RAF Brize Norton aerial view

RAF Brize Norton is proposing to change the controlled airspace surrounding the station.  

The current controlled airspace surrounding RAF Brize Norton has been in place for at least 40 years and in that time has become no longer fit for purpose, according to Simon Hawker the Senior Air Traffic Control Officer at Brize.

The changes aim to improve safety and procedures for all inbound and outbound aircraft from the Royal Air Force's largest airbase.

They will also be hugely beneficial for all other aircraft who currently transit through the area and use RAF Brize Norton's air traffic services. 

The airspace around RAF Brize Norton is some of the busiest and most complex in the UK.

Since its establishment the number of aircraft operating out of RAF Brize Norton has grown significantly, and the aircraft types flown from the base today are entirely different from when the current controlled airspace was put in place, as has the nature and type of flying activity. 

Now with a large mixed fleet of aircraft, RAF Brize Norton provides rapid global mobility in support of UK and overseas operations and exercises, as well as air-to-air refuelling support for fast-jet aircraft.

RAF Brize Norton Airfield
RAF Brize Norton Airfield

The base sits within the Oxford Area of Intense Aerial Activity and the benefits will also extend to neighbouring airfields such as London Oxford Airport which sits approximately 10nm from the base.

Oxford Airport's own controlled airspace is also proposed to change.

Both proposals are designed to compliment each other and close work between the two is taking place with the Civil Aviation Authority reviewing both cases simultaneously. 

Senior Air Traffic Control Officer at Brize Sqn Ldr Simon Hawker told BFBS:

"The RAF Brize Norton Airspace Change Proposal will provide aircraft with additional protection against the risk of mid air collision. Longer term it will enable aircraft to fly more direct routes, reducing their carbon footprint for a positive effect on the environment."

A400M Lands at RAF Brize Norton
A400M lands at RAF Brize Norton

RAF Brize Norton will be holding two public drop-in sessions to allow those who are interested the opportunity to view the proposal and clarify certain aspects of the proposal with members of the Airspace Change Consultation Team.

The events will be held at the RAF Brize Norton Millennium Amenities Centre on:

Tuesday 20th February 2018 between 2000hrs to 2200hrs.

Wednesday 28th February 2018 between 1200hrs to 1600hrs.

For more information visit https://www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton/flyinginfo/bznacp.cfm


Pictures: RAF Brize Norton Photographic Section