With the introduction of new UK Air Traffic Control Services Outside Controlled Airspace (ATSOCAS) taking place on 12 March 2009 the Airspace and Safety Initiative* (ASI) is despatching an educational CD on the changes to UK-licensed private pilots.
In the UK, ATSOCAS are provided by both civil and military air traffic control units to a variety of airspace users ranging from commercial airliners to military fast jets and private pilots. The four new services that make up the changed ATSOCAS, which has been the subject of full industry consultation, will completely replace the existing services. The interactive CD provides a complete guide to the new services and is being sent directly to all UK CAA licensed PPLs and NPPLs. A separate mail out of the CD was completed in 2008 to commercial pilots and civil air traffic controllers. The MoD has also communicated the change to the associated military communities. The new ATSOCAS provides, for the first time, a single set of procedures and policies for civilian and military air traffic service providers. This means that a pilot receiving a service from a military unit in Scotland will receive exactly the same service as a pilot talking to a civilian unit in southern England. Other key changes include: Clearly defined responsibilities for pilots and controllers on collision avoidance and terrain clearance New parameters for controllers on what constitutes relevant traffic, to avoid pilots being overloaded with alerts on aircraft that are not a risk to their flight safety, therefore providing a more appropriate service to aircraft operating outside controlled airspace Changes to when pilots need to report changes in altitude, heading, route or manoeuvring area The introduction of non-radar procedural service in class G airspace. Pilots that do not receive a CD can download its full content on the ASI website at www.airspacesafety.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with a name and postal address for a CD to be sent to. The official CAA publication detailing the changes (CAP 774) is available on the CAA website at http://www.caa.co.uk/application.aspx?catid=33&pagetype=65&appid=11&mode=list&type=search&search=CAp%20774