Aeronautical Information Service

Below is a document issued in March 1939, a monthly supplement to the AIP. It appears to be a forerunner of the AIS proper. Its a great browse. Some airfields are there and still around like Shoreham and Benbecula but some of this is like browsing a book on old steam era country railway branchlines. What tales might the aerodrome control officer at Grimsby have to tell, what excitement broke the calm at Horsey Toll, Sollas or Harwich water aerodrome?

March 1939 AIP Monthly Supplement

and here is the May 1938 issue – great stuff on Manchester Barton and Woodford and surprisingly Baldonnel  in the Irish Republic.

AIP Supplement May 1938

AIS Pinner

I’m grateful to Barry Davidson for the names below

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Above, International Civil and Military NOTAM office, AIS Pinner.

Left to Right: Dave MacMillan, Trevor Benwell (standing), Dave Humphries (with back to map), May Jenkins and the Senior Briefing Officer Ken Irwin (standing with phone on right).

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In the forefront that is John Latham Mgr AIS ex RAF pilot ex KK controller and next to him is Ken Irwin SBO

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Pointing at map is Briefing Officer i/c UKAIP Jack Ryan and 2nd from left is Anne Humphreys Clerical Officer.

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Above, Wally Fitch (ATCA1), Training Officer at the AIS Training Centre, Pinner teaching a student class.

The three photos below are at AIS Central Office at Pinner and show the preparation of pre-flight information Bulletins

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at far end is Eric Baxter AIS Training Officer and later Mayor of Spelthorne.

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the two photos below are the AIS Briefing Office at Gatwick

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AIS somewhere (Pinner?) 1977

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we know noting about the photo above except it was in an envelope with AIS pictures.

The AIS mobile briefing office used at air shows and fly ins etc.

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5th from left is John Latham Mgr AIS and standing next to him is John Webster Briefing Officer

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Jack Ryan sitting. John Webster standing.

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next three photos from Barry Davidson


AIS18  AIS caravan at Bristol Balloon Festival 1990s



Barry has also sent in some examples of Aeronautical Information Circulars from the 1970s. Of note to ATC perhaps is the AIC advising of the trial of the LARS.








Notam 105 1947 UK telecommuncations services

NOTAM 105_1974 guide to principles and use of SSR in the UK

examples of PIBs 1979/80


and two more AICs




6 thoughts on “Aeronautical Information Service”

  1. Searching for the original Flight Plan Form CA48/RAF F2919?

    After 10 years or so away from the Flt Ops and recreational aviation world I’ve returned to find many changes – one item is the apparent much increased use of electronic means for filing of Flight Plans (FPLs). I’ve reacquainted myself with the FPL CA48, but this time around have given some thought to the question – why does the current form have missing Field Numbers – ie 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 14 & 17 ?

    My Google searching has brought me to this page – there is a link above to a CAA AIC notified revision to the FLP, 1978/055. I’m also aware that there were minor changes made in 2012.

    So, does any historian know :-

    – When was the original CA48 introduced (and the similar RAF F2919 for that matter) ?
    – When were the field numbers listed above removed and why?
    – “CA” is presumably and abbreviation for “Civil Aviation” – so were there form numbers 1 to 47 before this and if so what were they?

    Thanks in anticipation

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’ve asked our AIS guru for help and Barry has come up with some leads for you to follow

      On this site we have

      It’s the the Civil Aviation Communications Handbook 2nd Edition 1949. Barry refers you to Chapter X, pages 121-127 that is his earliest reference so far to FPL and would have been on a MCA Form.

      Historically the CA48 was introduced in accordance with ICAO Annex 10. What the forms were previous to CA48 he has no idea (but see above). Best guess is that C48 was introduced to comply with the standardised ICAO format/form with the dissolution of PICAO and introduction of ICAO. Barry suggests that f you wish to pursue the genesis and evolution of CA48 he would direct to you to the ICAO Library/Archives in Montreal. They are very helpful. Eurocontrol also have an excellent library/archive and may be worth contacting.

      Another early ref to FPL is in this article dated 1954.

      Also see

      There is mention of filing Flight Plans during the Berlin Airlift in the Combined Airlift Task Force Operations Manual. Barry has e-mailed the Berlin Airlift Museum in Berlin to see if they have any examples and is chasing other leads/contacts.

      Through Barry we’ve also got separate comment which is “there is an assumption that the designation CA28 originates from the so referenced Air Ministry forms. 1930s era reference books mention such AM forms ranging from the CA 2s and 4s up to numbers over 100. I guess it’s possible that the MoA, BoT, DTI, CAA progression then adopted the numbers from the original series and that, therefore, the form may have begun life pretty early on.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Im not surprised to see Baldonnel in the AIS in 1939. The Irish Republic didnt exist until 1949, so therefore the UK government was to an extent still responsible for what was then called the Irish Free State.


  3. Image AIS 8 is Pauline Wilson 1980s at Pinner. Would you be interested in early Heathrow material, if so provide me with an email address. Great site


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