Infringement

If you asked any air traffic controllers to name a threat to our operation, they would likely name infringements. An infringement occurs when an aircraft makes an unauthorised entry into controlled airspace and unfortunately, they are a daily occurrence during the warmer summer months. Find out five ways you can avoid infringing controlled airspace and help keep the airspace safe for everyone.

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The end of lockdown and the arrival of blue skies has permitted many general aviation (GA) pilots to get airborne for a flight. There may be some who thought that a one-hour flight was all they needed to refresh their skills, while others have realised that a bit more familiarisation wouldn’t go amiss.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at the various aspects of infringements, and highlighting specific areas of concern, as well as including some of the methods that can be used to minimise and/or remove the risk. We are all in this together. 

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Another heatwave is on the way and with rising temperatures and clear skies comes an increase in General Aviation traffic. Every summer, we see many light aircraft taking to the skies and enjoying for the most part, an uneventful flight in UK airspace. However, this does coincide with an increase in the number of infringements of controlled airspace and this has not been helped by the changing operating hours of some areas during the Covid-19 pandemic, as airports and airlines try to match operating hours and flying schedules with changing levels of demand.

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Amanda Rhodes, NATS air traffic controller at Swanwick Centre looking after airspace around Luton Airport, talks about her experience with airspace infringements for this week’s Infringement Series story…

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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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In its simplest terms, an infringement occurs when an aircraft makes an unauthorised entry into controlled airspace. This has the potential to affect other members of the flying public through the likelihood of commercial aircraft being re-routed or delayed.

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