Andy Sinclair, Head of Airspace Strategy and Engagement

The purpose of our blog is to update readers on airspace related activities and issues at Gatwick Airport and around the local area. We have recently extended the focus of the blog from talking only about  Route 4 to including all other aspects of airspace operations that may be of interest to our local communities and stakeholders.

There is a lot happening this year in terms of public aviation consultations as well as some operational changes and I thought it might be useful to keep you up-to-date on all such activity. I plan to post here every few weeks on the most topical issues, including as work being taken forward by our Noise Management Board.

All previous blogs are at the bottom of this page with the most recent blog first.

Departures works and NMB

The Noise Management Board (NMB) met  again on 6 September to discuss the group’s work plan which, as mentioned in the last blog, now includes both arrivals and departures related projects.

GAL has commissioned TRAX (an external consultancy) to undertake a detailed report into issues on Routes 3 and 4 Standard Instrument Departures (SIDs). This work, in line with the recommendations of the CAA Route 4 Post Implementation Review, will consider whether some of the altitude restrictions on Routes 3 and 4 can be removed to allow aircraft to gain a higher altitude more quickly. It will also look at the feasibility of whether multiple departure routes could be used for Route 4 westerly departures, which would give respite and/or dispersion for affected residents.

Report scope

The work on Routes 3 and 4 is broken down into two parts. The first project will identify which air traffic routes impact or limit the operation of Gatwick SIDs on Routes 3 and 4. The output from this work will document:

  • The reasons for the existing initial altitude restrictions on both Route 3 (SAM/KENET) and Route 4 (DVR/ADMAG/LAM/CLN/BIG) departures
  • The actions required to enable a higher initial altitude
  • The feasibility and expected impact of making changes which will be used to inform next steps.

The second project - which will start after the report into raising the altitude restrictions is complete - is a study which explores multiple route options for runway 26, Route 4 departures. Once complete this project will document:

  • Constraints on the maximum lateral displacement of Route 4 (other routes i.e. Heathrow will probably limit how far apart routes can be placed)
  • Options using a higher navigational tolerance which may allow a wider number of design options
  • Multiple conceptual options for Route 4 departures. 

See below for previous blog updates.

Focus on departures - 4 July 2017


Proposed airspace change for Gatwick standard arrival routes from the south and west - 5 June 2017


Assessing new departures procedure - 22 May 2017


Airspace update - 16 May 2017


Airspace update - 13 April 2017


Airspace update - 17 February 2017


Route 4 update - 23 December 2016


Route 4 update - 11 November 2016


Route 4 update - 31 October 2016


Route 4 update - 12 September 2016


Route 4 update - 4 August 2016


Route 4 update - 8 July 2016


route 4 update - 22 June 2016


Route 4 update - 13 June 2016


Route 4 update - 26 May 2016


Route 4 update - 4 May 2016


Route 4 update - 8 February 2016


Route 4 update - 31 January 2016