The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has approved air traffic service provider NATS’s airspace change proposal for the London Airspace Management Programme (LAMP) Phase Ia.
Covering areas from Stansted to the Isle of Wight, the airspace changes will enable aircraft to fly efficiently, help reduce the number of low-level flights, and minimise the environmental impact of aviation.
The proposed plans follows a consultation that was undertaken by NATS between October 2013 and January 2014 and are part of the UK’s Future Airspace Strategy (FAS), which is set to modernise airspace by 2020.
The CAA’s approval will improve airspace infrastructure to allow better use of airspace and enable environmental improvements such as fuel and CO2 savings by aircraft.
CAA approved five changes in total, which will see implementation of newly designed and better flight paths on 4 February 2016. This would help improve capacity, minimise delays for air travellers and further improve safety.
As part of the changes, a new point merge arrivals system will be introduced to eliminate conventional holding patterns for many aircraft inbound to London City Airport, routeing aircraft over the Thames Estuary to reduce low-level flights and noise over Kent, Essex and East London.
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The aircraft leaving Stansted to the south will now use the existing easterly route from the airport.
The change proposal will reroute arrivals away from the area around Goodwood and result in noise reduction from lower level flights in the Southampton and Bournemouth area.
CAA Airspace, Air Traffic Management and Aerodromes head Phil Roberts said: "The changes we have approved will bring significant benefits to both air passengers and many communities currently overflown by aircraft.
"As we have done with this decision, we will continue to consider the environmental impact of all our airspace decisions and have called on the aviation industry and other decision-makers to be much more ambitious in confronting aviation’s environmental challenges."