A consultation document has been submitted for 2 parachute drop zones SW of Popham which will effectively close the busy NE-SW corridor between the Solent CTA and Middle Wallop ATZ (H24) in the area north of the Chilbolton radio telescope West of the junction A34/A303 and Andover.
All traffic transiting below 2000' AGL would then have to negotiate a 2nm gap south of the A34/A303 junction and the Solent CTA (SFC-2500') or a similar sized gap but with a much more complicated route between Middle Wallop ATZ, the DropZone boundary and Thruxton ATZ.
Dropzone: SFC to FL120 Centre point: 51° 11' 08" N, 01° 25' 43" W Size: 1.5Nm Radius
SFC to 6500ft Centre Point 51° 11' 06" N, 01° 22' 02" W Size: 1.5Nm Radius
The applicant - Mr Christian Ivory of London Skydive Centre states "We would like you to contact us by email to either inform us of your objections or concerns relating to this proposal, or to let us know that you have none, by Friday 27th April 2012".firstname.lastname@example.org
He also states "We are available to meet in person or communicate with any party, organization or individual to elaborate where appropriate at a time and location convenient to you."
I believe this represents a serious safety concern. Although the application is initially limited the proposed growth of utilization will restrict this airspace most of the time during much of the year.
I agree entirely but these things can, if left unchallenged, slip under the wire and before you know it... although I completely trust that NATS and the CAA would spot the obvious and act with all good sense...
cats_five I'll leave it there until this is resolved.
Entry into the airway structure is not necessarily a problem (Headcorn etc) but it's not straightforward. I agree that it's a dumb place considering the amount of military rotary wing flying that goes on around there. I seem to remember the CAA also have to approve a new DZ
I wonder if Popham know they will be having the aircraft operating from there?
I would be interested to know who they are planning to talk to during the drop. At w/e Boscombe is likely to be closed and GA traffic could be using either of the narrow routes from the SW, either above Boscombe's ATZ and Thruxton or via Chilbolton.
At least Old Sarum's skydivers can be listened to on Old Sarum Radio when Boscombe is closed and, even there, I have had one close encounter with their aircraft as it made a rapid descent after the drop. A rapid descent from the proposed drop zone back to Popham is likely to be quite dangerous.
What a stupid idea, in addition to all of the private power traffic in the area there are over 200 gliders operating out of Lasham, the proposed drop zones are slap bang in the middle of them routing out to the West, plus Bullington Cross, Chilbolton and Andover are favourite turn points for both Lasham gliders and ones operating from other gliding sites.
As i see it, the problems with an off airfield DZ is they cause another restriction to GA and are not subject to sufficient control. This means another 'Zone' on the chart which is probably only active on an occaisional basis, but fills in, and restricts yet more airspace. There is no good reason for this and a DZ should be made to 'fit in' with aviation not restrict it. Ad hoc non airfield DZ's are a nonsense and the CAA should realise this.I also suspect that there are few 'charges' made for this (unlike a licenced airfield) therefore little incentive to restrict asking for one.