CAA Mode S Transponder Consultation - 2006
Visiting Overseas Hang Gliding & Paragliding Pilots please read this.....
The 2006 CAA Consultation is now closed. The following information is therefore "historical", and simply provided as background to the 2008 CAA Mode S Transponder Phase 2 Consultation.
The proposed introduction of Mode S transponders for all UK aircraft
As some of you may be aware, the UK CAA is carrying out a consultation into making it compulsory for ALL aircraft to carry a working Mode S transponder when flying anywhere in the UK. The change is due for implementation in 2008.
The consultation does talk about exemptions, but when viewed against the real world they are pretty impractical and show a poor understanding of our type of flying.
One lightweight transponder does now exist at prototype stage, even though the CAA has yet to issue a specification for manufacturers to work to. This manufacturer expects a retail price of £1,000 - £1,500. It has a battery life of 4 - 5 hours. An annual licence fee and servicing costs will also be payable, possibly in the region of £300 - £400 per annum.
The BHPA was originally planning to submit an official response on behalf of all its members but a recent change in the consultation process has meant individual responses from the membership are now VERY important. To that end the BHPA is preparing a set of guidance notes which will be published on the BHPA website, hopefully by Friday 11th August 2006. As the consultation closes at 17:00 on Tuesday 29th August 2006 this will allow just over two weeks for members to get their responses to the CAA.
TIME IS CRITICAL!
Make no mistake, this could well signal the end of cross country flying as we know it in the UK. If even you aren‘t an XC hound you WILL also be effected.
Please read the CAA proposal carefully and submit a reasoned response on the proper form by the deadline of 17:00 on 29th August.
The CAA change has made the time scale unreasonable but the CAA will not consider changing the closing date.
If things do not go our way we may yet be asking you to contact your MPs, but not yet. Thank you.
FSC Airspace Panel and Martin Heywood BHPA Chairman
CAA small business presentation - 15 August 2006
The presentation for GA user groups and small businesses at the CAA in London was unfortunately poorly attended by BHPA schools and dealers who will be severely effected by the proposals. Please take time to consider the burden of transponder costs to a new pilot, tugging operations and indeed demand for wings and equipment.
CAA transponder presentation Lasham - 17 August 2006
Very well attended with an estimated audience of 320 pilots of mainly a gliding background, many familiar faces from the hang gliding community of old.
Transponders update - 18 August 2006
Feedback from members
Transponders update - 22 August 2006
The RIA is very technical in its nature and has drawn much criticism from BHPA members (often flagged up by solicitor members!) that completing the response form is difficult when they don't understand either the question or the implications of their answer. This concern was shared by BGA members at the Lasham presentation.
If you don't feel suitable informed to be able to answer the questions in the response document please flag this up in the Response 10 section, adding any other constructive comments you feel appropriate.
We understand from market research experts for on line returns where questions cannot be stuck through with a pen it is best to put an 'X' in all possible response boxes if you feel unable to give a reasoned response.
Please be aware the on-line response form does not allow the sender to save a copy. The CAA have been advised!
CAA presentation Barton - 23 August 2006
An opportunity to hear about and add your views on the CAA's plans for all GA aircraft to carry Mode S equipment. The meeting will vbe held at Lancashire Aero Club Barton Airfield, Manchester, and the speaker will be Andy Greenwood, an aviation consultant, working for the CAA's Surveillance and Spectrum 4 Section
Based on the quality of the CAA presentation and their receptive attitude at Lasham, the meeting at Barton should be well worth attending. Mark Dale will be representing the airspace panel.
Post Partial RIA consultation update - 30 August 2006
The consultation period for the CAA's Partial Regulatory Impact Assessment on the mandatory carriage of Mode S transponders has now closed.
Many thanks to all members who responded to the CAA alongside our own formal submission. It will be very evident to those analysing the responses that there is not only considerable criticism of the proposal but also of the consultation process itself.
Many BHPA members provided valuable feedback to the Airspace Panel on pertinent issues for which we are grateful. These have been considered by the airspace panel and our official BHPA response amended accordingly.
Please be aware that the BHPA were sent notice of the Partial RIA on 2 June but in common with other air sport governing bodies we were unaware that there would be no public consultation for the subsequent Full RIA document to be presented to the Department for Transport. Hence our plea for member assistance some way into the 12 week Partial RIA consultation.
Official BHPA response
The official BHPA response was submitted by the airspace panel on 29 August. Our narrative response to Section 10 "Additional Comments and Feedback" stretched to 15 pages.
It is obvious, in common with members of other sporting aviation groups, that BHPA pilots found the RIA documentation difficult to understand. Members were concerned that they didn't have sufficient knowledge to give an informed answer to (mis)leading questions or the implications of a selected answer. The airspace panel shares these concerns and has raised them in our formal return to the CAA.
We will also be raising these and a number of issues concerning the nature of the consultation with the Department for Transport who commissioned the partial RIA. They are obliged under the Cabinet Office Code Of Conduct for Consultations to allow a feedback channel for complaints and concerns over a Consultation Process. The Partial RIA fails numerous recommendations in the Code for Consultation.
BHPA letter to Department for Transport - 16 October 2006
Read the full text of the letter sent by Martin Heywood, BHPA Chairman, to Andrew D. Price, Consultation Co-ordinator, Department for Transport. This highlights the BHPA's concern over the consultation process for the CAA partial ria proposal.
Some BHPA members have already copied us their own letters written to the DfT, should you wish to do so the contact details are on page 2 of the Partial RIA.
What happens now?
Section 4.3 of the Code For Consultation states that the consultation document should state the date when, and the web address where, the summary of responses will be published. As far as possible this should be within three months of the closing date of the consultation. Those without web access should be able to request a paper copy of this summary. It is unclear at the time of writing whether this refers to the Partial RIA (which makes no mention of time-scale for processing responses), or the Full RIA which the CAA are now preparing for the DfT.
The consultant employed by the CAA who prepared the Partial RIA document and response form has already commented that the unprecedented level of response has meant that analysis of responses is likely to continue into the Spring of 2007. This in itself makes the implementation of the proposal in 2008 unlikely.
There is no planned public consultation for the Full RIA (contrary to what we were originally told by the CAA) but as a result of the unprecedented public concerns all air sport governing bodies hope and expect to be further consulted during analysis of the partial RIA responses and the drafting of the full RIA.
In common with other air sport associations should we not be further engaged in consultation and the Full RIA recommendations be against obvious public opinion then the possibility of a Judicial Review will be explored.
For those members wishing to review please see the Partial RIA.
BHPA Airspace Panel
Page last updated: 07 June 2019