This route can be used for arrivals from either Bathurst or Melville Islands. It tends to be well used, as many pilots prefer not to fly too great a distance over water, particularly if low-level. Route 1 keeps them over land as much as possible. VFR aircraft inbound from the north do not necessarily have to plan via the VFR route; they have the option of planning a direct track to or from the islands.
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Route 1 commences at the VFR approach point of Cape Gambier, on the southern tip of Melville Island. The CTA lower limit here is 2500ft, with Restricted Area R230A (military flying) commencing at 5000ft.
Continue tracking south, past the lighthouse off the western tip of NW Vernon Island. As you are crossing Clarence Channel, you may also be able to see a lighthouse on the northern tip of SW Vernon Island, out to your left as you track south.
Be aware that Gunn Point and Cape Hotham (further to the east) can often be confused with each other, which can cause a violation of controlled airspace. Gunn Point has three islands to its north.
Follow the route past Gunn Point down to the new VFR waypoint of Jackos Junction, taking note of the controlled airspace steps and requesting your clearance in plenty of time.
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Jackos Junction (JAC) is a three-way dirt road intersection just inland from the coast. A little hard to identify, you will notice a clearing immediately north of the intersection, with a white tank and small tower adjacent to it.
Note that Jackos Junction replaces Hope Inlet as the published VFR approach point for traffic using Routes 1 and 2, and keeps VFR aircraft well separated from departing and arriving IFR traffic to the north of the airport.
From Jackos Junction, make a right turn and track over water to Lee Point.
Lee Point lies within the Darwin CTR, less than five miles north of the airport. From here, follow ATC instructions for joining the circuit.
Pilots are often requested to track direct via the hospital, so make sure you have checked the location of published buildings or landmarks in this area on your VTC during your planning.
The hospital is a prominent landmark to the north of the airport.
Another landmark often used by ATC to ensure separation with departing and arriving traffic at Darwin is the Nightcliff Jetty, on a point to the north-west of the airport.
Note that Restricted Area R262 has been deactivated and replaced by a Danger Area up to 1400ft, to the east-north-east of the airport. It is frequently active. Check your NOTAMs for further advice on status.
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Remember that ATC may ask whether you are land and hold short operations (LAHSO)-approved. Read up on LAHSO procedures in OnTrack Darwin/Aerodrome/Procedures Overview. If at any time an instruction from ATC is not clear, immediately ask for clarification.
No taxi clearance required. Monitor Ground on 121.80MHz.
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.