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Proposed Airspace Change to Enable RPAS Operations from RAF Fairford

This proposal is for a Permanent change to the notified airspace design, and the change level is TBC. The detailed process requirements are published in Part 1 of CAP 1616.

In order to support NATO’s Agile Combat Employment concept, the US Air Force is making significant infrastructure investments on airbases in the UK and other allied nations. There is an emerging requirement for military aircraft, including Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), to operate regularly from RAF Fairford. In accordance with CAP 722 – Unmanned Aircraft System Operations in UK Airspace – Guidance and Policy, beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations require either a CAA-approved Detect and Avoid (DAA) capability or to remain within a block of airspace that is segregated from other airspace users.

ACP-2021-078 aims to establish suitable segregated airspace to enable RPAS transition between RAF Fairford and medium or high altitude transit.

At this early stage, it is given that airspace changes will be required within the vicinity of RAF Fairford, but it is not known whether they will be restricted to the vicinity or whether changes will be required at greater distances from the base. For this reason, the MOD has elected to select its aviation stakeholders from an area within a radius of approximately 30 miles from RAF Fairford and to use the National Air Traffic Management Advisory Committee (NATMAC) as a means of broader engagement.

AOPA have received this letter of engagement from the MOD.

This ACP has the potential to affect airspace users in a large area of busy airspace around RAF Fairford, with little detail known at this stage about the proposed RPAS operating altitudes. PLEASE contact if you have any immediate views about this proposal or believe you may be adversely affected by it.






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