Response 170386927

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

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(name, location, respondent category, organisation, additional information - please note your email address will NOT be published if you choose this option)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

General observations

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 Considering the draft guidance overall, to what extent does it meet the following criteria?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

Tier 1a: Stages 1 to 7

2. Considering Stage 1 (Define) of the process , to what extent does the draft guidance on that stage meet the following criteria?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
Ticked 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 Ticked 2: the guidance mostly meets this criterion 3: the guidance does not sufficiently meet this criterion
How to improve
This section of document is lengthy and will likely prove difficult in particular for the lay reader. Throughout, the guidance could more clearly aid definition of the 'tier' that will likely be assigned to a change. This could be aided by greater use of illustrative examples. It is not necessarily clear, for example, when an increase in air traffic on an existing routing (tier 3) becomes a planned redistribution (tier 2). Also the use of different nomenclature to distinguish between sub-categories of tier 1 and the overall assignment between tiers 1, 2 and 3 would aid clarity. For example a change may be assigned as tier 2 or within tier 1 as a level 2. The similarity in nomenclature may well cause confusion. As a general observation at this stage (and subsequently) the CAA will publish meeting minutes. Whilst we have no in principle objection, we would wish to comment on the proposed minutes to confirm they are a fair record and to be able to publicly register our disagreement if a minute could not be agreed. The guidance should recognise this point.

3. Considering Stage 2 (Develop and assess) 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
Ticked 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
Ticked 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
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
At this relatively early stage there may be a number of options under consideration. The guidance should seek to strike an appropriate balance between the depth of the appraisal and consideration that is required and the number of options that will be brought forward for consideration. The emphasis that the guidance places on the use of WebTAG and full numerical analysis will likely restrict the sponsor's consideration of multiple options, particularly for smaller changes. The Guidance should recognise that the purpose of this stage is to identify the options that merit further, more detailed, consideration and as such the guidance should recognise that the level of appraisal can in some cases be more qualitative. By way of example the guidance could include the caveat that at this stage that the use of WebTAG and monetisation should, 'where appropriate', be used.

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
Ticked 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
Ticked 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
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 guidance notes (at paragraph 166) that it may be impractical for the change sponsor to respond to every consultee question individually. It would be desirable to strengthen this aspect of the guidance. At this stage of the process the consultation materials and strategy will have been carefully devised and agreed as appropriate by the CAA. It is unlikely therefore that material questions will be raised during the consultation that require urgent answer. In some cases it is also likely the number of responses and questions posed will be very high and to respond to every individual prove too onerous for the sponsor. We would support the approach that is proposed in the second half of paragraph 166, where questions that arise frequently or are material to the consultation are answered generically in a frequently asked questions document, which can be updated and revisited as necessary. The use of the on-line portal may result in many consultation responses and we note and endorse the proposal that each consultee should be restricted to a single response. We would ask however that the degree of verification that is applied to determine if the consultee is unique is increased. The proposal to limit each e-mail address to a single response would not, of course, prevent a single consultee from making numerous responses if they have access to multiple e-mail addresses. We would ask that it is mandatory that full postal address details are provided by the consultee to aid verification of this requirement. The CAA should also give due consideration to how a continued dialogue with a consultee will be made transparent. For example if a change sponsor receives multiple responses from a consultee following its response to their initial submission, should these responses be ignored, given the requirement to limit each consultee to one response? And if they are replied to, should the replies be made available using the portal (which would lead to a consultee having more than one submission) or excluded from the portal (which would reduce transparency)?

5. Considering Stage 4 (Update and submit) 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
Ticked 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
Ticked 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
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
Ticked 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

6. Considering Stage 5 (Decide) 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
Ticked 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
Ticked 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
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 guidance refers to 'offering' a public evidence session. It does not however set out who the offer is made to? Or on what basis it will be considered that the offer has been accepted? Should the CAA elect to hold a public evidence session, the guidance does not set out who would be permitted to speak and on what basis bids for appearance would be accepted or declined? Whilst five minute slots will be offered it is conceivable that very many consultees may express an interest in attending. The guidance refers to a longer 10 minute slot being made available for 'representative organisations' but does not define what a 'representative organisation' is. Much greater clarify is required to address these points. In considering the circumstances when the secretary of state may exercise powers of 'call in', the criteria refer to a net increase in the number of people 'affected' by noise of 10,000 or greater. We believe that this criterion is too crude and that this threshold is too high.

