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Changes to the Rules Governing the Highlands Restricted Area

The Highlands Restricted Area (HRA), shown as R610A, R610B, R610C and R610D on airmaps, was established in 1981 to provide protection from all other aircraft for those carring out Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) Terrain Following Radar (TFR) training. TFR flying basically is where the pilot hands control of the aircraft to its onboard equipment whilst still low flying - and IMC TFR is where he can't see where he is going either!

The map shows (not available on the website yet) the area affected as some 4000 square miles north of the Great Glen that links Inverness and Fort William. Until now the HRA was totally closed to us between 3 p.m. and 11 p.m., Monday to Thursday every week (except "scottish bank holidays" as defined in the UK Air Pilot).

Due to the current lower usage levels the Ministry of Defence has instituted a system whereby civil pilots can gain access as long as no IMC TFR sorties are booked into the area. To get this access:

1. Telephone Freephone 0800 515544 (the same one as for giving mid-week flying notifications to the military),

2. Give brief details of your intended flight and request access to the HRA,

3. If there are no IMC TFR sorties booked into the area you will be given permission to fly within the HRA for a period of 3 1/2 hours from your telephone call.


1. If you are granted permission to fly in the HRA there will robably be other miltary aircraft also flying in the HRA, and

2. The time period of the permission starts from your telephone call, e.g. if you call at midday you will only gain the 1/2 hour from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and if you call any earlier than 11:30 a.m. the HRA will still be closed to you for that day unless you call again later.

Give me a call if you have any questions about this. Tom Hardie, 01309 673912


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