LONDON, 2014-9-12 — /Travel PR News/ — The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced that the UK’s Class F airspace is to change. This follows the recommendations of an ICAO audit, changes to European legislation under the Single European Rules of the Air and a subsequent review of national airspace arrangements, which included a consultation with the aviation community.
Class F airspace has been established for many years in the UK Flight Information Regions (FIR) in the form of Advisory Routes (ADRs). These ADRs will be replaced either by Class E ‘airways’, which will be designated as Transponder Mandatory Zones (TMZs), or returned to Class G airspace. However, the dimensions of the new Class E airways will not necessarily mirror the exact dimensions of the ADRs they replace, the CAA pointed out. In addition to some revised base and upper levels, the new airways also include extra airspace in the vicinity of the Aberdeen CTR/CTA.
Although Class E is controlled airspace, in which an air traffic control service is provided to IFR aircraft only, VFR aircraft may also operate within it and do not require a ‘clearance’ or need to be in contact with ATC, they will, however, require a functioning Mode S SSR transponder. VFR aircraft operating without a transponder can access the airspace, but must first establish two-way radio contact with air traffic control before entering. VFR flights that request an air traffic service will be assisted with either a Basic or a Traffic Service, subject to the operational capacity of the air traffic unit. Additional procedures are to be introduced to accommodate gliding activity through airway N560 between the Scottish TMA northern boundary and Inverness.
Details of the changes, which come into force on 13 November 2014, are now available on the AIS website www.nats-uk.ead-it.com
As the changes will have the greatest impact upon the Scottish FIR, the CAA has arranged for the next edition of 1:500,000 Aeronautical Chart ‘Scotland’ to be published on 13 November 2014, instead of the original scheduled publication date of 26 June 2015. Other affected VFR charts will be amended according to the chart publishing schedule which can also be found on the AIS website .
The CAA’s decision concerning the replacement of Class F was published on 8 August 2014. The document includes a map showing the main revised airspace arrangements.
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Notes to Editors:
The Civil Aviation Authority’s Safety and Airspace Regulation Group (SARG) is responsible for the planning and regulation of all UK airspace including the navigation and communications infrastructure to support safe and efficient operations. In accordance with its statutory functions, the CAA is responsible for dealing with applications by sponsors for an airspace change. A change to the use or classification of airspace in the UK can take many forms but can only be made after consultation and where it is clear that airspace management considerations and the overriding need for safety allow for no practical alternative, or where an overall environmental benefit will accrue. More information on the Airspace Change Process (ACP) and SARG’s wider airspace functions are set out in the CAA’s Airspace Charter (CAP 724) which is available through the Operations and Safety pages of the CAA website, www.caa.co.uk.
The CAA is the UK’s specialist aviation regulator. It ensures the aviation industry meets the highest safety standards; protects consumers by making sure they have choice and value and are treated fairly; drives improvements in airlines and airports’ environmental performance and ensures industry manages security risks effectively.