Facts, stats and incidents

2019 infringements

January February March  
CTA (includes airways) 30 24 24
TMA 13 22 23
CTR 9 21 9
ATZ 6 4 8
Restricted/Prohibited/Danger Areas 2 0 6
Temporary Restricted/Prohibited/Danger Areas 0 0 0
TMZ 3 4 5
RMZ 1 3 0
Total reported airspace infringements 64 78 75


Rob Gratton, CAA lead for airspace infringements, stated that the statistics show an unacceptable and continued rise in airspace infringements. A great many pilots are still not using moving map technology or failing to use it correctly. In addition, a number of infringements involved pilots encountering poor weather that was forecast in formal met reports, showing poor pre-flight planning and weak Threat and Error Management.

Infringement statistics: 2017 and 2018

Year 2017 2018
Total reported airspace infringements 1162 1358
Airspace infringements reported December 2018 55
CTA (includes TMA and Airways) 812* 706
CTR 285
* 2017 CTA and CTR combined
ATZ 97 130
Restricted/Prohibited/Danger Areas (perm and temp) 81 87
TMZ 57 76
RMZ 115 74

Airspace infringements: 2018 statistics

Causal factor analysis of airspace infringements

Analysis of airspace infringement reports from 2017 has shown that the correct use of a moving map could have helped avoid 85% of airspace infringements.

Occurrence reports from private pilots were assessed against four key measures that could have helped prevent the infringement or reduced its impact on other air traffic or controllers:

  • Use of moving maps with an airspace warning
  • Use of a frequency monitoring code (FMC), also known as a listening squawk
  • Recognition of/dealing with overload and distraction
  • Better familiarity with aircraft and equipment

The report was carried out by a sub-group of the CAA’s Airspace Infringement Working Group, made up of three experienced General Aviation pilots.

Airspace infringement series: A controller’s story

12 April 2019: Brian Ringrose, an air traffic controller at Swanwick centre looking after airspace around Gatwick, talks about his experience with airspace infringements in the latest of the series from NATS – Airspace infringement series: A controller’s story (12 April 2019)

22 March 2019: NATS have published the first in a series of controller’s stories. Amanda Rhodes, NATS air traffic controller at Swanwick Centre looking after airspace around Luton Airport, talks about her experience with airspace infringements – Airspace Infringement Series: A controller’s story (22 March 2019)

Keep reading

Local Airspace Infringement Team (LAIT) initiatives

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Restricted Area (Temporary) – Mauve AICs

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