The minimum separation criteria is 100ft which has caused 3 fatal accidents and numerous dangerous incidents when aircraft have flow over equestrian yards & riders. We aim to raise this minimum to 200ft to stop cruelty to animals and further serious accidents with riders, handler and horses. http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/Altitude/
Thank you for taking the time to register your concerns about the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) low level flying policy via the e-petition system.
The Government appreciate that this is an emotive issue; however the ability to train our flight crews in low level flying is critical to the safety of our flight crews. On operations, such as in Afghanistan, helicopters in particular may operate routinely at or below 50 ft above ground level in order to minimise the risks to our people. The low level operating environment is both complex and hazardous and will present a greater risk to crews on operations if they are not appropriately trained.
The policy governing low flying training for military aircraft, known as the UK Low Flying System, divides the UK into Low Flying Areas. Within these areas fixed wing aircraft (such as fast jets) are authorised to operate down to levels of 250ft.
The normal minimum height for helicopters when on low flying exercises is 100ft above ground level. Low flying may be authorised to 50 ft to meet specific operational training requirements, however, authorising officers make every effort to minimise this activity. Increasing the minimum low flying height for helicopters to 200 ft would seriously compromise the ability of flight crews to gain a realistic appreciation of the hazardous environment they will encounter on operations. And the MOD judges therefore that the operational imperative to undertake such training outweighs the potential downsides of such activities.
Ref, Collateral War Damage – Interference of UK in other countries ‘affairs’. Re, British / Westminster – Government Foreign Policy.