London Southend Airport has recently embarked on the process of reinstating controlled airspace. The aim of this page, which we hope you find helpful, is to provide you with more information on controlled airspace and why the airport is applying for it.
WHAT IS CONTROLLED AIRSPACE?
Controlled airspace is a defined area of airspace around an airport in which any aircraft must be in communication with air traffic control (ATC). Controlled Airspace is designed and ‘tailored’ specifically for each location and has to meet laid-down criteria to encompass instrument approach procedure areas while being of the minimum size to ensure other airspace users’ operations can be accommodated to the maximum extent practical.
WHY DO AIRPORTS NEED CONTROLLED AIRSPACE?
Controlled airspace exists to enable ATC to manage the flights around the airport with maximum safety and efficiency. Without controlled airspace, air traffic controllers are able to maintain safety because they are talking to the aircraft approaching and departing the airport, however they may need to take action to avoid an aircraft not speaking to them. With controlled airspace, in the future aircraft will be obliged to talk to ATC which will ensure the required separation is maintained without the need for unplanned routing.
WHY IS SOUTHEND DOING THIS NOW?
London Southend Airport had controlled airspace until the early 1990’s, when it was removed following a decrease in scheduled aircraft movements. The airport also had temporary controlled airspace during the London Olympic Games. Now that we have scheduled flights again, we want to give those flights the best service we can in terms of safety and efficiency - and that means applying for the re-instatement of controlled airspace.
I HAVE A VIEW ON THIS - HOW CAN I MAKE MY OPINION HEARD?
The organisation that determines who can have an area of controlled airspace is the UK Civil Aviation Authority (www.caa.co.uk). It has a strict policy that requires each airport seeking controlled airspace to put forward a case which justifies their application, and shows that all interested parties have had an opportunity to make their views known. So, from late 2013, London Southend Airport will be consulting airlines, private fliers, local communities and other interested parties. All of the details will be published on our website and publicised locally, so watch this space.
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