So­lent squawk trial

Pilot - - CONTENTS -

So­lent con­trolled area was the most in­fringed in 2015, so a lis­ten­ing squawk trial is run­ning be­tween 1 Au­gust and 16 Oc­to­ber

The CAA says that the num­ber of UK con­trolled airspace in­fringe­ments is ris­ing year-on-year, and cur­rently circa 1,000 per an­num, with an airspace in­fringe­ment on av­er­age once every five day­light hours. The Au­thor­ity has been work­ing closely with sev­eral air­ports, their Air Nav­i­ga­tion Ser­vice Providers (ANSPS), and UK fly­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions to in­tro­duce new mit­i­ga­tions. It says, ‘In­fringe­ments of con­trolled airspace are a se­ri­ous aviation risk which results in a re­duc­tion of con­trolled airspace ef­fi­ciency by: a) In­creas­ing the work­load of air traf­fic con­trollers and com­plex­ity of the con­trol­ling task; b) In­creas­ing the work­load of IFR pi­lots at crit­i­cal stages of flight; and c) In­creas­ing air traf­fic man­age­ment and air­port de­lays.’

The CAA be­lieves the use of lis­ten­ing squawks (Fre­quency Mon­i­tor­ing Codes) has played a key role in help­ing to mit­i­gate some of the risks from such in­frac­tions, and it is spon­sor­ing a Col­lab­o­ra­tive Airspace Trial cover­ing Southamp­ton Con­trol Zone (CTR) and So­lent Con­trol Ar­eas (CTA) — one of the most in­fringed ar­eas, with 125 cases in 2015 — be­tween the ANSP and pi­lots.

The trial is one of sev­eral in­fringe­ment mit­i­ga­tion and preven­tion mea­sures spon­sored by the CAA to try and change pi­lots’ be­hav­iour be­fore con­sid­er­at­ing struc­tural ad­di­tions to the airspace such as in­tro­duc­ing­tion transpon­der and/or ra­dio manda­tory zones. Suc­cess will be mea­sured by a re­duc­tion in the num­ber of airspace in­fringe­ments of the Southamp­ton CTR and So­lent CTA whilst hav­ing as min­i­mal an im­pact as pos­si­ble on com­mer­cial and GA air­craft op­er­a­tion within the des­ig­nated area. ‘There is no obli­ga­tion to par­ti­pate,’ says the CAA, ‘but we will take par­tic­i­pa­tion into ac­count for any air­craft in­volved in an in­fringe­ment dur­ing the trial.’

Be­tween 1 Au­gust and 16 Oc­to­ber 2016, the ba­sis of the trial is that, within the Class G airspace de­picted in the chart, pi­lots of all air­craft are ex­pected, as a min­i­mum, to:

a) In ra­dio/transpon­der-equipped air­craft, se­lect lis­ten­ing squawk 0011 and Mode C (ALT) (if equipped), and lis­ten-out on 120.225 MHZ.

b) Ra­dio-only-equipped air­craft should call So­lent Radar on 120.225 MHZ stat­ing only call­sign, po­si­tion and al­ti­tude. No ad­di­tional de­tails are re­quired un­less re­quested. Ac­knowl­edg­ment of this call does not amount to the pro­vi­sion of a Ba­sic Ser­vice but pi­lots are to re­port leav­ing the fre­quency so So­lent Radar can main­tain ac­cu­rate traf­fic aware­ness.

c) In non-ra­dio/non-transpon­der-equipped air­craft pi­lots should op­er­ate as nor­mal and plan to re­main clear of con­trolled airspace un­less pre­vi­ously ne­go­ti­ated with ATC.

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