The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (ACASA) has warned that the Aspire Tower will be a hazard to flight activity.
ACASA told Parramatta City Council that the proposed 306m (90 storey) residential tower will impact on aviation safety.
The Aspire Tower is to be located in the Sydney suburb of Parramatta and was designed by Grimshaw. If built, the tower would become the tallest residential building in Australia.
Figure  showing Grimshaw architects’ plans for the 306m Aspire Tower.
In light of consultation with ACASA, the height is expected to be reduced by up to 63m. However, even with the the expected height reduction, the building is still likely to take the crown from the Greenland Centre in Sydney. The tower that will be Australia’s tallest residential building, standing at approximately 235m, when it is completed in 2018.
How is the building an aviation safety concern?
Tall structures, like towers, can prove to be significant obstructions for approaching and departing aircraft near airfields. In many cases, tall structures are lit so that pilots are made aware of their presence even if they are not deemed to be an immediate threat.
Obstacle Limitation Surfaces
Obstacle Limitation Surfaces, or protected surfaces, exist around airfields to safeguard against tall structures infringing areas where aircraft may fly. Even beyond the distance of these surfaces, tall structures may still prove to be a hazard.
In the case of the Aspire Tower, the building at its currently proposed maximum height is said to infringe a landing and take-off corridor for Sydney Airport. The airport is approximately 20km south east of the proposed tower.
The Aspire Tower is certainly not the first proposed tall building in Australia to have issues regarding aviation safety impact. The “Australia 108” skyscraper was set to interfere with a Melbourne flight path.
What is the future of the Aspire Tower?
It is likely that further consultation with the ACASA will be required and a drop in height is expected. It is important for developers of tall structures such as buildings to be aware of these aviation guidelines to ensure that there are no unforeseen setbacks in your development timeline.
 Image of Aspire Tower © Grimshaw Architects
The Parrramatta building height limit of 300m has now been lifted by the state government, in order to see the Aspire Tower built. However, the project still needs approval from the aviation regulator.