This is a huge opportunity which needs everyone to work together

NATS is responsible for managing controlled airspace across the UK working closely with the airports to make sure that their low-level routes knit seamlessly into the higher level network, above 9,000ft, where NATS will be proposing changes as part of this programme.

Airports are responsible for their arrival and departure routes in the airspace around them up to about 7,000ft. As part of the modernisation of those arrival and departure routes, airports are required to consult with people living near to the airport on their thoughts about how best to modernise local airspace. 

The Airport Operators Association (AOA) is the trade association for UK airports and, as part of this airspace modernisation programme, helps co-ordinate airports’ communications and supports strategic oversight of the programme.

At the heart of the modernisation strategy are those affected by airspace, from communities to airspace users, such as airlines and their passengers as well as general aviation. Our Future Skies therefore works closely with our airline partners, represented by Airlines UK.


The overall delivery of airspace modernisation is co-sponsored by the Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority and information on their guidance can be read on the gov.uk website. They are not part of Our Future Skies.

Government is committed to making sure the UK maintains its position as a leader in global aviation. Airspace modernisation is a key element of the Government’s Aviation Strategy.

As the industry regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority is responsible for deciding whether or not proposed airspace changes can go ahead. It provides detailed guidance in a document called CAP1616 which anybody proposing an airspace change must comply with.