[Avionics Today 09-12-2014] The U.K.’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced that the United Kingdom’s Class F airspace is to change, beginning Nov. 13. This follows the recommendations of an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) audit, changes to European legislation under the Single European Rules of the Air, and review of national airspace arrangements, for which the aviation community was consulted.
â€¨â€¨Class F airspace has been established for many years in the U.K. Flight Information Regions (FIR) in the form of Advisory Routes (ADRs). These ADRs will be replaced either by Class E “airways,” which will be designated as Transponder Mandatory Zones (TMZs), or returned to Class G airspace.
However, the CAA points out, the dimensions of the new Class E airways will not necessarily mirror the exact dimensions of the ADRs they replace. In addition to some revised base and upper levels, the new airways also include extra airspace in the vicinity of the Aberdeen CTR/CTA.
Although Class E is controlled airspace, in which an Air Traffic Control (ATC) service is provided to IFR aircraft only, Visual Flight Rules (VFR) aircraft may also operate within it and do not require a “clearance” or need to be in contact with ATC. They will, however, require a functioning Mode S Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR) transponder. VFR aircraft operating without a transponder can access the airspace, but must first establish two-way radio contact with air traffic control before entering. VFR flights that request an air traffic service will be assisted with either a basic or a traffic service, subject to the operational capacity of the air traffic unit. Additional procedures are to be introduced to accommodate gliding activity through airway N560 between the Scottish TMA northern boundary and Inverness.
For more information on the reclassification, please visit http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/2111/20140715DecisionLetter_FINAL.pdf.