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UK CAS transit "application" by email (or web, or ICAO flight plan) - how crazy is this?

Total madness!

One might only imagine where this could lead?

Last Edited by Fuji_Abound at 02 May 13:38

Airspace PPR.

EGTK Oxford

it is great in the sense you have a proof trace if the request gets denied and unlike an “airspace ppr” you are not getting an affirm or negative, the real question is if you call without a pre-notification do you get a NO? then it is really bad…

ESSEX, United Kingdom

you have a proof trace if the request gets denied

You can achieve that with an mp3 recorder… not that it will do you any good.

Ostensibly, I have read today, this proposal is intended for “London Area” airports (Heathrow, Gatwick, Luuuuuu’ton, Stansted, London City). Relatively little piston GA crosses these anyway, but helicopters do, and the heli pilots are a lot less negative about it, presumably because when flying so slowly, and spending so much money doing that, going around the airspace is more of a hassle.

So it might be regarded as a success, which would be very bad news if it was rolled out for all Class D, because all it saves the ATCO is writing out the strip of paper. The arrival time of the actual aircraft will rarely be anywhere near the figure the pilot entered into the website.

This just makes the UK a laughing stock, again…

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I can’t see how a call long enough in advance (say 10minutes) wouldn’t give enough time to “prepare” (in practice, are they going to prepare anything? Certainly not change any of the inbound/outbound traffic, so maybe just see if there is a gap where to fit?).

In practice, I’ve yet to have a transit refused. The other day, flying in formation, no transponder (vintage), no flightplan or prenotification, there were zero issues getting transit through 2 London’s class Ds. But I wish the system just “assumed” that that should be the norm..

Obviously, you did not have to fill two separate forms for the two vintage aircrafts ;)

I think the pre-notification tool did a good job showing that that airspace is open tough lot of people I come across still think London/CI zones are class A?

My feeling the myth of “no VFR transits in UK CAS” has more to do with the legacy of UK visibility and cloud minima for VFR/SVFR clearance to operate in class D/A zones but all this of this has gone with airspace reclasification and recent changes from SERA…

Tough in practice all London zones are small to be worth a transit, but would have been nice to have a VFR corridor at 3000ft on top of London as in SF ;)

ESSEX, United Kingdom

Oh my goodness, the whole point is flying shouldnt always been about scheduled routes and predefined missions.

Sometimes we arrive at our home airport, have a cuppa, meet a friend, and eventually set off two hours later than intended, and sometimes we might go one way, and sometimes another.

There is enough under utilised class D as it is, which is definitely not so busy that we need to pre-orchestrate our passage through. I regularly transit Gatwick, and contrary to what many pilots think, they have long periods when they arent that busy and have plenty of capacity to deal with GA wanting to save a bit of fuel or time.

I might sound like being on a hooby horse, but be in no doubt this is the sort of thing that will kill off GA – because the more preplanning required, enough people say I cant be bothered with all the hassle any more.

Where is AOPA UK when you think they should have something sensible to say? Maybe they have to be fair??

Why would any GA pilot support this?

the whole point is flying shouldnt always been about scheduled routes and predefined missions

Very true.

Where is AOPA UK when you think they should have something sensible to say?

Digesting a particularly good conference lunch

Why would any GA pilot support this?

Reading the various stuff out there, I think the supporters are mainly new or low-time PPLs – because they have had the “ATC are busy and difficult” theme drummed into them for a year by instructors, and they haven’t yet been “outside” enough. They make most of the “war and peace” radio calls which load up the radio so much that often one cannot call up a unit (for a transit) at all. We’ve all been there, of course, but this burdens everybody if it leads to an “airspace PPR” situation.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

The use of the web portal is entirely optional.

Its introduction was originally to help with some bad UX design problems / human factor issues for inputting flight data on new electronic strips systems for “popup” (i.e. non-filed) requests.

Ideally it should have been joined up to the standard flight planning system but, like many other things in the UK, it isn’t yet.

Last Edited by James_Chan at 03 May 09:25

for “popup” (i.e. non-filed) requests

All VFR traffic requesting a CAS crossing clearance is “pop-up”. VFR flight plans are not distributed to enroute units, and if you explicitly address one, they will bin it anyway if you aren’t landing there. Also flight plans are not mandatory for Class G VFR/IFR, so they would first have to make them mandatory.

Ideally it should have been joined up to the standard flight planning system but, like many other things in the UK, it isn’t yet.

See my comment above. FPs are not mandatory, and the vast majority of VFR traffic doesn’t file any. I can’t believe the UK will go the way of e.g. Spain and require an FP for any flight potentially involving CAS.

The AFTN cost is another thing. Current nav tools like SD can generate and file an FP easily, but SD are paying EuroFPL some money for filing them, and the SD business model is based on not too many being filed – because VFR FPs go via the AFTN and, like most others including the Autorouter, an AFTN gateway in the US is used and even though that one is the cheapest one, it isn’t dirt cheap. I don’t remember the cost (I did hear some numbers a while ago) but it was of the order of €0.50 per message. SD would have to increase their annual sub if everybody was filing VFR FPs for every flight. Also the FPs would be full of lat/long coordinates (because most SD users are filing routes all over the map, not via IFR waypoints) which ATC systems are mostly unable to parse.

Hence I don’t think FPs are the way to implement a pre-notification of a flight.

And as Fuji says this would be just another nail in the GA coffin.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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