19 August 2011
The first meeting of the Channel Islands Air Traffic Control and General Aviation Working Group has been described as a ‘great success’ according to the Director of Civil Aviation for the Channel Islands, Fergus Woods.
The formal group, which has been set up to provide a formal strategic relationship between Channel Islands Air Traffic Control (ATC) Service Providers and the General Aviation (GA) community, had its first meeting at Jersey Airport on Wednesday 10 August 2011.
The group will also help in addressing relevant issues between the GA Community and Air Traffic Operations in the Channel Islands Control Zone (CICZ) or at the Channel Islands’ airports.
The working group, which is chaired by Mr Woods, includes representatives from the General Aviation community in the Channel Islands as well as Air Traffic Control Managers from Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney.
Director of Civil Aviation for the Channel Islands, Fergus Woods, said: "It was an extremely successful first meeting. The working group has committed to formulate the structure of future consultation between ATC and the GA community through the coming years, as the Channel Islands airspace is redesigned and Guernsey Airport’s rehabilitation and upgrade work begins. The group also addressed the recent introduction of Prior Permission Required (PPR) for inbound aircraft to the Channel Islands. Through frank and honest discussion a positive way forward has been recommended."
Manager of ATC at Jersey Airport, Damon Knight, said: "It was evident from the first meeting that this will be a very useful consultative group to help manage the future direction of the Channel Islands airspace for all users. PPR has been very much on the agenda in recent months and I am glad that we had the opportunity to formally report on its success while we use the new air traffic system for the first time during peak summer traffic. PPR has provided us with exactly the required outcome for the management of air traffic movements into the airspace.
"We do recognise that PPR does bring an extra flight planning element for pilots electing to fly Visual Flight Rules into the Channel Islands airspace. However, it is evident, with more than 1000 bookings since the temporary measure was introduced on Friday 1 July, that the Channel Islands airspace and airports are very much open for business for the GA community. I would personally like to thank the contribution that the GA community has made in helping Jersey Air Traffic Control with airspace management including the smoothing out of peaks and improving our awareness of the tactical traffic situation.
"I am glad to report, through this meeting, that PPR will be removed for Sunday operations from 4 September 2011 and will be removed entirely just after the Jersey and Guernsey Air Display week."
Speaking on behalf of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Chairman of the Channel Islands Region, Charles Strasser, said: "Although we are disappointed that PPR has not been removed entirely, we recognise that this working group will allow the GA community to be consulted on all future changes to operations in Channel Islands airspace in a timely fashion. This forum will enable us to work with the DCA and Air Traffic Control Management to make visits to the Channel Islands easier and more attractive to the wider community that AOPA represents. This will also filter through to the ongoing work to identify the true contribution that the GA community brings to the Channels Islands’ States."