Who is involved?
The modernisation of airspace around UK airports involves numerous different stakeholders working together to achieve it.
There are currently 20 UK airports and NATS involved in the delivery of the national programme of airspace change that ACOG is coordinating.
Airports are responsible for designing the arrival and departure routes that support their operations from the ground to around 7000ft and the surrounding controlled airspace. They also take responsibility for the way the airspace is used and developed in this lower portion of airspace.
NATS is responsible for the controlled airspace, the route network and for the way the airspace is used and developed above 7000ft. It is also responsible for redesigning airspace above 7000ft that connects the airports’ routes with the en route network.
The Department for Transport (DfT) and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) are Co-Sponsors of the Airspace Modernisation Strategy (AMS). This includes oversight for the airspace change programme (referred to in the AMS as Terminal Airspace Redesign). The CAA is also responsible for providing guidance on, and approval of, airspace changes
Masterplan ACP clusters
The airspace change proposals that make up the Masterplan are split into four clusters. Each cluster is based on the interdependencies between the individual proposals, and analysis conducted by NATS into areas of the existing airspace where inefficiencies and delays are expected to worsen as traffic levels grow.
By organising airports into clusters it means that the simpler airspace changes can be deployed sooner.
The map below illustrates the airport-sponsored ACPs in each cluster, located in:
- the west of the UK, known as the West Terminal Airspace;
- the north of England, known as the Manchester Terminal Manoeuvring Area (MTMA);
- the south of Scotland, known as the Scottish Terminal Manoeuvring Area (ScTMA); and
- the southeast of England, known as the London Terminal Manoeuvring Area (LTMA).
Why some airports are not involved
Only ACPs that are considered strategically important to achieving the airspace modernisation objectives are included in each cluster. These ACPs were identified in the Iteration 2 of the Airspace Change Masterplan.
Some larger airports, like Birmingham, Newcastle International, Aberdeen and Inverness are not currently included in the masterplan because modernising the routes that serve their operations is not expected to make a significant national or regional contribution to achieving the airspace modernisation vision. These airports, and others (for example, Belfast International, Belfast City, Norwich and Newquay) do not form part of a coordinated overall airspace design and they do not share interdependencies with the existing masterplan ACPs.