• Airspace Change Proposals Post-Implementation Reviews (PIRs) impacted by COVID 19 - Update February 2021

    This page was amended on 16/02/21 

    A Post-implementation review is conducted at Stage 7 of the Airspace Change process for CAP 1616 and CAP 725 airspace change proposals. The purpose of the PIR is to enable the CAA to consider whether the anticipated impact and benefits of the change have been delivered. To inform this review, which usually takes place 12 months after the change has been implemented, the change sponsor is required to commence the collection of data on the impacts of the change as soon as the change is implemented and to collect a year of data. The data is used to enable a comparison to be made between pre and post implementation operations. A year of data is required to provide data on all operating conditions which change over the seasons. Indicative PIR data requirements are listed in CAP 1616 and include impact on airspace users, those on the ground and any environmental impacts.

    The current pandemic has seen a dramatic reduction in aviation activities. This global reduction in aircraft movements means that airspace use since March 2020 is unrepresentative of previous years’ Data collection during this period and would in our view, be unlikely to provide a robust data set against which to conduct that PIR. 
    In August 2020,  we  published an update to this page  on PIR Data collection which took into account the global reduction in aircraft movements, this position was reviewed and updated in November 2020. This laid out the criteria against which PIR data collection would be suspended. 

    The effects of the pandemic and associated restrictions ,both in the UK and abroad, continue to impact the anticipated recovery timescale for aviation. The CAA recognises that industry resources which may be reduced from previous  levels, will need to be focussed to ensure that recovery of businesses are both safely and effectively managed. Our own  resources will also need to be appropriately focussed on those we regulate and in the areas of recovery. The CAA has therefore decided to determine the periods of PIR Data collection as follows:

    1. Any PIR data collected by a change sponsor and any analysis by the sponsor which has been completed by 27 February 2020, can be used to as part of a PIR dataset necessary to complete the PIR review in accordance with CAP 1616 or CAP 725 as appropriate.
    2. Where an ACP has been implemented and more than 9 months PIR data collection has been achieved up to 27 February 2020, the CAA may decide it has sufficient data to conduct the PIR review. Where a change sponsor considers that they have such data, they should contact the CAA Airspace Regulation team to determine if this data is sufficient for the PIR review to take place.
    3. For any ACP which has been implemented on or after 27 February 2020 PIR data collection and analysis should commence  on 1 October 2021  for a 12 month data collection period (i.e. until 30 September 2022).. Any data collected between 1 March 2020 and 30 September 2021 cannot be used as part of a PIR data set.

    The CAA does not intend to extend the suspension for the commencement of PIR Data collection beyond 1 October 2021 as detailed above. If aviation has not recovered sufficiently by this time to enable meaningful collection of PIR Data, the CAA may consider alternative matrix for PIR data collection and this page will be updated accordingly.

    This statement does not apply to the PIR of CAA Decision CAP 1678 – Farnborough Airspace change (see separate information on the Farnborough Airspace change webpage) but applies to all other PIRs.

    All future Post Implementation Reviews following the CAP725 process will be conducted in accordance with the process requirements of CAP1616.  However, when assessing the expected impacts against the actual impacts we will use the methodology applied at the time of the original decision (either UK Air Navigation Guidance 2014 or 2017).Any Change sponsors with queries regarding the above should contact the CAA at Airspace.Policy@caa.co.uk.

    Post implementation reviews

    Post implementation reviews provide a rigorous assessment by us, as the independent regulator, of whether the anticipated impacts and benefits, set out in the original airspace change proposal and decision, have been delivered and if not to ascertain why and to determine the most appropriate course of action.

    The review can be an iterative process and the nature of each review will be determined by the scale and impact of the airspace change itself. The main stages are shown below.

  • 1. We determine the scope and objectives of the review after discussion with the organisation that requested the change. 

    This may include: 

    • A review of what was to be achieved by the change 
    • Air traffic control/management requirements (safety, delay, capacity efficiencies) 
    • Military air traffic control/management requirements (if applicable) 
    • Environmental conclusions 
    • Effectiveness of the change 
    • Other benefits or impacts 
    • Operational impact (feedback gathered from all affected aviation stakeholders) 
    • A post implementation safety analysis. 

    2. We identify and confirm the data required from the organisation that requested the change. 
    3. We may, during our assessment phase, revise the scope and objectives of the review. 
    4. We may request further information from the organisation that requested the change at any time prior to publication of the report. 

    1. Organisation gathers data and operational feedback and information from stakeholders. 
    2. Organisation submits data to us. 
    1. We assess the completeness and adequacy of the data submitted. 
    2. Where applicable we independently gather aviation stakeholder feedback.
    3. Where applicable we log and analyse written feedback from people and organisations other than airlines, other aircraft operators, airport operators and air navigation service providers.
    4. We assess the operational and environmental impact of the change against the expected impact.
    5. We consider and determine any appropriate consequential action. 
    1. The organisation that requested the change can provide comments.
    2. The report is published on our website.