Glasgow squawk launched to cut infringements

Glasgow squawk launched to cut infringements

08 April 2015

A new listening squawk is now live at Glasgow Airport for the first time to help cut the number of airspace infringements by General Aviation (GA) pilots and boost safety.

The launch of the new squawk, a project lead by NATS, means GA pilots can now tune in and listen to the air traffic controllers, while allowing the controllers to see the aircraft’s details on their radar displays.

Having the squawk in place boosts the communication between the GA pilots and air traffic control, as it means potential infringements – where an aircraft makes an unauthorised entry into controlled airspace – can be flagged up earlier and dealt with more swiftly.

Infringements can occur when a pilot may be lost or enter controlled airspace without realising. The squawk will improve NATS’ ability to communicate with GA pilots and provide guidance before they infringe the airspace.

Gary Dixon, NATS General Manager at Glasgow Airport control tower, said: “Our focus is always on the safety of those in the airspace, so it is really important for us to work with the general aviation community to cut infringements and raise awareness of the dangers of infringing the airspace.”

“We want to encourage pilots to use the squawk and remember that our air traffic controllers are always here to help keep them and other airspace users safe.”

The squawk will enable GA flyers to enter the airport’s squawk code 2620 on their transponders.

The introduction of the listening squawk is the latest in a series of initiatives the airport is taking to improve relationships with the GA community.

The airport is working closely with local flying clubs and has hosted four visits so far – with more planned to take place – giving flyers the chance to come in and see how the operation works and increasing the understanding of the dangers of infringements.

Allan Falconer, Director of ACS Aviation, which trains private and commercial pilots at flying clubs in Scotland, including in Glasgow, said: “The listening squawk is a welcome addition to help safety. Glasgow ATC has developed a friendly and professional attitude which will encourage pilots to participate. It will be mutually beneficial and will help reduce infringements.”

For more information, GA pilots can email Martyn Segar, Deputy Watch Manager at Glasgow Airport, on martyn.segar@nats.co.uk.

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