Airspace Change Consultations

The use of airspace is regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Proposals to change how airspace is used are initiated by interested bodies, including airport operators and the National Air Traffic Service (NATS).

Performance Based Navigation

Performance based navigation (PBN, also referred to as P-RNAV and RNAV1) was introduced at Gatwick Airport in November 2013 and became mandatory for all departures in May 2014.

The greater accuracy of performance based navigation has had the effect of concentrating flights along much narrower routes than has been the case in the past. Concentrating flight paths may have reduced the total number of people affected by noise, but has increased it for those who live or work close to the route.

Route 4 - Departures Flying over Capel, Beare Green and Leigh

On Friday 7 April 2017, the CAA announced that the amended Route 4 has now been made permanent. Details of the CAA's announcement can be found in the CAA decision document.

The CAA also stated that it recognised that airspace changes had an impact on communities and in making its decision, has asked Gatwick Airport to give a number of undertakings including:

  • to investigate the potential of meaningful respite, the airport will consider options for additional Route 4 departure designs, from the points where the route heads east
  • to consider the potential for obtaining respite by alternating or switching a proportion of Route 4 departures onto another route

A modified route for aircraft departing Gatwick Airport has been flown since 26 May 2016. The route affects aircraft departing westwards before turning north then east in a curve over Capel, Beare Green and Leigh. It was introduced so that the P-RNAV flight path keeps within the noise preferential corridor for Route 4. Further details can be found on Gatwick Airport's website

MVDC has responded to the Route 4 trial consultation (see 'Downloads').

Consultation on Night Flight Restrictions

The Department for Transport consulted upon proposed changes to the way restrictions are imposed on night flights at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/night-flight-restrictions-at-gatwick-heathrow-and-Stansted. The consultation closed on Tuesday 28 February 2017.

MVDC has responded to the night flight restrictions consultation (see 'Downloads')

Draft Airports National Policy Statement and UK Airspace Policy Review

The draft Airports National Policy Statement sets out the need for additional runway capacity in the south east, the Government's preference for a third runway at Heathrow Airport, and sets out the requirements that such a runway will be expected to meet: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/heathrow-airport-expansion.

The UK Airspace Policy Review seeks views on reforming UK airspace policy, reviews noise measurement and noise limits, proposes the setting up of an Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise, and proposes to introduce a call-in power for the Secretary of State for airspace changes: www.gov.uk/government/collections/uk-airspace-policy.

Consultations on both these proposals ran until Thursday 25 May 2017. For MVDC's responses (see 'Downloads').

Noise information

Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL) has published a new noise information booklet for current and prospective residents of the area around the Airport.

The new booklet is available online at the Gatwick Airport Website.

Noise Complaints

If you are disturbed by aircraft noise either generally or as the result of a trial, it is open to you to register a complaint by:

Heathrow Airport: email noise@heathrow.com or use the complaint form on the Heathrow Airport website.

Gatwick Airport: email noise.line@gatwickairport.com or use the complaint form on the Gatwick Airport website.

Related Pages

Internet Links

MVDC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


Last Updated: 07/12/2017




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