HC Deb 14 January 2003 vol 397 c556W
Mr. Beith

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what arrangements are in place to reduce the risk of air proximity incidents involving civilian and RAF aircraft in the approaches of Newcastle Airport; and whether these include a corridor of controlled airspace. [90554]

Mr. Spellar

Aircraft on approach or departure to Newcastle Airport are protected by a Controlled Zone (CTZ) and the Northern Off-Route Co-ordination Area (NORCA) which links Newcastle and controlled airspace near Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA). NORCA is permanently active and military aircraft requiring to enter it need to obtain an Air Traffic Control (ATC) service from nominated Military ATC Units. On 20 March 2003, NORCA is to be replaced by a corridor of Class A controlled airspace. This will afford extra protection, and further measures to enhance air safety may be introduced next year.

The MOD and CAA have also: mandated the use of a secondary radar transponder on military aircraft; instructed military pilots to make an information call to Newcastle when operating near the CTZ; improved the arrangements during military exercises near Newcastle; and arranged better co-ordination between RAF Spadeadam and Newcastle ATC.