We have a decision-making role in respect of three categories of change in airspace design: permanent changes to notified (published) airspace design; temporary changes to notified airspace design; and airspace trials.
Permanent changes to notified airspace design follow the seven stage process outlined in our guidance document CAP 1616 - Airspace Design: Guidance on the regulatory process for changing airspace design including community engagement. These changes are divided into Levels, which are explained on this page.
A temporary change to notified airspace design usually concerns a period of less than 90 days, except in extraordinary circumstances. Such changes complete stages 1, 3, 4 and 5 of the airspace change process outlined in CAP 1616 prior to implementation. During operation of the temporary change, the CAA receives information about engagement, monitoring and feedback from the change sponsor. Further information is available on pages 88-89 of CAP 1616.
An airspace trial is a trial of airspace design or air traffic control operational procedures which may or may not lead to a proposal for a permanent change. Airspace trials complete stage 1 of the airspace change process outlined in CAP 1616 prior to implementation. During operation of the trial, the CAA receives information about engagement, monitoring and feedback from the trial sponsor. Further information is available on pages 90-92 of CAP 1616.
This category comprises changes to air traffic control operational procedures by an air navigation service provider, which causes a permanent and planned redistribution of air traffic without changing the design of notified airspace. We currently have no decision-making role in this category, but will introduce a suitable process once the Government has formulated its policy in this area.
These changes can result from changes in airline or airport operations due to weather, commercial decisions (such as routes flown or fleet deployment) or changing traffic volumes. They involve noticeable shifts in the distribution of flights or aircraft types being flown over a period of time. We have no direct regulatory role for such changes, but page 96 of CAP 1616 provides best practice guidance on transparency to be followed by change sponsors.
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