Why has there been a recent increase in noise over my area? Why have you made these changes already?
NATS is required to go through the airspace change process, as documented in the CAA’s airspace change guidance, when proposing permanent changes to the airspace design. Permanent airspace changes cannot be implemented until a formal proposal has been submitted to, and approved by the CAA. An exception to this is trial procedures, designed to test technical airspace design issues. There have been no permanent changes or trails during the consultation period and therefore any recent changes to the perceived behaviour of aircraft in your vicinity are not due to the proposed changes to the airspace structure.
Air traffic control is required to consider a range of factors when determining where aircraft fly, such as other traffic in the area, the aircraft types, wind direction and weather in general. This means that the way in which airspace is used may vary on a day to day basis, and even flight by flight basis (hence the wide swathes in which aircraft may be seen in route and flight path maps in the consultation document). This variation may contribute to a perception of changed airspace usage where the airspace structure has in fact remained unchanged.
It should also be noted that experience from previous consultations indicates that the consultation process sometimes leads people to take more notice of the routes that are already above them. It may therefore seem like a change has occurred when in fact it is more that the communities have become more sensitised as a consequence of the discussion around air traffic.
Questions regarding existing airspace design or airspace policy should be directed to the CAA.
Posted in: a) General