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The UK Civil Aviation Authority has launched its latest round of funding to help support airspace modernisation projects across the United Kingdom. 

The Airspace Modernisation Support Fund (ASF) is part of the regulator’s work in setting out a vision for the future of UK airspace, which will help deliver quicker, quieter and cleaner journeys.  

So far, the UK Civil Aviation Authority has supported organisations such as Trax and Custom Chess Company to further work that will contribute towards airspace modernisation, such as the interoperability of electronic conspicuity systems and improving Flight Information Display documentation.  

Successful applicants to the previous fund allocations have also included organisations looking into the digitisation of flight data, and research towards distribution of aircraft noise. 

The Fund – which amounts to £2 million annually - gives the opportunity for organisations to seek financial support that cannot be funded by other means. Eligible projects must support the ambitions of the Airspace Modernisation Strategy and be from organisations actively engaged in modernising UK airspace. 

Stuart Lindsey, Head of Airspace Modernisation at the UK Civil Aviation Authority said: 

“Our Airspace Modernisation Support Fund has already provided around £2.5 million to the important work that projects do to improve the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of our airspace.

"It’s vital we continue to fund organisations looking to modernise the UK’s airspace with innovative research and ideas.” 

John Henderson, Technical Director at Trax, said: 

“The ASF application process was straightforward, with a swift decision from Civil Aviation Authority shortly after the submission deadline.

"The claim and governance process are set out in advance, with monthly opportunities to claim costs, accompanied by appropriate evidence of deliverables.”  

Steve Hutt, Managing Director at Custom Chess Company Limited, said: 

“We have recently completed delivery of a project funded by the ASF that will simplify life for small Air Traffic Service (ATS) Units wishing to implement a Flight Information Display (FID).

"The application process was very straightforward – the application form was just four pages long.

"The key is to clearly show how your project benefits the Airspace Modernisation Strategy.

"The Civil Aviation Authority’s oversight and progress reporting processes during the project worked well and were not onerous. Projects like ours that the ASF is funding will make a positive impact on aviation in the UK.” 

The call for applications is open from today (19 June 2023) until 21 July 2023. A further call for proposals will open later in the year. 

Notes to Editor 

  • More information on the Airspace Modernisation Support Fund can be found on UK Civil Aviation Authority’s website. Applications to the Fund can be made via an application form; the completed form should be sent to airspace.modernisation@caa.co.uk no later than 21 July 2023. 
  • We are keen to hear from organisations that can work towards the objectives and elements of the Airspace Modernisation Strategy. 
  • The ASF is open to proposals from recognised UK legal entities, other than NERL and the UK Civil Aviation Authority. 
  • There have been seven projects previously funded by the Airspace Modernisation Support fund. 
  • The UK Civil Aviation Authority published it’s refreshed Airspace Modernisation Strategy in January 2023, setting out a vision for the future of UK airspace which will help deliver quicker, quieter and cleaner journeys, as well as create more capacity for the benefit for those who use and are affected by UK airspace. 
  • The Secretary of State has given the UK Civil Aviation Authority the function to prepare and maintain a co-ordinated strategy and plan for the use of all UK airspace for air navigation up to 2040, including for the modernisation of the use of such airspace. This is consistent with the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s role as specialist aviation regulator and its statutory responsibilities.
  • More information on the Airspace Modernisation Strategy 2023–2040