Flying Operations

This website provides general information about significant aircraft movements, flypasts, exercises and training activities.

This website does not provide information on single aircraft movements; or general information about routine flying activities


Air Force Hercules support Army on Exercise Hamel

What:    Up to three Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-130J Hercules transport aircraft fly in support of Army’s Exercise Hamel in South Australia.
Where:   The Hercules will be operating largely from RAAF Base Edinburgh, flying to airfields in Whyalla, Port Pirie and Woomera.
When:    26 June to 10 July 2016. Flying activity to some airfields is expected to occur until 3am during the exercise.
South Australians may notice an increase in flying activity in late June and early July as RAAF C-130J Hercules transport aircraft operate in support of Army’s Exercise Hamel.
A trio of Hercules will be used predominantly to deliver Army personnel to and from airfields in Port Pirie and Whyalla. Army personnel deployed in the nearby Cultana Training Area will also be resupplied through the airdrop of cargo.
Plans are under way for ground-based refuelling at Port Pirie, which will see the RAAF Hercules offloading its fuel onto Army helicopters such as the CH-47 Chinook and the Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter.
For much of Exercise Hamel, the Hercules will be operating from RAAF Base Edinburgh.
Exercise Hamel forms an important part of the training for aircrew operating the C-130J Hercules on frontline operations, such as the current deployment of two Hercules to the Middle East Region.
Each Hercules can accommodate more than 120 passengers or up to 20 tonnes of cargo, and is capable of airdropping paratroops or cargo by parachute. The aircraft’s cargo bay can also be configured to carry trailers and vehicles.
Air Force operates a fleet of 12 C-130J Hercules, which are based at RAAF Base Richmond, north-west of Sydney.

RAAF aircraft flying activity over Williamtown

What:     1 x Hawk 127 aircraft and up to 8 x F/A-18 Hornet aircraft from Royal Australian Air Force Base Williamtown conduct flying operations
When:     Monday 27 June to Friday 01 July 2016

Where:     Williamtown and surrounding airspace

A single Hawk 127 aircraft from Number 76 Squadron will be conducting low level flying training in the Eastern Low Flying Area on Monday 27 June from 10:30am until 12:00pm and again from 3:00pm until 4:30pm.

On Thursday 30 June, a single Hawk 127 aircraft will be conducting low level flying training in the Eastern Low Flying Area from 11:00am until 12:30pm.

The Eastern Low Flying Area is bounded approximately by Myall Lakes, Stroud, Wards River and Taree.

Up to eight F/A-18 Hornets from Number 77 Squadron will be conducting flying training over the period Monday 27 June until Thursday 30 June in the Western Airspace from 1:00pm until 3:30pm followed with night flying training from 6:30pm until 8:30pm.

On Friday 01 July, up to eight F/A-18 Hornets will be conducting flying training in the Western Airspace from 11:30am until 1:30pm.

The Western Airspace is bounded approximately by Stroud, Dungog, Branxton, Muswellbrook, Gloucester, Taree and Wards River.

Noise management and environment impact are vital considerations in the planning and conduct of military flying.

Air Force appreciates the continued support it receives from the Williamtown community during this important flying activity.

Information on aircraft noise and current flying activities is available at or by calling 1300 DEFENCE (1300 333 362) and asking to be connected to Royal Australian Air Force Base Williamtown

Fast jet flying program for Salt Ash Air Weapons Range - June to November 2016

Royal Australian Air Force Base Williamtown has outlined the planned flying program for fast jets on the Salt Ash Air Weapons Range for the second half of 2016.
Number 77 Squadron is scheduled to conduct F/A-18A Hornet training on the range from 14 to 17 June inclusive.
Number 76 Squadron is scheduled to conduct Hawk 127 operations on the range from 18 July to 12 August, weekdays only.
The F/A-18A Hornets will return to the range on 29 August through to 2 September.
Residents living in East Medowie, Salt Ash and Lemon Tree Passage can expect the range to be used consistently throughout this period.
Commander Air Combat Group, Air Commodore Steve Roberton, said aircrew minimised their use of the range and once proficiency has been attained they move onto the next stage of the course.
“Last year, Hawk and Hornet aircraft used the range for 41 days, which is well under the 115 days per year Air Force is permitted to use the range under the Hawk Environment Impact Statement consent conditions.”
“Air Force has a responsibility to ensure personnel are ready and able to deploy at short notice and this involves necessary air to ground training that is employed at Salt Ash Air Weapons Range,” Air Commodore Steve Roberton said.
Air Commodore Roberton said every effort was made to minimise any inconvenience to residents during Salt Ash Air Weapons Range training.
Members of the community seeking further information are invited to call 1800 033 200, or refer to for further information.

ADF training near Perth and surrounds

Up to three US military MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters will fly in and around Perth, Western Australia, as part of joint training activity being conducted by the Australian and US Defence Forces in May and June 2016.
The aircraft will be stationed at RAAF Base Pearce, and fly to the ADF’s Bindoon Training Area and other locations around Perth.
The purpose of this activity is to provide personnel with realistic training environments and scenarios in built-up areas. This exercise is part of the regular training program and residents should not be concerned if they hear or see these activities occurring.
The training activities are designed to provide a realistic test of ADF skills and to ensure the ADF maintains the highest level of capability to respond, where required, to support Australia’s national interests.

The training involves low flying, which can generate some unavoidable noise.  Noise will be mitigated by the choice of flying routes and locations.
Defence acknowledges that these activities may result in possible disturbances to local residents, however, wherever possible, the ADF seeks to minimise this disruption.