Serious Airprox incidents involving general aviation aircraft fell in 2012, figures released today reveal. The overall number of incidents with GA involvement, of all levels of severity, also continued a steady decade-long downward trend, data published by the UK Airprox Board (UKAB) shows.
Throughout 2012 there were 13 incidents involving a GA aircraft assessed as ‘Category A’, the most serious classification. In 2011 there had been 19 such incidents. Although there was a slight increase in incidents between two GA aircraft – 59 in 2012 compare to 55 the previous year, the number of Airprox incidents involving a GA and a military aircraft declined significantly – 33 in 2012 as opposed to 46 in 2011.
The UKAB statistics are published for the first time in a dedicated Airprox magazine, sent free of charge to all UK-based private pilots. The magazine focuses on a number of specific incidents to highlight how that incident occurred and advise readers on how to avoid a similar situation.
Commenting on the figures, the Director of UKAB, Steve Forward, said: “As always a decline in the numbers of Airprox incidents is to be welcomed. However, we need to avoid complacency - far and away the most frequent causes of Airprox incidents are non-sightings and late sightings by pilots of aircraft that should have been in plain view. These incidents really should not be happening.”
Half of all GA related Airprox incidents in 2012 occurred in Class G airspace, under 3,000ft. A significant number were in air traffic zones, an issue that is now being addressed by a joint GA-Civil Aviation Authority working group.
The full statistics are available at
www.airproxboard.org.uk, while a PDF version of UKAB’s magazine can be downloaded athttp://airspacesafety.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Airprox-2013.htm