7. Considering Stage 6 (Implement) 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
Ticked 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
Ticked 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
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
In paragraph 247, the guidance quite rightly notes that the sponsor will continue to engage with stakeholders. However it is suggested that the change sponsor should make changes in response to problems that are highlighted to it. This section needs further clarification to set out the nature of the changes that should and can be made. It is important that any changes that are made seek to achieve the approved decision and that they do not lead to material changes post approval that do not accord with earlier parts of the change process. It is important that all changes are taken transparently within the context of the broader process, including the results of public consultation and the CAA's decision to approve. As written it is conceivable that a sponsor in seeking to respond to concerns that are highlighted to it might materially amend the agreed change.

8. Considering Stage 7 (Post-implementation review) 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
Ticked 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
Ticked 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
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
It is evident that some changes to airspace will be particularly large or complex and therefore whilst a review would usually take place after 12 months, to allow a full summer and winter season operation, it may not always be appropriate to review this soon. Accordingly the guidance should note that a post implementation review would take place after a minimum period of 12 months and that in some cases the period would be longer. The appropriate review period could form part of the decision notice and therefore stakeholders would have an opportunity to comment on it.

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?

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No
Don't know
What else to show two way conversation?
The nature, scale and complexity of the airspace changes falling within the airspace change process and guidance will vary enormously and as such it is difficult for the CAA to set out prescriptive requirements that can have generic application. The objective of the exercise of engagement is to ensure that the proposals that are developed benefit from a range of views, including those who are likely affected (positively or negatively). As such it would seem sufficient that the sponsor sets out a report detailing how the strategy that has been adopted and how this strategy has fulfilled this objective. It is likely that engagement will take a number of forms including formal and informal meetings and exchange of correspondence. We do not believe that it would be appropriate to require that a formal minute of every meeting should be required, indeed, in some instances adding formality may detract from the effectiveness of the engagement. We do though think that sponsors should be required to detail all engagement and to provide a report that summarises the feedback that was received.

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
Yes
Ticked 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
No

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
Ticked Yes
No
Don't know

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
A significant proportion of the changes that are brought forward for consideration will be required either to meet regulatory requirements or to respond to other external factors, e.g. the incremental 'switch of' VORs by National Air Traffic Services (NATs). In these instances there will not be a 'do nothing' baseline against which the required assessment can be conducted. Whilst this is, to some extent, recognised in paragraph E21, the suggestion that a 'do minimum' case is created as an alternative will, in some cases, be impossible and/or impractical. The implications that this has for the incremental assessment approach that is required (as described in paragraph E32) need to be more fully considered and explained.

Tier 1a: Safety information

14. At each stage in the airspace change process that an options appraisal takes place, the sponsor will be required to submit a safety assessment. The sponsor will be required to provide a plain English summary of the safety assessment and the CAA will provide a plain English summary of its review (i.e. of the Letter of Acceptance, which forms the CAA’s review of the safety assessment) when it makes a decision. These documents will be available on the portal.   Do you have any views on specific information that should be included and/or excluded from the plain English summary of the sponsor’s safety assessment and the CAA’s review? 

Safety assessment
No

Tier 1b: Temporary airspace changes

15. Considering Tier 1b changes, to what extent does the draft guidance on temporary airspace changes meet the following criteria?

Comprehensible – it is clear to me what happens
Please select one item
Ticked 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
Ticked 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
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
Ticked 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

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
Ticked 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
Ticked 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
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
Ticked 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

Tier 1: Spaceflights

17. On 21 February 2017 the Government published the Draft Spaceflight Bill. As the foreword to the draft Bill sets out, “This legislation will see the Department for Transport and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the UK Space Agency, the Civil Aviation Authority and the Health and Safety Executive working together to regulate and oversee commercial spaceflight operations in the UK.” Do you have any views on whether this process could be used or adapted to suit future airspace change proposals to enable spaceflights, as anticipated in the Draft Spaceflight Bill?

