Channel TDAs impact UK to France flights

Temporary Danger Areas on both sides of the English Channel are having an impact on General Aviation flights between England and France, particularly during the recent period of low cloudbases.

The TDAs are to allow Border Force in the UK and their French equivalent to operate drones monitoring the flow of migrants crossing the Channel.

According to one pilot, the Channel TDAs are far from temporary.

“This last week ,for example, every day all seven areas have been activated from 04:00 to 13:30, despite the AIC Yellow 58/2021 stating that only essential areas would be activated to assist general aviation traffic crossing the channel.

“Much of this last week the cloudbase in the channel has been between 1200 and 1500 feet.

“Why is around 1,000 square miles of airspace are needed for one aircraft that can’t see where it’s going whereas you are likely to meet many times this number in the multiple choke points forced on us over the years.

“If we are encouraged to buy electronic conspicuity, why don’t the drones fit it and we can all carry on as before.”

The unpredictable nature of recent weather hasn’t helped, with cloud often forming mid-Channel and forcing pilots flying VFR to descend to a height that’s close to the top of the TDAs.

“The French side very helpfully operates their two restricted areas as alternates so there is always a low level route option,” continued the pilot.

The TDAs are detailed in two AICs. The English TDA is Yellow 058/2021 and the French TDA yellow 050/2021. They can be found on the new NATS AIS website here.

France Channel TDAs
Above: Temporary Danger Areas for drone operations on the French side of the English Channel. Top: On the English side



  1. Sorry, call e a killjoy, but if we have to suffer a bit to stop mass illegal immigration then so be it.
    Go get yourself an IMC rating

  2. The fact is it isn’t stopping mass migration, Border Force and the RLNI are escorting them across the channel!

    1. That is simply not true. The RNLI is not escorting them across the channel, it is responding to the Coastguard asking them to pick up people at risk of drowning.

      1. Sorry Adrian, you are partially correct, but when the RNLI go within two miles of the French coast to pick them and the French look on

    2. I totally agree, very sad that the RNLI is being used asa ferry service, while the French look on

  3. I’m prepared to plan another route across the channel, the drones MUST be allowed to operate to assist in stopping the illegals.
    What’s the attraction of France anyway, you still need test prior to returning if you are sticking to the rules, go to the Isle of Wight, you will get a great welcome at Sandown and equally good food.

    1. And far left woke socialists!

      Sandown is a good visit and there are quite a few nice small islands just off the coast of Scotland.

  4. Are there really that many people Scud running over the English Channel that low on a weekday morning?

  5. Unfortunately so, but our main stream media will not show the truth of the scale of this problem.

    Go and take a visit to these coastal areas (I have) and watch these illegal immigrants running away into our country unchecked and unchallenged by border force. The same border force who actually paid a visit to our airfield a couple of months back asking how many times our members flew into France. Just in case we were bringing any illegal immigrants into the UK. A bit fresh when they are helping them cross the channel.

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