In a development that could herald quicker, quieter, and cleaner journeys for UK travellers, the airspace modernisation programme, a critical national infrastructure project, is set to bring profound changes to UK airspace.

Jesse Norman, Minister of State for Transport and Member of Parliament for Hereford and South Herefordshire, stated that this long-overdue modernisation is crucial for ensuring the UK airspace is fit for the future.

The modernisation is set to take place within the framework of the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) airspace change process, known as CAP1616. This process is mandatory for all proposals to alter flightpath arrangements. Notably, the CAA has recently conducted a consultation on the CAP1616 process, eliciting views on multiple options aimed at simplifying the process structure, making it easier to comprehend, and ensuring it can be proportionate and tailored to each airspace change proposal.

The consultation, which concluded on 19 March 2023, promises significant updates to CAP1616, which are expected to be implemented by the end of the year. The insights gleaned from the consultation are set to unlock the full potential of the CAP1616 process, ensuring a maximal benefit from the upcoming airspace modernisation.

Jesse Norman responded to a query from Laurence Robertson, Conservative MP for Tewkesbury, who asked about the steps being taken to optimise the benefits of the CAP1616 process in delivering airspace modernisation. The CAA is anticipated to make a written statement on the findings of the consultation, to be published on their website in due course.