The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has approved a set of GNSS (satellite navigation) instrument approaches to Sywell airfield near Northampton.
The newly-approved procedures are some of the very few GNSS instrument approaches to a UK General Aviation airfield so far approved by the CAA, which has been criticised (not least by the Minster for Transport Grant Shapps) for the slow pace of approvals of GNSS instrument approaches, with some initial applications now almost six years old.
Indeed, in its approval document the CAA note: “The CAA has taken into account the view of the Secretary of State set out in its letter dated 26 September 2019 and 30 October 2019 that they are keen and committed to see that the UK benefits from being the best place in the world to undertake general aviation-related activities.”
The approval is also notable as Sywell has an Aerodrome Flight Information Service (AFISO), rather than full Air Traffic Control (ATC) service. In the past, the CAA have expressed reservations about approving instrument approaches without an ATC service at the airfield.
Sywell has small number of commercial operators, two flying schools and several privately-owned aircraft. The airfield has around 125 resident aircraft and approximately 35,000 movements per year.
According to the CAA, the following UK General Aviation airfields (or airfields with significant GA traffic) currently have on-going applications for GNSS instrument approaches:
Wycombe Air Park
Sherburn in Elmet