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National CAA policies around Europe on busting pilots who bust controlled airspace (and danger areas)

This proposal would provide a more
proportionate focus on corrective responses rather than punitive measures for more
minor offences. The government will look for an appropriate legislative opportunity to
take this proposal forward.

This is good news. I was aware that “work” is ongoing behind the scenes to bring an end to the current scandalous CAA practices, but didn’t know it was happening at the top political level.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
Isn’t the IAC just that?

Under civil sanctions the Infringements Awareness Course could be a form of enforcement undertaking along the lines of section 50 of the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008 (link). Other measures could include fixed or variable monetary penalties suitably discounted of course for voluntary reporting of non-compliance.

Civil sanctions appear to have been made fashionable by the 2006 Macrory Review of Regulatory Penalties. See also Law Commission consultation paper Criminal Liability in Regulatory Contexts (link).

London

Is it just me, or do I notice a sea change in the way ATC are dealing with this?

On my last two flights I detect far more engagement with pilots, and greater attention to potential infringment events, especialy and including military, and danger areas. This is very much to the good, but I wonder the source of this initiative. Of course it is to be commended.

Cobalt wrote:

Of course flying above a ground firing range, and skimming lochs, is “less safe” than flying at FL100 well clear of anything.

I disagree mildly with the “of course” – as did the judge in the Ullswater case when he said “I’m not satisfied that the aircraft was ever in any danger”.

Likewise, in the case of ground firing ranges, I know of no evidence that the aggregate risk of overflying at, say, 500 ft is appreciably greater than at FL100. It’s bad manners, but not significantly “dangerous”.

There are some minor risks associated with flying (fire, mid-air collision, sunburn, pilot incapacitation…) which are not at all improved by flying higher, whereas the theoretical risk of being injured by a stray ammunition nature is similarly insignificant. I haven’t lived in a country at war since 1962, but my recollection from that time is that even when people were trying to shoot an airplane down, they rarely succeeded with infantry weapons.

Last Edited by Jacko at 18 Sep 22:55
Glenswinton, SW Scotland, United Kingdom

Jacko, wearing my health and safety hat, would like to add DON’T try water skiing in a TRIKE :)

Enstone (EGTN), Oxford (EGTK)

Is it just me, or do I notice a sea change in the way ATC are dealing with this?

I think, ATC are more careful now because

  • they fear disciplinary action (now mandatory at NATS for even the most brief unreported infringement)
  • they hate filling in the MORs (which are mandatory for even the most brief infringement)
  • they are at the “pilot user interface” and will get blamed by a pilot who gets busted by the CAA
  • they (well, the ones who actually work, rather than sit on committees) almost certainly dislike the new CAA bust-them-all policy (to err is human, etc, which is the approach the rest of Europe operates)

Basically, the guy at the CAA [who threatened legal action if his name is mentioned even though it appears at the bottom of thousands of PDFs etc] has put UK ATC in a really nasty position. Probably this is intended, to “sharpen them up”.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Jacko wrote:

There are some minor risks associated with flying (fire, mid-air collision, sunburn, pilot incapacitation…) which are not at all improved by flying higher,

The risk of MAC is hugely reduced by altitude, but that is only a minor, nit-picking point.

EGKB Biggin Hill

Timothy wrote:

The risk of MAC is hugely reduced by altitude

Not sure which height bands reduce it but in theory, you should not have a MAC bellow 500ft, except aerodrome vicinity

Last Edited by Ibra at 19 Sep 11:11
ESSEX, United Kingdom

If we’re being pedants, you should not have a mid air collision with a piloted aircraft below 500ft.

Last Edited by kwlf at 19 Sep 11:39
EGCW

That may get reported as “drone incident” rather than “aircraft mid-air”
https://aviation-safety.net/database/databases.php

ESSEX, United Kingdom
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