Australia's controversial airspace reform programme is heading for court, with airspace reformer Dick Smith taking legal action against Airservices Australia, writes Emma Kelly.

The court action concerns Airservices' plans to reverse some elements of the National Airspace System (NAS) in November, with the so-called option three to address perceived safety shortcomings. Option three includes upgrading airspace above Class D towers from Class E to Class C, enhancing Class C above capital city airports and in the en-route airspace between Sydney and Melbourne.

Smith, designer of the US-style NAS and former chairman of the country's Civil Aviation Safety Authority, last week took the service provider to the Federal Court in an attempt to prevent the reversal. Smith says the move is unsafe, accuses Airservices of ignoring material that supports his case, and criticises its methodology and lack of industry consultation. Airservices says that its decision is based on ensuring the safety of travellers.

A formal hearing has been set for 1 November.

Source: Flight International