Aeronautical Information Services
An essential part of pre-flight planning and preparation is to be fully conversant with the aeronautical information pertaining to your flight. The UK Aeronautical Information Service (UK AIS) is operated by NATS Limited. AIS is one of the services specified under the Air Traffic Services Licence granted to NATS by the Secretary of State and regulated by the UK CAA. The UK AIS is responsible for the collection and dissemination of information/data necessary for the safety, regularity and efficiency of air navigation throughout the entire territory and airspace of the UK, UK Crown Dependencies (the Isle of Man and the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey) and the airspace over the high seas under the jurisdiction of the UK for Air Traffic Control purpose and it is published in the Integrated Aeronautical Information Package which comprises:
- The Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) comprises 3 sections and is subject to an Amendment service
- Part 1 – General (GEN)
- Part 2 – En-route (ENR)
- Part 3 – Aerodromes (AD)
- AIP Supplements (SUP) will normally contain temporary changes of long duration (three months or longer) and information of short duration containing extensive text or graphics which affect one or more parts of the AIP. Information must be of operational significance (e.g. major air exercises or aerodrome work programmes) that preclude ‘complete’ promulgation by NOTAM.
- Aeronautical Information Circulars (AIC), as a general rule, refer to subjects of an administrative rather than of an operational nature. They are, however, also used to publish advance warnings of impending operational changes and to add explanations or emphasis on matters of safety or operational significance. They fall into 5 categories:
- White – Administrative matters (e.g. licence examination dates, services and publications).
- Yellow – Operational matters (including ATS facilities and requirements).
- Pink – Safety related matters.
- Mauve – UK Airspace Restrictions imposed under the Restriction of Flying Regulations.
- Green – Maps and Charts.
- NOTAM will be issued to notify of all operationally significant information not covered by AIP Amendment or AIP Supplement.
- Pre-Flight Information Bulletins (PIB). NOTAM are available on the UK AIS website www.nats.aero/ais in the form of Pre-flight Information Bulletins (PIB). Users are required to register on the website in order to obtain a briefing. The UK AIS website offers several methods by which users can obtain a PIB. Both UK and International NOTAM are available whereby the user inputs selectable parameters in order to obtain Narrow Route/Route/Aerodrome and Area briefings. These are covered in a later section.