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UK Topographical air chart


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I bought a UK topographical air chart but I don't know how to read it properly. Are there are any online resources that show this? My Google search didn't come up with much, but I did find this http://www.nats-uk.ead-it.com/aip/vfrcharts/downloads/QUARTER_LEGEND_A4.pdf

I have SHEET 8 ENGLAND SOUTH Edition 24 (2020) 1:250,000

For example I can see a region that says this in purple with a dashed line around it: LUTON LTA D 4500'-5500' 129.550 (0013).

  1. Does this mean Class D airspace between 4500-5500 feet?
  2. Can I fly my paramotor under 4500'? 
  3. What does 129.550 mean?
  4. What does 0013 mean?
  5. Some lines are dashed and some are solid. What's the difference?
  6. I'm guessing CTR D SFC-3500' would mean class D airspace from surface to 3500 feet? What does CTR mean?
  7. There are some heavy solid black lines on the map with dashes crossed through them. What are they? There are also dashed black lines.

I guide book or online tutorial on reading these maps would be great if anyone has a link.


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The quarter mil legend you downloaded will give you the information you need to read the chart. However I suggest you also read up on the differences between the types of airspace. There are many good books available, not least the BHPA's Pilot Handbook, which will help you understand airlaw and airspace.

But briefly, Zones are controlled, from ground to specified altitude. Areas are controlled, from specified altitude to altitude.

CTR - Control Zone, from ground to specified altitude. CTA - Control Area, from specified altitude to altitude.  TMA - Terminal Manoeuvring Area

If lines appear solid, it could be over printing of several dashed lines, ie several CTAs overlapping, aside from the Class A solid line. Radio frequencies are shown as 6 digit numbers.

Hope this helps.

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