London Southend Airport applies for Controlled Airspace
London Southend Airport has started the process to apply for ‘controlled airspace’ in order to safeguard aircraft approaching and departing from the airport and minimise distance flown to improve environmental performance.
The Airport had Controlled Airspace until 1993, when it was removed following a reduction in scheduled services using the airport. Temporary Controlled Airspace was also in operation at the airport during the London Olympic Games.
Controlled Airspace is a defined area of the air space around an airport where any aircraft must communicate with Air Traffic Control. The application to introduce controlled airspace was one of the commitments the airport made to local councils and community groups as part of the airport’s redevelopment.
Currently aircraft are permitted to come within 2.5 miles and 2000 feet in height of London Southend Airport without having to talk to air traffic controllers, which can lead to unplanned alterations to an aircraft’s track and possible delays in the arrival and departure of scheduled flights.
The application process - which is envisaged to take around two years to complete - will include an extensive public consultation process during late 2013.
The final decision over whether to reinstate the Controlled Airspace over London Southend Airport will be taken by the Directorate of Airspace Policy (DAP) within the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
London Southend Airport Managing Director Alastair Welch explained “Safety and security are our number one priority. Controlled Airspace safeguards aircraft when they are approaching and departing the airport. Improving our efficiency by getting aircraft in and out of the airport without last minute alterations and delays will also minimise the impact of the airport’s operations on the local community and is much better for the environment. Temporary Controlled Airspace around London Southend Airport was operated very successfully during the London 2012 Games, and we are now seeking to have this reinstated as a permanent feature.”
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