On 26 November the Civil Aviation Authority approved a series of major airspace changes covering eastern and southern England, which it says will enable aircraft to fly more efficiently, help reduce the number of low-level flights and reduce the environmental impact of commercial aviation.
The proposed plans, known collectively as the ‘London Airspace Management Programme’ (LAMP) phase 1a, were submitted to the CAA by NATS, the air traffic service provider, and followed consultation it undertook between October 2013 and January 2014.
The first significant change arising from the UK’s Future Airspace Strategy (FAS), LAMP is part of a European project to improve airspace infrastructure to deliver a more efficient use of airspace through aircraft flying more direct routes and making steeper climbs and descents, reducing impact on those living under the flightpath.
The changes to be implemented on 4 February 2016 include:
• The introduction of a new Point Merge arrivals system, eliminating conventional holding patterns for many aircraft inbound to London City Airport, routeing aircraft over the Thames Estuary for as long as possible. Aircraft departing London City to the south will be able to climb earlier than they do at the moment, reducing noise and CO2 emissions
• Re-routeing aircraft leaving Stansted to the south, which will now instead use the existing easterly route from the airport during the day, and
• Re-routeing arrivals to Southampton and Bournemouth away from the area around Goodwood and keeping flights over the Solent for longer
These changes will affect commercial aircraft using London City, Stansted, Luton, Southampton, Bournemouth, Northolt and Biggin Hill airports