The final Qantas B747-400ER is planned to depart Sydney at 1400 hrs (local) on 22 July 2020 and will conduct a fly-over of Shellharbour airport.

The issue

The final Qantas B747-400ER (VH-OEJ) will depart Sydney at 1400 hrs (local) on Wednesday 22 July 2020. To mark this historic event, the aircraft will overfly Shellharbour airport (YSHL) at 1500 ft to salute the first Qantas B747-400, before setting course for the United States.

Due to the unusual nature of this flight, to mitigate risk associated wake turbulence in low-level class G airspace and within the YSHL CTAF, it is proposed that a temporary restricted area (TRA) be established.

This AVSEF paper is to provide an opportunity for comment. Direct contact is also being facilitated by the YSHL airport operator and HARS.

Please see the attached paper for further information. 

Submitted by: 

Matthew Bouttell - Manager ATM and Operational Compliance, Qantas Group


Thank you for your consultation response to the NSW/ACT Aviation State Engagement Forum (AVSEF) paper I submitted on 13 July 2020. This feedback enabled Qantas to successfully apply to the CASA Office of Airspace Regulation (OAR) to establish a temporary restricted area (TRA) which will contain the Qantas B747 as it overflies Shellharbour airport at 1500 FT to salute the HARS museum and our first B747-400 – VH-OJA, before setting course for retirement in the United States.

I have attached an extract of the briefing document provided to the Qantas Flight crew for your perusal. This document contains the final dimensions of the TRA along with the expected flight path (weather pending). Of course we hope this will also enable you to find a great vantage point and catch a glimpse of the aircraft as she makes her final farewell. This document provides an indicative depiction of the location of the TRA boundaries, however you must refer the NOTAM for the final dimensions. It is expected this will be published shortly and I have given the undertaking to OAR to inform them as soon as the aircraft has re-established itself out of the TRA to cancel the NOTAM and minimise any inconvenience to local operators.

Importantly, upon reviewing the risk assessment contained within the Airspace Change Request (ACP), the OAR has assessed that the TRA be established for the period of the flyby (0400-0500 UTC / 1400-1500 local). Also, to ensure adequate protection from wake turbulence as well as risk of mid-air collision – particularly as the aircraft commences its climb, it has been necessary to extend the vertical limits of the TRA from the SFC to the base of controlled airspace (BCTA) instead of the originally requested 3000 FT. The area has also been extended east to provide continued protection as the aircraft climbs prior to entering controlled airspace. Qantas is supportive of these changes.

You may note that on the day there will be two helicopters operating west of the airfield at or above 2000 FT. The operator and Qantas have agreed to a local procedure to permit this activity for aerial photography. Also, a local procedure has been established with TOLL helicopters in the event they are required to operationalise during the event.

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Respondents are encouraged to CC their State convenor or other interested parties on their consultation response where appropriate. The proponent is the recipient of submissions, not CASA or other AvSEF (formerly RAPAC) stakeholders.

Start 14/07/2020
End 17/07/2020
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