Friday, 21 May 2010

Low-level French military corridors

Flying in France is great. It's relaxed and generally easy, although there are a couple of gotchas waiting to trap the unwary, or to put off the unfamiliar.

One of those gotchas is the extensive network of military low flying corridors. The airspace is restricted, so picking your way through, over or under can be daunting, but the French SIA has made it very easy by making a series of activity maps available on the website.

From the front page follow the AZBA Charts link; this will bring you to an index page that breaks the day into time chunks. Click on any of these and you'll get a PDF map with the active areas in red (the darker red denotes restricted airspace that starts at the surface).

It's a brilliant solution to a problem that has troubled and confused many. The information may have existed previously, but now it's presented in a clear, concise form that's easy to understand.

NB. The low level zones aren't active at weekends, so the link on the home page will suggest you look at NOTAM instead. There's a chart that can be downloaded here that will show you the layout of the low level network with altitudes and operating hours.

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