Emergency Diversion Airfields in the UK

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emergency diversion airfields in the uk

GA Emergency Diversions in the UK
In March 1997 the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) published a ‘Review of General Aviation Fatal Accidents 1985-1994’ [CAP 667]. Having reviewed 166 fatal accidents in the 10 years covered, the CAA made several recommendations. Recommendation 9.2 (c) noted that “there were a number of fatal accidents where a timely diversion or precautionary landing could have avoided the accident. In the UK (and probably elsewhere) there is a culture of pressing on and hoping for the best rather than accepting the inconvenience and cost of a diversion. This culture needs to be changed, firstly by educating pilots and secondly by persuading aerodrome owners that there should be no charge for emergency landings or diversions.” (For some examples of the potential consequences of “pressing on“, see our articles ‘ Listen to the Warning Bells’ and ‘ Controlled Flight Into Terrain #1’.)

 

 

The considerable task of persuading aerodrome owners to accept Recommendation 9.29(c) was taken up by the UK Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association [AOPA], and in particular by Charles Strasser, Chairman, AOPA Channel Isles. After many years of non-stop lobbying by Charles Strasser, the majority of UK aerodrome owners, including the Ministry of Defence, have agreed to accept the recommendation and not to charge GA aircraft for genuine diversions. The GA community appreciates the considerable improvement to Flight Safety provided by the aerodrome owners and by the years of devoted work by Charles Strasser. In recognition of their outstanding contribution to UK General Aviation Flight Safety, participating airfields have been presented with a Flight Safety Award Certificate by AOPA UK.

 

AOPA have not approached London Heathrow, City and Gatwick for obvious reasons. Airports/airfields that have so far decided NOT TO IMPLEMENT the CAP 667 9.2(c) recommendations are:

 

Belfast-Intl., Biggin-Hill, Cardiff, Carlisle, Leeds/Bradford, London-Luton, Manchester.

 

The tables below list the participating aerodromes within the United Kingdom airspace. These tables have been divided so as to show airfields that are situated:

South of 52°N (Western and Southern England, South Wales and Channel Isles)
Between 52°N and 53°30’N (‘Middle’ England and North Wales)

Between 53°30’N and 55°30’N (Northern England, Northern Ireland and Southern Scotland)

North of 55°30’N (the rest of Scotland and the Outer Isles)

These divisions are intended to assist pilots with their preflight planning. They relate airfields that have accepted the recommendation in CAP 667 reasonably closely to the area covered by an up-to-date aeronautical chart. An up-to-date chart is a vital flight planning tool. An out-of-date chart is one of the most useless things to carry in any aircraft. It is suggested that pilots highlight these airfields on their planning chart so as to be aware of suitable emergency diversions along their planned route. Of course it will still be necessary to look at operating times and frequencies (for those with radio) as part of the planning process.
      A look at the number of airfields in each table will alert pilots to the fact that the density of suitable diversion airfields gets thinner and thinner as you travel further north in the UK. This should register alongside the fact that Wales, Northern England and Scotland contain large areas of thinly populated country and some impressive mountains that are inviting the unwary to commit Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) – the major killer reported in CAP 667.


Note that the concession granted by these airfields applies to genuine emergencies and diversions to airfields other than the destination airfield. Abuse can only hazard the continued success of a scheme that is designed to enhance your safety in the air.

The Tables were last updated in January 2011. The information is provided in good faith but the publishers will not be held responsible for any omissions or errors.

 

AIRFIELDS SOUTH OF 52˚N

AIRFIELDS BETWEEN 52˚N  AND  53.30˚N

AIRFIELDS BETWEEN 53.30˚N  AND  55.30˚N

AIRFIELDS NORTH OF  55.30˚N

 

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Alderney

Fairoaks

Oaksey Park

Andrewsfield

Farnborough

Odiham (RAF)

Belle View

Farway-Common

Old Sarum

Bembridge

Finmere

Oxford/Kidlington

Benson (RAF)

Gloucestershire

Panshangar

Blackbushe

Goodwood

Pembrey

Bodmin

Guernsey

Perranporth

Bournemouth

Halton (RAF)

Plymouth

Bristol Filton

Haverfordwest

Popham

Bristol Intl

Henstridge

Redhill

Brimpton

Isles of Scilly

Rochester

Brize Norton (RAF)

Jersey

Shoreham

Chalgrove

Kemble

Southampton

Clacton

Lands End

Southend

Colerne (RAF)

Lasham

St. Athan (RAF)

Compton Abbas

Lashenden/Headcorn

St. Mawgan (RAF)

Culdrose (RNAS)

Lee-on-Solent

Stansted

Davidstow Moor

Lydd

Stapleford

Denham

Lyneham (RAF)

Swansea

Dunsfold

Manston

Thruxton

Eaglescott

Maypole

Truro

Earls Colne

Middle Wallop (Army)

White Waltham

Elstree

Newquay

Wycombe Air Park

Enstone

North Weald

Yeovil

Exeter International

Northolt (RAF)

Yeovilton (RNAS)

Fairoaks

Oaksey Park

 

Aberporth

Elmsett

Scampton (RAF)

Ashcroft

Fenland

Seething

Audley End

Fowlmere

Shawbury (RAF)

Barton

Henlow (RAF)

Sheffield City

Birmingham Inter.

Hanley

Shipdham

Bourn

Hardwick

Shobdon

Bruntingthorpe

Hinton-in-the-Hedges

Sleap

Caernarfon

Langar

Spanhoe

Cambridge

Leicester

Sturgate

Chester/Hawarden

Little Gransden

Tatenhill

Coltishall (RAF)

Liverpool

Top Farm

Coningsby (RAF)

Ludham

Turweston

Cosford (RAF)

Marham (RAF)

Valley (RAF)

Cottesmore (RAF)

Netherthorpe

Waddington (RAF)

Coventry

Newton (RAF)

Wattisham (Army)

Cranfield

Northampton/Sywell

Wellesbourne

Cranwell (RAF)

Norwich Int

Welshpool

Cromer

Nottingham

Wittering (RAF)

Derby

Old Warden

Wolverhampton

Doncaster Sheffield

Peterborough Conington

Woodford

Duxford

Peterborough/Sibson

Wyton (RAF)

East Midlands

 

 

Bagby

Eddsfield

Prestwick

Barrow

Enniskillen

Retford/Gamston

Belfast City

Full Sutton

Sandtoft

Beverley

Humberside

Sherburn-in-Elmet

Blackpool

Isle-of-Man

Walton Wood

Breighton

Leeming (RAF)

Warton

Brough

Linton-on-Ouse (RAF

West Freugh

Cambeltown

Londonderry

Wombleton

Dishforth (Army)

Newcastle

Woodvale (RAF)

Durham Tees Valley

Newtonards

York/Rufforth

Aberdeen

Glasgow

North Ronaldsay

Barra

Glenforsa

Oban

Benbecula

Inverness

Papa Westray

Charterhall

Islay

Perth

Cumbernauld

Isle of Gigha

Sanday

Dornoch

Kingsmuir

Stornaway

Dundee

Kinloss (RAF)

Stronsay

Eday

Kirkwall

Sumburgh

Edinburgh

Lamb-Holm

Tiree

Fair Isle

Leuchars (RAF)

Westray

Fife

Lossiemouth (RAF)

Wick