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Class D Airspace

When it comes to revising for the PPL exams, you get into the mindset of ‘cramming’ in the various rules and regulations to answer the multiple choice questions. You pass the exam, then the information is dumped easily and forgotten.



At Gamston, we sit beneath the Doncaster Sheffield CTA and not too far to the southwest we have East Midlands. One of the topics we like to discuss during your training is what your license allows you to do and how far you take it before it becomes illegal. Due to airspace infringements being a hot topic at the moment, it is worth looking at the requirements for Class D airspace. All information here is sourced from the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP). The old NATS AIS has changed, and now you need to search for the NATS eAIS Package United Kingdom (if you aren’t using SkyDemon). If you do visit the old AIS site, there is a link to take you to the new one.


Select Part 2 - EN-ROUTE (ENR) - ENR 1 GENERAL RULES AND PROCEDURES - ENR 1.4 - ATS AIRSPACE CLASSIFICATION AND DESCRIPTION. From here you can scroll down to Class D.


The bulk of the information can be pulled from this table, but you will notice a few notes in the text beneath it. Some of these are specific to each airfield.

This covers the basics of Visual Flight Rules (VFR) and it gets a little more complicated when we consider Special VFR (to be looked at later).

Here is an excerpt from Retford/Gamston, in the AERODROMES (AD) section:

5 GAMSTON LOCAL FLYING AREA (LFA) AND PROCEDURES


  • The Gamston ATZ lies partly within and partly beneath Doncaster Sheffield CTA-3 and CTA-6. Subject to any listed restrictions, flights without reference to Doncaster ATC may be made within the confines of the LFA

  • LFAs are active between 0630-2100 (0530-2000).

  • When Runway 02 is in use at Doncaster Sheffield an LFA exists within the same lateral limits as the ATZ with a vertical limit of 2000 FT AAL.

  • When Runway 20 is in use at Doncaster Sheffield an LFA exists within the following area 532274N 0005276W - 531509N 0005610W thence clockwise by the arc of a circle radius 13 NM centred on 532751N 0010036W to 531456N 0010534W (Clumber Lake) - 531747N 0010156W (A1/ A57 Clumber interchange) - 532137N 0005607W (Daneshill Lakes) with a vertical limit of 2500 FT Doncaster QNH. When active a 'Gamston Local Flying Area Active' message will be broadcast on the Doncaster ATIS, 134.955 MHz.

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