Review the Military Restricted Airspace information elsewhere in this program for advice on how to avoid infringing the wide expanse of restricted airspace to the west and south of Townsville.
The VFR corridor leading towards Thornton Gap makes a very useful lane of entry between some significant ranges either side, as well as between potentially active military restricted airspace. So when the cloud base is low, this can prove a safe route to take inbound or outbound from Townsville.
Inbound in the corridor to the west of Townsville, head for the beacon in the middle of the corridor (at around 27nm DME TL, adjacent the radio towers). Keep the disused railway line to your left, and the prominent Hervey Range Development Road to your right.
There’s a quarry marked on the VTC which stands out well from the air and will aid in your visual navigation, located just north of the disused railway line you are following towards Thornton Gap. This is also your reminder that you are now inside the TL CLL 2500ft step.
From the beacon, turn left a little and head direct to Thornton Gap by following the railway line (not the road).
S 19 21.5 E 146 27.7
Thornton Gap is a very prominent saddle in the ranges with a small settlement on the western side. Keep in mind that the terrain rises to about 1700ft at Thornton Gap so if you are flying at 1000ft AGL overhead the settlement, this will put you into controlled airspace. If this is your intention, you need to have requested your airways clearance (on TL Delivery, 128.1) at least 10nm before reaching the 2500ft control step at 25DME Townsville.
S 19 17.0 E 146 33.5
If operating not above 2500ft AMSL, contact Townsville Delivery on 128.1 by Thornton Gap. Dependent on runway configuration currently in use, you will be cleared via either Thornton North with an initial waypoint of Mt Black, or Thornton South with an initial waypoint of Mt Margaret.
S 19 21.0 E 146 36.1
Both Mt Black and Mt Margaret are very identifiable ground features to track towards. As R01 is most commonly used, expect a clearance via Thornton South as it tracks you more directly up to R01.
Follow ATC instructions for joining the circuit for either RWY 07 or RWY 01.
No taxi clearance required. Monitor Ground on 121.8MHz.
Taxi clearance from Ground required before entering this area.
Specific clearance required from ATC before entering this area.
An area on the aerodrome intend to accommodate aircraft for the purpose of loading or unloading passengers, cargo, fueling, parking or maintenance.
That part of the aerodrome to be used for take-off, landing and taxiing aircraft, <strong>excluding</strong> aprons.
That part of the aerodrome to be used for take-off, landing and taxiing aircraft, consisting of the manoeuvring area and the apron.