After you have booked out with ATC, obtain the latest ATIS broadcast on 128.225, prior to your first call on the ground or tower frequency. ( You will be advised on the ATIS if ground is open – usually during the busy periods ). Most circuits will be flown north of the airfield, it’s easier for us to see you as the tower faces north, however we might alter the circuit direction due traffic reasons. Most VFR traffic will have to give way to commercial traffic whether on the ILS or making a visual approach, sorry, but running a Boeing costs a little more money than a Cessna. If this happens, expect to 'orbit' on base leg until we fit you in behind this traffic. Be very aware of wake turbulence, as there is such a large mix of traffic.
VFR Entry/Exit points
You must route towards Long Eaton (M1 J25) either east or west of the M1 (depending on the runway in use) not above 2000 feet, and advise leaving the CTR. Hucknall is active with flying training and does have an ATZ, so please remember to call them if necessary.
You must route towards Shepshed (M1 J23) either east or west of the M1 (depending on the runway in use) not above 2000 feet, and advise leaving the CTR. Caution when turning left from runway 27, not to mistake the A42 (southwest) for the M1, it’s easily done!
As you head south, you may pass Hucknall airfield, just to the east of the M1, watch out for the engine test rig situated in the middle of the runway. Hucknall is active with flying training and does have an ATZ, so please remember to call them if necessary. Further south is Trowell VRP which is a service area for the M1, at this point make sure you have zone entry clearance, this will normally be at Long Eaton (M1 J25) flying either east or west of the M1 (depending on the runway in use) not above 2000 feet, otherwise hold outside the CTR. You will see Ratcliffe Power Station to your left, and the airfield slightly to your right. Look out for the large DHL cargo facility at the western end of the airfield, it's a good airfield feature.
As you head north, passing Leicester you will approach Markfield VRP (M1 J22), at this point make sure you have zone entry clearance, this will normally be at Shepshed (M1 J23 flying either east or west of the M1 (depending on the runway in use) not above 2000 feet, otherwise hold outside the CTR. You will see Ratcliffe Power Station to your right, and the airfield slightly to your left, possibly still shielded by a ridge of high ground to your left (Charnwood Hills). Caution the two masts at Copt oak on this high ground (1038 feet amsl). Shepshed (M1 J23) is just to the west of the M1, and Loughborough directly 1.5 nm east of Shepshed.
Local Flights and Overflights
Usually these flights are given the East Midlands QNH whilst operating within the area thus ensuring that all aircraft are all on the same pressure datum. A couple of points should be noted here, a) East Midlands is not funded by the National Air traffic Service, and therefore does not provide LARS, our primary function is to keep the 'big boys' apart, and b) sometimes we will ask an aircraft to squawk, this is for our own identification purposes only, and does not mean a radar service is being provided. Because of our central position and different traffic mix, the approach controller can become extremely busy on the r/t, and even if the r/t seems quiet we have a lot of co-ordination with other Air Traffic Units, so if we don't answer your call straight away please bear with us, we will do our best to get back to you when we can.
1. If flying to the east of East Midlands north or south, routing east of Wymeswold disused airfield will insure that you remain outside the CTR, but caution the base of the CTA at 1500 feet EMA QNH. Also, keep a good lookout for helicopter traffic regularly flying in and out of East Midlands Helicopters 6.5 nm east of East Midlands airport.
2. When flying in or out of Nottingham Tollerton airfield from/to the south, please be aware of the close proximity of East Midlands Class D controlled airspace. The base of the CTA directly to the south is 1500 feet EMA QNH so please don't enter it without ATC clearance from East Midlands. When departing south from Tollerton it might be a good idea to either stay below 1500 feet, or climb away from EMA controlled airspace until you have obtained transit clearance.
3. If flying to the west of East Midlands north or south, routing west of Willington Power Station will insure that you remain outside the CTR, but caution the base of the CTA at 1500 feet, and also Derby airfield’s ATZ which is usually active, freq. 118.350. The Toyota car works at the old airfield at Burnaston is also a useful, clear ground feature to help you remain west of the CTR.
4. Give Langar parachuting airfield (Northeast) a wide berth, as they are very busy from FL140 normally, freq. 129.9.
5. Approximately 8nm southeast of East Midlands, 2.5nm southeast of Loughborough, there is a large red and yellow “Big Top” style building, this a British Gypsum works and very clear from the air.
6. When approaching from the north, there is a Severn Trent Water reservoir , with a causeway through it, just west of Long Eaton town. This feature stands out quite well, but make sure you don't fly south past it, because it lies inside the CTR. ie. South of Long Eaton junction (M1 J25).
7. Hucknall airfield is operated by Rolls Royce and has an active flying club, the Merlin Flying Club. Although there is a test rig in the middle of the concrete runway, the flying club use the 2 grass runways. It does have an ATZ so please call them if necessary, freq. 130.8.