The March issue of the LAA magazine ‘Light Aviation’ contained an article setting out the Class D controlled airspace proposed for Farnborough. The chart included in that is a useful reference. The proposal covers a very wide area which is currently busy with all forms of GA, but Farnborough’s own traffic forms but a small proportion of that. In particular, the proposed CTR, from ground up to the Class A TMA, sits across the two very busy transit routes, N-S west of Heathrow and E-W between Heathrow and Gatwick, and a radio mandatory zone completely prevents use of the E-W route by non-radio aircraft.
The LAA has prepared a draft response which you can read here. It is a largely technical objection but individual responses can be much simpler and are needed to reinforce the defence against this proposal. Do not copy sections from this for your own response or you will seriously damage the LAA’s position – it is published now so you can see the sort of thing we are writing on your behalf. Your own response can be much shorter and direct so use your own ideas and words. If you have any comments on the LAA draft, especially points we may have missed, please email us using this link so we can use pick them up.
There was a problem with the TAG Farnborough website between 11 and 16 Apr so if you have already submitted a response and not received an email receipt that submission has been lost and you will need to resubmit.
For this reason the deadline for responses has been delayed to 1200 on 12 May 2014
HOW TO RESPOND
It is very important that you object to the proposal by TAG Farnborough (if indeed you do)
Serious reasons for objection include:
- TAG says the CAS is needed for a forecast doubling of Farnborough traffic levels but no justification given – this is entirely made up to suit their argument.
- Their traffic is entirely bizjet, with only an average of 2.5 passengers per flight. Far more people use the area in light aircraft and gliders and it is unreasonable to move them aside and give the whole area over to a small minority to use.
- No proper facts have been given of the total current volume and pattern of use of the airspace, nor the forecast effect of the proposed CAS on both safety and restriction of use.
- Crossing clearances will be severely limited by the need for standard separation from IFR traffic and access would be reduced even further because of the new SERA rules for VFR flight in Class D airspace below 3000ft.
- Refusals would be likely but the airspace is so broad and complex, holding or rerouting would be dangerous with the risk of collision and infringement of Heathrow, Gatwick, Southampton and other airfield ATZs.
- The new rules coming into force later this year require VFR traffic to be 1000ft and 1500m clear of cloud in Class D, which effectively precludes crossing when there is significant cloud below 2500ft - very common indeed.
- All practicable avoidance routes give serious safety concerns, particularly that Lasham gliding site, one of the busiest in the world is just to the West of the CTR and there is only a very narrow gap between the Farnborough and Gatwick zones through which much traffic will be funnelled.
- Outside the CTR, a large area of CAS is proposed which substantially lowers the current base of CAS, again reducing the available Class G airspace thus increasing traffic density.
- The proposal would isolate the south-east of England and Europe from access by VFR GA in the rest of England.
Even if you live far away from this area, you should lodge your objection as this proposal could set a precedent for airspace grab by other airports.
The full consultation is at www.consultation.tagfarnbroughairport.com but detail on how to respond is not clear. We recommend you follow this procedure:
- Go to the TAG website and click on view consultation and leave feedback
- Scroll down to Part E which is the technical aviation section and either download the VFR chart or see the copy on Page 16 of the LAA March magazine.
- Write your views on this either in a document or email – do not try to type directly into the TAG response document as your work may get lost part way through. Save a copy of your work in case there is a problem sending it!
- On the TAG website click on Leave feedback for Part E and scroll down to Additional Comments near the end.
- Cut and paste your comments into the Additional Comments box or you can upload a whole document using the Browse button.
- You may then like to go through the 17 questions in this section and give your view before inserting your details and the verification code and submitting.
That deals with the main aviation section but you may like to comment on the other sections although it is not essential:
Part B - Proposed changes below 4,000ft in the vicinity of Farnborough Airport.
Part C - Proposed changes between 4,000ft and 7,000ft further away from Farnborough Airport.
Part D - Proposed changes between 2,500ft and 7,000ft in the vicinity of Southampton and Bournemouth.
For each or all of those follow a similar procedure to Part E if you desire.
Note that your objection is not limited to the format given; they will accept any form of written objection. Once you submit your response you should expect an email acknowledgement to confirm it has been received – make sure you get that.
You may like to know that all original responses have to be passed by TAG Farnborough to the CAA as part of the application process. So what you write will get to the decision makers. That said there will be a lot for them to read so make sure that you are clear about what you object to and why.
After the consultation closes TAG Farnborough have to produce a summary document setting out the objections raised and what they intend to do about them. That will be a good time to see if they have taken account of your points and if need be take further action.
This is really important so please ACT NOW and respond before 1200 on 12 May! Tell your friends too!