Time for a radical re-think on UK airspace – FASVIG

A vision of a completely modernised UK airspace recognising the role of VFR flying has been put forward by the Future Airspace Strategy VFR Implementation Group – better known as FASVIG.

In a paper released in November called ‘Airspace Modernisation‘, FASVIG pulls no punches. It says, “There is a culture within UK aviation and regulation that its airspace is superior, that more regulated airspace and more regulation is better, and there is strong corporate resistance to change.

“Modernisation of airspace for the commercial sector is now high on the regulatory agenda, but support for VFR and non-commercial airspace modernisation and system improvement has not enjoyed the same priority.

“Modernisation would involve changes in policies, airspace design, procedures, attitudes and funding,” continues FASVIG. “It would see VFR flights being more conspicuous, having appropriate free routing but with less ATS interaction.”

Among the recommendations put forward by FASVIG are:

  • Enable VFR flights to proceed without interacting with the air traffic system, reducing controller and frequency demand
  • Class E airspace as a key building block for modernisation
  • Higher climb rate departures for commercial aircraft to free up airspace below
  • Removal of underused Controlled Airspace (CAS)
  • Rationalisation of CTR and CTA sizes
  • Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP) must provide a service to all airspace users or have their licence withdrawn.