The CAA is directed by Parliament to manage UK airspace in the Transport Act 2000 and the Civil Aviation (Air Navigation) Directions issued by the Department for Transport. Broadly speaking the airspace must be managed:
- As efficiently and expeditiously as possible consistent with safety.
- To satisfy the requirements of all airspace users taking account of wider airspace interests.
- In accordance with the Government Guidance on Environmental Objectives.
- To facilitate the joint and integrated provision of Air Traffic Services by Civil and Military organisations.
- To take account of national security and international obligations.
The Airspace Charter has been produced by the CAA to assist UK airspace users and Air Traffic Control (ATC) service providers. It defines the authorities, responsibilities and principles by which the CAA's Safety and Airspace Regulation Group (SARG) conducts the planning and sets the policy for the use of airspace under the UK authority. To ensure effective engagement with all airspace users SARG conducts negotiation and consultation principally through the National Air Traffic Management Advisory Committee (NATMAC) The SARG mission is to enable safe, efficient and sustainable use of airspace and its supporting infrastructure.