Farnborough Airport Floats Controlled Airspace Plan

 - February 4, 2014, 3:12 PM

TAG Farnborough Airport has started a 12-week public consultation period on an airspace change proposal that would “create a new operating environment with elements of controlled airspace” around the London-area business aviation airfield. Feedback gathered during the consultation will be considered before TAG submits a final plan to the UK Civil Aviation Authority, the company said.

The airport currently operates within uncontrolled, Class G airspace shared with other airports, gliding sites and general aviation activities. As a result, TAG Farnborough radar controllers “have to observe and take account of non-airport traffic, which can result in longer, less direct routings, less predictable climb or descent profiles for aircraft flying out of or into the airport and an increase in cockpit and ATC workload during takeoffs and landings.”

The proposed controlled airspace environment would offer airspace users more predictability and consistency of operations, potentially reduce aircraft noise and emissions and improve efficiency and safety, according to TAG. “[It] creates more precise and efficient flight paths, avoiding some commonly overflown regions. Aircraft could also climb more quickly, which would further reduce noise near populated areas,” said TAG CEO Brandon O’Reilly.

Farnborough Airport currently sees about 25,000 aircraft movements per year, and TAG has approval to increase this to a maximum of 50,000 per year by 2019. This expected growth is yet another reason TAG wants the airport to be within controlled airspace.