AOPA UK

Release of Controlled and Segregated Airspace (RCSA): Raising Base of Controlled Airspace Solent CTA-6.

The FAS VFR Implementation Group (FASVIG) has submitted a proposal to the CAA’s Safety and Airspace Regulation Group (SARG) for the disestablishment of a portion of controlled airspace within Solent CTA-6 in accordance with its policy for RCSA.  The purpose of this notice is to provide an overview of the roposal and SARG’s subsequent decision.  

Solent CTA-6 comprises a triangular fillet of Class D controlled airspace on the eastern side of the Solent CTA complex between 2500 - 5500ft above mean sea level (amsl):

 



The FASVIG proposal involves the raising of the base of CTA-6 to 3000ft amsl, releasing the Class D airspace beneath this altitude to Class G.  In line with RCSA, FASVIG has provided full details of the release of the airspace and conducted a consultation with both local and national airspace stakeholders, including the controlling authority for the airspace, Solent Radar.  SARG are content that that there will be no adverse flight safety impact on those aircraft operating in the released airspace.  SARG is equally content that there will be no notable operational impact on commercial aircraft operations in the area and that the requirements of airspace users will not be adversely effected.   Indeed, the release of this airspace to Class G will, to some extent, relieve the funnelling of traffic in the vicinity of the Solent CTA, Lee-on-Solent aerodrome and adjacent airspace structures.

As the airspace will revert to Class G airspace, it is not possible to predict the number of pilots who will choose to fly in the released airspace or to wholly determine what activity there may be, but it is assessed that an overall increase in traffic levels is unlikely. 

SARG are content that the proposed release of airspace to Class G has been undertaken in line with the principles of RCSA Policy and that appropriate actions are in place to ensure a safe transition for airspace users and adjacent aerodromes.  Promulgation of the change will be through the AIRAC publishing schedule.  Given the nature of the new airspace arrangements and consistent with RCSA Policy, it is unlikely that a review of the effectiveness of the airspace
release will be required.

The chart above shows the extant Solent CTA structure; Solent CTA areas will be renumbered as Solent CTA-6 and CTA-7 will both extend from 3000 - 5500ft amsl. Implementation of the change will be at AIRAC 06/2016 on 26th  May 2016.

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Welcome to the April 2016 Enews of IAOPA Europe, which goes out to 23,000 aircraft owners and pilots in 27 countries across the continent.

Newsletter now available on the IAOPA EU website

A Piper Warrior had to pay £1047.36, for making an Emergency landing at London Luton Airport.

On the 19th January 2016 an instructor and a student set of from Elstree aerodrome, in a Piper Warrior151 (weight 2,325lbs.), on a night flight for his night rating course.

On the take-off run a loud thump was heard. The controller at Elstree said the lighting was poor for a low pass for an undercarriage inspection and a decision was made to fly to Northolt instead. They were unable to accept them and recommended an Emergency be declared and to divert to Luton. This they did. A couple of low approaches were made for the fire crew to have a look at the undercarriage. They reported that it looked to be down and the instructor decided to go back to Elstree. 

However the Luton controller suggested that a landing should be made “just to make sure everything was OK and then take off again shortly afterwards”. They accepted this, as it was sound safety advice, landed without incident and taxied to the Handling Agent. They inspected the undercarriage and all looked normal. They asked if they could use the washroom facilities before departing and were taken to the reception. As the pilot had declared an emergency, he claimed that under the “Strasser Scheme” landing fees should be waived.

Although 207 UK airports have joined and participate in the “Strasser Scheme”, unfortunately London Luton is one of the remaining 4 airports, who have so far declined several attempts to get them to do so.  

As an AOPA member, the pilot enlisted the help of Charles Strasser, the originator and still administrator of the “Strasser Scheme”, to try and get at least a partial refund of the billed amount of £1,047.36.

Although Luton airport is not a “Strasser Scheme” participant, an article in “Today’s Pilot” published in 2010 listed the then non participants as Cardiff, Biggin Hill, Belfast International, Carlisle, Leeds/Bradford, Bristol Filton and London Luton. All except London Luton have since joined. However their then MD, Glyn Jones, is on record as saying “that London Luton would do its utmost to assist any pilot in distress and would never disadvantage a GA pilot financially”.

Charles Strasser’s several attempts to communicate with the CEO of London Luton, Nick Barton, to get the charges refunded finally resulted in a refusal. On the other hand the charges levied by the Handling Agent have been refunded in full.

