Over the next six years, proposals will be brought forward for consultation on changes to routes across the country.
Airports will propose changes to their arrival and departure routes below 7,000ft. NATS, which manages the higher level network, will propose changes above 9,000ft. Airports and NATS are working closely together to ensure these routes work seamlessly together.
The Government and Civil Aviation Authority support airspace modernisation as it will deliver quicker, quieter and cleaner journeys and more capacity for the benefit of those who use and are affected by UK airspace.
The Government set out a strategic rationale in 2017 for why we need to modernise our airspace, and in 2018 set out a UK Airspace Policy. It is building on this through its consultation on the UK Aviation Strategy by 2050, which contains proposals for new legislation to support airspace modernisation.
Airports across the country will consult with local communities about changes to their departure and arrival routes.
NATS will consult with a wide range of stakeholders on changes to the structure of the route network at higher levels.
The Civil Aviation Authority will assess and decide on the proposals put forward by NATS and airports. Anyone can ask the Secretary of State to call in a proposal for a decision by them, rather than the CAA. How that works is explained here.
The CAA has developed an Airspace Modernisation Strategy as the blueprint for airspace change proposals that will follow: https://airspacechange.caa.co.uk/.
However, your view is still really important in our consultations, and we need you to take part.
HOW THE CONSULTATION PROCESS WORKS
Your local airport will need to consult you about any changes that may happen as a result of the modernisation of our airspace. Local consultations will be advertised, and airports will hold regular community meetings during the consultation process. You may receive a leaflet through your door, hear about it on your local radio station or read about it in your local newspaper.
The airspace change process, designed by the Civil Aviation Authority, includes the seven stages as detailed below and in the CAA CAP 1616 Airspace Design report:
Depending on where you live, it could be that more than one airport uses the airspace above you. This means you might be asked to give your views on more than one proposal for change.
As a passenger, you won’t notice any changes to the way our planes fly. However, your views still count in the consultation.