion routes
      • Mindil Beach Flypast on Thursday 18 July and impact to YPDN operations


      To ensure public safety and meet exercises training objectives, a large volume of military restricted and danger areas will be activated. In addition, supporting procedures, such as MIL priority windows at Darwin Aerodrome and advice of additional holding fuel requirements, are necessary to accommodate high-density fast-jet operations that have limited endurance. These procedures are pertinent to ensuring that both military and civilian traffic can be safely managed with the additional challenge of the Darwin runway works scheduled throughout 2024. The timings have been devised in consultation with Darwin ATC and Darwin International Airport (DIA), and have been designed to ensure sufficient gaps for all traffic types to be facilitated within ATC hours.

      Additionally, aircraft of the Australian and International military forces will conduct a flypast overhead Mindil Beach as part of a local community event on the evening of Thursday 18 July. To ensure safety of flight, non-participating aircraft will not be able to take-off or land at Darwin for the duration of the flypast, nor flying operations with the Control Zone during this period (90 minutes duration). Priority flights, such as flights with a declared emergency, or in support of the protection of life and property (MEDEVAC, SAR) shall be facilitated when safe to do so.

      Please see the detailed consultation outlined attached.

      Stakeholders are invited to provide feedback to JACC: adf.airspace@defence.gov.au by Friday 05 May 2024

      Submitted by

      Joint Airspace Control Cell HQJOC

      Relevant documentation

      06 December 2023