NATS publishes consultation on changes to the Terminal Control North airspace region

21.2.2008     (NATS)
AirportWatch held a workshop on the NATS proposals, on 8th April in London. 
NATS have put their proposals for changes to the Terminal Control North airspace
region out to public consultation.   The  Terminal Control North area covers a
large part of London, southern and eastern England, an area with a population
of 12 million people and home to some of the UK’s busiest airports.
The consultation ends on 22nd May 2008.


NATS is seeking feedback on this proposal before submitting it to the UK airspace

regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, for a decision.

A post code search facility enables users to see maps of how their area might
be affected by the changes.   This is available at:
Source – NATS
See also:

NATS proposals – How air routes may change

21st February 2008
Major changes to flight paths in South East England are being proposed by the
business responsible for the UK’s airspace. A map in the consultation documents
shows existing holding areas for aircraft heading for Luton, Stansted and London
City airports and their proposed replacements under the Nats plan. (BBC)

NATS Airspace plan offsets noise with emissions

21st February 2008
Millions of people in London and south-east England will be spared a significant
increase in aircraft noise, but see no reduction in CO2 emissions, under Britain’s
biggest airspace shake-up. The changes will redraw the airspace above 12 million
people and introduce three new holding patterns for Luton and Stansted. (Guardian)

NATS changes – Villagers face noise blight as jets are diverted from towns

 21st February 2008
Thousands of homes in rural areas will be blighted by aircraft noise under reorganisation
of flight paths, which is intended to cope with the rapid growth in air travel.
National Air Traffic Services (Nats), is planning to redirect aircraft over sparsely
populated countryside to reduce the impact on urban areas. (Times)

Wake up call as winners and losers emerge from proposed flight path changes by

21st February 2008
Plans to change the stacking areas and departure routes for planes using Stansted
Airport are set to be a wake up call to many communities who will be blighted
by overflying aircraft for the first time as both winners and losers emerge from
proposals issued by National Air Traffic Systems (NATS) today. (SSE press release)

The NATS website: 

There are four key objectives that this proposal addresses:

Improving Safety and Reducing Delays

Congestion is being caused by departure routes from Heathrow, Luton, London City
and Northolt converging in an area over Brookmans Park (map location)   in Hertfordshire.   The changes involve redesigning these departure routes
through the region.

There are changes to the locations of the holds for Stansted and Luton, where
aircraft queue at busy times for their clearance to land. The airports currently
share two holds but under the proposals Luton would have one and Stansted two
dedicated holds.

This also means Continuous Descent Approaches, where aircraft stay higher for
longer reducing fuel burn and noise for people on the ground, can be introduced
for Stansted’s easterly runway.

We have also suggested changes to arrivals, departures and holding arrangements
for London City. A new hold is proposed for arrivals, and formalised departure
routes reflect the growing numbers of jets using the airport.

Improving Aircraft Navigation

The existing airspace structure is based on the use of conventional navigation
where aircraft use beacons on the ground to determine their position.

Modern navigation technology called ‘Precision Area Navigation’ (or P-RNAV) is
now available and NATS is required by the CAA to apply it to all new route design.

Aircraft can fly a P-RNAV route more accurately than a conventional route which
means they would be more concentrated along the centre line of a route and may
not be seen across such a wide swathe of sky as they are today.

Improving Environmental Performance

We have aimed to minimise the number of low flights over more densely populated
areas. We have introduced continuous descent approaches to reduce noise and emissions,
and we have sought to enable more efficient flight profiles.

Designs always need to achieve a balance. Routeing aircraft away from towns means
they fly further and increase their emissions; flying more direct routes reduces
emissions but may be noisier for more people on the ground.

It is not possible for routes to avoid all villages, towns and cities, especially
in such a busy region. However, we work hard to avoid as many as possible taking
into account the competing aims of ensuring safety, reducing

delay and mitigating environmental impact.

Improving Airspace Efficiency for All Users

NATS’ aim has been to secure the most efficient use of the available airspace
and to satisfy the requirements of all users as far as is safe and practical.

That means the controlled airspace NATS secures for use by aircraft under our
control is the minimum required to maintain a safe and efficient air traffic service.

For full details of the proposal and objectives please refer to the consultation documents    on the NATS website.




See Stop Stansted’s initial response   – (21.2.2008)
“Wake up call as winners and losers emerge from proposed flight path changes
by NATS”