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 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 (see paragraph 36).
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.
Transition arrangements to version 5
This airspace change process (CAP 1616, version 5) will come into force on 2 January 2024. Any 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 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 by 30 November 2023. 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.
All temporary airspace change proposals and airspace trials will be conducted in accordance with CAP 1616, version 5, the requirements of which have not materially changed.
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.
|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|
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.
In Autumn 2021 the CAA held a series of virtual workshops at which invited stakeholders representing industry including sponsors, approved procedure design organisations (APDO’s), 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.
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.