Response 1025340458

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About you

A. What is your name?

Name (Required)
Rebecca Wright

C. Where do you live?

Please select one item
(Required)
Ticked East of England
East Midlands
West Midlands
North East
North West
Northern Ireland
Scotland
South East
South West
Wales
Yorkshire and the Humber

D. Are you answering this consultation as:

Please select one item
(Required)
Resident affected by aviation
Airline passenger
Member of the General Aviation community
Member of the commercial aviation industry
Military
Government and / or other regulators
Ticked Representative or national organisation or institute
Elected political representative

E. Are you affiliated with any organisation?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Affiliation
The Consultation Institute
Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

F. Is there anything else that you would like us to know about you regarding this consultation?

Please enter any further details
The institute already provides advice and guidance on best practise public and stakeholder consultation to a variety of public bodies including local authorities. It also provides support and undertakes quality assurance for an airport currently involved in airspace change. The Institute is happy to assist in the development of suitable guidance on consultation and engagement in these circumstances.

G. Do you consent for your response to be published?

Please select one item
(Required)
Ticked Yes, with personal identifying information (name, location, respondent category, organisation, additional information - please note your email address will NOT be published if you choose this option)
Yes, anonymised
No

General observations

1. Considering the draft guidance overall, to what extent does it meet the following criteria?

General observations
The institute has sight of a large number of guidance documents issued by Government Departments, Executive Agencies and Non-Departmental Public Bodies. This document is at the extreme end of the complexity spectrum, and we would expect anyone other than aviation specialists to struggle with it. Our focus has been on 'Stage 3', and this has meant we have needed to cross refer to 'Appendix C'. This has involved us in handling repetition and inconsistencies, making it difficult to assess. We assume that simplified versions of the guidance would be needed.

Tier 1a: Stages 1 to 7

4. Considering Stage 3 (Consult) of the process, to what extent does the draft guidance on that stage meet the following criteria?

Comprehensible – it is clear to me what happens
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion Ticked 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Transparent – the activities are explained well and will take place as publicly as possible
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion Ticked 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Proportionate – the guidance strikes the right balance between detail as to what should happen, and flexibility to allow for different local circumstances
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion Ticked 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
How to improve
The institute has prepared a detailed critique of the proposed process and is happy to assist in the development of suitable guidance on consultation and engagement in these circumstances. Among the issues we have raised are: 1. Centralisation of the process via the CAA portal risks weakening strong local relationships between airports and their communities. We are not convinced that a single (currently un-built) portal will provide better functionality than systems already in use by some of the airports. 2. As currently drafted, there is a risk that preparatory options development work undertaken before a consultation is launched would be deemed by a court to amount to pre-determination and thereby render the consultation unlawful. 3. We question whether the CAA has sufficient specialist consultation skills and the capacity to handle several, simultaneous consultations from different change sponsors. We fear there will be a bottle-neck, as detailed amendments are made to complex consultation documents. In our experience, the CAA would need to offer a two-hour turn around for drafting amendments in the 7 days before finalisation- few regulators can deliver this performance-. 4. As currently drafted, the provisions concerning data categorisation and analysis are confusing, and we question whether it is ever appropriate to base a coding structure upon a forecast of whether the respondent's contribution is likely to have an influence on the final decision. 5. We warmly welcome the proposed public evidence sessions. However these will need to be held at an earlier stage in the process, where the contributions can be seen to have a greater influence upon decisions. Also, the first come first served principle, and the suggestion of 5 minute slots will not be realistic. The Institute has prepared a more detailed critique which is available upon request from rebeccaw@consultationinstitute.org

Tier 1a: Evidence of engagement

9. At certain stages in the process (starting with the development of design principles at Step 1b) the CAA will look for evidence of a two-way conversation to see that the sponsor has adequately engaged stakeholders. In paragraph C9 the CAA describes the evidence that we will look for as "detail of what sponsors have been told by their audiences; how they responded to this feedback; and how it has affected the proposals they are bringing forward".    Has the CAA adequately detailed what we would expect to see to know that a two-way conversation has taken place?

What else to show two way conversation?
The Institute believes that pre-consultation dialogues will be vital, and the CAA is right to seek confirmation that they have taken place satisfactory. We have some concerns that a draft consultation strategy, submitted by a change sponsor as a result of such discussions, needs to be 100% transparent and see no reason why publication of such a document should be restricted until the CAA has approved it. The Institute's quality assurance process places significant emphasis upon identifying and engaging with key stakeholders, and we advocate creating a stakeholder reference group as a means of capturing representative views - and to complement existing airports consultative machinery -.

