CAA - UK Airspace Change Process Consultation Response.
The CAA have published their response to the UK Airspace Change Process Consultation that closed in June 2016.
The purpose of this consultation was for the CAA to learn your views on some changes they were considering making to their airspace change decision-making process. Their stated objective is to optimise their process to ensure that all stakeholders are adequately consulted as part of a transparent, proportionate process. The process should be impartial and evidence-based, and should take proper account of the needs and interests of all affected stakeholders.
There were 110 formal responses to the consultation, which have been published where permission to do so was given. The CAA report that generally stakeholders were supportive of the proposed new process.
Medical Self-declaration Update.
It is clear that there has been considerable negative reaction to the change from the NPPL Medical Declaration system to the CAA’s new ‘self-declaration’ system. This is because existing NPPL holders with certain medical conditions, instead of seeing their familiar GP (who has their complete medical history) for revalidation of their medical declarations, would now have to see an AME and obtain a LAPL medical with restrictions.
However, the CAA have advised AOPA that there has been a significant change! The new self-declaration form is at https://publicapps.caa.co.uk/modalapplication.aspx?catid=1&pagetype=65&appid=11&mode=form&id=7493 and the major change is in the following section, which applies to legacy UK PPLs and NPPLs. It also applies to Part-FCL licences but only for non-EASA aircraft:
To Only Fly an Aircraft of 2000kg MTOW or Less
You may fly an aircraft of 2000kg or less, provided you are not taking medication for any psychiatric illness, by declaring your fitness to fly by ticking the ‘no greater than 2000kg’ declaration at the end of this form.
If you are taking medication for a psychiatric illness you must consult a UK-certificated CAA Aeromedical Examiner (AME) as outlined in the ‘To Fly any Aircraft up to 5700kg’ paragraph below.
In addition, CAP1441 has been corrected and re-issued at http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP1441MedicalLicenceTable111016.pdf .
ORS4 No.1195: Standardised European Rules of the Air - Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) Visibility and Distance from Cloud Minima within Class D Airspace.
The CAA have issued ORS4 No.1195 which exempts any aircraft being flown within the UK at or below 3,000 feet above mean sea level and within Class D airspace from the requirements of SERA.5001 (VMC visibility and distance from cloud minima) Table S5-1 and SERA.5005(a) (visual flight rules) of the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 923/2012 of 26 September 2012 (Standardised European Rules of the Air (SERA)) when it is flying in accordance with these conditions:
- the aircraft is flown by day only;
- at a speed which, according to its airspeed indicator, is 140 knots or less, to give adequate opportunity to observe ot
- her traffic and any obstacles in time to avoid a collision; and,
- clear of cloud, with the surface in sight and:
- if the aircraft is not a helicopter, in a flight visibility of at least 5 km; or
- if the aircraft is a helicopter, in a flight visibility of at least 1,500 m.
This exemption has effect until 30 September 2018 unless previously revoked.
If you are flying outside UK Airspace, including the Channel Islands, where SERA Rules apply, these are the VMC Visibility and Distance from Cloud Minima within Class D Airspace:
FlyPlymouth launching new Crowdfunding to reopen Plymouth Airport.
Last year, FlyPlymouth launched a Crowdfunding exercise which raised around £22,000 in a few weeks. This funding allowed FlyPlymouth to develop a business plan for the future of Plymouth Airport and present it to both the local Council and the Department for Transport. That plan has now been included in the draft Plymouth Plan 4, which would protect Plymouth Airport for aviation use until 2031.
Raoul Witherall explains in the video below that this is just the beginning in a long process to get Plymouth Airport open again to all aviation users. Further funding is needed and a second Crowdfunding venture will be opened on 19 September 2016, with a target to raise at least £25,000.
Eligibility of Pilots to Conduct Airworthiness Check Flights.
The CAA have published Information Notice IN-2016/081 to advise that the CAA no longer provides briefings to pilots for conducting airworthiness check flights.
