One of the most complex and pressing aspects of airspace modernisation is the need to redesign our flightpaths, to make the most of the capabilities of modern aircraft and new navigational technology that have been developed in recent decades.

The aviation industry is regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in the UK. When changes to airspace are proposed, sponsors of airspace change are required to follow the CAA’s Airspace Change Proposal (ACP) process. This process involves numerous stages and places great importance on engaging and consulting with a wide range of stakeholders. In most cases, the CAA is responsible for assessing proposals and deciding whether to approve or reject them.

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The Airspace Change Organising Group (ACOG) has been set up to coordinate the delivery of the airspace change programme. ACOG, in collaboration with NATS and the airports, will deliver an Airspace Masterplan that provides detailed information on the design options under development, the potential areas of overlap between ACPs and the compromises and trade-offs that may need to be made to integrate them effectively.

The Masterplan will not set out the new airspace designs, these must be developed by a sponsor of airspace change, such as NATS or an airport.

It will then be for the Department for Transport and the CAA to assess and track the delivery of this Masterplan.