New London CTR

NATS, the primary air-navigation service provider in the UK, has received approval from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to reclassify the airspace around Heathrow Airport.

The London controlled-traffic region (CTR) control zone, which is considered to be the busiest piece of airspace in the UK, will change from Class A to Class D from 18 September.

This is in line with the Standardised European Rules of the Air (SERA), which will create consistent airspace classifications across Europe by the end of the year.

Under SERA, visual flight rules (VFR) and special VFR (SVFR) flights will be restricted from entering Class A airspace.

NATS London Terminal Control general manager Paul Haskins said: "We’re pleased that our proposal has been accepted by the CAA.

"The change to Class D strikes the best balance between VFR and SVFR access and ensuring a safe and efficient air-traffic environment."

"The change to Class D strikes the best balance between VFR and SVFR access and ensuring a safe and efficient air-traffic environment.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

"We will provide access whenever possible, but we would ask VFR and SVFR pilots to remember that this is a very busy piece of airspace and our priority has to be providing a safe service to commercial traffic."

Currently, any VFR or SVFR flights will need to gain clearance to enter the zone, which is always subject to the current work load of air-traffic controllers.

In addition, aircraft will have to carry a transponder, with mode S being mandatory.

As a consequence of the decision, the access to the airspace immediately around Heathrow Airport itself will be restricted, with a Prior Permission Required system in place.

Pilots are being informed that unless they really need to fly inside the ‘inner area’, they should bypass it.

Image: The inner and outer area of the new London CTR. Photo: courtesy of NATS Limited.