Real procedures at Essendon Airport

About Essendon Airport

Essendon Airport is situateed on 305 hectares, 11 kilometres from Melbourne's Central Business District and 5 kilometres from Melbourne Airport. Essendon Airport specialises in corporate jet, aircraft maintenance, airfreight, regional and interstate charters and emergency air services activities. Combined, these operators undertake more than 65,000 annual aircraft movements into the facility.

Essendon Tower Operations

Essendon Airport is a very unique airfield. It's the only airfield in Victoria that shares airspace with a major international airport. This means that there are some really interesting procedures that differ from a lot of G/A airfields around the world. First, some pictures :)

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Airspace Boundries

The following image shows Essendon Towers Airspace.

EN Airspace

General Information

This is just a list of general tips for Essendon.

  • Circuit height is 1500ft.
  • All transponders should be set to 0100 approaching, or within EN airspace

VFR Procedures

Essendon Airport handles a lot of VFR aircraft. This includes pilot training, joy flights, executive flights, medical responses and much more. To control the Essendon airspace effectively, you need to know these main VFR fixes.

  • Westgate Bridge (WES)
  • Williamstown (WMS)
  • Station Pier (SNP)
  • Albert Park Lake (APL)
  • Freeway Overpass (FWO)
  • Doncaster Shopping Town (DSN)
  • Plenty Locator (PLE)
  • Yan Yean Reservior (YYN)
  • Kalkallo (KAO)

The usual inbound clearances given depends on which runways are active. The most common are shown below. Click the route to see the TAATS view of the route in question.

Landing Runway 17/26

Landing Runway 35

Clearance via Yan Yean or Kalkallo

These are considered special case clearances as it depends on traffic and runway configurations at Melbourne. Generally, if RW27 at ML is active, clearance is NOT available from these two point without approval of ML_APP. This can only be approved by ML_APP. If clearance is not available, then the incoming aircraft will be instructed to remain OCTA and report at PLE for inbound clearance.

In heavy traffic, or if it makes a situation easier, traffic may be layered at 1500ft and 2000ft as required.

Departing clearances

Departing clearances are usually issued direct to one of the following waypoints at 1500ft.

  • Westgate Bridge (WES)
  • Freeway Overpass (FWO)
  • Doncaster Shopping Town (DSN)

From those points, the aircraft operate OCTA and have no further requirements to EN.

IFR clearances are usually either an Essendon 2 departure or a Visual departure onto a heading assigned by ML_APP. Upon departure, the aircraft should be directed to contact departures (usually ML_APP) when passing 2500ft on climb.


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