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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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||
19 December 2018
|Edinburgh Airport||Arrivals and departures||ACP-2015-02||CAP 725||17 October 2018||CAP1728||
14 November 2018
|Leeds Bradford Airport||Arrivals and departures||ACP-2015-10||CAP 725||18 February 2019||CAP1770||
21 March 2019
|London Oxford Airport||Instrument Flight Procedures||CAP 725||8 September 2020||CAP1970||
24 November 2020
|Inverness Airport||ACP-2014-04||CAP 725||9 April 2021||CAP2137||
7 June 2021
|NATS||Swanwick Airspace Improvement Programme - Airspace Deployment 6||ACP-2018-65||CAP 1616||3 August 2021||CAP2233||
15 November 2020
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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