Hot News

Glasgow and Edinburgh embrace ‘listening squawks’

From April 1st, 2015 – (not an April Fool) – both Edinburgh and Glasgow join the listening squawk scheme. ATC there ask that they are used within 20 miles of each unit, but remember, by using one and listening out, you are not getting any sort of service, and you are definitely indicating that you do not intend to enter their airspace at any time.

This graphic showing all listening squawks around the UK, a list of all squawks and paired frequencies, and the general process for pilots to use them is further down Hot News or on the links page on this site. Glasgow has 2620 (charlie if possible) paired with listening on 119.1 MHz, whereas Edinburgh is 0440 (charlie if possible), monitor 121.2 MHz

Incidentally, there is a brand new pictorial guide to the area around Glasgow CTR, a good mix of place recognition photos and position on radar screen of the aircraft taking them, all done by a Glasgow ATC pilot.

Glasgow, Norwich, Liverpool, Doncaster, *NEW* Pictorial Guides

There are new easy read  pictorial airspace guides for pilots in the vicinity of Glasgow, Norwich, Liverpool or Doncaster, giving good advice for pilots in those areas outside the controlled airspace, as well as suggested routings for any requested VFR crossings. (The guides already on the links page of this site should they disappear from ‘Hot News’). The Norwich link takes you to their pdf, Liverpool and Doncaster links launch a web page summary with pictures, and offer a pdf print to take with you. Click here for Glasgow, Click here for NorwichClick Here for Liverpool  & Click here for Doncaster

SERA – Standardised European Rules of the Air – Summary

A two page summary of the Standardised Rules of the Air ‘SERA’ changes is available here on FlyOnTrack – it’s easy to read, and covers visibility changes, quadrantal rules becoming semicircular and exemptions and more: See SERA

TOPNAV 2015 from R.I.N. – North, South, and now West

For an enjoyable day exercising VFR Nav skills, the Royal Institute of Navigation holds an annual TopNav competition. This year it is on May 9th, but with a weather reserve a week later, at three locations – Sherburn, White Waltham and Bodmin. See this:  topnav2015

Low Level Common VHF Frequency in Scotland

Remote Scotland is trialing a Low Level Common VHF Frequency to compliment “See and Avoid” with “Hear and Avoid”. The CAA has given approval for all aviators to extend the use of SafetyCom’s VHF frequency 135.475 to 2,000′ AGL and below anywhere in uncontrolled airspace north of 56*N (Helensburgh to Falkirk). An AIC will be published reflecting this information in due course, in the meantime, click here: Scotland135475Trial for a pdf information poster which could be put on club noticeboards

Southend: RMZ to end, Controlled Airspace to Start: 2nd Apr ’15

The current Southend Radio Mandatory Zone (RMZ – click for chart to show extent) will continue until controlled airspace is established (different size, shape, extent to the RMZ) on April 2nd 2015. Pilots planning to fly through the Southend RMZ will need to contact Southend on 130.775MHz before entering the RMZ, and from the change, standard Class D rules and clearances will apply for the new CTR and CTA. For details of the new controlled airspace, see the appendices to this CAA decision letter

‘Listening Squawks’ (Monitoring Codes) (& Glasgow/Edinburgh too)w from 2nd April 2015)

Here is a useful Graphic PDF for UK ‘Listening Squawks’ to print, cut and keep on your kneeboard – courtesy Flyer Magazine. Instructions on Listening Squawk use are on page 2.  The current list of listening squawks around the UK is (always with Mode C/ALT when you have it):

  • 0010 Birmingham 118.050 MHz
  • 0011 Solent / Bournemouth 120.225 MHz / 119.475 MHz respectively
  • 0012 Thames Radar/Gatwick 132.7 MHz / 126.825 MHz respectively
  • 0013 Luton / Stansted 129.550 MHz / 120.625 MHz respectively
  • 0440 Edinburgh 119.1 MHz – ONLY from April 1st 2015, not before
  • 2620 Glasgow 119.1 MHz – ONLY from April 1st 2015, not before
  • 2677 Leeds Radar, 133.125 MHz
  • 4572 East Midlands Approach 134.175 MHz
  • 4572 Farnborough Radar (West) 125.250 MHz
  • 6170 Doncaster Approach 126.225 MHz
  • 7045 Aldergrove Approach 128.5 MHz
  • 7366 Manchester 118.575 MHz

(Yes, 4572 is used for two different units.) The Scottish ones ask that they are used within 20 miles of the unit. Remember usual rules apply, you are not in receipt of a service and you must stay in Class G airspace, you cannot enter the CTA or CTR. Go back to another suitable squawk (eg: 7000-C) when you move away from the area or stop monitoring.

UK VORs – Replacement/Withdrawal Programme

The current VORs in the UK  infrastructure is under review, no longer in use by airlines except for emergency fall-back procedures.  The current 46 VORs may be progressively reduced to 19 (newly equipped) VORs over the next few years as each comes up for renewal, al lexisting ones having already exceeded their operational lives. This strategy was presented to the aviation organisations in 2008 via NATMAC and accepted. Any DMEs associated with VORs will remain, and the current positions of any removed VORs will be marked with waypoints or IFR reporting points to aid GNSS training and navigation.

FlyOnTrack will keep VOR news up to date, including known dates of VOR renewal or withdrawal.

