The UK airspace structure is widely recognised as being unfit for purpose.
A Government directed Airspace Modernisation programme will replace the current Future Airspace Strategy (FAS) and aims to redevelop UK airspace over the next twenty years. You can read more about FAS here.
- Recognises the need to protect the public who are travelling in commercial air transport aircraft
- Supports the need for carefully considered airspace modernisation that reasonably addresses the needs of gliding and other GA
- Does not automatically oppose all airspace change proposals – each is carefully considered on its merits
NATS, an airspace navigation services corporation that under direction from government designs and manages airspace above 7000′, has started to design upper airspace to be much more efficient.
Lower airspace, ie below 7000′ is much more of a problem. Under airspace modernisation plans to date, there is no intention to have a lower airspace strategy or plan beyond leaving the airports to work together to grab airspace for their own use with no wider consideration. The resulting mess is and will continue to be inefficient and bad for GA.
To ensure that the needs of all airspace users are reasonably met and to restore balance, the BGA believes that the way lower airspace is designed and managed needs to change. A strategic approach needs to be adopted in partnership with all users, with a more assertive CAA overseeing compliance with agreed design principles.
Airspace Modernisation Consultations
BGA responses to airspace modernisation consultations will normally be aligned with or made through the GA Alliance.
July 2018 – CAA Airspace Strategy Consultation
Under directions from the UK Government, the CAA is required to produce and maintain an Airspace Strategy. A consultation on their draft airspace strategy has been launched with a closing date in September 2018. You can view the consultation here.
July 2018 – London Heathrow design principles
The GA Alliance responded urging that engagement with GA stakeholders occurs at the earliest stage of airspace design and well-ahead of the formal airspace change process.
April 2018 – Future Airspace Strategy Initiative South /LAMP2 Design Principles Consultation
In early 2018, NATS consulted on FASI South / LAMP2 design principles ahead of what will eventually result in a CAP1616 ACP consultation. The GA Alliance has responded to that early 2018 consultation with BGA input. You can view the LAMP2 response here.