Local Airspace

Local airspace

All our sites are situated below controlled airspace and are between one of the busiest airports in Europe, Manchester International, and the new Sheffield regional airport (RHADS). It is absolutely vital that all members always understand and comply with airspace rules, whether ridge soaring or during an XC flight. Serious violations of airlaw threaten not only our local flying freedoms but the entire future of free flying in the UK! Please make sure that your airspace maps are kept up to date, that you are aware of any changes, and have checked for NOTAMs.

Check for NOTAM’s here or on the Flybubble forecast page.

If you plan to fly XC in a northeast to easterly direction please ensure you attend an RHADS briefing session so you do not infringe airspace and also to enable your flight to be entered in the XC League.

The DSC and Robin Hood Doncaster Sheffield Airport (RHADS) have an agreement which allows nominated members of the club to request the opening of two “corridors”, which if granted allows suitably briefed XC pilots to enter certain sections of normally restricted airspace.

Current corridor status can be seen here.

To get text and email notifications when the corridor is opened or closed, please email the airspace liaison officer or the webmaster. To find out more about airspace briefings and opening the corridors, contact the airspace liaison officer or the chief coach.

The Airspace Maps relevant to the club’s sites are:

1:500000 ( ‘half million’) Aeronautical Chart Sheet, Northern England and Northern Ireland and Southern England and Wales

1:250000 (‘quarter million’) Topographical Air Chart 11, North Midlands and Yorkshire.


Please note that the map above is approximate and must not be used for navigation!

Flight Levels

Airspace starting from 6000′ AMSL upwards begins at specified flight levels. These limits move up and down with changing air pressure, i.e. on a high pressure day FL60 may be close to 6500ft. amsl. In low pressure the flight levels descend and a minimum altitude (amsl) is specified on the chart. The use of an altimeter with standard pressure setting (QNE or 1013Mb ) is vital for safe operation.

Airspace with a starting height below 6000′ AMSL will be designated as a fixed height AMSL sometimes shown as ALT, and in this case the altimeter should be set to the appropriate QNH.

Avoidance Area

There is a Military Low Flying Avoidance Area of 1nm. radius and height (QFE) 1000ft. above ground level which is centred on grid reference SK 121 839, and covers Mam Tor, Lords Seat, Rushup Edge, and Treak Cliff as far east as the Cavern, as well as the bottom landing fields for Rushup, Mam Tor NW, and Lords Seat. Military aircraft will try to avoid overflying this area when planning sorties, but be aware that that it is likely that military and civil aircraft will still be encountered and that ‘see and be seen’ is the basis for collision avoidance.

Airspace for XC flying

The map reproduced here serves to illustrate how complex the surrounding airspace is. Cross country flights must never be attempted without reference to the relevant air charts and a thorough understanding of airlaw. Please contact experienced club members for advice before attempting to navigate XC.

It is, of course, the responsibility of the pilot to be aware of all the controlled or restricted airspace on or close to his intended track, and the rules relating to entry, crossing, or otherwise, in such areas You are again reminded that failure to comply with civil and military airspace rules, or to observe and obey air law, in a legal and professional manner could have serious national consequences for our sport. Some areas fairly close to the Peak District are listed below, but this list may not include all of them, and there may be changes.

TO THE NORTH – Several MATZ, part of Manchester TMA/CTA, Leeds-Bradford SRA & SRZ, Umpteen MATZ in the Vale of York, and many more.

TO THE EAST: Robin Hood Sheffield and Doncaster Airport (RHADS), which incorporates Netherthorpe and Gamston ATZs, several other MATZ and ATZ, the Scampton restricted area (R313), in the Lincolnshire AIAA, plus a scattering of Weapons Range Danger Areas along the coast.

TO THE SOUTH: Daventry CTA, East Midlands SRA and CTR/SRZ, Birmingham SRA and CTR/SRZ, and another load of MATZ. TO THE WEST: Daventry CTA, Manchester TMA and CTR.

RHADS Summary

A summary of the RHADS corridors can be downloaded as a PDF here