On summer days, there are many recreational flights in the Netherlands. This is accompanied by an increase in the number of airspace infringements. Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL) wants to increase awareness among recreational pilots by reminding them to be well prepared before boarding the aircraft. This reduces the chance of unexpectedly venturing into controlled airspace during the flight, which would pose risks to recreational pilots and commercial flights. In 2020, there were nearly 400 reported airspace infringements throughout the Netherlands, in which air traffic control or the Flight Information Centre (FIC) had to intervene to ensure safety.
If an aircraft wants to fly into controlled airspace (such as an area near an airport), even recreational pilots must request permission from air traffic control in advance via the specified radio frequency. In this way, air traffic control has the necessary information to ensure that flights are handled safely. LVNL has a number of tips to reduce the risk of airspace infringements:
- Be well prepared for the flight, and make sure you know where the controlled airspace is, as shown on the VFR chart viewer;
- The new and improved Homebriefing website to help you prepare your flight will go live this summer. In addition, it remains possible to submit a flight plan via this site. This helps the air traffic controller or the FIC assess how much air traffic is expected;
- Listen to the radio frequency or call air traffic control. Even in airspace areas where it is not mandatory, this ensures that air traffic control can reach you when needed. For more information, see this poster;
- Use the Frequency Monitoring Code (FMC) if you are only listening to the radio frequency. This allows the Flight Information Service Officer to see which frequency you can be reached on via your transponder code. For more information, see the FMC poster;
- If you want to fly into controlled airspace, please notify air traffic control in advance via the specified radio frequency;
- Stay in contact with air traffic control via the radio frequency during the flight.
LVNL is part of the National Taskforce Airspace Infringements, which is taking steps to reduce the number of airspace infringements. The Taskforce also includes the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association Netherlands (AOPA), the Royal Dutch Airline Association (KNVvL) and the Netherlands Association of Commercial Aviation (NACA). Together, we will keep airspace safe for all airspace users. For more information, please visit lvnl.nl.