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Cotswold Region Report: Draft Findings

The CAA have now published a report containing our draft findings of our review into the Cotswold Region and which contains our Initial Plan of volumes of airspace to take forward to the amend phase of the airspace classification review process. 

Summary of the Initial Plan

Volumes to amend under the CAP 1991 Process:

The following volumes were identified as warranting further investigation and having potential to be taken forward to the amend phase of our process:

Cotswold CTA 8. Our analysis showed that the lower levels of this CTA are rarely utilised. Discussions are still ongoing with Cardiff and NERL as to what can be done to ensure that
the classification of this airspace is fit for purpose.

Daventry CTA 6. Our investigations identified this CTA as being infrequently utilised at its lower levels. Discussions are still ongoing with NERL regarding this volume of airspace.

Volumes where positive changes can be made via another mechanism:

South Cerney. We received a considerable number of comments citing concerns about GA being unnecessarily funnelled around South Cerney paradropping site and despite the para dropping site being activated by NOTAM, it was apparent that many respondees indicated that they understood that this airspace was permanently active up to FL150.

RAF Lyneham ATZ. Lyneham, whilst closed, maintains its aerodrome traffic zone (ATZ) on the charts, activated by NOTAM. Historical NOTAMs were checked, and MOD was asked to justify retention of the ATZ, when it has not been activated by NOTAM since the closure of the airfield. They have agreed to it being removed from the AIP.

Danger Area: D147 (Pontrilas). Our initial investigation suggests that the current use of this airspace by MOD does not appear to warrant 24 hour / day segregation, nor at such a high-upper level. Our findings have been put to MOD who are currently considering whether the airspace volume and timings associated with it are fit for purpose.

Restricted Areas: R154 / R155 / R322. These three decommissioned nuclear power plants, operated by Magnox, have associated restricted airspace which is no longer required. R154 and R155 are both located within the vicinity of the Severn Estuary and within the Cotswold Region. R322 is in Anglesey and outside the Cotswold Region, however, in liaising with Magnox regarding sign off on the safety data, it makes sense to
tackle all three restricted areas at once under the CAP1616 Level 0.

Areas of Intense Air Activity (AIAAs): This region of focus has part of the Shawbury AIAA and the entirety of the Oxford AIAA within it. We would like to garner stakeholder opinion on whether these constructs add value for aviators in terms of enabling better airmanship or whether they simply clutter up a busy VFR chart.

The CAA are now asking stakeholders to provide a response to this document answering the following questions:

1. Do you believe we have missed, misunderstood, or misinterpreted anything in the report into the Cotswold Region?

2. Should Areas of Intense Air Activity (AIAAs) remain? Please give supporting reasons for your answer.

The CAA will take responses up to 23:59 on 27 March 2022.




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