All concerns about military low flying are taken seriously. All flying complaints are looked at individually and examined in detail, commensurate with the amount of information provided. The more information you can provide when you make your complaint, the easier it is for us to investigate the circumstances.
How To Make A Complaint
All flying complaints within the local (RAF Brize Norton) area, referred to as the Control Zone (CTR), are dealt with by the Station. Unfortunately we are unable to action complaints arising from outside this area (please see below). The Low Flying Complaints line is available from 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday on 01993 895714. Should there be no-one available to take your call at the time, or if your call is outside these hours, please use the answer-phone facility to leave us a message and we will respond as soon as possible. Written complaints should be addressed to:
RAF Brize Norton
- All flying complaints outside this local area are dealt with by the MOD Low Flying Complaints team. The team are available 24 hours a day on 0207 218 6020 or 0845 600 7580.
Alternatively, please follow this link to the MOD Low Flying complaints website, and follow the procedures described on the site.
Details We Need
In order to fully investigate any low flying complaint there are a number of details that are required: your name, the address/postcode of the incident location, a contact telephone number, the time of the incident, and the nature of the complaint. If you are familiar with military aircraft then the type of aircraft would also be of assistance but this is not essential, although if you can advise if it was a helicopter or fixed wing aircraft that will obviously assist greatly in investigations.
Low Flying Today
Low flying remains an essential skill for military aircrew. UK forces have deployed repeatedly to potential trouble spots around the world, usually with little or no warning. They have to undertake a variety of roles including reconnaissance, fast-jet or helicopter operations, search and rescue, transporting troops and the delivery of humanitarian aid to remote locations. Whatever missions we ask our Armed Forces to undertake, the aircrew must be able to fulfil the task as effectively as possible, often without time for "work-up" training. Current Operations around the world see aircrew of both fixed and rotary wing aircraft undertaking operations at low level. They are only able to do this through specialist training gained through the use of the UK Low Flying System.
The UK Military Low Flying System covers the open airspace of the whole of the UK and surrounding overseas areas from the surface to 2,000 feet above the ground or mean sea level.
Military fixed wing aircraft are judged to be low flying when they are less than 2000 feet minimum separation distance from the ground. Light propeller driven aircraft and helicopters are judged to be low flying below 500 feet minimum separation distance from the ground.
(Minimum separation distance is defined as the distance that must be maintained between any part of an aircraft in flight and the ground, water or any object. It does not apply to separation between aircraft in the same formation).
Low Flying: The Facts
- Low flying is an essential skill that provides aircrew with one of the best chances of survival.
- Low flying is a highly demanding skill which can only be maintained through continuous and realistic training.
- Low flying is conducted with the safety of people on the ground, our aircrew, and other airspace users as the overriding concern.
- Low flying is rigorously controlled and continuously monitored.
- Low flying has reduced since 1988 - the total number of sorties reduced by a third and those by jets reduced by more than half .