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Farnborough Controlled Airspace Proposal

I would perhaps suggest that any pilot who ‘finds radio calls very hard’ shouldn’t be flying.

True, but then you get onto the topic of UK PPL training, which is of a very variable quality. I see countless posts on the UK sites along the lines of “how do I fly from Blackbushe to Le Touquet” and a rude person could answer it with “start by asking your PPL school for a refund”. I am sure this not a UK only issue; PPLs everywhere tend to fly only locally and get nervous about venturing out too far, especially in the cosy aeroclub scene. But we have done this to death in previous threads; people won’t pay for a more thorough PPL, and a school cannot teach one if there is competition nearby.

That you sounded a bit carp on the radio and the controller decided they didn’t trust you in controlled airspace;

That is supposedly impossible and any such suggestion will be denied But obviously it must happen.

I think the issue will get largely sorted as per e.g. posts 21 and 26. But that’s for powered GA only.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Timothy wrote:

It is very easy to get clearance through Class D in the UK.

This week we have a Restricted Area at Blackbushe because of the Farnborough airshow, which is very close.

To get access to the new Class D we may end up with the same procedure as we have this week. Take off and climb not above 1500ft and contact Farnborough 125.250 for a clearance, remaining to the north of Blackbushe.

EGLK, United Kingdom

Colin wrote:

I agree. Although in the past year I have been refused on 3 occasions. Twice at Southampton and once at Gatwick (not surprising with Gatwick as it was busy). I avoid Southampton airspace now (which is probably what they want) and use the listening squawk whilst routing close to their eastern boundary, usually on my way to the channel Islands. If everybody did this sort of thing, I am sure it would be inviting more CAS busts (hot topic), especially by those aircraft not equipped with modern avionics.

You know, this is the attitude I really detest. You are actually rewarding Southampton for their refusal to grant you access to their airspace. They can see you and can contact you, if necessary. I’ve had that experience with Bristol where they have previously refused me access to class D so I have had to dive down the Mig Alley over Avonmouth. Since then, I refuse out of principle to use a listening squawk to any controller who refuses me access to ‘his’ airspace.

At the end of the day, controllers of controlled airspace should allow me, within reason, access, it should not be his prerogative to shut me out, dependent on his mood, how tired he is or whether his wife was generous in bed the night before. If he won’t assist me to make my flying safer / simpler, then I’m sorry, why should I bother to make his life any easier?

Others will say that’s the wrong attitude – fair enough. But shouldn’t controllers start by stop pretending their controlled airspace is their fiefdom, to rule over as they see fit?

EDL*, Germany

Graham wrote:

I would perhaps suggest that any pilot who ‘finds radio calls very hard’ shouldn’t be flying.

If you get refused a class D transit then it’s either:

That they genuinely are too busy to fit you in – such is life;
That your requested routing was a non-starter;
That you sounded a bit carp on the radio and the controller decided they didn’t trust you in controlled airspace;
A refusal as a matter of policy – which should be reported and complained about in the strongest possible terms.

I eventually found out that my altitude was possibly the issue that I was consistently refused a transit North / South through the Bristol Class D. The question remains – why didn’t the controller simply say ‘unable, but could offer you a transit at xxxx feet’?

As for complaints go – do you honestly believe any notice will be taken about them? The controllers will be forced to do more with less resources, thus generating more profits for the ‘owners’ of the airspace. Since when has the CAA – or any aviation authority, for that matter – demanded that owners of controlled airspace provide sufficient resources to allow a reasonably good chance of access to CAS?

I’ll go even further because in 20 years, I expect all VFR flights to be banned from CAS based on the fact that the tower will be remotely controlled by computers overviewing the aircraft, routing and synchronising them, thus eliminating the need for expensive controllers. Pesky VFR fliers which won’t / can’t hold a heading / altitude are definitely not required….

EDL*, Germany

There needs to be a mechanism developed to do so from the ground. Blackbushe is already coordinating with Farnborough for IFR departures (including for the current restricted airspace as it was done for me last weekend), the same should be possible for VFR departures…

EGTF, EGLK, United Kingdom

Steve6443 wrote:

I’ll go even further because in 20 years, I expect all VFR flights to be banned from CAS

I can’t see that happen. There is enough commercial or otherwise “useful” VFR traffic.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Lasham is going to launch a legal challenge against the current Farnborough proposal:

Andreas IOM

Farnborough airspace – judicial appeal (lost, so CAS is coming)

Lasham Gliding Society have lost their judicial review into the UK CAA’s decison to grant controlled airspace to Farnborough airport.

Sometime early next year, a further large block of Class D will be bolted onto the southwest corner of the Heathrow CTR and various other pieces above and around that will connect it to the London Class A system.

More messy airspace, more pinch points, probably more infringements. Farnborough have promised to be friendly to GA, but we’ve all heard that before and there is the recent example of Bristol seeming to operate an unwritten ‘no transits’ policy. One of Farnborough’s very first proposals for this airspace, aimed at winning over the local population on the question of noise, made much of the ability to ‘exclude extraneous aircraft’ as a noise-reduction benefit.

For those outside the UK and not familiar, Farnborough (EGLF) is an airport used almost exclusively for private jets. You can technically fly there as light GA, but the minimum landing fee is something in the region of £750.

Another indicator of how broken the UK system is and how badly wrong our CAA keeps getting things. I genuinely wonder what goes on at that place.


Biggin Hill is going to be next to apply.

EGKB Biggin Hill

And which the owners of Fairoaks won’t fight either given they want to build a “village” on the runway.

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