It is the fear of such monstrous charges being levied for genuine emergency landings by GA aircraft which prompted the CAA to publish potentially life saving CAP667 9.2(c) which clearly states “that all aerodrome owners be persuaded  to adopt a policy  that there should be no charges for emergency  landings  or diversions  by general aviation aircraft.”

Guernsey Airport - 50% discount on landing fees for AOPA Silver Wings (or higher) Holders.

Guernsey Airport are offering a 50% discount on landing fees for those flying under the AOPA Wings Scheme at silver standard or above.

If you are accredited and would like to benefit from this discount, please scan a copy of your AOPA Wings Scheme certificate or membership card to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone +44 (0) 1481 237766 for further information.

Consultation: Rules of the air - increased fines for infringements.

Seeks views on increasing the maximum fine level applied to persons contravening the Standardised European Rules of the Air. These changes apply exclusively to the regulations on:

  • communicating with air traffic control
  • flight plans
  • position reporting

The proposal will change the maximum fine from level 4, £2,500, to level 5, unlimited, in England and Wales.

Unlimited fine levels can only be made under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO).  As LASPO does not apply to Scotland and Northern Ireland the maximum fines in these areas would increase to £5,000 instead.

The consultation closes on 22 April 2016.

Full details can be found here.

AOPA UK will be responding to this consultation. At a minimum we would not expect fine levels in England and Wales to be any higher than in Scotland. Please can you make your views known to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. directly to help in our response.

AIR LEAGUE- Volunteer Gliding Squadrons Petition - Government Response.

With almost 16,000 signatories so far the Government have made thier first response to the petition:

The MOD has confirmed plans to relaunch Air Cadet Aviation to ensure cadet flying opportunities are available whilst delivering value for money.

Air Cadet Gliding had to be paused in 2014 due to safety concerns with our aircraft. A full inspection programme was initiated with a view to recovering all of the aircraft. However after substantial operational, technical and commercial negotiations with a range of leading aerospace companies, for most of the Vigilant aircraft and a few of the Vikings it no longer represented sensible value for money to continue their repair.

In order to give Cadets the opportunity to start flying again following an Air Cadet Organisation review there will be at least 73 Vikings, a fleet of up to 15 Vigilant aircraft, combined with an increase of an extra 25 Grob Tutor fixed wing Air Experience Flights (AEFs) – a more than 50% increase on previous flights. We are committed to returning as many gliders to the skies as possible while ensuring the safety of cadets and instructors. For the first time this will be backed by a range of realistic simulators provided by the RAF Charitable Trust.

The restructured glider fleet will be operated by fewer, but larger, Volunteer Gliding Squadrons (VGS), which will have a regional focus and be better integrated with synthetic training and increased AEF locations. The RAF is fully committed to Air Cadet flying. Where Cadets will have to travel longer distances, we are increasing investment in VGS and AEF sites to include residential accommodation for cadets and staff. In the future cadet flying will be better associated with force development and ground training opportunities alongside the gliding and flying.

The RAF acknowledges this has been a tough period for cadets and instructors and is grateful for the patience and understanding of the Volunteer Gliding Squadron instructors who continue to provide inspiration and leadership to generations of cadets. Air Cadet flying will be safer and far more resilient in the long run; enabling all cadets across the United Kingdom to have equal access to flying opportunities and which better integrates and allocates cadet flying opportunities between realistic synthetic flight simulation, glider flying and an increase of AEF flights.

The Petition can be found here.

CAA - Air show fees decision -

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has today announced the outcome of its consultation on charges for air displays

The regulator has reaffirmed its commitment to the air show industry and highlighted the importance of new safety enhancements being introduced. The CAA is not funded by the tax payer and therefore these charges must be met by the industry.  However, the CAA has recognised the possible and immediate impact these increased charges could have on air show organisers and has therefore implemented a phased introduction of the new fees over the next three years.
 
An extensive review of air show safety has been carried out by the CAA, following the tragic accident at the Shoreham Air Show in August 2015. As part of the review a series of additional safety measures have been introduced that air shows must now meet in order to go ahead, including carrying out enhanced risk assessments. Tougher checks and training requirements for pilots and display directors are also being introduced.
 
The CAA launched a consultation in February on the proposed increases to fees to fund its air show work. This also recognised the historic under-recovery of costs for their regulatory oversight of air displays, although these increases do not seek to recover any historic under-recovery.
 
