Airspace Change Organising Group (ACOG) submitted Iteration 2 of the UK Airspace Change Masterplan in December 2021. The co-sponsors responded with an acceptance decision which set out the co-sponsors’ assessment of Iteration 2 of the masterplan and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)’s decision as to whether it has been accepted into the Airspace Modernisation Strategy (AMS). Based on the assessment as described in this document, the co-sponsors have concluded that ACOG has provided the content required of Iteration 2 of the masterplan.
The co-sponsors were satisfied that Iteration 2 meets the masterplan commission, NATS (En Route) plc (NERL) licence condition 10a and the Government’s policy objectives, and that NERL (the licensee) through ACOG has provided sufficient evidence against the relevant requirements of the Masterplan Acceptance Criteria (CAP 2156a) in relation to Iteration 2.
Iteration 2 represents an important step towards the wholesale redesign of UK airspace in accordance with the initiatives of the AMS. Given the iterative approach of the masterplan, more information will be provided as further iterations are prepared and sponsors further develop their ACPs.
After considering our statutory functions and duties, the CAA’s decision, having consulted the Secretary of State, is to accept Iteration 2 of the masterplan into the AMS. Notwithstanding acceptance, the co-sponsors provide feedback to ACOG on the proposed ‘cluster’ approach that will need to be resolved before an Iteration 3 of the masterplan is submitted to the co-sponsors for assessment. Another, separate, issue that needs to be addressed is the Strategic Environmental Assessment and Habitats Regulations Assessment which must inform the development of the masterplan. This is enshrined in requirement B2 of the Masterplan Acceptance Criteria. The CAA is legally responsible for ensuring that these assessments are carried out in respect of the masterplan. This is a matter that needs to be further developed by the CAA, in collaboration with ACOG, as the masterplan evolves.
The CAA’s decision to accept Iteration 2 of the masterplan means that sponsors of constituent ACPs can proceed to the Stage 2 gateway assessment of the CAP 1616 process now that potential conflicts and interdependencies between airspace changes are represented in an accepted Iteration 2 of the masterplan.
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