General Aviation

Published on December 9th, 2022 | by FII Reader

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Airspace Infringements

An Airspace Infringement occurs when an aircraft enters notified airspace without previously requesting and obtaining clearance from the controlling authority of that airspace or enters the airspace under conditions that were not contained in the clearance.

Infringements are not rare events in busy European airspace and, without prompt action by air traffic controllers and pilots, could result in a loss of separation, disruption to flight operations, or even mid-air collision.

European Action Plan for Airspace Infringement Reduction EAPAIRR – Version 2.0

Kush Shah 2022, Think Report, identified 33 factors as causes of airspace infringements in UK Airspace General Aviation Airspace Infringements- Causal Factors & Mitigations – Think Research. Deploying the SHELL model, he identified the following causal factors:

  • Software – pre-planning and lack of reading NOTAMs.
  • Hardware – use of moving maps.
  • Environment – meteorological conditions.
  • Liveware – lack of use of frequency monitoring code.
  • Liveware External – distraction.

The IAA ANSP has identified Airspace Infringements as a Top 5 Safety Risk to the provision of air traffic services in Ireland and as an Air Traffic Service provider we have fully embraced the recommendations of the EAPAIRR. The Safety Directorate of the ANSP is focused on the following recommendations:

  1. Establishing a platform to discuss procedures, incidents, and hotspots between aerodromes, local ATS units and flying clubs.
  2. Facilitate the exchange of information and operational experience between ATCO’s/FISOs and pilots at a local level.
  3. Ensuring Mandatory Occurrence Reports are timely and comprehensive to enable review, investigation, and collation of causal factors.

The map below displays the locations of Airspace Infringements in and around the Dublin CTR which is the largest location for airspace infringements in the country.

Airspace Infringements in and around the Dublin CTR and CTA between August 2013 and August 2022.

The Safety Management Unit will commence a safety promotion and education campaign in 2023 with the General Aviation community, visiting flying clubs, flying schools and airfields. The objective of these visits will be to share our safety intelligence, gather feedback and consider how we can collaboratively improve our existing safety system.

If you have any questions or if you would like to extend an invitation to the Safety Directorate of the IAA ANSP to attend at your facility, please contact us at martin.timmons@iaa.ie .

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