The information below is intended to reflect the preferred practice of Main Roads Western Australia ("Main Roads"). Main Roads reserves the right to update this information at any time without notice. If you have any questions or comments on the Policy Statement or the Provision Guideline please contact Albert Symcox by e-mail or on (08) 9323 4586, and on the Design Guideline please contact Tony Freeman by e-mail or on (08) 9323 4456.
To the extent permitted by law, Main Roads, its employees, agents, authors and contributors are not liable for any loss resulting from any action taken or reliance made by you on the information herein displayed.
Broken link rectified.
Main Roads is agreeable to sections of State roads being built or upgraded to act as emergency landing areas for use by the Royal Flying Doctor Service. The provision of emergency landing areas is subject to meeting the Guideline requirements, the availability of funds and funding priorities.
The definitions provided below are for terms not contained in or have a different meaning for this Guideline to the definitions given in Main Roads Glossary of Technical Terms. Additional terminology is adopted as defined by the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) published by Aeronautical Information Service (AIS).
Aerodrome means a defined area of land or water (including any buildings, installations and equipment) intended to be used either wholly or in part for the arrival, departure and movement of aircraft).
Aerodrome Proprietor means any Owner, Licensee, Authority, Corporation or any other body which has a legal responsibility for a particular aerodrome.
Apron means a defined area on a land aerodrome, intended to accommodate aircraft for purposes of loading passengers, mail, cargo, fuelling, parking or maintenance.
AS means Australian Standard.
Landing Area means that part of the movement area intended for the take-off and landing of aircraft.
Main Roads means Main Roads Western Australia.
Manoeuvring Area means that part of an aerodrome to be used for take-off, landing and taxiing of aircraft, excluding aprons.
Movement Area means that part of an aerodrome to be used for the take-off, landing and taxiing of aircraft, consisting of the manoeuvring area and the apron(s).
Parking Area means a specially prepared or selected part of an aerodrome within which aircraft may be parked.
Runway means a defined rectangular area on a land aerodrome prepared for the take-off and landing of aircraft.
Runway Strip means the defined area, including the runway (and stopway if provided), intended both to reduce the risk of damage to aircraft inadvertently running off the runway and to protect aircraft flying over it during take-off, landing or missed approach.
Stopway means a defined rectangular area on the ground at the end of the take-off run available prepared as a suitable area in which an aircraft can be stopped in the case of an abandoned take-off.
State road means a highway and main road under the control of Main Roads Western Australia, including national highways.
This guideline applies to routes designated as State roads in remote areas.
Maps of State roads can be located on www.mainroads.wa.gov.au under State Road Network Mapping System.
The prerequisite for an emergency landing area is as follows:
The following considerations shall be taken into account when designing the emergency landing area:
3.4.1 New roadwork projects
3.4.2 Existing roads
Main Roads will generally fund one-third of the cost to a maximum of $50,000; subject to the balance of the cost being funded by other parties such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Department of Planning, Department of Transport and Local Government.
An application for an emergency landing area shall be submitted in writing by the Royal Flying Doctor Service to the relevant Main Roads Regional Manager. The following must be included in the application:
Road alignment is in the direction of the stronger prevailing surface winds,
There are no hills, terrain or man-made objects (masts, buildings etc) more than 45 metres above the landing area elevation within 2.5 km (preferably 4.5 km) of the road section,
Aircraft approaching and departing the proposed landing area are preferably not to fly over residential or built-up areas,
Future use of the landing area is not likely to be compromised by growth of obstacles around it.
The purpose of this document is to specify standards for the design of emergency runway strips in Western Australia and to provide practical guidelines for the application of these standards.Emergency runway strips are constructed in remote areas where access to medical facilities by road may not be a viable option due to flooding of roads or distance/time constraints. This combined facility is recommended in those remote areas where there are no runway strips for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) or State Emergency Services (SES) emergency evacuations and construction of a permanent runway strip is not warranted due to the limited usage of the facility. However, if a suitable permanent runway strip is available nearby then the RFDS are required by law to use it and an emergency runway strip should not be provided.
When designing an emergency runway strip the following considerations shall be taken into account:- Minimum costs associated with construction, maintenance and site location;- Minimum adverse impacts to the environment where possible;- Maximum operational efficiency;- Visual integration with the surrounding environment;- The ultimate layout (road and adjacent developments) in the vicinity of the runway strips and ensure that it can be accommodated with a minimum reconstruction in the future;- The needs and safety of all road user groups; - Night landing requirements.
