Within uncontrolled airspace in the UK, aircraft may operate free of the control of an ATC unit. However all aircraft are required at all times to conduct their activities with regard to the CAA Regulations.
When cruising in uncontrolled airspace pilots are advised to monitor continuously the emergency frequency 121.5, and 122.8
When cruising above 3000ft in Uncontrolled airspace, aircraft should comply with the quadrantal rule. The altimiter should be set to 1013mb and the cruising level is selected according to the magnetic track unless the aircraft is holding according to published procedures or is otherwise instructed by Air Traffic Control.
|Magnetic Track||Cruising Level|
|360° to 089°||FL50, 70, 90 etc. up to FL190|
|090° to 179°||FL35, 55, 75 etc. up to FL175|
|180° to 269°||FL40, 60, 80 etc. up to FL180|
|270° to 359°||FL45, 65, 85 etc. up to FL185|
Unless otherwise stated, the Transition Altitude is 3000ft. FL35 is only available when the local QNH is greater than 1013mb.
There are 4 types of ATC service available to aircraft outside of controlled airspace; Alerting Service, Basic Service, Traffic Service (Radar Only), Deconfliction Service (Radar Only).
An alerting service is provided to notify appropriate organisations regarding aircraft in need of search and rescue aid, and assist such organisations as required.
A Basic Service is a non-radar service provided, either separately or in conjunction with other services, for the purposes of supplying information useful for the safe and efficient conduct of flights. Under a Basic Service the following conditions apply:
A Traffic Service is an air traffic radar service in which the controller shall inform the pilot of the bearing, distance and, if known, the level of the conflicting traffic. No avoiding action shall be offered. The pilot is wholly responsible for maintaining separation from other aircraft whether or not the controller has passed traffic information. Under a Traffic Service the following conditions apply:
A Deconfliction Service is an air traffic radar service in which the controller shall provide advice necessary to maintain prescribed separation between aircraft participating in the advisory service, and in which he shall pass to the pilot the bearing, distance and, if known, level of conflicting non-participating traffic, together with advice on action necessary to resolve the confliction. Where time does not permit this procedure to be adopted, the controller shall pass advice on avoiding action followed by information on the conflicting traffic. Even though the service is an advisory one, controllers shall pass the 'advice' in the form of instructions. Under a Deconfliction Service the following conditions apply: