Crowded airspace in the south of England, with the paraglider and hang glider tracklogs shown. The dotted red line shows the proposed airspace grab
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‘Enormous threat’ to UK flying by airspace grab

Wednesday 28 March, 2018

Pilots in the UK are fighting against an “enormous threat” to free flying in the south of England.

Two new controlled airspace expansion proposals around the city of Oxford threaten paragliding and hang gliding XC routes in some of the best flatland terrain in the country.

The proposals include expanding Class D airspace around Oxford and the town of Cirencester, and relate to expanding airspace around RAF Brize Norton and London Oxford Airport.

If implemented the changes would seriously impact well-known XC routes in the UK, including those where pilots regularly fly 200km and have set national records.

Pilots in the south of England have urged all UK pilots to sign the protest petition online.

“[This] is the largest single airspace grab in the southwest of England in a generation,” the petition says. “We consider it to be completely disproportionate to the requirements of the airports involved.”

Sign the petition here.

The changes will not only affect free-flight pilots. Some of the country’s best gliding clubs will also be affected, as will light aviation.

UK government policy says that UK restrictions on airspace must be fully justified – those protesting against it say there is no justification for this expansion and have labelled it an “airspace grab”.

The consultation on the proposals ends on Thursday 5 April 2018.

To respond directly either complete the consultation response form, or write an e-mail direct to London-Oxford Airport at consultation@londonoxfordairport.com.

Read more about the proposals at Pilot Web.

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