- The Airspace Change Organising Group (ACOG) has today launched a second public engagement exercise, this time relating to airspace around London Gatwick Airport.
- The upgrade is being taken forward ahead of the rest of the south east cluster, enabling the benefits of airspace modernisation to be realised sooner.
- The engagement exercise will run for six weeks and gives people a chance to find out more about the next steps to modernise airspace to the south of London .
- It showcases further momentum for the development of the Airspace Change Masterplan, with a similar engagement exercise in Scotland launched two weeks ago.
ACOG has today launched its second public engagement exercise in two weeks, with momentum now firmly behind the development of the Airspace Change Masterplan.
This second exercise is taking place to engage on upgrades to a region of the UK’s airspace in the South East of England, to the south of London Gatwick.
Two airspace change proposals – known collectively as London Airspace South (LAS) – are being sponsored by London Gatwick (for the changes below 7000ft) and NATS (for the changes above 7000ft), following the CAA’s airspace change process.
London Airspace South is the first phase of airspace modernisation proposed in the south east of England. The proposed LAS deployment is a relatively simple airspace change that can be deployed sooner than the rest of the south east cluster, realising benefits earlier. Future phases of deployment, which include proposals to modernise the airspace serving the other south east airports, are under development.
The south east cluster is one of four clusters of UK airports that are required to modernise their airspace below 7000ft as part of the Government’s Airspace Modernisation Strategy to deliver ‘quicker, quieter and cleaner flights’. Because of the number of airports involved and the complexities of the programme, ACOG’s role is to coordinate these changes into a single coordinated implementation plan – or Masterplan – out to 2040.
The purpose of ACOG’s engagement exercise is to explain in general terms the approach to coordinating the airspace change proposals required to deliver airspace modernisation in the London Airspace South portion of the Masterplan, and to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to provide feedback on the approach. It comes ahead of the formal consultations, planned early next year by London Gatwick and NATS, on the detailed design of their airspace change proposals.
An upgrade to the UK’s airspace, which has remained largely unchanged since the 1950s, will allow the UK to continue to take advantage of the jobs, tourism spend, travel, and cargo benefits that aviation provides, while future growth will be enabled should it be needed. It will also mean fewer delays for passengers, and reduced carbon emissions per flight thanks to more direct and efficient routes.
For those communities living around airports, aviation noise performance has improved significantly in recent decades, driven by the introduction of quieter aircraft, and airspace modernisation is expected to result in a further reduction in the average noise levels per flight.
Mark Swan, Head of ACOG said:
“The launch of our second public engagement exercise shows that we are getting on with the job of modernising the UK’s airspace. Momentum is firmly behind the delivery of the Airspace Change Masterplan for the UK and I am delighted that stakeholders around London Gatwick will get to see all the progress we have made. I would urge people to take the time to engage over the next six weeks.
We are today another step closer to unlocking the benefits of airspace modernisation for the UK – making air travel more efficient with fewer delays, mitigating environmental impacts including noise and emissions and helping the UK to be more connected to global markets and holiday destinations.
I look forward to continuing to help deliver this critical national infrastructure project for the UK.”
The public engagement exercise, which launched on Monday 12th February, runs for six weeks until Sunday 24th March. People can access ACOG’s online portal here where the public engagement exercise is hosted.