YOU CAN TRAN­SIT CLASS D, BUT...

Pilot - - AIRSPACE UPDATE -

To cross the Class D airspace TAG Farn­bor­ough pro­poses to sur­round it­self with, you need to be able to main­tain al­ti­tude and hold, ei­ther at a given vis­ual re­port­ing point at the bound­ary, or within the Class D it­self (for ex­am­ple, while cross­ing the ex­ist­ing Gatwick CTR you might be re­quested to hold ‘not above 1,500ft’ at the North Ter­mi­nal while air­lin­ers ar­rive or de­part). This is dif­fi­cult to do in a glider!

Tran­sits are sub­ject to the level of traf­fic, both IFR and VFR, and con­troller work­load. There is no guar­an­tee you’ll be al­lowed to cross, al­though a sim­u­la­tion run by NATS has sug­gested that Farn­bor­ough’s ATCOS would be able to ac­com­mo­date as many as twenty VFR cross­ings per hour, with on av­er­age only one of those twenty be­ing asked to hold for up to five min­utes. How­ever, hav­ing to tran­sit con­trolled airspace (CAS) makes fly­ing more com­pli­cated and adds to the work­load – and the fact re­mains that sev­enty per cent of pri­vate pi­lots pre­fer to avoid CAS and fly around it, as cited in a Qine­tiq re­port com­mis­sioned by the CAA.

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