Airspace change: a decision-making process for PPR (planned and permanent redistribution of air traffic) proposals

Closed 7 Jul 2019

Opened 9 May 2019

Published Responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.

Overview

During a review of its policy on airspace and noise the Government recognised that while changes to airspace design are subject to the airspace change process and are consulted on with relevant stakeholders, changes to air traffic control operational procedures could be implemented without consultation. Even if noise impacts were similar to those of a change in airspace design.

The Government has since given the CAA, as airspace regulator, a decision-making role for a wholly new category of airspace change. This category is known as a planned and permanent redistribution of air traffic through changes in air traffic control operational procedure. We refer to this as PPR for short.

Essentially a PPR concerns changes in the way existing airspace is used, rather than changes in the airspace design itself. Air traffic controllers are continuously making decisions as to how to control individual aircraft. The air traffic control operational procedures form a framework within which each air traffic controller makes those individual aircraft-by-aircraft decisions. Consequently the track over the ground taken by a given aircraft is a combined result of the airspace design, the air traffic control operational procedures and the individual expert decision of the air traffic controller on the day.

After consultation, the Government decided that where changes in air traffic control operational procedure lead to a planned, permanent redistribution of air traffic in certain ways, they ought to be subject to:

  • a CAA decision which considers all the section 70 factors in the Transport Act 2000, and
  • a similar process as a change in airspace design.

Only certain PPR proposals (known as ‘relevant PPRs’) will need to go through the approval process. These are the PPRs most likely to have a potential noise impact on the ground. 

Why We Are Consulting

The Government has formally directed us to introduce a new decision-making process by 1 November 2019 for deciding whether a relevant PPR can be implemented. 

The purpose of this consultation is to seek your views on:

  • our proposed principles for a new PPR decision-making process, which we have based on the existing airspace change process
  • our commentary on what changes are likely to fall within the Government’s definition of a relevant PPR.

These principles and commentary are set out in detail in our consultation document: Airspace change: consultation on a decision-making process for PPR (planned and permanent redistribution of air traffic) proposals

Our proposed PPR decision-making process

We propose to base the process on a shortened version of the existing CAP 1616 airspace change process.

The existing CAP 1616 process is made up of 14 steps in seven stages, with gateways that must be passed before the proposal can progress any further in the process. Our proposed PPR process is set out in our consultation document: Airspace change: consultation on a decision-making process for PPR (planned and permanent redistribution of air traffic) proposals

What we are not consulting on

We are not seeking your views on the policy on PPRs and relevant PPRs itself, other aspects of government airspace policy (including the Air Navigation Guidance, noise preferential routes or noise metrics), the existing CAP 1616 airspace change process, or specific airspace or air traffic control operational procedure changes. The CAA will disregard elements of responses to this consultation that focus on any of these areas.

Your views are invited

We are seeking your views on our proposed principles for the process that we will introduce from 1 November 2019, bearing in mind that the process must be proportionate and reflect published Government policy. 

Once we have considered your views and any modifications needed to our proposed process, we can then incorporate it into a third edition of CAP 1616.

How to respond to this consultation

Please let us have your comments by following the "Give us your views" link below and answering the eight questions.

If you are not able to use the online consultation and wish to send a self-contained response we ask that your comments are structured around our questions. Otherwise we will not be able to analyse the submissions in the same way that we analyse the online responses.

This consultation closes on 7 July 2019. 

If you would like to discuss anything about how to respond to the consultation, please email airspace.policy@caa.co.uk.

Audiences

  • Residents affected by aviation
  • Organisations affected by aviation
  • Community groups
  • Airline passenger
  • General Aviation
  • Commercial airlines
  • Air taxi operators
  • Military
  • Airport operators
  • Air Navigation Service Providers
  • Industry representative bodies
  • Eurocontrol
  • Air traffic control staff
  • Aerodrome Operators
  • Government departments
  • Regulatory bodies
  • Elected political representatives
  • National representative organisations or institutes
  • Workers' representative bodies

Interests

  • Aircraft noise
  • Aircraft emissions
  • Local air quality
  • Flightpaths
  • Airspace design, categorisation and access
  • Airspace change proposals
  • Air Traffic Control
  • Capacity
  • Safety
  • Air Traffic Control