Having your say
In contemplating any airspace change proposal, a change sponsor must consider the impacts on others and the implications those impacts may have and engage with them appropriately. Detailed guidance is available in CAP 1616. At certain points in the process, related feedback should be submitted on this website. As it will subsequently be published, what you say must be appropriate for publication (see our moderation guidelines).
The steps at which feedback is sought from stakeholders are summarised below:
Steps 1a-2b: Define, Develop & Assess
It is important that early on in the formulation of the airspace change proposal, the change 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 CAA must be satisfied that the change sponsor has undertaken effective two-way engagement with relevant stakeholders and that the outputs adequately reflect the feedback collated.
Step 3c: Consultation
The consultation step is only applicable for permanent changes to the notified airspace design and permanent (PPR) airspace change proposals.
At Step 3c, the change sponsor must normally undertake a full consultation with all those who may be affected by their airspace change proposal. The consultation will be hosted on this website and any interested party can submit their response through this website. All consultation responses will be published, anonymously where requested, and the change sponsor must produce documentation which demonstrates how they have categorised the consultation responses and how the responses have / have not influenced the final airspace change proposal.
Step 5a: CAA Assessment
For an airspace change proposal concerning a permanent change to the notified airspace design, the CAA will open a 28-day feedback window, within which anyone can request via 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.
In addition, a separate 28-day feedback window will be opened for anyone wishing to request the facilitation of a Public Evidence Session. The Public Evidence Session is designed to give an opportunity for interested parties to provide their views on the airspace change proposal directly to the CAA decision-maker in a public forum.
Step 5b: CAA Decision
For an airspace change proposal concerning a Level 1 permanent change to the notified airspace design, the CAA will publish a draft decision for the public to 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. A feedback window will be opened on this website to collate related feedback from interested parties.
Step 6: Implementation - Complaints (Temporary Airspace Changes & Airspace Trials Only)
When a temporary change to the notified airspace design is implemented or an Airspace Trial is underway, the change sponsor is required to collate, monitor and report on the level and content of related complaints from affected stakeholders.
Complaints are an important part of the temporary airspace change and airspace trial process, as it allows the change sponsor to identify design issues and determine whether or not the outcomes are as expected and/or whether they are affecting the areas anticipated.
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 directly associated with an ongoing 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 feedback window within which any interested party can provide feedback on how the impacts of the airspace change compare with what was expected. The CAA will consider this feedback in its post-implementation review, which examines how the airspace change has performed and considers whether the anticipated impacts and benefits in the original airspace change proposal have been delivered.
Engaging with the CAA through the Airspace Change Process
Engagement is a key pillar of the CAP1616 Airspace Change Process. However, as the airspace regulator and primary decision-maker, it is important that the CAA strikes a balance between the transparency of the process and our independence as a decision maker. We are therefore not able to substantively respond to queries or comments in relation to any specific aspect of an airspace change proposal, outside of the appropriate points in the CAP1616 process.
The opportunities throughout the process where stakeholders can engage directly with the Civil Aviation Authority:
- Step 5A – You may be able to attend a Public Evidence Session.
- Step 5B – You may be able to submit feedback on the Civil Aviation Authority’s draft decision on the airspace change proposal.
- Stage 7 – You submit feedback on the impact of an airspace change for the Civil Aviation Authority to consider in its Post Implementation Review.