A light aircraft pilot has been fined for infringing Luton Airport’s controlled airspace.

Steven Micklewright of Kangs Solicitors sets out the circumstances.

The Circumstances | GA Pilots |Kangs Rules Of The Air Regulatory Team

A general aviation pilot from Warwickshire has pleaded guilty to infringing the controlled airspace of Luton Airport.

The Court heard that the pilot was flying a Cessna 172 from his home base to Duxford Airfield in Cambridgeshire.

Despite the aircraft being fitted with an on-board GPS system, the pilot chose not to use it and instead rely on the traditional method of mapping reading.

During the flight, the pilot became uncertain of his position and whilst he attempted to identify his location, he entered Luton Airport’s controlled airspace twice.

To compound his error, on the return leg, the pilot again strayed into controlled airspace without the necessary clearance.

Rules of the Air | Air Navigation Order | Kangs Aviation Law Advisors

An airspace infringement is the unauthorised entry of an aircraft into notified airspace. This includes controlled airspace, prohibited or restricted airspace, active danger areas, aerodrome traffic zones, radio mandatory zones or transponder mandatory zones.

Breaching the Air Navigation Order is a criminal offence.

The Hearing | Airspace Infringement | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors

Appearing at Luton Magistrates’ Court, the pilot pleaded guilty to four offences of infringing controlled airspace without permission and was fined £7,576 with costs in the sum of £750.

 Head of the CAA’s Investigation and Enforcement team, Alison Slater, said:

“this once again shows the consequences of a pilot being seriously underprepared for a flight…his actions impacted hundreds of passengers on board aircraft arriving and departing Luton Airport”.

The Court heard how the pilot’s actions had a significant impact on the workload of the air traffic controller who had to instruct arriving aircraft to hold their final approaches and stop departures taking off.

How Can We Help? | Kangs General Aviation Law Solicitors

Steven Micklewright of Kangs Solicitors is a qualified solicitor who also holds a full EASA Private Pilot’s Licence. This dual qualification provides him with a unique insight into the complex Air Navigation Order and Rules of the Air.

Steven has been flying for a number of years and knows first-hand the pressures for GA pilots when flying.

Steven’s dual pilot/solicitor qualification places him in an ideal position to represent pilots facing Prosecution by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Steven is able to represent GA pilots from the start of the investigation process all the way through to the Prosecution and ultimately, any appearances in the Criminal Courts.

Who Can I Contact For Help? | Kangs Aviation Offences Defence Solicitors

If you are a GA pilot who faces an investigation or prosecution by the CAA, then please feel free to contact Steven Micklewright who will be happy to provide you with some initial advice and assistance.


Steven Micklewright
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396