The responsibility for deciding when a check flight should be performed as part of the continued airworthiness management of all aircraft belongs with the aircraft owner, maintainer or continuing airworthiness management organisation. Best practice dictates that when it has been determined that a check flight is necessary, a suitably qualified, and experienced pilot should be used.
The CAA no longer briefs pilots for conducting airworthiness check flights. Consequently, when it has been decided that a check flight is needed, arrangements should be in place to ensure that the check flight is carried out safely and in accordance with industry best practice. Information Notice IN-2016/081 describes these alternative measures.
The CAA Check Flight handbook (CAP 1038) will be amended in the near future to reflect the changes detailed in this Information Notice.
Information Notice IN-2106/081 supersedes IN-2014/052.
8.33 kHz radios.
From 1 January 2018 all aircraft operating in airspace that requires the carriage of a radio must have 8.33kHz-compatable equipment fitted and operational. This means that all General Aviation (GA) aircraft must comply with this change to UK law to maintain safe communications with ground stations.
Manufacturers, suppliers, maintenance organisations and licensed engineers may struggle to cope if there is a rush to buy and fit radios in late 2017. Consequently, the CAA is encouraging GA aircraft owners to purchase 8.33kHz radios early as we anticipate demand will be high as the deadline approaches.
The CAA GA Unit, along with associations and key stakeholders, has identified a small number of common frequencies that may qualify for a temporary exemption from 8.33 kHz implementation. The CAA have submitted a proposal to EuroControl and they should hear the outcome in early 2017. If successful, it will help reduce the equipage burden for a minority of users. Any exemptions granted will be for a short period of time and will not delay the change in UK legislation.
Formal engagement has started with radio manufacturers, suppliers, maintenance organisations and licensed engineers to allow them to highlight any concerns that the 8.33 kHz implementation might have. The main focus is to understand the capacity of industry to support the GA Community from now until 31 December 2017.
The CAA has secured €4.3 million of European Commission funding to encourage the early transition of the UK GA fleet to 8.33 kHz-capable equipment. The funding will be distributed by way of reimbursal to aircraft owners to contribute toward the cost of new radio equipment.
They are now working closely with the GA associations and key stakeholders to agree on how to distribute the funds to aircraft owners fairly and simply. More information about how an application can be made will be published on the CAA website towards the end of 2016.
More detail is contained in CAA Information Notice IN–2013/018.
Self-Declared Maintenance Programmes.
An amendment to the EASA Part M Regulation introduced the Self-Declared Maintenance Programme (SDMP) and applies to ELA1 aircraft not involved in Commercial Operations.
The transition to the EASA Regulations means that the generic UK Light Aircraft Maintenance Programme (LAMP) will no longer be available from September 2016.
Owners of ELA 1 aircraft currently using LAMP need to transfer to a Self-Declared Maintenance Programme (SDMP) at the next Airworthiness Review before September 2017.
An ELA 1 Aircraft is:
- an aeroplane with an maximum take-off mass (MTOM) of 1,200 kg or less that is not classified as complex motor-powered aircraft;
- a sailplane or powered sailplane of 1,200 kg MTOM or less;
- a balloon with a maximum design lifting gas or hot air volume of not more than 3,400 m3 for hot air balloons, 1,050 m3 for gas balloons, 300 m3 for tethered gas balloons;
- an airship designed for not more than four occupants and a maximum design lifting gas or hot air volume of not more than 3,400 m3 for hot air airships and 1,000 m3 for gas airships
Part NCC-OPS & PART-ORO Template Manuals.
IAOPA Europe is happy to finally make available a template for an NCC Operations Manual which is written from the ground up with the intent of fulfilling all relevant requirements in Part-NCC and Part-ORO in a simple way that is suitable for the very small NCC operator with maybe 2-3 persons involved in the flight operation.
Through an extensive use of references to relevant regulation and appendices the core Operations Manual is kept down to around 20 pages. Further, the most common variable items are all listed in the "Operator's Reference" section at the beginning of the manual. This should make the implementation quite an achievable task even for a small NCC operator.
