Loss of separation due to airspace infringement Schiphol

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On August 21 st 2014 an airspace infringement occurred close to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. As a result, two aircraft came closer than the prescribed separation minimum.  LVNL has reported this incident to the Dutch Safety Board and is conducting its own investigation.

What is an airspace infringement?

Internationally, an airspace infringement is defined as follows. “A flight into notified airspace without previously requesting and obtaining approval from the controlling authority of that airspace in accordance with international and national regulations.”


Research shows that there are various underlying causes of airspace infringements.

  • Inadequate flight preparation.
  • Use of outdated navigation charts.
  • Use of an outdated navigation database.
  • Navigational errors or loss of situational awareness.
  • Excessive workload in the cockpit.
  • Inadequate access to information.
  • Substandard use of radiotelephony.


Incident investigation

The primary responsibility of Air Traffic Control the Netherlands is ensuring the separation of aircraft from other aircraft and ground vehicles. All safety events that occur at Air Traffic Control the Netherlands are reported and investigated with the objective to learn and improve, and thus reduce the probability of similar incidents in the future.


Summary investigation results

In the afternoon of Sunday, August 21 st 2014, two aircraft came closer than the separation minimum during an approach to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. A small aircraft Aeropro FOX entered controlled airspace from the north (Schiphol CTR2) without permission of air traffic control (ATC). At the same time an Airbus 320 (A320) approached Schiphol from the west to land on runway 18R, also known as Polderbaan. ATC had just cleared the A320 to begin a final approach to runway 18R, when the crew of the A320 received a Resolution Advisory of their on-board Traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS). This alert warned the crew that another aircraft was (Aeropro FOX) was in close proximity and instructed them to change their altitude. The lowest separation was 0,46 NM horizontal at 500ft vertical.


The actual separation distance was thus 50% of the minimum separation. The flight information centre of ATC the Netherlands instructed the pilot of the Aeropro Fox to leave the airspace. Both aircraft continued their flights uneventfully.


Classification: serious incident