UK CAA Met Balloon NOTAMS

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David Akerman

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Jul 26, 2022, 8:45:08 AMJul 26
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I've noticed that the balloon NOTAMs now seem to have just a 0.5NM radius now.  This was the case for the Bristol launch a couple of weekends ago, which I assumed was something to do with it being launched in a city, but I've just had one issued for a distinctly rural location with the same radius: "MET BALLOON RELEASE/S WI 0.5NM RADIUS"

They used to be 5 or 10NM, depending on ... well I don't know what that depended on, but it did seem to vary from site to site.

What have others seen?  I wonder if this is a deliberate decision or just something that's changed due to a change of staff.

Dave

John Laidler

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Jul 26, 2022, 9:37:55 AMJul 26
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Dave,

I haven't heard back from them yet. I only submitted the application last week but I'll check if/when I get a response.

John 

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David Akerman

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Jul 26, 2022, 9:44:49 AMJul 26
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If that's a normal application for permission + NOTAM then it's subject to the usual 28 days notice.  The last one of those that I had something to do with, the permission came in with about a week to go, and on the permission sheet it said to apply separately for a NOTAM with 72 hours notice.  Whether that's another new thing, or was because the request was for 2 days and they wanted to know which day it would be for the NOTAM, I don't know.

As with Steve and some others, I have a yearly permission and I just do the NOTAM per flight.

I usually check for NOTAMS on notaminfo.com

Dave

Steve

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Jul 26, 2022, 10:47:53 AMJul 26
to UKHAS

One Imagines that balloon NOTAMS are mostly for the benefit of light aircraft pilots.  Most of the time these guys seem to fly around at less than 3000ft, assuming 5m/sec balloon ascent rate that would mean we clear light aircraft airspace in about 3 minutes.

Assuming 15mph winds that's about 0.75 miles (0.65NM) horizontally from launch.

So 0.5NM radius is not completely out of whack for the vast majority of launches. Of course windier launches and slower ascent rates are possible.

    Steve

David Akerman

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Jul 26, 2022, 10:57:49 AMJul 26
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Yes, that all makes sense.  I've had conversations with pilots along the lines of whether the balloon will stay within the NOTAM'd radius, and I've explained that by the time it is outside the balloon will be too high for them to worry about.

Dave

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