The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has identified 8 infringement ‘hotspots’ in the UK where Local Airspace Infringement Teams (LAIT) have been established. The teams’ membership comprises representatives from the Airport Operator (chair), CAA, Air Navigation Service Provider (Tower and Approach representatives as required), adjacent ATC units/aerodromes, local airspace users (including GA and Military), airspace4all, GASCo and airlines served at the airport.
The role of each LAIT is to establish a baseline occurrence rate. They will then, through the sponsoring and introduction of local measures and actions, focus on a targeted reduction of airspace infringements. Local initiatives will be reported upwards to the CAA’s Airspace Infringement Working Group (AIWG) and shared between LAITS for UK-wide infringement reduction.
Local Airspace Infringement Teams
- London serving London CTR/London City CTR/CTA
- Luton serving Luton CTR/CTA
- Stansted serving Stansted CTR/CTA
- Southampton serving Southampton CTR/Solent CTA
- Gatwick serving Gatwick CTR/CTA
- Birmingham serving Birmingham CTR/CTA
- Northwest serving Manchester and Liverpool CTR/CTA, Hawarden RMZ and Barton ATZ
- Doncaster serving Doncaster Sheffield CTR/CTA
The two Stansted TMZs were established in 2009 as a result of the large number and severity of controlled airspace infringements in the vicinity of Stansted Airport.
The Stansted LAIT has published this guide to the TMZ.
The Solent LAIT membership has formulated its ’10 Golden Rules’ of good advice to help pilots avoid infringing notified airspace. The Team’s membership is cross-industry from not only Southampton Airport and its ANSP but also from GA, commercial and military aerodromes in the Southampton area and GA pilots. Whilst the team focusses on measures to reduce airspace infringements in Southampton/Solent controlled airspace, the advice given in this paper can be translated across the entire country.
Written by an active GA pilot, the advice given is based not only on good practice but also on many of the causal factors which lead to airspace infringements. The airspace around Southampton Airport remains one of the most infringed in the United Kingdom with over 60 airspace infringements in the past 12 months.
Hotspots include the CTAs to the north and south due to pilots flying too high (or on the wrong altimeter setting). Caution must be taken when flying along The Solent (CTA-2 base 2000 feet Solent QNH) or in the vicinity of Winchester (CTR extending from the surface upwards, CTA-1 base 1500 feet Solent QNH and CTA-3 base 2000 feet Solent QNH) and in the vicinity of New Alresford (CTA-3 base 2000 feet Solent QNH and CTA-5 base 2500 feet Solent QNH).
The Golden Rules flyer offers great advice.
To date in 2018 there have been 42 reported airspace infringements of the Birmingham CTA/CTR. Of these, 20 (over 47%) have been inside CTA2; this is the Control Area immediately to the south of the CTR (CTA2 1500ft – 4500ft).
Main causal factors identified related to poor altimetry (pilots operating on Wellesbourne or Coventry QFE or Regional QNH instead of the Birmingham QNH) or poor navigation.
Pilots intending to overfly the VRP at M40 Junction 15 at Warwick should note this lies underneath CTA2.
The North West Local Airspace Infringement Team (LAIT) has been working to help reduce airspace infringements in the area around Manchester airport.
The team has produced a poster to help remind pilots to give themselves a safety margin and help avoid causing an infringement. Remember TAKE2:
- Plan to stay 2 nm from the edge of Controlled Airspace
- Plan to stay 200 ft above/below Controlled Airspace
Barton Aerodrome Traffic Zone (ATZ)
The ATZ at City Airport and Heliport (Manchester Barton) was infringed 23 times in 2018 (to 2 November). Analysis has shown the main causal factor to be a lack of understanding by pilots as to their responsibilities prior to recovery to the aerodrome or whilst intending to transit through the ATZ.
The ATZ (circle of radius 2nm from surface to 2000 ft agl (2073 ft amsl)) is established to protect aircraft during critical stages of flight. Failure of the commander to obtain information from the flight information centre to enable the flight to be conducted safely within the aerodrome traffic zone not only compromises flight safety but is a breach of Rule 11 of The Rules of the Air 2015.
All operators are to ensure that they are familiar with Rule 11 and the activation times of the ATZ prior to operating in/in the vicinity of such airspace:
Hawarden Radio Mandatory Zone
The Radio Mandatory Zone (RMZ) surrounding Hawarden aerodrome was established in March 2017 to enhance the safety of all aircraft operating in the vicinity of Hawarden aerodrome and to better integrate the increasing number of commercial A300-600N Beluga aircraft operations. AIC Y014/2017 was issued on 16 March 2017 detailing the areas and access requirements.
Despite the area being charted (the boundary is depicted by blue semi-circles) prior to implementation, the RMZ was subject to 74 airspace infringements in 2018.
Analysis has shown the main causal factor to be a lack of understanding by pilots as to the requirements for entry into the RMZ or a failure to note the area’s depiction on aviation charts.
SERA 6005 requires that pilots of aircraft wishing to operate in airspace designated as an RMZ shall maintain continuous air-ground voice communication watch and establish two-way communication, as necessary, on the appropriate communication channel, unless in compliance with alternative provisions prescribed for that particular airspace by the ANSP.
In the case of Hawarden, details of provisions are found at United Kingdom AIP, AD2.22 paragraph 3 and at Hawarden Radio Mandatory Zone A5 card