The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has today (27 January) published its decision to accept the latest iteration of the airspace change masterplan, developed by the Airspace Change Organising Group (ACOG), into its Airspace Modernisation Strategy (AMS). This is a significant milestone towards modernising the UKs airspace to deliver quicker, quieter, and cleaner journeys.
The purpose of the airspace change masterplan is to identify which UK airspace design changes need to be developed to achieve the benefits of airspace modernisation and then set out a single coordinated implementation plan to deliver those benefits. ACOG is taking an iterative approach to developing the masterplan and will be undertaking public engagement exercises this year. You can find out more about ACOG and its plans on its website at www.acog.aero.
This iteration of the masterplan identifies which airspace change proposals (ACPs) that are part of the masterplan will need to move forward together in a co-ordinated manner. It also describes the nature of potential interactions between those different ACPs. The masterplan does not contain the details of specific proposals or proposed flightpaths.
The airspace changes identified within the masterplan will have to be considered through the CAA’s separate evidence based and engagement led airspace change process, known as CAP 1616. The acceptance of the second iteration means that relevant airspace change sponsors can now progress towards a CAP1616 Stage 2 gateway assessment, where the CAA must be satisfied that sponsors have followed the process correctly before they can move to the next stage in the process.
Stuart Lindsey, Head of Airspace Modernisation at the CAA said “This is the first time we have accepted an iteration of the airspace change masterplan in to the AMS and this is a big step forward. This will help facilitate the development of the airspace changes in a co-ordinated manner, which is crucial to the success of airspace modernisation. Reaching this point has been a significant achievement.
“The CAA would like to thank ACOG and the airspace change sponsors who contributed to the work that has gone into the development of this iteration of the masterplan. We look forward to continuing to develop the airspace change masterplan and delivering on the benefits of airspace modernisation.“
To learn more about the co-sponsors’ assessment and the CAA’s decision please read the full decision document at www.caa.co.uk/CAP2312A.
Notes to Editors
- UK airspace is a key piece of national infrastructure and its structure has remained largely the same for over 50 years, despite an increase in the number of aircraft and their technological capabilities.
- The overall objective for airspace modernisation is to deliver quicker, quieter and cleaner journeys and more capacity for the benefit of those who use and are affected by UK airspace.
- The Department for Transport and CAA are co-sponsors of airspace modernisation. In 2018 we commissioned NATS (En Route) plc (NERL) to set up a separate and impartial unit, the Airspace Change Organising Group (ACOG), to develop the airspace change masterplan.
- The co-sponsors for airspace modernisation have assessed Iteration 2 of the Masterplan against the CAA’s published Masterplan Acceptance Criteria (CAP2156a), the co-sponsors’ masterplan commission letters (Appendix A to CAP 2156a), the Government’s policy objectives and the CAA’s statutory duties. The CAA has also consulted with the Secretary of State.
- As a consequence, the CAA has decided to accept Iteration 2 of the Masterplan into its Airspace Modernisation Strategy (CAP1711). This now means that Iteration 2 of the Masterplan, together with the CAA’s statutory duties, form the basis against which individual airspace change decisions (including gateway decisions) are made by the CAA.
- To view ACOG's UK Airspace Change Masterplan Iteration 2 please visit www.caa.co.uk/CAP2312B
- For more information about ACOG, please visit its website at https://www.acog.aero/