Written evidence submitted by Department for Transport (AIS0014)



How will airspace modernisation affect Scottish airports? 

        Airspace Modernisation is a UK-wide programme, driven by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)’s Airspace Modernisation Strategy, with the objective of delivering quicker, quieter and cleaner journeys and more capacity for the benefit of those who use and are affected by UK airspace. 

        There are 3 Scottish airports involved in the Airspace Modernisation programme as sponsors of their respective Airspace Change Proposals (ACP); Aberdeen International Airport, Edinburgh Airport and Glasgow Airport. These airports are working with the Airspace Change Organising Group (ACOG) who have responsibility for creating a ‘masterplan’ of airspace change in the UK as part of the Future Airspace Strategy Implementation Initiative within the Airspace Modernisation Strategy.  

        The programme will utilise new technologies to create more direct routes, faster climbs, and reduced need for holding stacks. This will mean the aviation industry can grow safely, customers will not experience the delays otherwise predicted, there will be opportunities to reduce noise and carbon emissions and better access to airspace for all users can be provided. It will also create opportunities to reduce the aviation industry’s environmental impact through harnessing new technologies, such as Performance Based Navigation (PBN), which will enable aircraft to fly more precise routes.  

        This strategy will allow the UK to provide more choice and value for consumers, allowing airlines to add new flights, and enhancing global connections that can help boost the UK economy, while continuing to improve safety standards. Coupled with the adoption of new technology by existing airspace users, it will also help pave the way for increased safe access for newer airspace users like drones and spacecraft.  


        Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow can benefit from funding via the UK government’s £5.5m support package for the FASI programme. This funding will support the progression of ACPs in the FASI programme by assisting airports to reach Stage 2 of CAA’s airspace change process (CAP1616) (the develop and assess gateway) by the end of 2022.    


October 2021