Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Banner
Welcome to our forums

CAA confirms Southend controlled airspace

10 Posts

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has today confirmed its approval of a request from London Southend Airport to establish controlled airspace (CAS) around the airport. However, the extent of the CAS original requested has been reduced following assessment work carried out by the CAA.

Southend’s new airspace will be Class D, allowing access on request to transiting general aviation aircraft. It will feature a control zone (CTR) around the airport itself from surface up to 3,500ft, and a larger control area (CTA) from 1,500ft to 3,500ft. The airspace will become operational on 2 April 2015.

The CAA agreed with the Airport that the measure was necessary to further enhance the protection given to commercial air transport flights into and out of Southend. The number of airprox incidents in the vicinity of the airport has increased in recent years – including two category A incidents, the most serious. Alternatives to controlled airspace, such as establishing a Radio Mandatory Zone (RMZ) around the airport, were considered, but a trial RMZ running since the second half of 2014 has proved not to be an appropriate long-term solution in this instance.

London Southend Airport, which currently sits within Class G airspace, has seen a significant increase in commercial air transport movements in the last three years. In accordance with the CAA’s airspace change process, the Airport launched a consultation on establishing CAS with the general aviation community and the aviation industry, before submitting its proposal to the CAA.

Mark Swan, Director of the CAA’s Safety and Airspace Regulation Group, said: “The new arrangements at Southend will safely support the airport’s increased commercial air transport operations, whilst minimising as far as possible the impact on other airspace users. Ultimately, this is a very busy piece of airspace, used by a wide range of aircraft, and we have to be sure that the safety of airline passengers is given absolute priority.”

The new airspace will be reviewed six months after implementation to ensure that it is working as anticipated.

This was a forgone conclusion. It will remain to be seen how GA copes in the narrow corridor between London City,Stansted and Southend.

Propman
Nuthampstead , United Kingdom

a trial RMZ running since the second half of 2014 has proved not to be an appropriate long-term solution in this instance.

I wonder why exactly?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

The new airspace will be reviewed six months after implementation to ensure that it is working as anticipated

I wonder why this is even worth a comment. Surely all airspace should be reviewed, at least annually, to ensure that it’s being operated in accordance with the original proposal, and is still required. (Obviously that doesn’t happen, but it should!)

EIWT Weston

It will remain to be seen how GA copes in the narrow corridor between London City,Stansted and Southend.

The problem is not CAS. The problem is that the UK doesn’t have VFR corridors through CAS and that ATC are reluctant/unwilling/unable to clear GA aircraft through their airspace. Not a problem in most countries, and we don’t even have to go to the extreme of LAX, where I can happily fly my Cessna through the overhead w/o talking to anyone (only requirement is a discreet transponder code).

In fairness to the UK authorities, if they did a tunnel at 4000ft like in LAX, it would probably be filled with cloud on 70% of days ;)

Doing it lower probably causes more problems.

EIWT Weston

It will take traffic off the Luton/Stansted gap.

EGBE - Coventry
In fairness to the UK authorities, if they did a tunnel at 4000ft like in LAX, it would probably be filled with cloud on 70% of days ;)
Doing it lower probably causes more problems.

At LAX there are several, including two lower ones (these need ATC clearance and comms). Where there’s a will, there’s a way…..

I suspect it’s a bit more than a will, more like an obligation. I got a tower tour at LAX once (those were the days!). While being shown round, a large red light above the window looking out toward the coast came on and a buzzer sounded. I thought it was a crash alarm! My host explained this was for the VFR route along the coast, 5500’ to 6500’ just off the departure end of the runway, warning controllers to hold departures while a light aircraft trundled across the horizon.

EGBW / KPRC, United Kingdom

“It will take traffic off the Luton/Stansted gap.”

If you are based at Nuthampstead as I am (BKY VOR) and you want to travel to France via DVR (which I do-a lot) then you have the Stansted-Luton corridor, then the Stansted -London City corridor and now the London City-Southend corridor. I have had more refusals or unacceptable delays from Stansted to transit their airspace, which I suspect will become the norm once Southend class D gets going,

Still if I were a member of the paying public flying out of Southend, I wouldn’t want my safety put in jeopardy by some young whipper-snapper jack-the-lad private pilot. Or worse some geriatric,“fings aint what they used to be-what the hell is that old geezer doing flying a plane” type pilot! That’s me in the last category.

Happy flying

Propman
Nuthampstead , United Kingdom

On the flip side, I wonder if they are ever going to get rid of the Doncaster controlled airspace, given that the expected traffic never materialised. Anecdotally, whenever I’ve passed Doncaster and been on their frequency, there’s barely enough traffic to even justify an ATZ, let alone a gigantic area of controlled airspace.

Andreas IOM
10 Posts
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top