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UKAB Airprox Prevention Guide

A guide to cut the number of Airprox incidents involving general aviation (GA) pilots is provided by the UK Airprox Board (UKAB) - the specialist body responsible for assessing airspace conflicts. While incidents involving commercial aviation have been steadily declining over the last decade, those involving GA have increased by over 50 per cent in the same period.

To help pilots reduce the number of GA Airprox incidents, UKAB has developed comprehensive guidance for GA pilots, based on a thorough analysis of hundreds of incidents it has previously assessed. Focusing on six core actions pilots should adopt to avoid an airspace conflict there is an educational video animation.

UKAB data indicates that the frequency of GA Airprox incidents generally increases in spring and early summer, as better weather arrives and many pilots start flying again after the winter. As a result, many pilots may need to pay particular attention to their see and avoid techniques.

At the launch of the guidance, UKAB Director, Steve Forward, said: “While significant progress has been made over recent years to reduce the number of Airprox incidents involving commercial aircraft, the same cannot really be said of private flying. If GA is to enjoy similar safety gains then pilots need to concentrate on their airmanship skills, make sure they understand correct procedures, avoid distractions and keep a good look-out. Mid-air collisions are one of GA’s major safety risks and we at UKAB are absolutely focused on reducing the number of incidents.”

“It’s clear from studying Airprox incident reports over a number of years that look-out and prioritisation of cockpit tasks are the two key areas that GA pilots should be focussed on. There are also some effective and relatively inexpensive electronic systems now on the market that can help by cueing pilots to other similarly equipped aircraft, and these provide real gains in enhancing situational awareness.”

UKAB is calling on all GA pilots to follow six core actions to help reduce Airprox accidents:

  • Eyes – look-out and develop a robust scan technique.
  • Ears – communicate by talking on and listening to the radio, both to make your intentions clear and to maintain situational awareness of others.
  • Foresight – fly defensively, with vigilance, courtesy and consideration of others, also known as “airmanship”.
  • Insight – regularly review your understanding of ATC services, rules of the air, circuit patterns and procedures.
  • Advertise – make your presence known through conspicuity measures (electronic and visual).
  • Prioritise – time-share cockpit tasks and avoid distractions which may compromise your look-out.

The video animation is supported by a leaflet, the UKAB magazine and further guidance. All are available on the UKAB website and packs of information sent to GA flying schools and clubs throughout the UK.

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