Red Arrows display dates released, CAA issues infringement warning

As the Red Arrows 2011 aerobatic display programme is published, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is once again reminding all GA pilots of the dangers of infringing the temporary restricted airspace put in place for the events.

Red Arrows Pr CAA 27.05
Every year a number of displays by the RAF team are infringed by other aircraft, leading to disrupted displays, safety hazards to the Red Arrows and the infringing aircraft, and of course disappointment for thousands of spectators if the show has to be cancelled or terminated early.
 
In 2010 the CAA prosecuted one pilot for infringing a Red Arrows display. Additionally, following an incident involving a large number of gliders infringing a Red Arrows event at Silverstone, the CAA worked extensively with the British Gliding Association (BGA) to avoid similar incidents in the future.

The CAA has published the details of the Reds display dates in Aeronautical Information Circular (AIC) M 042/2011 available on the Aeronautical Information Services (AIS) website

Phil Roberts, Assistant Director of Airspace Policy in the CAA, said: Although we repeat this message every year, we still see some GA pilots infringing a Red Arrows display somewhere in the UK. Not only is this dangerous, these events entertain thousands of people and it is extremely unfortunate if a display is disrupted by the actions of poorly prepared pilots this gives a poor overall impression of our collective ability to go about flying safely and efficiently. Wherever and whenever you fly this summer make sure you are properly briefed and have thoroughly checked all relevant NOTAMS.

In many cases the infringements occur because pilots have not briefed themselves fully before flying.  One of the easiest ways to check on airspace restrictions (including temporary restrictions such as Red Arrows displays) is by checking NOTAMs on the AIS website, and by calling the dedicated AIS freephone facility on 0500 354 802 or by using the new graphical capability that has been delivered by SkyDemon working in conjunction with NATS .  Checking NOTAMs and the AIS Freephone are vital planning actions - its essential that both are checked as airspace restrictions can be subject to change.

There are several ways of obtaining pre-flight information when planning flights:
  • Check the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP), AIP Supplements and AICs (also available free of charge at www.ais.org.uk)
  • Check NOTAMs (available free of charge on the AIS website, www.ais.org.uk, or contact the NOTAM Office on 020 8745 3451 or 3450 (24-hour facility)). 
  • A new pre-flight planning tool has been launched by NATS and SkyDemon. SkyDemon Light is absolutely free to use, www.skydemonlight.com and provides graphical NOTAMS and generates alerts when a planned route crosses controlled or restricted airspace.
  • NOTAMs are also available in the form of Pre-Flight Information Bulletins (PIB) using a live database.  PIBs may also be accessed through the NATS website, www.nats.co.uk/operational/pibs, should the AIS website be unavailable.
  • As close to departure as possible call the AIS freephone on 0500 354 802 (+44 208 750 3939 from outside the UK)
Useful information on avoiding airspace infringements is available online at www.flyontrack.co.uk.
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www.caa.co.uk
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