<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
5 ISSUES FOR £5 Subscribe to Pilot Magazine today click here

CAA to decide on TAG Farnborough Airspace Change Proposal this Spring

PUBLISHED: 11:47 02 February 2018 | UPDATED: 12:07 02 February 2018

PIL Mar18 Airspace alert

PIL Mar18 Airspace alert


In the teeth of determined opposition, TAG Farnborough continues to press for its own controlled airspace. If it wins, Pilot believes big business will have triumphed over democracy and a dangerous precedent will have been set

The CAA has said that it will be making public its formal decision on TAG Farnbrough’s Airspace Change Proposal in the first quarter of this year. To understand the potential impact that the introduction of extensive Class D controlled airspace would have on light aviation, Pilot visited Lasham – one of the airfields closest to Farnborough - and spoke with members of Lasham Gliding Society.

Lasham is a very busy aerodrome. Home to a number of clubs and organisations, it has up to 64,000 movements a year, including flights for the disabled (by contrast, Farnborough’s movements have pegged for many years at 25,000 or less) but it is not just for the interests of the gliding community that LGS has been fighting in its long campaign against TAG’s proposals, first embodied in the initial formal Airspace Change Proposal of 2013. The Society has spent £200,000 on legal fees and estimates that the notional cost of voluntary work by individual members, some of whom have put in a near full-time effort as part of the core airspace team, amounts to £3.3m.

PIL Mar18 Airspace alert PIL Mar18 Airspace alert

The Gliding Society has had meetings, on and off with TAG over the years and made a number of suggestions for modification to the ACP that would make life easier for both the power flying and gliding community. However, the CAA has taken the position that it is for TAG to make a further proposal or for Lasham to submit its own ACP − the CAA’s final decision would be a binary one: it would either accept the proposal or refuse it. TAG has, perhaps quite understandably in business terms, refused to make any further concession and submit yet another ACP − and LGS is certain that drafting an ACP of its own is neither justifiable nor within its means.

The CAA has also sent out confused messages about the issue of safety: LGS says that it was told by the Authority in 2016 that TAG needed controlled airspace ‘for safety reasons’, but this is something that NATS itself has excluded − and TAG’s safety case has in any case been demolished in an analysis done by LGS working with the General Aviation Alliance.

PIL Mar18 Airspace alert PIL Mar18 Airspace alert

Indeed, TAG’s own published feedback reports present a picture of overwhelming objection to its proposals, tidily summed up by LGS as being potentially ‘lethal’ (through the risk of collision in funnelling GA movements through the narrow bottleneck formed by TAG’s proposed Class D controlled airspace and Southampton/Solent’s existing controlled airspace to the south-west) and ‘totally unjustified’.

TAG claims it operates ‘the only airport near to London that is dedicated exclusively to Business Aviation − so no queues in the air or on the ground’. Pilot believes TAG wants its own private airspace so it can exclude other traffic and deliver on its USP. We conclude that it simply cannot be right that one sector of GA should be allowed to enclose a huge segment of the sky for its own private use… if TAG Farnborough is successful in establishing a precedent, Brize Norton/London-Oxford’s and all the other airspace grabs are going to follow.

The full text of this article by Editor Philip Whiteman appears in the March 2018 edition of Pilot magazine.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Pilot visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Pilot staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Pilot account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from News


In a new and unexpected initiative the European Aviation Safety Agency has drafted a new rule that would mean flight time on Annex II aircraft (essentially, but not exclusively ‘non-EASA’ out-of-production types with no continued manufacturer design support and homebuilts) will not be credited for the purpose of issue, revalidation or renewal of an EASA licence, rating or certificate

Read more
Friday, February 16, 2018

The Breezer M400 microlight has now been giving full CAA type approval as a factory-built microlight

Read more
Friday, February 16, 2018

The CAA will no longer accept the submission of a sworn affidavit as the primary means of accepting hours for the grant of a licence, rating, certificate or revalidation and extension/or removal of restriction of privileges where the applicant is unable to provide logbook evidence of their required hours due to loss, damage, theft or data corruption

Read more
Friday, February 16, 2018

Winner Deane Philip was competing in the STOL competition at the Bush Pilot Championships in New Zealand

Read more
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Up to 70% of aviation accidents are due to human error. Research by AXA-funded neuroergonomics expert Prof Frédéric Dehais is seeking innovative solutions to mitigate human error

Read more
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Piper Aircraft, Inc. has announced a 23% increase in aircraft deliveries for 2017 as well as a 27% increase in total billings

Read more
Thursday, February 8, 2018

Three young pilots are to benefit from LAA Armstrong-Isaacs Bursaries to allow them to complete their PPL training in the coming months

Read more
Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The video, made by campaign group No Fairoaks New Town, outlines plans called Fairoaks 2020

Read more
Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Keep your diary clear, these aviation events will have your February sorted.

Read more
Friday, February 2, 2018

To coincide with the anniversary of the end of World War One, VintageAirRally are launching a new rally that will combine vintage biplanes and cars

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most Read

Subscribe or buy Pilot Magazine