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Southern Launch will seek approval from CASA OAR to establish two Temporary Restricted Areas (TRAs) to ensure airspace safety during the launch of two rockets between 29 August and 02 September 2022.
• Two (2) rocket launches between 29 August 2022 and 02 September 2022 at the Koonibba Test Range, located in Koonibba SA 5690.
• A series of two (2) proposed Temporary Restricted Areas using existing Manual of Air Traffic Services guidelines extending around the launch site and approximately 70 km down-range.
To seek feedback from airspace users on:
1. the potential effect upon your flight operations of proposed TRAs; and
2. any measured effect of the Temporary Restricted Areas following the conclusion of the launch activity.
Southern Launch will seek approval from CASA OAR to establish two TRAs to ensure airspace safety during the launch of two rockets between 29 August and 02 September 2022. The launches will occur from the Koonibba Test Range (KTR) launch pad (-31.885°, 133.4487°), located in Koonibba SA 5690.
The rockets are of the same T-Minus DART design that was first launched from the KTR in September 2020. The trajectory of the rockets is similar to the original launch campaign, landing approximately 70 km north of the launch pad within the Yellabinna Regional Reserve.
The launches are both planned to occur on the same day. However, a five-day launch window has been scheduled to allow for any delays caused by weather or other operational requirements. The TRAs may therefore be activated on multiple dates within this period.
Southern Launch will aim to minimise the effect of airspace restrictions on other airspace users while ensuring that all launch activities are conducted safely. The proposed solution requires Southern Launch to work closely with CASA OAR and Airservices Australia to ensure safe and effective airspace coordination.
Southern Launch proposes to employ two TRAs, as shown in Figure 1, covering the following areas:
1) Pre-Launch TRA (purple area in Figure 1): extending 5nm around the launch site per FAA 14CFR B417.9 once launch-related hazardous operations begin; and
2) Launch TRA (orange area in Figure 1): extending across all the planned launch trajectories as calculated using FAA 14CFR B417.9 once a launch execution verdict is given.
The Pre-Launch TRA will be activated when hazardous operations begin approximately T-2 hours 20 minutes from launch. The Launch TRA will augment the Pre-Launch TRA from T-30 minutes.
Southern Launch will provide Airservices Australia with advance notice of a target launch window(s) so that an appropriate NOTAM(s) may be promulgated. On launch day, Southern Launch’s Area Controller will confirm that launch will be attempted within one or more of these windows and request that the TRAs be activated for the duration of the launch attempt.
All airspace management will be coordinated through Airservices Australia and Melbourne Air Traffic Control.
In addition to the use of TRAs, Southern Launch’s Area Controller will monitor the Ceduna Common Traffic Advisory Frequency and broadcast into the blind following TRA activation.
Southern Launch seeks input from current airspace users on the effect the proposed solution could have on existing or planned operations within the airspace within the TRAs.
Following the launch activity taking place, Southern Launch seeks quantitative feedback on the effect the TRA had on airspace users to inform potential future rocket launch activities from the Koonibba Test Range.