Facts, stats and incidents

2019 infringements

January February March  
CTA (includes airways) 30 24 25
TMA 13 22 25
CTR 9 21 15
ATZ 6 4 6
Restricted/Prohibited/Danger Areas 2 0 7
Temporary Restricted/Prohibited/Danger Areas 0 0 0
TMZ 3 4 5
RMZ 1 3 2
Total reported airspace infringements 64 78 85


Rob Gratton, CAA lead for airspace infringements, stated that the statistics continue to show an unacceptable rise in airspace infringements. Investigations show that many pilots involved in airspace infringements are not using moving map technology or failing to use it correctly. This is particularly evident in reports of infringements which occur during instructional or training flights. Other key factors include poor planning and inadequate use of Frequency Monitoring Codes (FMC).

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.

Read the full report: Causal Factor Analysis of Airspace Infringements 2017

Airspace infringement series: A controller’s story

A series of controller’s stories from NATS

Mark Davenport, an air traffic controller at Swanwick centre, talks about his experience with airspace infringements. Airspace Infringement Series: A controller’s story… (20 May 2019)

Brian Ringrose is an air traffic controller at Swanwick centre. He talks about his experience looking after airspace around Gatwick. Airspace infringement series: A controller’s story (12 April 2019)

Amanda Rhodes is an air traffic controller at Swanwick Centre.  She talks about her experience looking after airspace around Luton Airport. Airspace Infringement Series: A controller’s story (22 March 2019)

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Local Airspace Infringement Team (LAIT) initiatives

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Restricted Area (Temporary) – Mauve AICs

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