The manual at this stage is not yet endorsed by any authorities and as such comes without any guarantees.
To download the NCC-Light Template Manual please click here
Template OPS manual for larger operators of Complex Aircraft
As of August 25 2016 all operators of complex aircraft in Europe will be required to comply with the new Part-NCC requirements. IAOPA has from the beginning worked to exclude particularly the very small operators from these requirements since they are not suited for a small organisation with maybe just one or two persons involved in the operation. Recently the EASA Committee has decided in favour of excluding turboprop aircraft with a MTOW of less than 5700kg. Operators of these aircraft will therefore NOT be required to submit a declaration and associated requirements for a management system and OPS manual.
For an overview of the requirements for operators of Non Complex Aircraft please consult the dedicated NCC page at the EASA website.
In order to assist those operators who are still subject to the new requirements IAOPA has together with EASA, national aviation authorities, ERAC and other Industry representatives worked to develop a template manual. This can be freely downloaded and modified by the operator. The template manual has been developed with a medium-sized NCC operator in mind. Work is still ongoing to also present a manual which is more tailored to the very small operator.
To download the template NCC manual please click here
Please note that you will have to work through the template and adjust so that it suits your operation. Also note that for a non-commercial operator your OPS manual does not have to be approved by your aviation autority. In fact you are not even required to submit it when you file your NCC declaration. However, you must have it available and be able to show compliance when you have an audit inspection from your authority.
The template manual is build on the principle that it includes more than what is required for most operators. It should therefore be possible to shorten it down considerably when you work your way through it and adapt it to your operation. Be sure to remove sections and procedures which do not apply to your operation so that the manual describes the way you actually operate. Otherwise you are making your first compliance audit harder than it needs to be.
Why airspace infringements have the potential to impact all of us.
In 2015 the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) received over 1100 infringement reports. Almost 650 of these infringements were reported by NATS, the remaining were from other ANSPs and Military units.
Most involve flying into controlled airspace without permission – primarily Control Zones (CTRs) and Control Areas (CTAs) serving airports, Terminal Manoeuvring Areas (TMAs) and Airways.
Those occurring outside controlled airspace tend to involve Aerodrome Traffic Zones (ATZs) and Danger Areas. If they detect an infringement, air traffic controllers assume that the pilot is lost, the flight path is unpredictable and establish a five-mile buffer around the offending aircraft, which create major disruptions to commercial aircraft flights, especially those descending into and climbing from large airports.
According to the CAA, an infringement by just one pilot can mean delays for up to 30 airliners and 5000 passengers and result in £50,000 worth of fuel being wasted. In May this year the CAA announced that pilots who infringe controlled airspace could have their licences provisionally suspended while the incident is assessed.
The consequences of infringements are severe, with almost every incident, no matter how brief, involving widespread, knock-on effects for other pilots, air traffic controllers and passengers. Some of these effects are obvious but others are not
Top reasons infringements happen
Since 2009 NATS has collected over 700 questionnaires from infringing pilots to try and understand the main causes of airspace infringements. NATS has a list of 31 causal factors which are grouped into 8 categories:
- Pilot Actions
- Weather Related
- ATC Interaction
The Air Navigation Order 2016.
The Air Navigation Order (ANO) 2016 has been published and will come into effect on 25 August 2016.
You can find the full ANO here.
Help us to Help You:
There are many references to the ANO contained within items on this website which are provided to help you find the information you need without having to wade through the legislation. We will start to work our way through these and update references and associated information, where this has changed, as soon as we can. It is a thankless task and will take time.
New ANO live.
PRESS NOTICE LIVE: http://www.caa.co.uk/News/Air-Navigation-Order-2016/?catid=4294967430
CAP 393 old and new are both available: www.caa.co.uk/CAP393
New ANO live.
