• The CAA’s guidance on the regulatory process for changing the notified airspace design and planned and permanent redistribution of air traffic is detailed within CAP 1616.  This guidance was first published in December 2017.  Three administrative updates have followed since then with the fourth edition of the CAP published in March 2021.

    Planned review

    On first publication, the CAA committed to undertake a review of CAP 1616 process in 2021, three years after its implementation (see paragraph 36).  The CAA has started review activity and expects to complete the process in winter 2022.

    Factors impacting on review timeline

    Our timeline for the review takes into consideration the following factors:

    • The impact of Covid – 19 on the review
    • Evidence base of airspace change proposals on which to conduct the review is smaller than originally envisaged
    • The majority of large-scale ACP’s were paused due to the pandemic
    • The airspace modernisation programme (insert link to information on this) is now starting to remobilise


    Our approach will be aligned to CAP 1616 principles on engagement and consultation.  It will involve initial stakeholder engagement at a representative level followed by a formal consultation process.


    Activity Timeline  Delivered 
    Internal workshops Summer 2021 June 2021 
    External workshops - Stakeholder engagement at representative level      Autumn 2021
    Public call for information Winter 2021/2022
    Formal consultation Spring / Summer 2022
    Publication of updated process Winter 2022

    Internal workshops

    In June 2021, the CAA held some internal workshops in which Airspace Regulators reviewed all stages of the airspace change process as well as the processes governing trials and temporary airspace changes.  The outputs from these sessions will inform stakeholder engagement at representative level planned for Autumn 2021. Further internal workshops will be held at key stages of the review.

    External workshops

    In Autumn 2021 the CAA will hold a series of virtual workshops at which invited stakeholders representing industry including approved procedure design organisations (APDO’s), general aviation and environmental bodies together with community representatives will be asked for their input. The content of the workshops will be informed by the CAA discussions on where amendments could be made to the process or where further guidance could be provided. Invitations will be circulated in the coming weeks.

    Public call for information

    Our early engagement activities will be followed by a public call for information which we plan to launch over the winter 2021/2022. This will provide all our stakeholders with 28-days in which to provide feedback on potential changes or amendments to the CAP 1616 process. The CAA will analyse all feedback received and we will publish an engagement summary report setting out our findings.


    We plan to launch a formal consultation for the CAP 1616 review over the course of the Spring/Summer months in 2022. The consultation will be run via the citizen space platform and we will provide an alternative method of response for those stakeholders who are unable to respond using online methods.  

    Keeping you updated

    We will provide updates on the progress of the review via this page.  We plan to publish an updated version of the CAP 1616 airspace change process in the winter of 2022.