Sites for emergency runway strips shall be straight sections of road, which meet RFDS requirements. A copy of these requirements can be found in Appendix A. The Main Roads regional office should first be contacted regarding specific locations and the procedures involved with their use. The RFDS can provide a diagram showing approach angles, lighting requirements and surface slopes that may be used as the basis for selecting suitable sites (Appendix A).If there are a number of sites available, then the preferred site shall be the one that best meets the following factors:- Best aligned with the stronger prevailing surface winds;- Generally flat topography with no hills or man made objects more than 45m above th ground level within 2500m (preferably 4500m);- Aircraft approaching the runway strips will preferably not fly over residential or built-up areas;- Future use of the runway strips is not likely to be compromised by the growth of obstacles around it;- Area is not likely to be subject to flooding;- Accessibility of site (to minimise emergency crew response time).The following is not permitted within the site of the emergency runway strips:- Horizontal curves,- Floodways,- Culverts,- Diversion drains,- Intersecting roads/community access roads,- Cattle grids,- Parking bays.
5.3.1 Design Requirements
When designing emergency runway strips the following criteria relevant to the road design shall be met:
The vertical design speed for the runway strips section of road shall be 130 km/hr.
Typical cross section to be adopted for the emergency runway strips shall be as per Drawing No. 200431-0003.
Minimum seal width is 10m.
Maximum longitudinal slope is 2.68% (2% overall from start to end of the runway strips).
Maximum crossfall is 2.5%.
Minimum length of runway is 1200m.
Clearing for the emergency runway strips and turning bay shall be as per Drawing No. 200431-0003 and Figure 3 and 4 (Appendix A).
An aircraft movement area and an aircraft/ambulance parking area shall be provided as shown in Drawing No. 200431-0003.
Pavement markings for the emergency runway shall be in accordance with Drawing No. 200431-0003. Road edge lines and centre line markings shall be in accordance with Main Roads pavement marking guidelines.
Signs, straight line distance (SLK) markers and focal point distance markers are not permitted within the location of the emergency runway strips.
Guideposts located within the emergency airstrip must be positioned in suitable steel sleeves to enable the removal during the use of the runway strips.
The minimum surfacing treatments for the emergency runway strips shall be cutback prime or primerseal followed by a double coat seal with 14mm and 10mm aggregate.
Consideration for provision of special facilities for pedestrians, disabled and elderly is to be made; however due to the remoteness of the site, such facilities are unlikely to be required. This issue is site specific and need to be assessed on a case by case basis.
The use of permanent drop-down or removable signs is to be maximised for the most efficient deployment of signs.
A wind direction indicator (windsock) is required, preferably portable, located in the vicinity of the aircraft apron (parking) area (Figure 11 - RFDS Standards- Appendix A), and clear of the approach, take-off and lateral transition flight zone airspace.
Consideration should be given to provide storage facilities on site for storage of equipment (signs etc) required for the emergency runway strip.
Details on requirements for dimensions, physical characteristics and marking for the runway strips are given in Sections 4 and 5 of the RFDS Standards (Appendix A).
5.3.2 Runway Lights and Lighting of Aircraft Parking Area
For a night landing, runway lights shall be placed in the pre-determined locations, as detailed by RFDS Standards (Figure 8, 9 and 10 - Appendix A). All lights shall be anchored using bridge spikes or an equivalent method and shall meet the requirements of Section 5 of RFDS Airstrip Standards.
The windsock shall be illuminated at night to adequately show the wind direction.
For each landing site a traffic management plan shall be prepared which contains as a minimum the following information:
A sample traffic management plan is contained in Appendix B.
