Airspace infringement occurs when an aircraft penetrates airspace for which explicit prior clearance is required without having such a clearance
A major cause of airspace infringement is poor navigation, leading to penetration of the controlled airspace or danger, restricted or prohibited area concerned.
¶ Contributory Factors and Effects
The contributory factors:
- Lack of knowledge or understanding of procedures for obtaining clearance to enter or cross controlled airspace
- Failure to follow correct procedures for crossing or entering controlled airspace
- Inadequate basic training in appropriate navigational techniques
- Lack of expertise of pilots in equipment operation, especially GPS
- Adverse weather
- Inadequate pre-flight preparation
- Routine (assumption that airspace restrictions on a familiar route will not change) Frequency congestion
- Pilot preoccupation with other tasks.
- Unfavourable attitude of ATC controllers to VFR flights
Here are the major effects of airspace infringement (we present only the effects linked with IVAO):
- Loss of Separation from other aircraft, which may result in collision
- Perceived security risk if area is penetrated
- Disruption of military or other special activities within restricted, danger or prohibited airspace
- Distraction of controller from other tasks
An aircraft approaching an area requests crossing clearance:
- The frequency is busy and the controller instructs the pilot to "Stand by". The pilot continues on track and enters the area without any clearance.
- The controller acknowledges the call but does not immediately approve the request. The pilot assumes that the acknowledgement constitutes clearance and enters the airway.
An aircraft operating VFR doesn't properly identify his position on the ground due to partial cloud cover and enters the controlled airspace without permission.
A pilot navigating by reference to NDB and/ VOR beacons makes an error in determining his position and enters a Restricted/Danger/Prohibited area.
A pilot, using GPS, incorrectly programs the equipment and follows a track which diverges from the planned route, and enters a Restricted/Danger/Prohibited area.
A pilot using an out of date chart enters the Restricted/Danger/Prohibited area without awareness.
Solutions shall include improved training of pilots in navigation techniques, including:
- Visual navigation
- Use of radio navigation aids
- Use of GPS
- Transponders to enable aircraft to be identified by ATS and to enable TCAS alerts
There are solutions for a pilot perspective:
- Improve airspace infringement awareness
- Be prepared and call air traffic controller well in advance (3 to 5 minutes flying time)
- Use the correct phraseology to obtain the clearance you want without confusion
- Think about what you are going to say before you press the transmit switch
- Be aware that air traffic controller may be busy even if the controller isn't talking on the frequency
- Remember that the instruction "Standby" is not a clearance
- Remain outside controlled airspace if you don't have any clearance
- Effective Pre-flight briefing
- If the weather starts to deteriorate, consider your options early
- Use the correct charts up to date
- Check your transponder active using Traffic alert (via IVAO Pilot User Interface)
There are solutions for an air traffic controller perspective:
- Flight Information Services to VFR flights based on the use of radar
- Aeronautical and meteorological information to VFR flights
- Expect the unexpected
- Area Proximity Warning (APW) that can alert controllers of potential or actual infringements (not simulated in IVAO)
- Review airspace design (only for national regulation authorities)
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