UK regulator revises airspace change process

Changes aim to make the process easier to understand for stakeholders
Image: AdobeStock / M-SUR

The Civil Aviation Authority has revised the process used to change airspace in the UK to make it clearer and simpler to understand for air navigation service providers, airports and others affected by changes.

The revised airspace change process, known as CAP1616 will come into force on 2 January 2024. The review process started in 2021.

The way the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) makes airspace decisions is not changing, with the improvements focusing on simplification, clarification, and proportionality of how the requirements of the process are applied to individual airspace change proposals depending on their size, scale and impact.

The regulator’s updated guidance also aims to make the airspace change process easier to follow and sets out the requirements of the stages and gateways needed to progress an airspace change proposal.

The review drew on insights received from those impacted by airspace change, including airspace change sponsors, commercial aircraft operators, the general aviation community, community groups, environmental groups, and the Ministry of Defence.

Jon Round, head of airspace, aerodromes and air traffic management at the CAA, said, “Airspace change affects many communities across the country, so it is important that the process for proposing changes is clear, simple and proportionate in how it is applied.

“Our review has allowed us to reflect on feedback and deliver a package of improvements, so that those proposing airspace changes can more easily understand what they need to do to meet the requirements of the process.”

Any airspace change must be consistent with the Airspace Modernisation Strategy, the CAA added.