Pilots infringing Olympic airspace face licence suspension

London
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The licences of all pilots infringing the Olympic Games restricted or prohibited zones near London will be suspended pending an investigation of the incident, says the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

Phil Roberts, assistant director of airspace policy at the CAA, says: "We realise that the security restrictions being put in place by the Government will have an impact on general aviation during the Olympics.

"By working closely with the GA community we have achieved a significant reduction in their length and have ensured pilots have as much access to airspace as possible.

"The UK's GA representative associations have been doing excellent work to help us brief their members, and we now believe that the vast majority of pilots are well aware of the restrictions and will aim to abide by them.

"However, we also know that infringements do occur and it is right that pilots know in advance what action the CAA will be taking."

The CAA warns: "All infringements of the restricted or prohibited zones will be reported to the CAA by the Atlas Control military air traffic control unit controlling the restricted zone.

"Serious infringements that the security services deem as being a potential security threat are also likely to be intercepted by the UK military in the air and met on landing."

If the subsequent CAA investigation reveals the infringement was inadvertent and the pilot safely dealt with the situation by, for example, immediately contacting air traffic control and ensuring the aircraft's transponder (if fitted) is on, the suspension may be lifted.