Once you start broadening your horizons and flying interstate, you'll have to remain mindful of the various time zones across Australia.
As you are flying west to east (flying towards an earlier sunset), keeping track of the local time is an essential part of your daily routine, and in the Sunrise/Sunset chapter of AIP, the information you'll need is set out clearly. (It is also schematically set out on the Australian map on the inside cover of your ERSA).
Local time in Australia falls into three separate zones:
- Eastern Standard Time (EST), UTC + 10 hours
- Central Standard Time (CST), UTC + 9.5 hours
- Western Standard Time (WST), UTC + 8 hours.
These times apply as follows:
- EST is used in NSW (except the Broken Hill area), Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory
- CST is used in South Australia, the Northern Territory and the Broken Hill area;
- WST is used in Western Australia.
However, as we know, certain states and territories introduce local summer time (daylight saving) each year between October of that year and March of the following year, which adds an additional hour to the local time applicable in that state or territory. NOTAM or AIP Supplements will be issued detailing revised hours of operation, often prefaced by '1 HR earlier HDS' (hours of daylight saving) for those aeronautical facilities affected by local time changes during periods of daylight saving.
First-time visitors to Broken Hill might be caught out by its inclusion in the CST zone, even though it is located in NSW. Locals even follow the Adelaide Crows AFL team!
Don't forget, all radio calls involving ETAs and ETDs must be delivered using times in UTC, (Zulu time) to avoid any confusion with other traffic when operating on or near any border where a time change exists. Some pilots enjoy the convenience of flying with a watch that has dual times including UTC.