Spaceflight
The proposed airspace change process and supporting guidance seeks to balance the views of a wide-range of stakeholders to achieve optimum use of airspace. Whilst the adoption of spaceflight is likely to pose different issues and emphasis different aspects we believe that the process that is envisaged by the CAA will be sufficiently generic that it should apply to spaceflight without significant amendment.

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
Ticked Stage 1 Define
Ticked Stage 2 Develop and assess
Ticked Stage 3 Consult
Ticked Stage 4 Update and submit
Ticked Stage 5 Decide
Ticked Stage 6 Implement
Ticked Stage 7 Post-implementation review
None of these
Don’t know
Tier 2 reasons
In practice tier 2 changes will vary very considerably in complexity and scale. It is conceivable that at one extreme changes in vectoring practices may have identical effects to changes in permanent routings and therefore the same generic process steps would logically apply. However tier 2 changes may be numerous and relatively minor in scale with very modest implications for stakeholders. To apply the full airspace change process to these relatively minor operational changes would be disproportionate and, quite perversely, would stifle operational improvement. The process that is agreed must be able to scale each process step sufficiently to allow these changes to happen whilst balancing the need for a rigorous and transparent process with the need for the industry to continue to operate efficiently. Any failure to do so will impact the smallest operators most and may cause material harm to industry stakeholders.

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 2 - scaled reasons
As set out in our previous answer it will be important to consider scaling at each of the seven generic process steps. In particular where it is considered desirable to adopt a change to operational procedures where there is no reasonable alternative it would seem appropriate to omit the need to develop and assess options, moving instead to a direct assessment of the impacts of the proposed change.

20. Are there any other comments that you would like to make about the CAA’s potential Tier 2 process?

Tier 2 - other comments
We believe that the CAA has failed to adequately define the criteria which will determine whether a proposed change is tier 1, 2 or 3. We believe further work is required in this important area. By way of examples we would note that: (1) If an existing route is to be used more intensively (without changes to the notified airspace structure) it is not clear whether the change would be classified as tier 2 or tier 3. (2) In paragraph 90, the guidance suggests that an example of a notified change to airspace could include 'changes to the hours of operation of existing airspace structures'. As in this example there would not necessarily be any change to the notified airspace such a change is unlikely to be deemed tier 1. Such a change in the use of existing airspace structures could then be considered to be a tier 2 change, or as it may well arise due to demand patterns at an airport, tier 3. The lack of clarity is important and in any event, the CAA needs to be careful to ensure that it does not layer on an additional approval that could, in some cases, fetter the ability of an airport to enjoy a legally gained planning consent. It would be inappropriate for the CAA to seek to regulate and potentially overturn a decision by a local planning authority or planning inspector.

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?

Comprehensible – it is clear to me what happens
Please select one item
Ticked 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
Ticked 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
How to improve
It will be important that changes to operations are correctly assigned to tier 1, 2 or 3. We do not believe that the current process and supporting guidance is sufficiently clear in this regard. Changes in numbers and types of aircraft operating from an airport, can change rapidly due to customer demand and these changes can have consequential effects for the routings that are flown and the times of day that routes are used. All of these are normal operating changes and whilst we fully accept the need to communicate with stakeholders and engage in on-going dialogue with regard to all of the consequences, it is important the CAA does not impose an additional approval beyond that that has already been gained through the and planning system. Airports and their customers must be allowed to enjoy the benefits of their legally gained planning permission(s).

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
Yes
Ticked No
Don't know
CAA action on Tier 3 further detail
At this time the role of any proposed Independent Commission for Civil Aviation Noise (ICCAN) is unknown and the secretary of state retains a power of 'designation', to impose controls directly on airport, wherever necessary. It is important that any role the CAA considers adopting in this area should be consistent and co-ordinated within this broader context. As such at this juncture it would be inappropriate for the CAA to amend its policy in this area.

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
Though it will not be possible in all circumstances, where it is possible to do so, local communities are likely to consider information provided to them before a change happens to be particularly valuable. As such it can be helpful for airports and other stakeholders to consider the full range of communications channels available to them and to providing 'leading' rather than only 'lagging' information.

24. In relation to mitigating the impacts of Tier 3 changes, our draft guidance says that the focus should be on exploring the options for mitigating the change through two-way dialogue, because of the local and often incremental nature of Tier 3 changes. Does the guidance need to give more detail?

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No
Don't know