Oxford and RAF Brize Norton ACPs

As anticipated, Oxford and Brize Norton have published their airspace change proposals. There is little doubt that these two disproportionate airspace change proposals pose a very significant threat to the viability of gliding and other recreational aviation in and through the area, and will significantly increase risk for the majority of airspace users operating outside of the proposed airspace.

The Brize Norton proposal can be viewed here.

The Oxford airport proposal can be viewed here.

In discussion during 2017 with Oxford, Brize Norton and their consultants, Osprey, it became clear that as the current CAA process does not require it, minimal effort has been made to understand or address the needs of other stakeholders.

The core justification for Oxfords change proposal is a historic airprox close to the Oxford airport circuit between two GA aeroplanes, one of which failed to take avoiding action despite awareness of the threat. Oxford believe their operation is safe. The real issue is Oxfords desire to control the local airspace. Additionally, Brize Norton, who carry out circuit and other procedural training in real airliners unlike airlines that use far more economical and environmentally beneficial simulators, have decided that their Airbus aircraft movements may occasionally need to fly longer approaches.

There is a real need to deconflict Brize approaches to the west and Oxford approaches to the north. However, that does not justify the airspace designs that have been proposed.

By publishing ahead of the CAA’s January deadline for the new ACP process, Oxford airport, the Royal Air Force and Osprey have avoided the need for the timely meaningful engagement, independent regulator scrutiny and transparency that the CAA’s new ACP process should encourage for new ACPs during 2018.

The BGA will continue to work with BGA clubs and other GA organisations on this important issue.

Meanwhile, we would urge all pilots to be prepared to respond to the consultation in due course having considered the available detail. More detail will be published on this webpage in due course.

The (amended) closing date of both consultations is now Thursday 5th April 2018.
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