Mon Feb 01, 2021 2:34 pm #1823833
While we asked consultation respondees to include evidence to support their proposed volumes of
airspace for review, very little empirical evidence was supplied
Further to our commitment to confirm next actions by the end of the first quarter, we can confirm that we have now completed our detailed and extensive analysis of the consultation responses received from our call for suggested airspace for review, which was held between December 2019 and March 2020. We have concluded that, to support the information supplied in the consultation, additional data is required to enable us to move some proposals towards the Amend phase of the Airspace Classification Review process.
The consultation exercise did provide a rich intelligence base for use going forward, with over 1,100 proposed volumes of airspace identified. We have also gained useful information through engagement with organisations responsible for the air traffic services in these volumes of airspace. These are known as Airspace Control Authorities (ACAs). This insight, along with the collation of additional safety intelligence that we have gathered from elsewhere, means that we have taken the decision to refresh and re-focus our approach.
We have now commenced gathering the additional evidence-based data that is required to support taking any of the suggested volumes of airspace forward to the Amend phase. This in- depth work is being conducted via analysis of safety information, including:
• Mandatory Occurrence Reports;
• Airprox data and infringement data; and
• Engagement with Airspace Control Authorities and other stakeholders, including the GA community.
To enable us to move towards the Amend stage for specific volumes, the airspace will now be considered on a regional basis, utilising the existing boundaries defined by the altimeter setting regions. While there may be slight extensions or alterations to the defined limits of the regions, this approach will provide a relatively well-known delineated boundary for airspace users, stakeholders and ACAs to focus on.
Our initial focus will therefore be the Cotswolds altimeter setting region. This region attracted a significant number of responses to the original consultation and is also highlighted as an area of particular interest by the Airprox Board. Our intent is to conduct as detailed a review as possible, in order for the correct decisions regarding airspace classification and the potential application of flexible airspace use techniques to be made.
We understand that there are considerable number of areas across the UK requiring review but we believe it is vital that our initial region is manageable in terms of complexity, usage, the number of stakeholders involved and the potential benefits that could be gained. We will continuously be assessing the data and stakeholder feedback to help us identify regions for review. It is our intention to announce the next region of focus later this year.
Our new approach will necessitate significant engagement and consultation at each stage and stakeholder participation will be crucial to our success. We will be looking to begin this work in the coming months and will be in contact with all relevant stakeholders shortly.
We will also provide airspace change proposal sponsors with the relevant responses received as part of our consultation on volumes of airspace. They are expected to evidence that they have considered these in their final submission, as part of the airspace change process.