Withdrawn: Cranfield, Newcastle

Planned Next Withdrawal: Dean Cross (December 2014)

Next Under Review/Impact Assessment  for Withdrawal dates:  Machrihanish, Turnberry, Glasgow, Perth, Benbecula and Inverness

The Autumn/Winter Clued Up Magazine, available online here, contains  good advice on Human Factors and avoiding Controlled Flight into Terrain, and also the details of the VOR Replacement Programme (page 26).

Equipment News

Pilots planning and maintaining cockpit equipment need to be aware that:

  • A requirement for an 8.33 MHz spacing radio is coming – see this article by the LAA
  • A project to reduce the number of VORs in the UK down to 19 has already started but will progress over the next few years. Cranfield was the first VOR to be removed under this programme, more are being assessed, information will be announced here.

Clued Up Magazine now online

The CAA’s Clued Up magazine, including article on preflight planning, licensing advice and many safety topics for the private pilot are available online, but they are large downloads if that matters to you: Summer 2013 or Autumn/Winter 2013-14.

2014 Farnbrough LARS Guide (incl. Stansted TMZ advice)

Farnborough have a new LARS guide for 2014, well worth reading  – remember that their LARS a massive area all round London, North beyond Duxford, almost to Lashenden in the East, Beachy Head in the South, and nearly to Membury in the West.  It also covers advice for the Stansted TMZ. It will be on the links page when it drops from Hot News. See 2014 LARS from Farnbrough Guide – Remember if passing through the Farnborough West region (See guide), Farnborough West’s trial with a monitoring code or ‘listening squawk’ (4572 / 125.250 MHz) was successful, and the arrangement is now permanent.

Farnborough occasionally has short period (usually one hour duration) of temporary controlled airspace (CAS(T)) announced by NOTAM and on the restrictions/upgrades freephone number 0500-354802.  CTR dimensions, shape, and the airway route and base levels changed fairly dramatically in 2011 – see AIC Yellow 99 of 2011 – they were Class A, they are now Class D, so VFR clearances can be negotiated with the controller. Here’s a link to the AIC ‘home page’, choose yellow AICs, then number 99 of 2011 (no permanent direct link exists)

Infringements Can Be Costly

It’s very rare that a prosecution for an infringement is reported in the press, but here is a link to an infringement of the Stansted Class D, TMZ, and Luton Class D. This fortunately did not result in a collision, but still attracted a large fine due to the risk and disruption. The learning point is simple – pilots are encouraged to call D&D on 121.5 MHz (or tell the ATC service provider they are using, if any), as soon as they safely can if they are ‘temporarily unsure of position’ in an area of a route known to have Controlled Airspace, TMZs, Danger Areas, etc. nearby. Why prolong the worry and stress for yourself when someone is paid to help locate you.

The CAA list of successful prosecutions 2012 is now published here confirming that very few infringements reach court, the authorities are very open to agreeing  solutions (eg: some Nav retraining) before it reaches that stage, if the case merits it.

VFR Chart Frequency Card now as a download

Frequency Reference Cards are available to pilots exclusively as a digital download here. The downloadable cards have replaced the traditional hard copy versions which came with aircharts.

Analysis of Pilot Surveys Following Infringements

Why do pilots infringe? A lot of work has been going on with analysis of data provided by pilots who have infringed NATS controlled airspace over the past couple of years. The first public release of the analysis is now available on Analysis of Pilots Surveys Release 1. (Also available on the ‘Statistics’ tag of this site.)

More Local Initiatives (and an Award)

City Airport (Barton) and Mainair Flying School have been awarded a NATS Infringement Prevention Award – they are situated very close to Manchester airspace and the Low Level Route. One of the things they have done, relevant to anyone flying anywhere near Controlled Airspace is a video about a not-uncommon event – following the wrong line feature. See Barton Infringement Award and Video
Tayside Aviation Following the local poster initiative from Sleap, Tayside Aviation have produced softcloth ipad/GPS screen wipes for their pilots which detail local airspace on one side and tips from FlyOnTrack on the other. See Screenwipes from Tayside Aviation
Please let us know any similar initiatives

New Stansted TMZ ‘info sheet’ plus Farnborough LARS Map

Since 2009, Stansted has had a TMZ (Transponder Mandatory Zone) in the Class G airspace under the stubs of the CTA. A new info sheet has been produced for flying in the Stansted Transponder Mandatory Zone – see Transponder Mandatory Zone for Stansted

A map of Farnborough LARS coverage is now available here as a pdf: Map of Farmborough LARS area

These will remain available on the LINKS page after the news item is removed.

Video Clip Help for Flying Under the LTMA

Video Clip help from NATS for visual flying around London, plus the pictorial airspace guides around the UK. There’s a new resource from NATS for anyone flying visually in the London area (link updated 18/1/2013):

Just pick the leg or legs encircling London and up between Stansted and Luton which interest you, and you get a short video brief and see the flight itself and specific landmarks on the way. So if you were thinking of flying (say) Oxfordshire to Kent, you could link legs from Thame through to Sevenoaks via Henley and Guildford. Also, you can click on specific airspace areas around the UK and view picture pdf guides written by local controllers who are usually pilots themselves. And don’t forget the NATS endorsement of an airspace warning device – moving map CAA chart, free airspace data downloads, warnings of airspace, and ‘locator’ information, all for around £150. See
The Airspace & Safety Initiative

GASCo is a charitable body whose object is to foster the development of General Aviation in the UK along safe lines. Visit the GASCo site.