CONTROLLED AIRSPACE

VFR & Special VFR flight is permitted in the Channel Island CTR (Class D)

VFR flight is permitted in the Channel Island CTA(1) & CTA(2) (Class D)

VFR & Special VFR Flight is not permitted in the Channel Island TMA (Class A)

 

In Basic terms the Channel Island Airspace is all controlled and pilots require a clearance to operate within it. Certain conditions may be imposed on this clearance in order to ensure that VFR or Special VFR flights will not hinder IFR Traffic and to ensure that appropriate de-confliction takes place.

 

VFR clearances will normally contain Entry Point, Specified Route, Clearance Limit, Altitude/Level and/or heading restrictions.

 

Deviating from a specified clearance must only be undertaken after discussion with ATC.

 

Level restrictions normally come in the two forms: A "NOT ABOVE" a specified Altitude or Flight Level but may also be to "Maintain" a specified Altitiude or Flight Level

 

The VFR or Special VFR Pilot is responsible for informing Air Traffic Control if deviation from a given clearance becomes necessary due to deteriorating weather conditions or for any other reason.

 

The table below provides a graphic representation of the Controlled Airspace of the Channel Islands, including the various weather minima and ratings required in order for Pilots to accept any particular clearance.

 

CICZ_Airspace Table

 

A cloud minima of 600ft above aerodrome level is imposed within Channel Island Airspace for VFR or Special VFR departure or arrival clearances.

 

 

 

 

Top Ten Tips
How not to infringe Channel Island Controlled Airspace
(Adapted from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Airspace Working Groups Top Ten Tips on "How not to Infringe")
  • 1. Navigation is a skill, and needs to be practised regularly, both planning a flight and conducting it.
    Safety Sense Leaflet 5 (available on the CAA website and in the LASORS publication) contains good advice on VFR navigation, but it only works if you read and apply it!

  • 2. If you plan a route through Channel Island Controlled Airspace, remember that a crossing clearance may not always be possible and consider that route as your ‘secondary’ plan. Your primary plan should avoid Channel Island Airspace - and don’t forget to make your overall time and fuel calculations using the longer, primary route! If inbound to a Channel Island Airfield please consider using notified standard routes as your "Primary Route". A "Direct to" clearance is not always possible!

  • 3. Where possible, avoid planning to fly close to the controlled airspace boundaries. If you do need to do so, be very careful. A small navigational error or distraction of any sort can lead to an infringement – and it doesn’t take much to ruin your day! This can be especially prevelent if you are istructed to remain outside of Controlled Airspace or extend your routing along the eastern boundary close to the Cap de la Hague and Flamenville Restricted Areas.

  • 4. Pilot workload rises rapidly in less than ideal weather - and so do infringements. If the weather starts to deteriorate, consider your options early and if necessary divert or turn back in good time. Know you Weather MINIMA for VFR or SVFR flight in Class D Airspace. A Basic PPL requires 5km of in flight visibility on a VFR clearance, only a valid IMC or IR will allow this to be reduced to 3km on a Special VFR clearance.

  • 5. If you wish to enter or transit controlled airspace, think about what you need to ask for in advance and call the appropriate Jersey Air Traffic Control (ATC) Sector at least 10 nautical miles or five minutes flying time from the airspace boundary. As a general rule - low level traffic (Below 3000ft) requesting entry clearance to the Channel Island CTR from the BREST FIR should call Jersey "Approach" on 120.300MHz. If you are inbound from the UK FIR - generally you would contact Jersey "Control" on 125.200Mhz; however, if the Zone sector is split you may be transferred to 120.450MHz (Jersey Radar)
    Please remember that it is the PILOTS RESPONSIBILITY to obtain an Entry Clearance into Controlled Airspace. If you are receiving a Air Traffic Service outside of controlled airspace from any other unit it remains the pilots responsibility to contact Jersey Air Traffic Control in a timely manner - The Air Traffic Unit providing you with the service outside of controlled airspace may not be in a position to prompt you, transfer you or obtain an entry clearance on your behalf.

  • 6. Thinking before you press the transmit switch and using the correct radio phraseology helps air traffic control to help you - and sounds more professional!

  • 7. Be aware that ATC may be busy when you call them – just because the frequency doesn’t sound busy doesn’t mean that the controller isn’t busy on another frequency or on landlines.

  • 8. Remember - the instruction ‘Standby’ means just that; it is not an ATC clearance and not even a precursor to a clearance. The controller is probably busy so continue to plan to fly around or hold outside Channel Island Airspace. Only fly into the Channel Islands Airspace if the controller issues a crossing/entry clearance.

  • 9. Your planned route into controlled airspace may appear simple on your chart but the traffic patterns within that airspace may make it unrealistic in practice. Be prepared to follow the standard routs outlined on this website, get familiar with the location and names of the Visual Reference Points (VRP) if your clearance does not exactly match your planned route there is a reason for it. Air Traffic Control clearance will allow you to transit safely.

  • 10. Don’t be afraid to call ATC and/or use the transponder when lost or uncertain of your position or unsure of any Clearance Issued - overcoming your embarrassment may prevent an infringement which may in turn prevent an Airprox (or worse).
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