The consultation to establish class D airspace at Farnborough has been launched: here
Sections B and E are most interesting for us. There doesn’t seem to be any concrete data on the volumes of GA traffic that would be affected – surely Farnborough LARS could generate this from their records? I don’t see a number anywhere on the maximum number of VFR transits that could be handled (it must be some finite number), and there is also no mention of low level (ie off-system) IFR traffic (admittedly the volumes are low).
There is also no specific discussion of GA traffic departing/arriving Biggin to the west. This change would affect just over half the flights I do, and would create a significant hazard if transits were denied due to workload on busy days: Traffic forced through the tiny gap between the new airspace and Gatwick would be horrific (there is simply no way I would use this route), and the numbers of aircraft orbiting around WOD or OCK waiting for a transit could very quickly mount up.
As far as I understood, this won’t come. They can wish for it but that’s about it. Even truckloads of documents (like the two you linked to) can’t change this.
If it did come (together with Southend, which will indeed come AFAIU), then the southeast of England would become a big mess for light GA (it already is, but it still “works” somehow).
The propsed structure is too messy and complicated. I know I know…, it’s made so complicated to allow as much uncontrolled airspace as possible, but look at it. With airspace structures like this, it is no onder they have countless busts in southern UK. Someone flying at 150 knots through these areas will simply not be able to “elaborate” and visualize all the information and the maze of TMA sectors, CTR sectors and CTA sectors quickly enough.
I dont fly OCTA through there but it will destroy GA flying in the south in my opinion.
I cant get the two links to work. Maybe they have sussed that people are reading the documents. I cant see the proposal, but it would be a PITA for me as I often fly a route south of the WOD NDB just to the west of Farnborough and skimming between the military zones. I did it today, and although I speak to Farnborough and take their requests to go higher or lower to accommodate any jet traffic, I certainly don’t want to get approval to enter a zone, or have to ask someone else for a MATZ penetration of their zone.
I am surprised that nobody has mentioned that the decision is out.
It’s effectively a “yes” with some small changes to create Class E TMZ’s.
It’s going to make life very tough for Fairoaks and Blackbushe VFR traffic.
I wonder if it will force Biggin to apply, to stay competitive?
TMZs are a great solution. They mostly p1ss off the “civil liberties” pilots who want to be invisible, and who will mostly have to install a Mode S box which then radiates their reg. I am sure that the vast % of deliberately nontransponding aircraft in the 1000-2000ft band helped to make the case for this extra CAS…
The EASA ban on new Mode C installations (except to replace a Mode C box of the same type) played into the hands of Farnborough etc.
The diagram is on page 46.
Spare a thought for the gliders, balloons etc. GA isn’t just TB21s.
I am based at Blackbushe, who I am led to believe have not objected to the proposal. I wonder why.
The lower third of Blackbushe the ATZ becomes Class D. All circuits are to the south at present to avoid the built up areas of Yateley, Blackwater, and Eversley. This will mean very tight circuits to avoid Class D (not likely to happen with students) or changing the pattern to the north side which is noise sensitive.
MIG alley (the E to W corridor) airspace between Heathrow and Gatwick will require a clearance to get into it as again the class D will block access to it. Taking off from Blackbushe and heading E from 07 will give you only a few seconds to negotiate a clearance before reaching Class D airspace. No chance in summer with the Farnborough 125.25 frequency usually jammed up.
Going South it’s very bad as well. If you don’t get a clearance to cross Class D you have to route around the edge of the CAS right over the top of Lasham, one of the busiest gliding sights in the country. This is then followed by entry into Class E TMZ. If you don’t have a Transponder you are effectively not able to get into the corridor between Gatwick and Southampton.
The complexity of this airspace is asking for trouble.
Is it any wonder that visiting foreign pilots find the UK too difficult.
This is going to make my already complicated flying even more so. The workload at take off will be very high. Maybe I need an IR which would make it easier.
How long will it be before Biggin Hill decide they need to cut off a big chunk of airspace to accommodate jet traffic and remove GA completely, just like Farnborough. You then completely cut off Redhill and Fairoaks as they have Class D to cross in both directions to get into the open FIR.
Fairly obviously there will have to be a procedure whereby a rapid (or pre-agreed) clearance can be obtained for CAS entry.
Farnborough has relatively little traffic – 50k ceiling according to one doc I found – and unlike most GA airfields it will not be concentrated when the sun is shining. So getting into the CAS should be easy IF it is suitably organised.
Spare a thought for the gliders, balloons etc
Gliders can be visible too (I would have Mode C if I was gliding, and many already have) and I doubt many baloons would be flown close to the Gatwick CTR.