How is this linked to airport expansion plans? Have you made an assumption about the outcome of the Airports Commission? Would flight paths need to change again if Gatwick was given a second runway? What if we build an airport in the Thames estuary?

Any development of runways arising from the report from the Airports Commission (chaired by Sir Howard Davies) will eventually require further changes to the airspace system. However, the development of runways does not happen quickly; the report to be provided by the Airports Commission is due in 2015 and any recommendation made will only be the start.  Adoption of any recommendations, design, assessment, planning application and construction processes all take time; if/when the Government decides to progress new runway development we assume that any new runways will not be operational before 2025.

Our focus is therefore to meet short-to-medium term demands by providing an airspace system to help the UK meet the FAS and European requirements, and making best use of the existing runways. Therefore this consultation does not relate to, nor does it take into account, potential development of additional runways at any airport.

Any significant future changes to runway infrastructure will require further changes to the airspace system. The breadth of the required airspace changes will be entirely dependent on whatever option is chosen by the Government.  Any such changes would be the subject of their own change processes and consultation at a later date.

Posted in: d) Scope of Redesign/Consultation