The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has launched a consultation with the aviation community concerning its proposals to replace Class F Advisory Routes in the London and Scottish Flight Information Regions. This follows an International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) audit of the UK in February 2009 and detailed consideration of the airspace classification requirements of the Standardised European Rules of the Air (SERA) (Regulation (EU) No 923/2012), scheduled for UK implementation by 4 December 2014. The CAA intends to replace Advisory Routes with airspace classes best suited to the operational conditions associated with them.
Specifically, the CAA’s Directorate of Airspace Policy proposes to replace Class F Advisory Routes with Class E airways, enhanced by additional SERA-compliant conspicuity requirements. This reflects the conclusions of a joint CAA/industry working group established after the ICAO audit to how its recommendations could be acted upon.
Full details of the proposals and how to participate in the consultation can be found on the CAA website at www.caa.co.uk/consultations
The consultation period runs from 8 April 2013 to 12 July 2013. In order to allow enough time for airspace users, aircraft operators and air traffic service providers to prepare for the eventual changes, replacement of Class F will be completed no later than AIRAC 12/2014 (13 November 2014). This will ensure compliance with ICAO and SERA requirements, as implementation of the latter has to be completed by 4 December 2014.
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The Civil Aviation Authority’s Directorate of Airspace Policy (DAP) is responsible for the planning and regulation of all UK airspace including the navigation and communications infrastructure to support safe and efficient operations. In accordance with its statutory functions, the CAA is responsible for dealing with applications by sponsors for an airspace change. A change to the use or classification of airspace in the UK can take many forms but can only be made after consultation and where it is clear that airspace management considerations and the overriding need for safety allow for no practical alternative, or where an overall environmental benefit will accrue. More information on the Airspace Change Process (ACP) and DAP’s wider functions are set out in DAP’s Airspace Charter (CAP 724) which is available on the CAA’s website at www.caa.co.uk/dap
The CAA is the UK's specialist aviation regulator. Its activities include: making sure that the aviation industry meets the highest technical and operational safety standards; preventing holidaymakers from being stranded abroad or losing money because of tour operator insolvency; planning and regulating all UK airspace; and regulating airports, air traffic services and airlines and providing advice on aviation policy from an economic standpoint.
Further information concerning airspace classifications can be found in DAP Policy Statements concerning airspace classifications and Class F airspace at www.caa.co.uk/dappolicystatements
Details of each of the ICAO airspace classifications used in the UK Flight Information regions can be found in the UK Aeronautical Information Publication at ENR 1.4 ATS Airspace Classification. This can be accessed at www.nats-uk.ead-it.com