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Heathrow consultation

FYI, Heathrow launched its consultation site at

Lots of documents published there so I have not gone through more than a few of them so far and it seems they are currently more focused on noise impact and abatement as a result of managing various combinations of independent parallel approaches and runway utilisation. Also, the documents cover the move to PBN-based departures and arrivals but it is unclear whether that would lead to a reduction in class A airspace (probably not).

I have not seen anything more specific that shows proposed tangible airspace changes though – the only thing I have found so far is a list of airspace design principles.

EGTF, EGLK, United Kingdom

I think they need to get their residents to agree what new paths aircraft should take before thinking of even updating controlled airspace boundaries or classifications.

The Class D Heathrow CTR remains large to the north because of Northolt, and to the south because of missed approach procedures.

Personally I’d like to see a huge conversion of Class A to Class B or C in future.

James_Chan wrote:

Personally I’d like to see a huge conversion of Class A to Class B or C in future.

Unfortunately the UK outlaws VFR in class C and B, so functionally it won’t make much difference to GA.

Andreas IOM

Where is this written? from I would have thought that VFR is allowed in C

EETU, Estonia

ivark wrote:

that VFR is allowed in C

In the UK, in theory yes, in practice few places where you can get in without hitting class A first and few ATC operators to help you getting in, as you still need a clearance
I am also assuming you have a “VFR aircraft” that does F195 and you are not instrument rated

The exception is made for few “VFR gliders” who get in for wave flying in few class C pockets (but this that is typically covered by some BGA/NATS letter of agreements regarding those TRA(G) zones)

Last Edited by Ibra at 17 Jan 17:56
ESSEX, United Kingdom

ivark wrote:

I would have thought that VFR is allowed in C

Of course the UK can’t “outlaw” VFR in classes B and C — but ATC may have a policy of not granting VFR clearances. Of course in that case I don’t see the point in having class B or C at all.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

It’s in the Air Navigation Order:

Flight in Class C airspace in VMC
23.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), an aircraft flying in visual meteorological conditions—

(a) in Class C airspace above flight level 195; or
(b) along a Class C ATS route at any level,
must be flown in accordance with the instrument flight rules.

(2) Paragraph (1) does not apply to an aircraft which is flying in accordance with a
permission issued by the CAA.
(3) In this Rule “Class C ATS route” means a route notified as such.

(I guess if Heathrow’s expansion included any low-level class C airspace, it would depend if it were an ATS route or not. The only low-level class C in the UK FIR that I can think of is the stuff over the Irish Sea, and AFAIK is an ATS route, and therefore VFR not allowed – which is unfortunate, because it was reclassified from class A to C precisely to allow VFR and allow VFR traffic to cross the Irish Sea at a higher altitude).

Andreas IOM

alioth wrote:

It’s in the Air Navigation Order:

Then it must be another old UK rule that was made obsolete by SERA but not yet removed from the ANO. The UK is not at liberty to make such a restriction. At least not until March 29.

(1)(a) is superfluous as according to SERA flights in every airspace class above FL195 must be according to IFR unless you have a special permit for a VFR flight.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

" The UK is not at liberty to make such a restriction" – yet.

Last Edited by Maoraigh at 18 Jan 20:57
EGPE, United Kingdom

VFR in class C is rather an ICAO standard (annex2) in the first place, SERA makes it into EU/UK law but there are cases where SERA permits national discretion over certain requirements.

All these have to be listed in AIP, VFR is covered under ENR1.2 which now incorporate SERA, I looked quickly there is no mention of “VFR not permitted in class C”, actually section 1.5 ENR1.2 explicitly mentions VFR (while the ANO “works” for non-easa pilots/aircraft, I think it is just obsolete/outdated for airspace and rules of the air stuff…), in the other hand practically, there is zero chance of a VFR clearance to get into the few accessible pockets of class C airspace in the UK

ESSEX, United Kingdom
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