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Please have a quick look at the UK CAA's proposal to mandate the fitting and carriage of Mode S transponders in ALL aircraft (including gliders and microlights) by March 2008. Please, if you can find the time, put in an online objection.

You can find the CAA's main consultation page here, together with
links to make an on-line submission.

(some members have reported that if you type in more than 120 words in the text boxes you loose it, but if you write it offline and then cut and paste it in to these text boxes it works OK.

The PFA have also set out some excellent background and arguments here ....

The Seaplane Association will be making a submission making the following points.

1- 90% of seaplane operations in the UK are amongst the highlands, mountains, lochs and valleys - beneath radar and radio cover. Away from the congested airspace of the South of England.

2- there were no CAA Consultation meetings held outside of England. This implies a serious omission by the CAA of understanding the type or existence of GA operations away from the crowded southern skies.
Especially when you consider that the Scottish FIR is 50% bigger than, and has significantly more uncontrolled airspace than the London FIR.

3- there are some 26000 aircraft on the UK register (includes gliders and microlights) - at the moment there are an estimated 4000-6000 fitted with transponders. Potentially a four or fivefold increase in the number of radar labels - this could swampand clutter out the current ATC system.

4- ACAS (Airborne Collision and Alert System) is not mandated, so any collision benefit is only to current Civil Air Transport aircraft who are already fitted with ACAS. Neither Mode S or ACAS is to be mandated for military aircraft (who feature in 25% of annual airproxes).
Arguably, military aircraft are a greater collision threat, yet they are excluded from the proposals.

5- All VFR/SVFR operations should be exempt, including in Class D airspace.

6- There will be a financial (~3500 per ac) and weight (~7lbs per ac = 1 gallon) penalty for any seaplane required to fit this.

7- One of the main drivers for this is increased operations in Class G airspace by Civil Airlines. The airlines will financially benefit from this proposal, therefore they should pay for it, with a contribution from Government hypothecated from the existing tax on Avgas.


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 May 2008 Rassemblement International d'Hydravions, Biscarrosse
 9-12 August 2007 Hanse Sail 2007, Rostock
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