28 Jul 2017

Flights Delayed at Manchester Airport by Microlight in Airspace

manchester airport evening time

A pilot has been fined after causing significant delays to flights at Manchester Airport while blundering into controlled airspace with his microlight. 15 Flights were delayed for almost 3 hours as a result.

Air Traffic Control spotted the unauthorised craft in the Manchester Control Zone on January 20th. The microlight apparently remained in controlled airspace for around 25 minutes. The ill=prepared pilot, Mr Robert Bawn, had no functioning radio aboard so could not be contacted by Air Traffic Control. He also did not have any maps or electronic navigation aids aboard the craft.

Mr Bawn, 64, of Kilmorey Park Avenue, Hoole in Chester, turned himself in after an appeal for information by Air Traffic Control, and was prosecuted by the Civil Aviation Authority.

He appeared at Manchester Magistrates’ Court where he pleaded guilty to flying within a class D controlled airspace without air traffic control clearance, in contravention of the Air Navigation order 2016. He was fined £1,675 and ordered to pay costs of £750.

Rob Gratton, principal airspace regulator at the CAA, said: “This is yet another example of a pilot being unprepared for a flight.

“It is essential all pilots undertake proper pre-flight planning by carefully plotting their entire journey. Backup charts should be carried and where possible airspace alerting tools should be carried.

“This incident, which caused huge stress for air traffic controllers and substantial delays for hundreds of passengers, could have been easily avoided.”

A spokesman for Manchester Airport added: “We take any incursion into our airspace incredibly seriously and welcome the outcome.”

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