TAG Farnborough’s unacceptable gold plating
I have heard many requests from Farnborough ATC asking General Aviation aircraft to divert from their flight profile, to accede to Farnborough’s separation requirements. Each of these requests was made in a polite and courteous way and responded to positively by the aircraft. After the situation has been resolved, the GA pilot was thanked and he/she replied in a similar vein.
Surely this is a good example of how to conduct human interactions? A request is made for assistance, the respondent is eager to help, the problem is solved mutually and the two parties separate cordially.
On the occasions when Farnborough ATC have asked me to deviate from my flight plan, I have always been happy to do so. I regarded the extra effort a small price to pay for the free LARS (local area radar service) I have enjoyed throughout the UK. TAG Farnborough say that they require certainty of compliance, rather than the current arrangement where a refusal may cause a problem. Providing ‘gold plating’, by having controlled airspace that allows GA access only on TAG’S terms, is unnecessary and unacceptable. Even their watered-down proposals will have a tangible effect on myself and many other pilots. At least there are signs that the CAA are realising that gold plating is counter-productive. I hope that their new vision can see through these airspace change proposals and reject them in due course.