Pre-flight planning is one of the most important steps to a safe flight, is endorsed by NATS

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Plotting a course

Learn how to reduce the risk of mid-air collision and airspace infringements.

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View from the cockpit

Join the airfield circuit safely by using a standard overhead join.

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Air Traffic Services Outside Controlled Airspace (ATSOCAS) interactive guide now available

The interactive guide to the new Air Traffic Services Outside Controlled Air Space is available to download here:

Download the Windows version – 57Mb…
Download the Mac version – 57Mb…

Important note: the app will not work if opened directly from the zip file: it must be extracted to a new folder, as it relies on another folder contained in the zip called ‘assets’, which must remain at the same location as the app for it to function.

The guide is also available on CD by sending an e-mail request to or calling 020 7453 6027. CDs are now out of stock.

In the UK, ATSOCAS are provided by both civil and military air traffic control units to a variety of airspace users ranging from commercial airliners to military fast jets and private pilots.

The UK’s Air Traffic Services Outside Controlled Airspace offer four levels of service

Basic Service is intended to offer the pilot maximum autonomy and the avoidance of other traffic is solely the pilot’s responsibility.  The controller/FISO will pass information pertinent to the safe and efficient conduct of flight. This can include weather, changes of serviceability of facilities, conditions at aerodromes and general activity information within a unit’s area of responsibility.

Traffic Service provides the pilot with surveillance derived traffic information on conflicting aircraft. No deconfliction advice is passed and the pilot is responsible for collision avoidance. A Traffic Service contains the information available in a Basic Service. In addition, controllers provide surveillance derived traffic information on relevant conflicting traffic. Headings and/or levels may also be issued for positioning and/or sequencing.

Deconfliction Service provides the pilot with traffic information and deconfliction advice on conflicting aircraft. However, the avoidance of other aircraft is ultimately the pilot’s responsibility. A Deconfliction Service contains the information available in a Basic Service.  In addition, controllers shall aim to assist the pilot with his responsibility for the safety of the aircraft by passing traffic information and deconfliction advice.  Headings and/or levels will also be issued for positioning, sequencing and/or deconfliction advice.

Procedural Service is a non surveillance service in which deconfliction advice is provided against other aircraft in receipt of a Procedural Service from the same controller. The avoidance of other aircraft is the pilot’s responsibility.

Fighter plane