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UK-EU Transition

References to EU regulation or EU websites in our guidance will not be an accurate description of your obligations or rights under UK law.

If a request is made for the Secretary of State to call-in an airspace change proposal, the Secretary of State may determine that the proposal should be decided by them rather than the CAA.

The Secretary of State must be satisfied that any one of four call-in criteria apply. These criteria are that the proposed change:

  • is of strategic national importance or,
  • could have a significant impact (positive or negative) on economic growth of the United Kingdom, or
  • could both lead to a change in noise distribution resulting in a 10,000 net increase in the number of people subjected to a noise level of at least 54 dB LAeq 16hr and have an identified adverse impact on health and quality of life, or
  • could lead to any volume of airspace classified as Class G being reclassified as Class A, C, D or E.

When the CAA has received a call-in request, we will provide an assessment to the Secretary of State as to whether the proposal meets one or more of these call-in criteria. The Secretary of State has provided the CAA with guidance on the meaning of these criteria. Anyone can ask the Secretary of State to call-in a proposal, but even if an airspace change proposal meets the criteria, there is no obligation on the Secretary of State to agree to call-in the proposal.

However, the Secretary of State may not determine that the proposal will be decided by them if the proposed change is:

  • submitted by, or on behalf of, the Ministry of Defence
  • directly related to a planning decision which had already been determined by the Secretary of State, or
  • directly related to a planning decision by another planning authority which involved detailed consideration of changes to flight paths in UK airspace.

Submitting a call-in request

Where an airspace change is being considered under the previous CAP 725 process

A call-in request should be submitted in writing within four weeks of the CAA indicating on its website the date that the Sponsor’s formal airspace change proposal has been received by the CAA by emailing: airspace.policy@caa.co.uk

Where an airspace change is being considered under the current CAP 1616 process

A call-in request should be submitted via the airspace change portal within four weeks of the CAA indicating on the portal the date that the Sponsor’s formal airspace change proposal has been received by the CAA.

In either case, requests made outside of that four-week window will not be considered.

In response to the request, the above criteria are assessed to determine whether the proposal is eligible to be called-in. The Secretary of State decides whether the proposal is eligible to be called-in and whether it will be called in, and aims to do so within eight weeks of the proposal being submitted.

Outcomes of past call-in requests

Sponsor ACP title ACP reference number and link to webpage/submitted proposal Airspace change process followed (CAP 725 / CAP 1616) Date call in window closed Link to CAA Assessment Link to/date of outcome
Birmingham Airport Runway 33 Standard Instrument Departures Airspace Change Proposal ACP-2016-15 CAP 725 20 November 2018 CAP1735

Not called in by the Sectary of State

19 December 2018

Edinburgh Airport Arrivals and departures ACP-2015-02 CAP 725 17 October 2018 CAP1728

Not called in by the Sectary of State

14 November 2018

Leeds Bradford Airport Arrivals and departures ACP-2015-10 CAP 725 18 February 2019 CAP1770

Not called in by the secretary of state

21 March 2019

London Oxford Airport Instrument Flight Procedures

ACP-2014-03

CAP 725 8 September 2020 CAP1970

Not called in by the secretary of state

24 November 2020

Inverness Airport

Inverness Airport ACP-2014-04 CAP 725 9 April 2021 CAP2137

Not called in by the secretary of state

7 June 2021

Earlier versions of the Secretary of State’s guidance

The CAA has produced a reference version of the guidance showing what has changed since it was first issued in 2018.

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