While needing to ensure that the new charges are in place, to enable the CAA  to introduce these important new safety measures this year, they recognise it may be difficult for some air shows to absorb these additional charges in 2016/17.  Therefore, to reduce the impact on the air display community, the CAA has decided to phase in the introduction of the new air display post event charges.  The 2016/17 charges will now be set to recover £100,000 of the expected £200,000 of additional costs, with the remaining £100,000 being absorbed by the CAA.
 
Andrew Haines, CEO of the CAA, said, “We understand that people care passionately about air shows and we want all events to be a success. We are also very clear that we will not compromise on safety. Enhancing the safety of air shows is essential and this extra work must be funded. However, we have listened to the responses and recognise that some shows could face challenges in absorbing the full cost of these changes into this display season. In making our final decision on fees we have therefore decided to phase in the new charges, recovering only half of our costs for the current year.”

“We welcome the opportunity to address with air show organisers any questions or concerns they have around their planned activity for 2016, but safety must be the priority and we are committed to doing all that we can to make air shows even safer in the years to come. In addition to the phased introduction of new fees, we will also review any further requests for assistance from smaller and charitable air show organisers who are concerned about not being able to afford the new charges.”

The Consultation Response document can be found at www.caa.co.uk/cap1388.
 
The CAA's air display review work continues and they expect to publish our final report in the coming weeks.

I am pleased that the CAA has listened to the concerns of the industry and that the phasing in of the new charges is the right way to go. Martin Robinson, CEO AOPA UK

AIR LEAGUE- Volunteer Gliding Squadrons Petition.

Recently the UK Government has decided to axe 15 of the 25 Volunteer Gliding Squadrons across the UK.

The following petition has been set up in an attempt to retrain the  units scheduled for disbandment.

We would appreciate any support you can give us.

The aim is to preserve air cadet gliding as we know it today to ensure the youth generation for air cadets can have the same opportunities as older generations to begin their careers in aviation.

The Air Cadet movement is about the air mindedness of the youth in the UK. It is a great organisation and one which I was associated with as a Cadet and later on as a civilian instructor.  Please support this petition. Martin Robinson, CEO AOPA UK

The Petition can be found here.

MAJOR CONSULTATION LAUNCHED ON IMPROVEMENTS TO UK AIRSPACE CHANGE PROCESS.

The CAA today launched a major consultation on how decisions are made on proposed changes to the UK’s airspace structure.

It seeks views from stakeholders, ranging from the aviation industry and general aviation to people affected by aircraft noise, on a series of proposals aimed at making the airspace change process more transparent and giving the CAA a more hands-on role.
    
The airspace change process

If someone, usually an airport or air traffic control body, wants to request a permanent change to the UK airspace structure they must submit a proposal to the CAA, which goes through our airspace change process.

The CAA is consulting on proposed improvements to this process, which is used to decide whether a change goes ahead. Our suggested changes are supported by an independent review carried out in 2015 by specialist consultants Helios.
 
The consultation

The consultation therefore details changes to the process a proposal goes through, which includes consultation with local communities, and also how it can be made more transparent.

One of a range of recommendations under consideration to achieve this is an online portal to provide a single access point for anyone to view, comment on and access documents for every UK airspace change proposal. The effectiveness of the process could also be improved by additional stages of scrutiny and validation.

The consultation is not about areas which are outside of the CAA’s airspace change process, such as Government policy, which the CAA’s process must follow. Government policy on issues, such as whether flight paths are concentrated along a narrow path or deliberately dispersed, whether flight paths are alternated to provide periodic respite from noise, and whether tranquil areas are avoided, are not part of the CAA consultation.

The consultation which is open to everyone is available until 15 June 2016 and can be accessed here.

Loss of Control in Flight.

Loss of Control In-flight is the most frequent and most deadly type of accident in GA.

There are approximately 37 fatal LOC-I accidents per year in Europe leading to 67 persons on average losing their lives every year due to LOC-I (for fixed-wing aircraft only), and take-off and landing phase are particularly risky.

For more information, including advice on preventing Loss of Control Accidents,  visit the EASA website here.

Why not add recovery procedures to your next rating revalidation and/or learn new skills with an AOPA Aerobatics Certificate or an Instrument Rating?

 

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Welcome to the March 2016 Enews of IAOPA Europe, which goes out to 23,000 aircraft owners and pilots in 27 countries across the continent.

Newsletter now available on the IAOPA EU website

PPL Ground School available in Central London.

Following the popularity of our courses, AOPA are pleased to advise that a further evening programme of PPL Ground School will be run at our Central London offices.

