Farnborough’s controversial controlled airspace is under the spotlight again as the CAA, through its Airspace & Safety Initiative website, issues the THIRD instalment of advice on avoiding infringments.
The ASI website has published 25 narratives on identified infringement hotspots in the UK. This latest one was written by Farnborough Air Traffic Service Unit and members of the Wessex Local Airspace Infringement Team.
Between 27 February 2020, when the Farnborough Controlled Airspace (CAS) came into effect, and 27 September, there were 85 reported airspace infringements of the CAS.
The main areas are:
- Infringements of CTR-1 involving aircraft operating at/from Blackbushe Airport (EGLK). This was covered in detail in narrative 19 (Farnborough Controlled Airspace; Blackbushe Airport)
- Infringements of CTR-2 and CTA-1 involving aircraft departing from or arriving at Fairoaks Airport (EGTF)
- Infringements by transit aircraft.
The full narrative and associated illustrations is here: https://airspacesafety.com/updates
The ASI’s advice includes:
Use a Moving Map. In over 80% of airspace infringements, pilots were found not to be using a moving map or not using one correctly. Using moving maps not only gives pilots a profile along the planned route showing CAS above and below the route but offers airspace warnings.
Fly on the most appropriate altimetry setting when operating under CTA. In this case it is the London QNH.
Obtain a Lower Airspace Radar Service (LARS) from Farnborough Radar. Pilots can obtain a LARS from Farnborough Radar in this area on 125.250 MHz.
Use the Frequency Monitoring Code: squawk 4572 and monitor 125.250 MHz.
Apply Threat and Error Management when planning and flying. Always consider airspace when making a detailed plan. Build in climb and descent points when routing in the vicinity of multiple CTAs with differing base altitudes. Know what VRPs look like and what airspace lies above them or close by. Have a point beyond which you are not going to fly if you do not have a positive clearance to enter CAS particularly when departing Fairoaks and Blackbushe when cockpit workload is high. One of the biggest causes of infringements is distraction; manage that Threat when operating close to CAS.
Avoid flying on the Regional Pressure Setting (RPS) in the vicinity of Farnborough CTAs or below the London TMA. When flying on the RPS, as it is the forecast lowest QNH for a region, you will be higher in relation to the London QNH. Always ask for the London QNH rather than accepting/flying on the Chatham RPS.
If appropriate – request a clearance. If for any reason a climb is required above the base of the CTA, then a clearance must be obtained.