Preventing airspace infringements in the southwestern corner of the London Control Zone
The first in a series of infringement updates from the CAA that highlight known infringement ‘hotspots’. Information has been taken from Mandatory Occurrence Report investigations that cover areas where incidents can easily occur.
The CAA has noticed a recent increase in airspace infringements in the southwestern corner of the London Control Zone (CTR) where pilots are navigating using the navigation features in the vicinity of Bagshot.
Most of the town of Bagshot is within the London CTR, which is classified as Class D airspace, and just 6nm south of the final approach track to Runway 09R at London Heathrow Airport.
Bagshot mast lies in Class G airspace to the west of Bagshot town, and to the northeast of Camberley, but is within 300 metres of the southwestern edge of the London CTR. Its position, as notified in the UK AIP is 512124.68N 0004321.29W. Pilots not in receipt of a clearance to enter the London CTR should maintain a track to the west or southwest of the mast.
Whilst it is a prominent geographical feature and is annotated on the VFR charts (as it is over 300 ft agl, and is actually 765ft AMSL) the mast is not annotated as a VRP.
Bagshot VRP lies on the southwestern edge of the London CTR and is to the southwest of Bagshot town. When viewed from the air it is on the northside carriage of the M3 motorway on the portion of the road where the carriageways divide around a slip of woodland to the southwest of Junction 3.
Pilots intending to route via the Bagshot mast to Bagshot VRP, or vice versa, should note that a direct track will result in them entering the London CTR.
To prevent an airspace infringement, as part of pre-flight planning and in-flight execution, pilots are strongly encouraged to:
- Use a GPS Moving Map and TAKE2;
- Obtain an air traffic service from Farnborough APP on 125.250MHz. The airspace between Farnborough and the London CTR is narrow; this will help prevent infringing the London CTR, or the Blackbushe or Farnborough ATZ.
- Use the FMC. Rather than just squawking 7000, if you do not want to obtain a service from ATC, use a Frequency Monitoring Code by squawking 4572 and monitor 125.250 MHz
- Plan ahead. Think in 3-dimensions. Pirbright Ranges (EG D133A and EG D133B) are normally active to 1200 feet amsl. EG D133B is occasionally active to 2,400 feet when notified by NOTAM. Ash Range (EG D032) is charted to 2,400 feet amsl but is only activated by NOTAM. For all areas, a Danger Area Activity Information Service is available from Farnborough APP on 125.250MHz when open or at other times from London Information on 124.600MHz