Tier 1a:Third-party facilitation

10. At various points in the process (starting with the development of design principles at Step 1b) the CAA suggests that voluntary use of a third-party facilitator could be useful. Should the CAA be more prescriptive as to how and when a facilitator could be used?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Don't know

11. Are there any other places in the process at which you feel that a facilitator would be useful?

Facilitator - which places
The public evidence sessions should be chaired by an independent and experienced facilitator.

Tier 1a: Categorisation of responses

12. In paragraphs 177 and C34-C36, and Table C2, we discuss the categorisation of consultation responses. The sponsor is required to sort consultation responses into two categories: i) those responses that have the potential to impact on the proposal because they include new information or ideas that the sponsor believes could lead to an adaptation in a lead design option or a new design option, and ii) those that do not. Is the CAA's explanation of the categorisation exercise and description of the categories sufficient?

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No
Don't know
Categorisation - additional detail
The coding of responses is a highly specialised discipline, with expertise largely concentrated in companies and agencies with dedicated resources. We recommend the CAA seeks specialist advice on what is most appropriate, as the current proposals need further refinement.

Tier 1a: Options appraisal

13. In paragraph E25 and E34 the CAA states that methodologies for the various aspects of the options appraisal should be agreed between the CAA and the sponsor at an early stage in the process, on a case-by-case basis. This provides flexibility for different local circumstances. Does this approach strike the right balance between proportionality and consistency?

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No
Don't know
OA - explain re proportionality
At the heart of public controversy concerning airspace changes is the fear by the public that its interests and views will be secondary to technical considerations which it finds difficult to understand. Appendix E, as currently drafted, is in danger of confirming this perception. Technical options assessment needs to be more transparent, and the CAA will need to help change sponsors explain that community views will only be disregarded if offset by significant (not marginal) issues that point to a different conclusion.

Tier 1c: Operational airspace trials

16. Considering Tier 1c changes, to what extent does the draft guidance on operational airspace trials meet the following criteria?

Comprehensible – it is clear to me what happens
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Transparent – the activities are explained well and will take place as publicly as possible
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion Ticked 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
Proportionate – the guidance strikes the right balance between detail as to what should happen, and flexibility to allow for different local circumstances
Please select one item
1: the guidance is good and meets this criterion 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion Ticked 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
How to improve
The Institute believes there is firm evidence from the recent experience in Scotland, that temporary changes implemented without adequate local public engagement can significantly jeopardise any subsequent formal consultation. Communities will object to 'Para 288' an the stipulation that aviation stakeholders should be consulted, but local people should not.

Tier 2: Permanent and planned redistribution

18. The Government proposals talk about a Tier 2 change as one which is likely to alter traffic patterns below 7,000 feet over a populated area and which therefore could have a potential noise impact for those on the ground. The key requirement is that the air navigation service provider must demonstrate that it has assessed the noise impact of the proposed change and engaged with affected communities as appropriate. Which stages of the Tier 1a airspace change process do you think are necessary for a proposal categorised as a Tier 2 change? Please select all those which apply:

Please select all that apply
Stage 1 Define
Stage 2 Develop and assess
Ticked Stage 3 Consult
Stage 4 Update and submit
Stage 5 Decide
Stage 6 Implement
Stage 7 Post-implementation review
None of these
Don’t know
Tier 2 reasons
This will need to be considered in detail when Government policy is confirmed.

19. The CAA’s process for Tier 1a changes is scaled into ‘Levels’, based on the altitude-based priorities in the Government’s Air Navigation Guidance (i.e. where noise impacts are to be prioritised or considered alongside carbon emissions, a more demanding consultation is required). Could the future Tier 2 process also be scaled?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Don't know

Tier 3: Other changes to air operations affecting noise impacts

21. To what extent does the draft best practice guidance on Tier 3 changes (other changes that may have a noise impact) meet the following criteria?

How to improve
We agree with an approach that limits the CAA's involvement and encourages airports to observe best practise by developing and implementing robust stakeholder engagement machinery. The one question that should be considered is whether the scale and impact of proposed changes might warrant a formal consultation under certain circumstances, and we would urge the CAA to discuss with the industry and local authorities, what those thresholds might be.

22. Where industry does not follow the CAA’s guidance in respect of Tier 3 changes, or where there is a clear breakdown of trust between an airport and its stakeholders, is it appropriate for the CAA to publicly draw attention to this?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Don't know
CAA action on Tier 3 further detail
see above

23. Considering the list of potential information proposed, would you suggest any additions which would help stakeholders, including communities, understand the impacts of Tier 3 changes and enhance transparency?

Additional information on Tier 3 impacts
The Institute is happy to assist in the development of suitable guidance on consultation and engagement in these circumstances.