CAA Approves Terminal Control South West Airspace Change Proposal

8.2.2008   (CAA)

CAA Approves Terminal Control South West Airspace Change Proposal

Changes to the airspace structure linking the Midlands to the south coast of
England have been approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and will come
into effect on 10 April 2008.

In May 2007 the air traffic control provider NATS consulted on its proposals
for two new sections of controlled airspace, based on extensions to existing airspace;
one area will be permanently established, the other activated only at specific

Known as the Terminal Control South West (TCSW) airspace change, the proposals
have been designed to deliver greater airspace efficiency by reducing complexity
and improving air traffic flows. The lowest altitude of any new controlled airspace
will be 5,500 feet.

Following a thorough safety and environmental analysis by the CAA’s Directorate
of Airspace Policy (DAP), which also addressed a number of post-consultation issues,
the CAA is content that the changes are justified and has approved the proposals.

Due to a redistribution of traffic above Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
(AONBs) and the New Forest National Park, some areas will experience a reduction
in the proportion of overflying aircraft.   The CAA’s environmental analysts have
assessed that the predicted noise impact will be within the Government agreed
level for the onset of significant community annoyance or sleep disturbance. In
addition, based on the selected aircraft and routes chosen by NATS to model emissions,
the airspace change is expected to result in an overall reduction in CO2 emissions
in the area.

The changes include the introduction of one new one-way route established to
facilitate arrivals to Southampton and Bournemouth Airport from the north and
to enable controllers to separate this traffic more easily from arrivals to other
aerodromes in the South East.  NATS expects the new route structure to reduce
the rate of increase in air traffic control delays in the region.

The southerly, R41, extension will be activated at 0545hrs in the summer and
0630hrs in the winter, until 0930hrs, and then activated again at 1730hrs until
2130hrs. The northern airspace fillet (see map on final page of decision document,
link below) will be permanent. The CAA determined that there was no justification
for the additional airspace overnight, hence these activation times which are
more complex than usual.

Aeronautical Charts

Pilots should note that the 1:500,000 Aeronautical Chart ‘Southern England’ will
be updated on 10 April 2008 to coincide with these changes; the 1:250,000 Aeronautical
Chart ‘West and South Wales’ will be updated on 30 July 2009; and the 1:250,000
Aeronautical Chart ‘England South’ will be updated on 12 February 2009. For further
chart information visit:

The CAA’s decision letter covering TCSW is available at

For further media information contact Chris Mason on: 0207 453 6026.

Notes to Editors

The Civil Aviation Authority’s Directorate of Airspace Policy (DAP) is responsible
for the planning and regulation of all UK airspace including the navigation and
communications infrastructure to support safe and efficient operations. In accordance
with its statutory functions, the CAA is responsible for dealing with applications
by sponsors for an airspace change. A change to the use or classification of airspace
in the UK can take many forms but can only be made after consultation and where
it is clear that airspace management considerations and the overriding need for
safety allow for no practical alternative, or where an overall environmental benefit
will accrue. More information on the Airspace Change Process (ACP) and DAP’s wider
functions are set out in DAP’s Airspace Charter (CAP 724) which is available on
the CAA’s website at

CAA press release