Starting on 4 October 2016, AOPA will be running ground school for ab-initio pilots. The School will take place at the AOPA offices at 50a Cambridge Street in Victoria and will take place each Tuesday and Thursday evening from 7 till 9pm on the dates shown below.  The AOPA office is just 5 minutes walk from Victoria Station.

All 9 subjects required for the PPL (aeroplanes), will be taught over a period of approximately 70 hours. The lecturer is Adam Winter, a highly qualified and experienced flying instructor who works for the Flyers Flying School at Elstree.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS

The programme for 2017:

Aircraft General Knowledge January 5, 10, 12, 17, 19
Principles of Flight January 24, 26, 31
Revision February 2
Exams February 7

Performance and Planning February 9, 14, 16, 21
Communications February 23, 28
Revision March 2
Exams March 7

Air Law March 9, 14, 16,21
Operations and Procedures March 23, 28
Human Performance and Limitations  March 30, April 4
Revision  April 6
Exams  April 11

Navigation April 13, 18, 20, 25, 27, May  2
Meteorology May 4, 9, 11, 16, 18
Revision May 23
Exams May 25

Aircraft General Knowledge May 30, June 1, 6, 8
Principles of Flight June 13, 15, 20
Revision June 22
Exams June 27

Performance & Planning June 29, July  4, 6
Communications July 11, 13
Revision July 18
Exams July 20

It is not necessary to attend the full course and candidates can select the individual subjects they wish to study from the published dates.  You do not have to be a member of AOPA to participate.

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Proposal to Introduce SID Procedures at London Southend Airport.

London Southend Airport (LSA) is proposing to submit an Airspace Change Proposal to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for the introduction of Standard Instrument Departures (SID’s) to replace the current Preferred Departure Routes (PDR’s).  The introduction of SID procedures is necessary to reflect current CAA Policy and because of the introduction of controlled airspace in the vicinity of LSA. The change from PDR’s to SID procedures brings LSA into line with other airports connected to busy airspace.

In the previous consultation we were unable to include comprehensive details of the formal SID’s that would need to be introduced because of the pending major changes to the route structure and airspace management arrangements in the south-eastern part of the London Terminal Control Area (LTMA).  These changes were being developed by NATS in a major airspace project known as the London Area Management Programme (LAMP). 

At the time of the development of the LSA controlled airspace design (successfully implemented in 2015) the NATS-proposed LAMP airspace configuration and arrangements were not sufficiently developed.  Whilst NATS and LSA were working closely together on developing the future airspace arrangements in the LTMA for LSA arriving and departing traffic, the timetables for the two projects were not compatible to allow them to be implemented at the same time.  Instead, with the agreement of the CAA, it was concluded that, as an interim measure, the existing PDR’s from LSA that had been in place for many years should remain until the LAMP Phase 1a route structure within the LTMA had been finalised and an implementation schedule established. 

Accordingly, LSA is today launching this stage of the consultation process by publishing its Consultation Documents on the LSA website here.

The Consultation Documents detail why we believe SIDs are necessary, the design of the SIDs and their expected impact and the options that have been considered in reaching our conclusions.

The CAA specifies that the consultation should run for a minimum period of 12 weeks in order to allow time for you, or the organisation that you represent, to consider your response to the proposal.  In order to allow for the Easter holiday period and May Bank Holiday we are extending this to 13 weeks.  The consultation will therefore end on 27th May 2016.

You will find in the consultation document (Part C), details of how to submit your response to us, or how to contact us if you have any queries on the consultation document, or the consultation process itself.

Please note that even if you have no comment to make on the proposal we would appreciate a response to that effect.

I look forward to receiving your response.

Yours faithfully,

Jon Horne

Chief Operating Officer

Oxford Airport Frequency Monitoring SSR Code 4517.

Following successful implementation in other parts of the country, Oxford Airport has sought permission from the CAA to utilise a Frequency Monitoring SSR Code.

The SSR Code 4517 is already allocated to Oxford but the airport has confirmed that it can be assigned as the SSR Frequency Monitoring Code. The frequency utilised will be
127.750 MHz (Oxford Approach/Oxford Radar) and the code may be used out to a range of 20nm from Oxford Aerodrome outside controlled airspace during the hours 0800 - 1800 (local time).

The UK Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) will be updated under AIRAC 05/2016 (distributed 17 March 2016, effective 28 April 2016) however the SSR code will be available for use from 01 March 2016 and will therefore be activated by NOTAM.

CAA Information Notice IN-2016/017 refers.

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