London Stansted Airport commences first stage of airspace upgrade

3 March 2020 (Last Updated March 3rd, 2020 12:12)

London Stansted Airport in the UK has started redesigning the corridors and flightpath network used by aircraft when arriving and departing the airport.

London Stansted Airport commences first stage of airspace upgrade
London Stansted begins the initial phase of a national airspace upgrade. Credit: London Stansted Airport.

London Stansted Airport in the UK has started redesigning the corridors and flightpath network used by aircraft when arriving and departing the airport.

This project is part of the UK Government’s Airspace Modernisation Programme. The government has advised all airports in the UK to review the best use of new technology to increase efficiency.

Airspace is a major component of the country’s national infrastructure that has not been modified since the 1950s.

New technology such as satellite navigation systems is capable of increasing airspace efficiency, thereby reducing stacking, delays and emissions.

Under the Airspace Modernisation Programme, all airports in the country are required to review their operations up to 7,000ft, while UK air traffic management company NATS will oversee the aircraft routes above 7,000ft.

In addition, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will oversee the whole process.

Over this week, London Stansted Airport has plans to host a series of focus groups with participants from the public, local businesses and the aviation industry to discuss the main principles to be followed when redesigning the airspace.

Next year, Stansted will launch a full public consultation regarding the airspace design.

London Stansted Airport operations director Nick Millar said: “When delays start to build upon our roads or rail network, the impact it can have on the ground is all too obvious. It’s easy to forget that we have a similar network in the sky, which our airlines and other airspace users rely on to get from A to B.

“This upgrade of the UK’s airspace is long overdue and will help make flying much more efficient and environmentally friendly.  But we understand the impact aircraft can have on those people living near an airport, which is why we are undertaking a thorough programme of engagement to understand what matters most to our neighbours.”