Airspace Utilisation Section

The Airspace Utilisation Section enhances Flight Safety by the de-confliction, co-ordination and notification of all known Unusual Air Activities within UK Airspace. The sections principle activities are described on this page.

AUS does not authorise such Unusual Air Activities but acts as an Impartial Broker between Sponsors and Service Providers, and notifies results of that interaction to both the civil and military aviation communities. Additionally, it co-ordinates Royal and VIP Flights, Air-to-Air refuelling and Airborne Early Warning Reservations.

An Unusual Air Activity is an event such as an Air Exercise, Trial, Display, Formation, Balloon or Kite flight which could adversely affect the normal operations of other airspace users. It may include one or more of the following:

  • A concentration of events in time or airspace, significantly greater than normal.
  • An inability to observe conventions such as VFR/IFR, Quadrantal or Semi-Circular Rules, or Rights of Way.
  • A Captive Balloon or Kite flown in a manner which does not comply with the Air Navigation Order.
  • A Free Balloon more than 2m in any linear dimension (excluding Meteorological Office radiosonde balloons).
  • Low Level Formation Flights to a set route or programme.
  • Weapons or Attack Technique Demonstrations.
  • The dropping of articles or parachutists.
  • Events which require Airspace Restriction under article 85 of the ANO: for matters in the public interest, air displays or concentrations of large numbers of people.
  • Major Laser and Firework Displays.

Sponsors of such activities should, in the first instance, contact the Airspace Utilisation Section on the following numbers giving as much notice and detail as possible:

Tel: 020 7453 6599
Fax: 020 7453 6593

ausops@caa.co.uk