The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has introduced a new system to simplify the process of creating airspace notifications for construction activities such as those using cranes.

The presence of a single crane or number of cranes has the potential to affect aviation activities, as it did in Vauxhall, London, when a helicopter crashed in 2013.

The new Airspace Co-ordination Obstacle Management Service (ACOMS) portal helps users notify the regulator of cranes and obstacles, so that they can be reviewed and made available through aeronautical information for people planning flights, drone activity, and other aerial movements.

Risk of cranes

Jon Round, head of airspace, aerodromes and air traffic management at the UK CAA, said: “We are confident that our new portal will make it quicker and easier for construction companies to notify us of high cranes and obstacles.

“Doing so helps improve safety for everybody and helps airspace users quickly identify and assess any potential risks.”

Crane operators must notify the UK Civil Aviation Authority when erecting a crane over 10m tall within 6km of an aerodrome, unless it is surrounded by taller structures or trees.

They must also make the regulator aware if the crane or obstacle is 100m above ground level or higher, if it is over 6km away from an aerodrome.

ACOMS is available to the construction industry now and further developments to the portal are being made to roll out its use to additional airspace users, which will follow later this year.
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