CAA Approves New Controlled Airspace Near London Luton Airport

Date: 08 March 2006

The establishment of new controlled airspace to the northwest of London Luton Airport has been approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and will take effect on 11 May 2006.

Two additional Class D control areas (CTAs) will permit a northerly approach to the easterly runway at London Luton for aircraft arriving via the LOREL terminal hold. The present arrangements require arriving and departing aircraft to operate within the same airspace to the southwest of the airport. The changes will reduce the complexity and interaction of arriving and departing flights and provide significant environmental benefits to people living in the area.

The sponsor of the airspace change, London Luton Airport Operations Limited (LLAOL), and the airport’s air traffic services provider, National Air Traffic Services (NATS), agree the new control areas will enhance safety and improve airspace efficiency. There is no connection between these changes and London Luton Airport’s long term plans for expansion.

In reaching its decision on the airspace change proposal, the CAA has confirmed that London Luton Airport carried out the necessary consultation with the representative groups, bodies and agencies that will be affected by the establishment of the new airspace.

Environmental gains will be achieved by allowing the use of Continuous Descent Approach (CDA) techniques to the easterly runway and by routeing arriving traffic from LOREL away from the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the towns of Luton and Dunstable.

In considering the approval, the CAA has stipulated that NATS should not routinely direct arriving traffic for the easterly runway at Luton over the town of Leighton Buzzard, unless tactically unavoidable.

Existing Letters of Agreement between NATS and the gliding clubs at Dunstable and Halton have been modified to take into account the revised airspace arrangements and have been agreed with the assistance of the British Gliding Association (BGA). Additionally, NATS will continue its policy of providing access to Class D airspace, when it is applicable, for those aircraft requiring to transit through, or operate within, the area.

Advance details of the changes will be published in Aeronautical Information Circular 47/2006 (Yellow 203) dated 30 March 2006.

Pilots should note that the 1:500,000 Aeronautical Chart 'Southern England' and 1:250,000 Aeronautical Chart ‘England South' (Sheet 8) will not be updated to incorporate these changes until February 2007 at the earliest.

A map showing the new London Luton Airport Control Areas is available here: Luton Control Zone and Control Area

For further press information contact the CAA Press Office on: 020 7453 6026.

Notes to Editors

The Civil Aviation Authority’s Directorate of Airspace Policy is responsible for the planning and regulation of all UK airspace including the navigation and communications infrastructure to support safe and efficient operations. In accordance with its Statutory functions, the CAA is responsible for dealing with applications by sponsors for an airspace change. A change to the use or classification of airspace in the UK can take many forms but can only be made after consultation and where it is clear that airspace management considerations and the overriding need for safety allow for no practical alternative, or where an overall environmental benefit will accrue. More information on the Airspace Change Process (ACP) and DAP’s wider functions are set out in DAP’s Airspace Charter (CAP 724) which is available on the CAA’s website at www.caa.co.uk/dap.