Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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By jakob1427
#1827459
I've got a curious query about something I noticed on UK airspace charts.

I realised that a lot of the Class A/C airspace routes extend further than the 12nm international limit from land and was wondering how that might be enforced?

I was under the assumption that airspace territorial limits were the same as international water territorial limits whereby the state's territory extends 12nm from land but becomes international territory after that.

However, if you take a look at an example like the south coast of the UK, you'll see there are several Class A and Class C areas all stretching to well over 12nm (30nm+) from the nearest land! How is this governed?

Note: I'm a UK pilot but with an FAA license, and in the US there are is no controlled airspace past the US ADIZ 12nm from land after which the airspace/waters are international, hence confused when I saw this being broken on UK charts.
By johnm
#1827463
It's just international agreements, nothing complicated. For example Jersey zone is controlled by Jersey and Guernsey but reverts to Brest when they're closed because that's what the agreement for that bit of airspace says.
By riverrock
#1827475
As said, international agreements, which probably can't be enforced.
If you are a Russian "bear" you aren't party to them, so you just plough on through without a transponder, ignoring them all.
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By jakob1427
#1827489
riverrock wrote:If you are a Russian "bear" you aren't party to them, so you just plough on through without a transponder, ignoring them all.


It's actually this that made me look at my UK chart and ask the question :D - after reading one of the old articles on the Bears:
"Russian bomber flew escorted up English Channel but didn't enter UK Airspace"
it made me think "Hmm, I don't remember seeing anywhere on the chart he could have flown and not been inside of airspace"
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By AlanM
#1827567
johnm wrote:It's just international agreements, nothing complicated. For example Jersey zone is controlled by Jersey and Guernsey but reverts to Brest when they're closed because that's what the agreement for that bit of airspace says.


Not any more..... it changed last year to Rennes Cotentin on its inception but uses 134.2 (the old Brest FIR freq). It took on the old Brest ID sector which was then resectorised ID/IJ above FL195.... but that is changing name again soon. (Try and keep up!!)

But yes, conceptually it belongs to the French!

The Brest FIR delegates it to Rennes, who then delegate it to Jersey when open, who delegate some of the CTR to Guernsey when they are open.
Last edited by AlanM on Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By AlanM
#1827572
jakob1427 wrote:I've got a curious query about something I noticed on UK airspace charts.
Note: I'm a UK pilot but with an FAA license, and in the US there are is no controlled airspace past the US ADIZ 12nm from land after which the airspace/waters are international, hence confused when I saw this being broken on UK charts.


A basic principle of international air law is that every state has complete and exclusive sovereignty over the airspace above its territory, including its territorial sea. At the turn of the 20th century the view that airspace, like the high seas, should be free was sometimes advanced. But the principle of airspace sovereignty was unequivocally affirmed in the Paris Convention on the Regulation of Aerial Navigation (1919) and subsequently by various other multilateral treaties. The principle is restated in the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation (1944). Airspace is now generally accepted as an appurtenance of the subjacent territory and shares the latter’s legal status. Thus, under the Geneva Convention on the High Seas (1958) as well as under international customary law, the freedom of the high seas applies to aerial navigation as well as to maritime navigation. Vertically, airspace ends where outer space begins.

I am pretty sure there was no Class A outside 12nm in 1919 8)
Last edited by AlanM on Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By lobstaboy
#1827574
jakob1427 wrote:
riverrock wrote:If you are a Russian "bear" you aren't party to them, so you just plough on through without a transponder, ignoring them all.


It's actually this that made me look at my UK chart and ask the question :D - after reading one of the old articles on the Bears:
"Russian bomber flew escorted up English Channel but didn't enter UK Airspace"
it made me think "Hmm, I don't remember seeing anywhere on the chart he could have flown and not been inside of airspace"


You're using "airspace" to mean two different things.
1. The aerial equivalent of territorial waters - the 12 mile limit.
2. Controlled airspace which by international agreement extends wherever the agreement says.
In the scenario where the bad guys are getting too close, they get shot at once they get inside the 12 mile limit (or before if its obvious they have evil intent), not if they infringe a bit of Class A controlled airspace over the North Sea.
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By johnm
#1827575
@AlanM I haven't been able to fly over there since March last year. We can't easily sort out the 2 week quarantine need and still do all the stuff we want to do :-(
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By IMCR
#1827596
Logically I would think depending on the letter on the side of your aircraft, and the pilot's papers you are committed to whatever agreement the countries have reached for airways outside the territorial limit, and only if for example you are military (and then from only certain countries) would you refute you had entered into any agreement by virtue of your flag or pilot papers, and thus entitled to do as you will.

The Russians do come to mind.

Without there would be chaos.

Around the UK on sea crossings, there will be agreements in place as to who has authority over what portion of the airspace, and this will be the prosecuting authority I guess for any infringements.
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By James Chan
#1827618
I realised that a lot of the Class A/C airspace routes extend further than the 12nm international limit from land and was wondering how that might be enforced?


ICAO divides airspace into FIRs and some ANSP gets to manage that FIR to provide services for aircraft.

An example of this is Shanwick Oceanic Control: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanwick_Oceanic_Control

I don't know how the UK ANSP also got to manage this airspace and not just Ireland.

Similarly with Oakland Oceanic - The USA/FAA manages much of the Pacific's airspace.