- CAA decision made in the interests of safety
- Suitably equipped GA aircraft will be allowed open access to segments of the new airspace
- Farnborough required to engage with local GA on access to other segments
An airspace change proposal by TAG Farnborough Airport has been largely approved by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The Airport's request for the introduction of Class D airspace in its surrounding area will be met - subject to some significant concessions to the general aviation community.
The CAA said that given the increase in business aviation at Farnborough Airport, there was a material safety case for introducing controlled airspace around the airport, to create a known traffic environment.
However, to accommodate the needs of other airspace users, two airspace blocks to the southwest and south of the airport will be classified as Class E, not Class D. These blocks will be notified as 'Transponder Mandatory Zones' (TMZ), allowing access for aircraft without the need for air traffic control clearance - providing they are equipped with a transponder. Radio equipped aircraft that lack a serviceable transponder may still be able to access these blocks through local arrangement with Farnborough air traffic control. ADS-B devices will be accepted once considered fully interoperable with ground-based safety systems.
Farnborough will also be required to collaborate on reasonable access arrangements for gliders in three further Class D airspace blocks in the vicinity of RAF Odiham and Lasham Airfield.
Commenting on the decision, Jon Round, Head of Airspace at the CAA, said: “This has been a long and complicated application and we respect the concerns of some sections of the GA community who have opposed it. However, we believe there is a very real safety case for creating a known traffic environment in the vicinity of Farnborough Airport to protect all airspace users.”
The CAA said that the new airspace, which will become operational in 2019, is the minimum necessary to contain the international requirements for new performance-based navigation flight procedures being introduced at Farnborough Airport.
Following today's decision, the CAA reaffirmed its commitment to the safe, fair and equitable use of UK airspace. Where the establishment of controlled airspace is necessary for aviation safety - access for private pilots will always be taken into account and in some cases, such as this, the development of new lost cost, high tech conspicuity devices will support this.
For more information on the CAA's decision to approve TAG Farnborough Airport's airspace change proposal go to www.caa.co.uk/cap1678
CAA Press Office
Tel. 0333 103 6000
Notes to Editors:
In order to enter Class D airspace aircraft need clearance from air traffic control (ATC). The aircraft also needs to be equipped with a serviceable radio. Aircraft do not need clearance from ATC to enter Class E (TMZ) airspace if transponder equipped and flying under Visual Flight Rules. Non-transponder but radio equipped GA aircraft will be provided access by Farnborough ATC.