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National CAA policies around Europe on busting pilots who bust controlled airspace

Peter wrote:

In the UK it is illegal to do this. I can’t quote the law however. It was never really enforced but now it is, and crucially it seems that “unrelated” radar units with the appropriate coverage are willing to supply the radar data to bust the pilot, after an eye witness has made a report.

In this case it really is quite challenging to fly in those areas where one ATZ bordering on the next one. For the route you’ve given, I suppose the few minutes to avoid all this airspace maze would be quite useful.

If busting uncontrolled airspace is now a felony worth prosecuting then this area of the UK needs to go down with several other airspace mazes where VFR can no longer be recommended for most people. Maybe that is the idea behind it, to make the area so unwelcome that people will avoid it on their own accord. If too many people complain about the complexity, there is a good chance it will simply be “unified” under a very low reaching airspace A or C, so VFR if at all is sent scud running. That for me would be a no fly area unless I have to fly to an airfield inside this maze.

What would be the difference in flight time going via Goodwood and then up north to the direct track which leads through this rather complex airspace? Or even further around to avoid all CAS also on the way?

LSZH, Switzerland

The airspace is mangeable with a GPS and / or sound local knowledge. There are lots of good features, if you are familiar with these. Alternatively, you rigorously follow the purple line and make sure your planning is sound. Making it up on the hoof, because of weather is obvioulsy more interesting, but more than possible, and if all else fails then I guess a Pan is the ultimate answer.

Unfortunately, if you were from the States or probably most of Europe, I dont think you would realise some of the potential problems but, although it hasnt been possible to get a clear answer, I think that the consequence is possibly a letter to your aviation authority who may or may not do something, but probably will not do much.

There are many routes around, via Goodwood being an example and again with careful planning it is possible to route VFR across vast swathes of the country by including some doglegs to keep well clear. For example, you can fly from the south coast to Scotland, all the way up the East coast with really very little of consequence, epsecially if you route a short distance off the coast.

You may well be right, the airspace around the SE is so congested that a huge block of airspace may be an evnentual consequence, although funnily enough once you join it up then you would need to provide a joined up service all the way through for VFR traffic, so (tongue in cheek) you could well argue it is better to keep alleys in between with no chance of a handover to prevent the need to provide a joined up service as a much more effective way of limiting VFR traffic.

Yes, you could do it up the east coast, initially at FL052-53, but with some distance over water

although it hasnt been possible to get a clear answer, I think that the consequence is possibly a letter to your aviation authority who may or may not do something, but probably will not do much.

If the UK CAA can’t get you in the UK they will write to your home CAA and ask them to go after you. There is some ICAO provision for this.

the airspace around the SE is so congested that a huge block of airspace may be an evnentual consequence, although funnily enough once you join it up then you would need to provide a joined up service all the way through for VFR traffic

They might provide a service but they won’t provide any sort of clearance, so you still won’t get any transit rights through any CAS. Just like at present…

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

They might provide a service but they won’t provide any sort of clearance, so you still won’t get any transit rights through any CAS. Just like at present…

Well, what I meant is if you take Bournemouth and Southampton which is my favourite adjoining airspace, but even though adjoining not under a single control, you might want to transit west from Salisbury to East say Goodwood. Bournemouth may clear you through their airspace, but once you are well within in, although Solent may then clear you through the rest, in reality you are already well inside the block of CAS, and so, while Solent could refuse onward transit, you would then need to coordinate with Bournemouth for a right of left turn and exit north or south. I guess in theory it could happen but actually Bournemouth and Southampton are a lot more sensible and do coordinate the traffic. (Many years ago I was once transitting on a direct West East line under a clearance from Bournemouth and got told I hadnt arranged my onward clearance with Solent, me having assumed this would be done for me before handover).

So my point was that if you joined up all the SE blocks of Gatwick, Heathrow, Solent, Thames, maybe even Stansted and Luton, then once cleared inside one part of the block you would pretty much have to be given a co-ordinated clearance, because otherwise short of a 180 degree turn there would be no way out!

BTW I always ask Bournemouth or Southampton (whichever way around) for a handover and onward clearance. Maybe someone who knows could comment. It always happens, but sometimes I sense a slight surprise in the controllers voice as to why on earth I would be asking. Maybe the handover is automatic if you have asked for a routing direct through both blocks?

Several NAAs have reciprocal agreements with the CAA about the management of aircraft and aircrew transgressing whilst in UK airspace. Generally I would say this is a good thing. The FAA in particular, if asked to deal with US licensed aircrew, operating in the UK tend to go for the draconian approach and simply remove the pilot’s FAA Airman’s Certificate regardless of the circumstances. Similarly, a British pilot based in Germany and operating on a German issued EASA licence was reported to the German authorities having been involved in three CTR infringements over a weekend. The Germans revoked his licence immediately and without question. While people may not like being subject to apparently punitive measures following an infringement event in the UK, I do think that some remedial training is far better than moving straight to prosecution and a criminal record.

Cub
United Kingdom

Your post above, Cub, raises two questions:

1) Are you posting this in your official capacity, and if so are you able to confirm your job title?

2) Does it relate to pilots who allegedly infringed in the UK but do not have a UK address? Otherwise, it suggests that the UK CAA, at its sole discretion and without submitting any evidence, would ask the FAA to remove the license of any US licensed pilot.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Mooney_Driver wrote:

Did I read it correctly that people get fined/sent to this course for busting an ATZ? This is uncontrolled airspace

If the airport is controlled, then you need a clearance even if the ATZ is class G. SERA.8001(d).

If the airport is uncontrolled, then the ATZ works as a RMZ.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

As for question two, no.

As far as I know what happens if, say, a German pilot with a German license violates something in the UK or elsewhere, it is an EASA matter which will be dealt with between the competent authorities involved. The one where the violation happened will simply present the facts to the CAA where the pilot has his license and let them determine the measures to be taken. I suppose this is vice versa too. This also applies to the FAA if they get a notification by the UK CAA about what happened and it is up to them to decide how to deal with the crew.

LSZH, Switzerland

Airborne_Again wrote:

the airport is controlled, then you need a clearance even if the ATZ is class G. SERA.8001(d).

How can an airport be controlled in class G? Doesn’t a controlled airport require a CTR / Class D?

LSZH, Switzerland

Mooney_Driver wrote:

How can an airport be controlled in class G? Doesn’t a controlled airport require a CTR / Class D?

It does not, but it is not commonly known as, AFAIK, the only country in Europe practicing this is the UK. Both SERA and ICAO Annex II are very clear that “aerodrome traffic” (traffic on and in the vicinity) of a controlled airport is controlled regardless of airspace class. E.g.

SERA.8001

Air traffic control service shall be provided:
(a) to all IFR flights in airspace Classes A, B, C, D and E;
(b) to all VFR flights in airspace Classes B, C and D;
(c) to all special VFR flights;
(d) to all aerodrome traffic at controlled aerodromes.

Note that (d) says nothing about airspace class.

Last Edited by Airborne_Again at 20 Jul 18:38
ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden
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