The British Gliding Association is the governing body for the sport of gliding in the UK. An Aeronautical Information Circular (in the Yellow (Operational) series) (available on the NATS Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) website) provides detail of gliding activity within UK airspace.
Locations of known permanent glider sites are detailed in the UK Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) section ENR 5.5 (available on the NATS AIS website).
In accordance with Article 92 of the Air Navigation Order (ANO) 2016 (as amended), Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Airspace Regulation issues permissions for the launching of gliders by winch and cable or by ground tow to heights greater than 60 metres (above ground level).
Notification to CAA Airspace Regulation
Proposed additions or changes to the UK AIP list of permanent sites should follow the process detailed in CAP 1618: Airspace Design: Unusual aerial activities published in the UK AIP.
For temporary notifications, please complete and submit the notification form.
For activities requiring an Airspace Co-ordination Notice (ACN) or a temporary Winch Launch Permission, a minimum of 28 days’ notice is requested. For activities requiring Notice to Aviation (NOTAM) action only, a minimum notice of 2 working days prior to the intended start time should be provided. During periods of high workload, we may be unable to process notifications made with less than the stated minimum notice.
If it is a recurring event/activity, please quote the previous CAA activity reference number (if known) when completing the notification form.
After you submit the notification form, you will receive an automated email confirmation that the details have been received.
When the notification is received, the details are checked to ensure all required information has been provided in line with regulatory/policy requirements. The event/activity is then compared against other known activity where we would support the co-ordination and deconfliction of any conflicting activities. If clarification of the details is required, we will contact you via the email address that was provided in the notification form.
CAA Airspace Regulation output
Our output is likely to consist of one or more of the following:
For certain activities, we publish ACNs which detail the co-ordination arrangements that have been agreed with air traffic control to accommodate the flight/s. ACNs are also used to alert other airspace users about the activity. Please note that the issue of an ACN does not necessarily constitute permission to undertake an activity or grant access to Prohibited, Restricted or Danger Areas. Short-term ACNs are generally distributed directly to the relevant stakeholders but may also be listed on the Short-term Airspace Co-ordination Notices page. Long-term ACNs are published in the list of Long-term Airspace Co-ordination Notices.
For some activities of this type, we issue NOTAM to notify other airspace users. NOTAM are notices containing information concerning the establishment, condition or change in any aeronautical facility, service, procedure or hazard, the timely knowledge of which is essential to personnel concerned with flight operations. Further details of the NOTAM system are in the UK AIP section GEN 3.1 (available on the NATS AIS website) and in the UK NOTAM Guidance Material.
For the launching of gliders by winch and cable or by ground tow to heights greater than 60 metres (above ground level), we will need to issue a permission.
For ACNs, we will endeavour to respond within 21 days of submission. During periods of high workload, it may not be possible to respond to every notification. Valid NOTAM can be viewed on the NATS AIS website. When enquiring about the status of an outstanding notification, please always quote the reference number that you received in the automated email confirmation.
Subject to workload, we will respond by email to the address that was provided in the notification form. The email will explain whether or not the notification has been successfully processed. Additional advice/guidance may be included. If an ACN or formal CAA permission is issued, it will be attached to the email message.
CAA Airspace Regulation do not currently charge for this work. Full details of CAA charges can be found in the Scheme of Charges.
If your event/activity is changed or cancelled, please inform Airspace Regulation as soon as possible. If Airspace Regulation have already completed the assessment of the event/activity and provided you with a detailed response, please quote the activity reference number that was used in our email to you.
For changes, appropriate re-assessment and notification action will be undertaken. For cancellations, we will take action to cancel any output already published.
However, please bear in mind that, during periods of high workload, we may be unable to action changes/cancellations made at short notice.
Responsibilities of the event/activity sponsor
The CAA’s response to the sponsor does not constitute permission to disregard the legitimate interests of site landowners, other statutory bodies such as the Police and Emergency Services, the Highway Agency, local authorities (and their agents) or any other statutory body. It is the sponsor/operator’s responsibility to ensure that those interests are taken into consideration before going ahead with the event/activity.
The event/activity sponsor/operator is ultimately responsible for flight safety and must comply with the Air Navigation Order (ANO) 2016 (as amended) articles relating to endangerment:
Article 240 - Endangering safety of an aircraftA person must not recklessly or negligently act in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft, or any person in an aircraft.
Article 241 - Endangering safety of any person or property
A person must not recklessly or negligently cause or permit an aircraft to endanger any person or property.
ANO Article 265 provides that it is a criminal offence to contravene EC Regulations as retained (and amended in UK domestic law) under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, the ANO or Regulations made under the Order. Further information can be found in CAP 1422: Code of Practice for the Investigations and Enforcement Team.
The sponsor/operator is responsible for the event/activity complying with all relevant national regulations.
Please refer to the relevant event/activity page for more specific guidance.
If you have any questions, please contact Airspace Regulation between the hours of 08:30 and 16:30 Monday to Friday (excluding Public Holidays). It may not be possible to action messages/notifications submitted after 16:00 until the next working day.
Planned periods of extended closure of the Airspace Regulation section will be notified here:
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