PRESS NOTICE LIVE: http://www.caa.co.uk/News/Air-Navigation-Order-2016/?catid=4294967430
CAP 393 old and new are both available: www.caa.co.uk/CAP393
Dangers of Overflying Gliding Sites.
Following a number of recent incidents that have compromised safety when aircraft over-flying glider sites have come into close proximity with winch-launching gliders, the UK Airprox Board (UKAB) and the British Gliding Association (BGA) seek to remind pilots about the dangers of over-flying gliding sites, especially as the summer months mean much greater gliding activity is likely.
Some recent Airprox incidents illustrate the risks:
- 2014013 – a glider aborted a winch launch at Tibenham, Norfolk when a PA28 overflew the site.
- 2014211 – an Augusta 109 helicopter came close to a glider winch launching at Dunstable, to the west of Luton
- 2015026 – again at Dunstable, an MD902 helicopter came close to a launching glider
- 2016036 – an unidentified light aeroplane overflew Lasham, the busiest gliding site in the country, during a winch launch.
- 2016074 – an R44 helicopter overflew Husbands Bosworth south of Leicester and caused a winching glider to abort its launch.
Four of these incidents were categorised in the highest risk category - A – where it was judged a serious risk of collision existed and luck played a major part in the fact that collisions didn’t occur. The full reports are available from http://www.airproxboard.org.uk within ‘Airprox Reports and Analysis’, side heading ‘Individual Airprox Reports’, under the appropriate year.
The key point is that pilots should not rely on seeing the winch launch happening as they approach the glider site. A glider will go from ground to 1000-1500ft in about 20 seconds, so spotting it in the climb is too late to do anything about the conflict. Nor is the danger passed once the glider is released from the winch. Pilots are very unlikely to see the cable itself and, depending on the winch-launch height, the hazard from these continues for at least another 20-30 seconds as it descends under a small parachute that is effectively invisible.
Some glider sites are capable of launching to altitudes of 3-4000ft, with associated increased cable descent times. Maximum launch altitudes are indicated on the 500K VFR chart with a forward slash and height; as an example, Lasham has a maximum winch-launch altitude of 3700ft, as shown on the attached graphic as /3.7.
Pilots should always assume that a gliding site is active. UK Gliding sites map 2016:
Ed Downham, who, as well as being a UKAB gliding member, is a Boeing 777 captain said: “So far, we haven’t seen an actual mid-air, either between the aircraft or with the descending winch cable. But it could soon be a matter for the AAIB rather than UKAB. Be under no illusion, such an encounter is highly likely to be fatal for those involved”.
Chris Fox, another UKAB gliding member and an R44 pilot, also commented: “A recurring theme in these reports is that the powered aircraft pilot assumed that the gliding site would not be active – perhaps because the weather was less than perfect, or it was late in the day. Gliders can, and do, winch-launch in strong winds and any cloud base that permits the launch to be completed safely – often in conditions that would deter many other GA pilots.”
The UKAB advice is to avoid glider sites at all times; only overfly them if you have timely, positive confirmation from the site itself that they are inactive. When avoiding glider sites, beware of simply skirting the ground location by a narrow margin because there are likely to be gliders operating close to the site as they soar within gliding range and, even if a site has finished winch-launching for the day, it may have gliders returning from cross country flights, or motor gliders self-launching into the local area.
Many gliders these days fly with a system called FLARM, which is a relatively cheap electronic conspicuity aid. The associated P-FLARM unit is also relatively cheap, easy to fit in any aircraft, and provides potentially life-saving audio and visual cues for those hard-to-see gliders.
Requirement to convert UK and JAR flight crew licences.
The UK CAA have issued Information Notice IN-2016/066 highlights the requirement for holders of both UK and JAR flight crew licences to convert to Part-FCL licences by 8 April 2018.
Applications must be submitted using Form SRG 1104.
Delaying conversion closer to the deadline may result in processing delays with grounding after 8 April 2018, until handling of applications and re-issue of new-format Part-FCL licences has been completed.