Award recognises infringement prevention

18 February 2013

A new award to recognise the flying clubs and schools that go the extra mile to prevent airspace infringements has been introduced by NATS, the UK’s leading provider of air traffic management services.

The award acknowledges the work of the General Aviation community in helping reduce the number of infringements during 2012.

It is open to any flying club, association, school or group which has made a special effort to prevent and mitigate the risk of infringements and to educate and support pilots who do.

Jonathan Smith, NATS Infringements Lead, said: “There can be no doubt that the continued and proactive efforts of the General Aviation community have underpinned the fall in the number of incidents last year.

“This new award is NATS way of recognising the important contributions made by our GA partners”

Stapleford Flight Centre in Essex is the first recipient of the NATS Infringement Prevention Award, having successfully halved the number of infringements by its members in 2012.

Colin Dobney, Head of Training, Stapleford Flight Centre, commented: “I am delighted the sustained campaign to reduce airspace infringements, led by Deputy Head of Training, Brian Peppercorn, has received official recognition from NATS. Air safety is the priority in all Stapleford’s training programmes for tomorrow’s airline pilots and our Private Pilot club members.

“We will continue campaigning to reduce infringements even further, aiming to achieve an even better performance in 2013.”

Infringements into controlled airspace are a safety concern for private and commercial pilots alike, but there are a number of practical and low cost initiatives that any club can introduce to minimise the risk.

These can include encouraging the use of flight planning tools, such SkyDemon Light; the deployment of airspace warning devices; sharing any lessons learnt in the event of an infringement; and making contact with local air traffic control when flying near controlled airspace.

Jonathan added: “It is in everyone’s best interests to reduce the risk associated with airspace infringements and NATS is keen to work with additional GA partners to achieve this.”

Information on how to nominate a club or school for the Infringement Prevention Award can be found on the NATS website at


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