Do you sometimes struggle making a Class D Airspace transit request?
Have you ever wondered why ATC ask all those questions before considering the request?
Is there an easier way?
Perhaps there is…
You might have read the Aeronautical Information Circular (AIC) explaining that on 1 January NATS is launching a new GA pre-notification tool as part of an online Airspace Users Portal for all non-standard flight applications.
The tool has been developed over the past four months as the result of a controller survey that identified room for improvement when handling entries into controlled airspace. It is initially being piloted for six months, but we’re hoping it will prove successful and remain in use for the foreseeable future.
Under the current system for GA pilots who wish to transit into controlled airspace, controllers have no prior knowledge of the request and therefore have little opportunity to formulate a potential plan for the crossing.
From 1 January pilots are encouraged to submit their notification on the portal at least 60 minutes before their intended crossing time so NATS controllers can prepare for their arrival – helping pilots with their requests and enabling more efficient use of the airspace.
The Airspace Users Portal is available on https://aup.nats.aero from 1 January 2018 and full details can be found in AICY 095/2017. We’d love to hear your feedback so please let us know what you think by emailing ClassDTransit@nats.co.uk.
Which airspace is affected?
The new pre-notification tool will be available for use in the following airspace sectors:
- Stansted CTA/CTR
- Luton CTA/CTR
- London Heathrow CTR (outer)
- Gatwick CTA/CTR
- London City CTA/CTR
How far in advance do I need to notify of the airborne request?
The notification should be submitted on the day of flight, at least 60 minutes before the intended crossing time.
Can I use the tool for IFR transit requests?
Yes, the pre-notification tool can be used for both IFR and VFR requests.
What if I file then change my plans and no longer require the transit?
You do not need to do anything. ATC will automatically discard the pre-notification if it is not used.
Can I still free-call?
Yes, the online submission system is in addition to the existing method of providing ATC with the details required by radio.
What is the impact on me as a pilot?
Fundamentally, there is no real change from what a pilot does today. Instead of passing information in the air, you can fill in your application on the ground before take-off. This should reduce radio transmissions and enable better planning by ATC – this benefits everyone.
Is there a cost?
No, there is no cost to airspace users. The evaluation is fully-funded by NATS.
I already file a flight plan, do I need to do this too?
Currently yes. We encourage you to pre-notify us even if you do file a flight plan.
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