NATS publishes consultation feedback report

14 November 2014
  • Feedback report published on
  • Airspace Change Proposal will be submitted to the CAA on 19 November
  • More than 400 responses (few from people who would benefit)

NATS, the UK’s leading provider of air traffic services, has published a report of feedback from a 12-week consultation earlier this year regarding a proposal to change the use of two existing departure routes at Stansted Airport.

The proposal affects one third of Stansted departures (i.e. only one sixth of total movements) and seeks only to reallocate daytime flights from an existing southbound route to an existing eastbound route; it does not propose any new departure routes.

It would deliver environmental benefits including continuous climb for flights currently held low on the southbound route, and an overall reduction in CO2 emissions of up to 14,900 tonnes per annum, equivalent in volume to 14,900 typical 3-bedroom houses. There would be no increase in the number of people overflown – some would experience fewer overflights than today, others more.

It is also a key enabler for the next stage of airspace redesign in the south-east, in support of the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) Future Airspace Strategy.

The consultation was conducted in accordance with CAA guidelines and sought to determine whether there was any relevant information that had not been considered in drawing up the proposal. However, the responses highlighted no issues that had not already been taken into account.

Questions focusing on specific locations are addressed in the feedback report and the answers given explain how towns and villages such as Hatfield Heath, Braintree, Great Dunmow and Great Notley would be affected by the proposal; in the main, these areas would benefit or see no change.

The feedback report also addresses various environmental and population statistics, which have been put forward by opponents to support their arguments.

More than 400 people responded to the consultation; the majority (76%) were objections from people who would experience more overflights under the proposal. Few responses were received from people who would benefit from fewer overflights.

Paul Haskins, General Manager of London Terminal Control at NATS, said; “We are not surprised by the ratio of objections to expressions of support – in any consultation people are more likely to voice their feelings if they oppose the proposal or feel that it will have a negative impact on them.

“The response confirmed our understanding of general stakeholder concerns and demonstrates that the views of the Stansted community group are in line with general environmental issues highlighted in Department for Transport (DfT) guidance.”

He added: “This is the first part of a long and complex set of airspace changes to deliver the UK’s Future Airspace Strategy. This first proposal will provide environmental benefits through more efficient routings and climb profiles, whilst enabling future stages of the airspace programme, all of which will be widely communicated and consulted on.

“We would strongly encourage people to read the report as we will include its contents in the proposal that we will submit to the CAA.”

The feedback report can be viewed at and includes responses to the general questions raised by the respondents.

NATS will submit an Airspace Change Proposal (ACP) to the CAA on 19 November and all feedback from the consultation will be included with that. The CAA will then decide whether the ACP should be approved.  If the CAA approves the proposal, the change will be implemented in December 2015.



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