NATS, the UK’s leading air navigation service provider, has postponed plans for further consultation over changes to airspace north of London. Instead, the proposals will be incorporated into a wider review of airspace over southern England.
The downturn in air traffic levels since the 2008 consultation on proposed changes in the Terminal Control North (TCN) area, means there is less urgency on capacity grounds to achieve the changes. Current forecasts show that air traffic levels are not expected to return to the peak levels of 2007 until at least 2013/14.
Alex Bristol, Development and Investment Director, said: “We are looking at combining the necessary changes in the TCN proposal with other projects currently under way to create a bigger benefit overall.”
“We are already working on a wider project involving the airspace over much of southern England. The TCN benefits are very much a part of helping us deliver bigger benefits, albeit on a longer timescale. These include keeping aircraft higher for longer on more direct routes, which saves fuel burn and CO2 and means less noise for people on the ground.”
This is the opening part of statement on the NATS web site. AEF is pleased that emphasis is given in the statement to environmental impacts – noise and climate change (CO2). We shall watch closely to ensure that the proposals, when they finally come, reflect the sentiments.