At International, European and National level, civil aviation has grown resulting in the (perceived) need for more regulated airspace or ‘capacity’.
Within the EU, the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) programme has been established to develop and deploy modern ATM technologies to meet the need for capacity whilst reducing cost, improving safety and mitigating environmental impact.
In the UK, the CAA has been an early advocate of the need for change and modernisation so launched the Future Airspace Strategy (FAS) in 2011.
Following the release of the FAS, Airlines, Airports and ANSPs came together as a FAS Industry Implementation Group (FASIIG) to develop the FAS Deployment Plan (FAS DP) aligned largely to the objectives of the European ATM Master Plan
The FAS DP will address issues of significant interest to the VFR operations community such as:
- Performance Based Navigation – PBN
- London Airspace Management Programme (LAMP)
- Flexible Use of Airspace
The FAS Vision is to provide safe, efficient airspace, that:
- has the capacity to meet reasonable demand
- balances the needs of all users
- mitigates the impact of aviation on the environment
But, FAS only addressed Commercial Air Transport (CAT) in its first iteration.
- Regulated Airspace in the UK has developed in a piecemeal way with legacies from military and civil aviation that are no longer fit for purpose.
- Changes in airspace can compromise the access for VFR operations into it
- Information and communication do not serve the VFR community well
So, the CAA needed a way to deliver the FAS vision beyond CAT.
Hence the FAS VFR Implementation Group (FASVIG) was formed at the end of 2013 as a collaboration between:
- business and general aviation
- the flight training industry
- sporting and recreational aviation
So the VFR community must now step forward.