1. What is the ADNID trial ?
The ADNID trial is a new temporary departure route for aircraft departing Gatwick Airport when the runway is being used in the westerly direction, i.e. aircraft taking off to the west. Considerable time and effort has been taken to ensure as much as possible that populated areas are not directly overflown by this trial route.
2. What is the purpose of the trial?
The trial is being led by Gatwick Airport Ltd. It has been approved by the UK’s independent airspace regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and aims to establish whether it is operationally feasible to improve time separation between flights off Gatwick’s runway using performance-based navigation technology.
The trial is considered to be an important component in the development of the UK’s Future Airspace Strategy (FAS) which received strong support from the independent Airports Commission in its recent December 2013 Interim Report. FAS is an aviation industry collaboration led by the CAA. As part of FAS, NATS is partnering with several airports in trialling new departure route specifications.
In 2013 and after public consultation we were given permission by the CAA to implement a new up to date form of aircraft navigation called P-RNAV. It is this technology we are trialling to test the track keeping accuracy. This type of navigation is to be mandated across the European Union by 2020 so it is important that we assess appropriate separation requirements for this technology on departure routes that diverge after take-off.
The trial is a technical trial to assess the points listed above and is not designed at this stage to assess environmental impacts.
It is also important to note that the route being trialled is within one of the swathes recently consulted on as part of the London Airspace Consultation. Final route alignments from the London Airspace Consultation will be informed by the results of this trial along with other consultation responses.
3. Why was a consultation over the flight path changes not held?
As this is a trial rather than a permanent airspace change, it is not usually necessary to undertake a consultation. This approach is endorsed in both the Civil Aeronautical Publication 725 (CAP 725) and the Government’s air navigation guidance to the CAA.
4. Why were residents not informed about the trial?
Gatwick Airport informed the Gatwick Airport Consultative Committee (GATCOM) prior to the trial’s commencement and gave a presentation on it at the GATCOM meeting on 30 January 2014. View the minutes here.
5. Can the trial be cancelled and the original flight path reinstated?
The trial is scheduled to last for 6 months and started on the17 February 2014, at the end of which time the original flight path will again be used. NATS and Gatwick Airport will determine whether they wish to bring forward the end of the trial.
6. Will you stop the trail if you receive enough complaints?
The number of complaints is unlikely to have a bearing on whether the trial is ended early.
7. Is this trial related to Gatwick’s proposal for a second runway?
No – the purpose of the trial is given in the answer to the first question above and has no link to any second runway aspirations. Any permanent changes that take place as a result of this trial will be in effect several years before any possible second runway becomes operational.