Huge airspace grab for Brize and Oxford airports

RAF Brize Norton
By Photo: Paul Crouch/MOD, OGL,

New controlled airspace (CAS) proposals have been put forward for one of the UK’s busiest areas for General Aviation flying – around London Oxford Airport and RAF Brize Norton.

The airspace change proposals are in a joint consultation which opened on 15 December 2017 and will run to 22 March 2018.

The proposed Class D airspace affects a large chunk of the area between Oxford and Cirencester, and is bigger than the current Oxford Area of Intense Aerial Acitivity.

The principal reasons put forward are:

Brize airspace

For RAF Brize Norton

Aircraft joining or departing the airways structure have to cross busy Class G airspace between the CTR and the airway. This proposal will help to reduce the risk of a mid-air collision of RAF Brize Norton aircraft within 20 NM of RAF Brize Norton.

Aircraft positioning for final approach to the runway are not fully contained by the current CAS which potentially brings them into confliction with unknown traffic.

The interaction of RAF Brize Norton and London Oxford Airport flight procedures is complex and workload is intensive for both airports’ ATC staff.

The RAF Brize Norton Consultation is here

Oxford Airspace

For London Oxford Airport

  • Create a ‘known traffic environment’ to enhance the safety of IFR aircraft arriving at LOA from the north to Runway 19, and minimise the number of instances where avoiding action or break-off instructions have an adverse effect on controller and pilot workload.
  • Improved interaction between BZN and LOA flight procedures. The existing procedures are complex and this creates a more intensive workload for ATCOs at both airports.
  • A requirement to future-proof the existing Instrument Flight Procedures in accordance with the CAA Future Airspace Strategy.

The London Oxford Airport Consultation is here

Initial reactions from affected users are that the proposed airspace is complicated and will lead to a rise in infringements. It also ‘funnels’ GA traffic between areas of controlled airspace – although RAF Brize Norton promises to continue to offer a Lower Airspace Radar Service and to accommodate Class D transits for GA aircraft whenever possible. There is an active discussion on the FLYER forum about the proposals here

More reaction to follow from the aviation associations when we have it.



  • John Webb says:

    Bound to bring the naysayers out. Personally I prefer the additional safety we’ll have coupled with the excellent LARS, transit o/h Brize etc I have persistantly received from both agencies in c 35 years flying. And a courteous thankyou for the call from Oxford when leaving their frequency.

  • Wilma says:

    I think they need to do something in this area (as a local flyer you regularly see the A400s on decent – fortunately they’re pretty easy to spot !!

    Where these proposals let themselves down though is to illustrate the impact of their proposals on GA traffic – leaving themselves open to the natural objections from the GA world. Given they provide the LARS service, surely they could show the existing GA traffic patterns and therefore illustrate the impact their proposals will have on this traffic.

  • John Bean says:

    Hangered and operating out of Enstone will be ‘interesting’ I assume there will be something in the plans for here and other light GA fields and airfields. BZN is not the easiest to contact on T/O and climb out now.

  • Another nail in the coffin for Gliding & GA, why is the answer always an airspace grab, there are other technical solutions

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