Consultation on the Revised Airspace Change Process Guidance (CAP1616)

Closed 19 Mar 2023

Opened 5 Jan 2023

Feedback updated 1 Sep 2023

We asked

Between 5 January 2023 to 19 March 2023, we asked for your views on proposals for a new version of the Airspace Change Process Guidance, known as CAP 1616.

We suggested proposals on:

  • The structure of CAP 1616
  • Scaling and the baseline in the process
  • Stages, steps and gateways 
  • Engagement, consultation and communications arrangements/processes
  • Clarity of the process and the document
  • Instrument Flight Procedures (IFP)
  • Temporary Airspace Changes/Airspace Trials

You said

106 responses were received in total. You can read the full report by visiting our website:

High level headlines of the consultation feedback received can be found in the Executive Summary of the full report.

We provide detailed analysis of quantitative and qualitative feedback within Chapter 3 of the full report.

Please also see the answers to questions that were not responded to in the Questions and Answers session from 9 February 2023 in this document.

We did

Taking into account stakeholder feedback, we will be progressing a package of changes that will focus on providing simplification, clarification and proportionality. The package of improvements involves multiple strands and some of these will take longer to develop and deliver.  While our priority will be to develop and publish a new suite of CAP 1616 documents, we will also do more to educate and inform stakeholders about the requirements of the CAP 1616 Airspace Change Process.

The key actions from the consultation can be found in the Executive Summary of the main report. 

Rationale and explanation for all actions we are taking are detailed in Chapter 3 of the main report.

Next Steps

We will produce and publish a revised version (V.5) of CAP 1616, and we will work with Change Sponsors to help them understand what the changes mean for their Airspace Change Proposal, if any. Notification of publication will be provided to our stakeholders via our dedicated review webpage and associated media/communication channels.

Published responses

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




Our formal consultation closed on 19 March 2023. We are now collating and analyzing responses received. We will update this page once a consultation report is finalized. Thank you to all those who responded.


The CAA’s guidance on the regulatory process for airspace change, CAP1616, is due to be updated. Following stakeholder engagement, we are ready to consult on options on what the new airspace change guidance may look like.

To inform our updated version we have:

  • Completed workshops with internal stakeholders in the CAA (in June 2021) and with external stakeholders (in September 2021); and
  • Completed an engagement survey and published a report (CAP 2401) on findings on all engagement activity to date (September 2022).

We have listened to feedback and are now ready to begin the formal consultation phase of the review.

Before you complete the survey, we strongly advise that you read our accompanying consultation document, as it gives details of the options we have developed. It also includes background information about the consultation and a glossary of airspace terms. You may also wish to review our current airspace change guidance (CAP1616) before completing the survey.

Before you start the survey, please be aware of the following:

  • Depending on how you respond, the survey should take 15-45 minutes.
  • If you wish to, you can answer just the questions that you think are relevant to you.
  • If you want complete the survey at a different time, you can return to it by selecting the 'save and come back later' tab. 
  • Text boxes within the survey do not have word limits.

What happens next

Your responses will be analysed, and a consultation report will be produced. This report will go to decision makers. The report will be published in spring 2023.

We will consider the results of our analysis and decide what updates should be made to the next version of the airspace change process guidance.   

Once this has happened, we will publish the next version of the airspace change process guidance.  We expect the updated version to be ready by summer 2023.


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