As part of the airspace change process, a sponsor must normally tell anyone who may be affected by the change about its proposal, and seek their feedback at key steps. Detailed guidance is available in CAP 1616. Feedback should be submitted on this website and will be published, so what you say must be appropriate for publication (see our moderation guidelines).
Steps 1a-2b: define, develop and assess
It is important that early on in the formulation of the proposal, the sponsor takes on board the views of those likely to be affected. Engagement during Stages 1 and 2 will generally take place with key representatives of affected local stakeholders, rather than with the wider public. This may include elected community representatives, airport consultative committees and local General Aviation organisations. To pass the first two gateways, the change sponsor must show how they have collected stakeholder feedback and how their proposals reflect this feedback.
Step 3c: consultation
At Step 3c, the sponsor must normally undertake a full consultation with all those who may be affected by their proposal. Everyone is invited to comment on the airspace change proposal on this website. Responses will be published and the change sponsor must also publish a review of the feedback received, including:
- categorisation of the responses;
- an assessment of the impact they have had on the proposal; and
- their rationale for not acting on feedback received.
Step 4b: submit proposal to CAA
At Step 4b, where the sponsor submits its final airspace change proposal to the CAA, anyone can, within 28 days, request on this website that the final decision is made by the Secretary of State rather than by the CAA. Only the more significant changes can be ‘called-in’ in this way, and the Secretary of State is not obliged to call in a proposal.
You can find more information about how call-in works on this page.
Step 5a: decide
For a Level 1 proposal, at Step 5a, you can submit feedback either in person at the Public Evidence Session, or through this website if you were not able to attend. This session is designed as an opportunity for third parties to engage directly with the CAA decision maker about their views on the proposal.
Step 5b: decide
At Step 5b, for significant proposals, the CAA will publish a draft decision for public review. We do this to ensure that we have not misinterpreted anything that could affect our decision. It is not an opportunity to reconsider material that has already been addressed.
Step 6: implementation - complaints (temporary and trial changes only)
When a change is implemented or a trial is underway, feedback is sought from those affected on the ground about the impact that the change is having on them.
Complaints are an important part of airspace trials and temporary airspace changes, allowing a change sponsor to identify design issues and expected outcomes not being met.
If a trial or temporary change progresses to a permanent change proposal, complaints received during the trial or temporary change form an important part of early stakeholder engagement prior to Stage 3 consultation.
A complaint can result in urgent investigation by the CAA if it:
- contains new information on environmental impacts that differs significantly from what was proposed or expected
- contains evidence of significant health effects that are not being mitigated
- contains information relating to operational issues, including safety issues, that have not previously been identified
Noise complaints not associated with an airspace change proposal should be made using CAA Form FCS 1521.
Step 7: post implementation review
Around one year after an airspace change has been implemented, there will be a 28-day window for anyone to feed back on how the impacts of the change compare with what was expected. The CAA will consider this feedback in its post-implementation review, which examines whether the impacts of the change have been as expected or not.