The CAA has published its response to the Department for Transport (DfT) consultation aiming to reform the design and use of UK airspace (you can find more information on the consultation here). GATCO welcomes the CAA’s response and its commitment to the modernisation of the already congested UK airspace. In particular, the CAA’s response contains the following views, which are aligned with GATCO’s view on the future of UK airspace:
- The CAA believes that modernising the UK airspace presents an opportunity that will benefit consumers, airlines, airports, general aviation and some local communities. As such, they welcome the DfT proposal to reform policy on the design and use of airspace to establish a more modern framework where all the stakeholders are properly informed, are engaged in the change process and have the opportunity to shape proposals as they are developed.
- However, according to the CAA, the above changes might not be enough to secure sustainable airspace modernisation. There needs to be a mechanism to create a masterplan for airspace changes, a means to drive those changes forward and a way to decide between competing demands for scarce airspace capacity.
- Recent consultations have shown that a mechanism is needed to reassure overflown communities that the aviation industry will be held to account if it does not meet clear and transparent standards on noise management. Without this, distrust between communities, the aviation industry, the CAA and the Dft will remain.
- The CAA welcomes the concept of an Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise (ICCAN). But the CAA’s experience of airspace design, management and regulation suggests that no single body is likely to bring about a significant change in overflown communities’ understandable concerns about the noise impacts from airspace change.
You can find the CAA’s response to the consultation here.