General Aviation

The future for AFPEx

If you’re a member of the General Aviation community, you can’t help but have noticed that over the summer NATS announced some important changes to the AFPEx service.

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As most UK General Aviation (GA) pilots must have noticed, the world is going through a period of rapid change. Technologies that have been common place for decades will soon be superseded – and that includes a reduction in the number of ground based VOR beacons in the UK.

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Visiting pilots to the NATS simulator at a recent CAA/Department for Transport event in Duxford were encouraged to see what the world looks like through the eyes of a controller, especially when dealing with infringing traffic.

Sat at the simulator, pilots watched the busy radar and had to make quick-fire decisions to avoid the infringing aircraft as well as continuing to allow commercial traffic to land and take off.

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You will have hopefully seen today’s news that NATS has started a trial promoting the use of ADS-B by General Aviation that encourages pilots to connect a transponder to a non-certified GPS source.

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The first episode of ITV Cymru Wales broadcast of ‘The Airport’, the new fly on the wall documentary, which takes you behind the scenes at Cardiff Airport, included our team of controllers manning the control tower during a General Aviation (GA) Rally. Rallies are by no means rare, but do require lots of planning by the NATS’ team to accommodate extra traffic.

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A video has been produced showing an imaginary infringement with the aim of demonstrating best practice for pilots if they find themselves wandering where they shouldn’t.

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