We use necessary cookies to make our website work. We'd also like to use optional cookies to understand how you use it, and to help us improve it.

For more information, please read our cookie policy.

UK Civil Aviation Regulations

These are published by the CAA on our UK Regulations pages. EU Regulations and EASA Access Guides published by EASA no longer apply in the UK. Our website and publications are being reviewed to update all references. Any references to EU law and EASA Access guides should be disregarded and where applicable the equivalent UK versions referred to instead.

The CAA’s guidance on the regulatory process for changing the notified airspace design is detailed within CAP1616. 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.


On first publication, the CAA committed to undertake a review of CAP1616 process in 2021, three years after its implementation.

The CAA has completed a full review of CAP1616, with version 5 of CAP1616 published in Autumn 2023. To access the revised documents and for more detailed information on the improvements that have been made, please see our Airspace Change Process webpage.

We held a webinar on 28 November 2023 to run through some of the revisions and improvements made to the process. The slides for the webinar are available to read, and include questions that were asked during the session.

Transition arrangements to version 5

This airspace change process (CAP 1616, version 5) came into force on 2 January 2024 for permanent airspace change proposals. Any permanent airspace change proposals commenced on or after that date will be assessed against the requirements of the process as described in this document. All change sponsors with permanent airspace change proposals in process under CAP 1616 (i.e., where an assessment meeting has already taken place) and in Stages 1-4, will be informed of the requirements that apply to their submissions and this will be published on the portal. The CAA aims to inform all change sponsors of such requirements shortly. Airspace change proposals in Stages 5-6 will continue as planned and will not be affected by the publication of CAP 1616, version 5.

For all airspace change proposals following CAP 725, the proposal will continue to be assessed against the requirements of CAP 725.

All post implementation reviews will be conducted in accordance with CAP 1616, version 5, the requirements of which have not materially changed.

CAP 1616g, Guidance for temporary airspace change proposals and airspace trials will come into force on 18 March 2024. Any temporary or trial airspace change proposals commenced on or after that date will be assessed against the requirements of the process described in CAP 1616g. All temporary or trial airspace change proposals where an assessment meeting has taken place, and a timeline has been agreed with the CAA, before 18 March 2024 will be assessed against the requirements of the process as described in CAP 1616 version 4. 


Our approach was aligned to CAP1616 principles on engagement and consultation. It involved initial stakeholder engagement at a representative level and a formal consultation process.


CAP 1616 review timeline
Activity Timeline Delivered
Internal workshops Summer 2021 June 2021
External workshops - Stakeholder engagement at representative level Autumn 2021 September 2021
Public engagement Winter 2021/2022 November 2021
Formal consultation Winter / Spring 2023 March 2023
Publication of updated process Autumn 2023 Autumn 2023


More information on the CAP1616 review process

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 held a series of virtual workshops at which invited stakeholders representing industry including sponsors, approved procedure design organisations (APDOs), general aviation, environmental bodies and community representatives were asked for their input. The content of the workshops was informed by the CAA discussions on where amendments could be made to the process or where further guidance could be provided.

Public engagement

Our early engagement activities were followed by a public engagement exercise which was launched in November 2021. This provided all our stakeholders with 28-days in which to provide feedback on potential changes or amendments to the CAP1616 process, through an online survey. We thank those stakeholders who responded to our survey. The CAA have analysed all feedback received and will publish an engagement summary report setting out our findings on the CAA’s engagement platform.


Our formal consultation closed on 19 March 2023. Thank you to all those who responded. The consultation materials and consultation response document can be accessed on our engagement platform.

Close More information on the CAP1616 review process