The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has confirmed today that it has rejected applications for new complex bocks of airspace surrounding both London Oxford Airport (LOA) and RAF Brize Norton.
According to the CAA, LOA’s Airspace Change Proposal (ACP) has been rejected on a number of grounds, including a lack of a compelling case for the creation of a Transponder Mandatory Zone (TMZ), which the CAA says was compounded by a misinterpretation of TMZ rules by the ACP sponsors, as well as the fact that the final proposal differed significantly from the option promoted to stakeholders during the consultation period.
RAF Brize Norton’s ACP has been rejected by the CAA on similar grounds, with the Authority again citing significant changes from the option promoted to stakeholders during the consultation period to that entered in the final proposal, as well as pointing to a lack of integration with neighbouring LOA’s airspace.
The most damning indictment against both ACPs would appear to be a lack of appreciation of the detrimental impact that the proposals would have had on other airspace users, exacerbated by an apparent lack of consultation. Commenting on RAF Brize Norton’s ACP, the CAA said that the proposal “demonstrates a lack of clear understanding of the impact of this change on other airspace users and the challenge of adhering to VMC rules that would have applied to those that sought to avoid the airspace.”
And commenting on LOA’s proposal, the CAA said: “There is no demonstrable understanding of the impact of this change on other airspace users.”
The decision to reject the two ACPs is likely to be warmly welcomed by general aviation associations such as the General Aviation Alliance, which argued strongly against both ACPs throughout the two-year application period, calling them unfit for purpose and “ripe for infringement”.
The CAA’s decision documents on the two ACPs are available via the following links:
A full report will be entered in the March edition of Flight Training News.