CANP Flight Planning
(Using the Civil Aircraft Notification Procedure to alert Military pilots to your presence when flying midweek)
We are all required by law to ensure that our flights can be made safely. This means that even if you only plan some ridge-soaring at your local site, you should be aware of any local airspace restrictions and you should take the steps outlined below. If you plan to fly cross-country then your flight planning will obviously need to include checking a great swathe of the country for possible restrictions.
Whenever you fly you should call Freefone 0500 354802 to check on Royal flights, Red Arrows displays and other Temporary Restricted Airspace (RA[T]).
You should also check the NOTAMs for any other activities that may affect your flight. You can subscribe to a NOTAM service or to a twice-weekly Temporary Navigational Warning information bulletins (TNWs) postal service; or you can use the Web to access all the NOTAMs for that day at www.ais.org.uk (there's no need to register, just enter the username: 'BHPAuser' and password 'password'). If you use the postal service, you should be aware that details may have changed after the bulletins were printed and posted.
Additionally, if you are flying midweek (non-English Bank Holiday) you should let the military pilots know. There are two linked systems for this.
Five hundred of the busiest flying sites have allocated Site Codes. (The codes for your club's sites will be in your club site guide.) On these sites it is possible to activate a temporary avoidance zone around the notified site (1nm diameter/1000ft agl) by contacting the Low Flying Booking Cell by 20:00 the day before. (Later submissions will still be passed on to military pilots, but as a warning rather than creating a temporary avoidance zone.)
For all other sites the standard CANP (Civil Aircraft Notification Procedure) should be used if five or more gliders are likely to be operating. This does not establish an avoidance area but it does ensure that military pilots will be alerted to your presence. Because it can take up to four hours to get the information out to all the military pilots before they take off, the notification procedure should be started as soon as possible - ideally the evening before.
In both cases take the following steps:
- Activity. Hang/paragliding (If the site is one of those with a site code then state 'Hang/paragliding Avoidance Area' here.)
- Location: Site grid reference (2 letter 6 figure) and name. (If the site is one of those with a site code then state that first.)
- Area of operation. (With the notification system this is a maximum of 2nm radius. With the avoidance area system it is always 1nm diameter.)
- Date and time flying will start / finish.
- Expected number of gliders.
- Contact telephone number (ideally a mobile that will work on the site).
- Normal contact details (if different to (6)).
You will be given a unique Reference Number to note.
The Low Flying Booking Cell is manned Monday to Thursday 0700-2300 (Local) and Friday 0700-1700 (Local). The LFBC is now closed at weekends. If you use the fax or e-mail contact out-of-hours you will be called back by phone with the Reference Number when the office is next manned and the associated notification has been passed to military pilots. You can only assume that you have avoidance/notification status once you have received this.
If at any stage it becomes clear that the site won't be used after all you should cancel by calling 0800 515544, quoting the Reference Number and amending the details.
The personnel manning the Low Flying Booking Cell are a helpful bunch whose sole aim is keeping us all safe. If your flying situation doesn't exactly match the criteria above it is still worth giving them a call for advice - they might still be able to do something to help.