Upon initiation of the emergency evacuation by the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the service must contact the aerodrome proprietor (one of the Main Roads Representatives-Customer Services Manager or Regional Manager) to inform them of the impending road closure. The Main Roads representative must then issue a public notice to the effect that the road is to be closed (Radio announcement) and the reasons for the road closure. The RFDS response times are such that they are typically airborne within 90 min of being notified that an emergency evacuation is required.All efforts shall be made by Main Roads and local authorities to have police or Main Roads representation on site for evacuations. Where police or Main Roads representatives are on site, these persons will have overriding authority for the evacuation in respect to all traffic matters.When the RFDS pilot advises that a landing is to take place, all signs and lights are to be deployed and traffic controllers are to take their places at each end of the runway strips. Appendix B contains a traffic management plan which has been designed in accordance with AS1742, and the Main Roads Traffic Management Requirements for Works on Roads.At the instruction of the pilot, the road will then be physically closed until the aircraft has landed and is in the parking area. Once the RFDS aircraft has landed, and engines have been stopped, at the approval of the RFDS pilot the road may be reopened until such a time that the pilot orders the road to be closed again for take-off.Speed will be reduced to 60km/h when reopening of the road during the evacuation process; 80km/h buffer will be utilised to reduce traffic speed. At the completion of the evacuation all non-permanent signage shall be removed from the site.It is anticipated that each road closure will be for a period typically between 30-60 minutes. The time that the RFDS will be on the ground is dependent on the time required to stabilise the patient and that could be up to three hours.The aerodrome proprietor shall advise RFDS of any changes that may affect safe conduct of the flight (eg. reduction to the length of the runway strip, any new or temporary obstacle etc.).Signage and lighting requirements for emergency airstrips are as shown in Table 10.3.1.
SIZE(Height x width) mm
900 x 1200
Regulatory 80km/h Speed Restriction Sign
Regulatory 60km/h Speed Restriction Sign
Regulatory 110km/h Speed Restriction Sign
1200 x 900
Traffic Hazard Ahead
Prepare to Stop
1800 x 900
Reduce Speed Signs
Special RFDS Landing Sign
Refer to Drawing No. 200431-003
1800 x 450
50 (Includes Spare)
Steady Yellow Beacons & Batteries
8 + 6 spare
Flashing Yellow Beacons and Batteries
20 + 6 Spare
During landing a minimum safety distance of 500m is required by RFDS for all vehicles to be away from the runway strip.
5.4.1 Site Safety
The safety of road users, persons carrying out the road closure, and the RFDS aircraft and personnel is paramount. Emergency evacuations shall be completed ensuring the maximum safety and adherence to the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act and Regulations. The following criteria shall be met for all evacuations:
The vegetation abutting emergency runway strip (fly over area) must be clear of all vegetation and large objects over 1.0m in height, 22.5 m either side of the runway strip (Airstrip Standards & Reporting Arrangements - Appendix A).
Routine maintenance intervention parameters for sections of road proposed for use as an emergency landing area should be specified to be of a higher standard than other sections of road because of the special use function of the road.
On sections of road where table drains occur, the maintenance area should be extended to a distance 1m beyond the table drain invert.
All lights shall be subject to periodic check and maintenance, especially the state of the batteries. Replacement of batteries shall be at costs of the aerodrome proprietor.
Reporting to the RFDS on permanent and temporary changes to the runway strips shall be as specified in Airstrip Standards & Reporting Arrangements (Appendix A) - Royal Flying Doctors Service of Western Australia.
1. Airstrip Standards & Reporting Arrangements (Appendix A) - Royal Flying Doctors Service of Western Australia
2. AS 1742 - Manual of uniform traffic control devices
3. Main Roads Traffic Management Requirements for Works on Roads
4. Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act and Regulations5. TraFfic Management Requirements for Works on Roads - Main Roads website - on line document
6. Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) published by Aeronautical Information Service (AIS), Airservice Australia (http://www.airservicesaustralia.com/aip/aip.asp)
Airstrip Standards Document:
(Click to View)
Airstrip Standards Dimensional Drawings:
Figure 1 - Airstrip Dimensions Day Operations
Figure 2 - Airstrip Dimensions Night Operations
Figure 3 - Approach and Take-off Surfaces
Figure 4 - Transitional Slope Plan and Cross Section
Figure 5 - Runway Strip Boundary Markers
Figure 6 - Runway Edge and Corner Markers
Figure 7 - Airstrip Lighting: Normal Conditions
Figure 8 - Airstrip Lighting: Emergency Operations Only
Figure 9 - Airstrip Lighting: Emergency Operations Only
Figure 10 - Airstrip Lighting: Emergency Operations Only (Least Preferred Option)
Figure 11- Wind Direction Indicators
Nanutarra emergency airstrip