Andy Sinclair, Head of Airspace Strategy and Engagement

Andy SinclairThe purpose of our blog is to update on airspace related activities and issues at Gatwick Airport and around the local area that may be of interest to our local communities and stakeholders. I plan to include updates on public aviation consultations, airspace and operational changes and the work of our Noise Management Board. If you want to know more about noise from planes or the airport or find out more about flightpaths of aircraft, then please use our new and updated Flight Tracker site where you will find a raft of data and information.

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

CAA’s draft decision on Route 4 - 2012 airspace change 

As you may know, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is planning to close its 2012 airspace change on Route 4, because it did not achieve its original stated aim to an acceptable standard.   

Before doing so however, the CAA asked for feedback on its draft Post Implementation Review (PIR) decision report, which was published on 6 January this year. They were specific in seeking feedback on the draft report only, as it is not possible to make new representations or to go back over material the CAA has already considered

One result of this decision is that the CAA may require Gatwick to remove the current, temporary Route 4 satellite-based departure routes (RNAV1 SIDs) that were introduced on 26 May 2016.  

Aircraft would continue to fly Route 4 departures, but they would follow a satellite-based coded overlay of the conventional departure routes produced by each airline.  These coded overlay routes could vary slightly depending on airline and, as acknowledged by the CAA as part of its decision (Para 35), because these overlays fall outside of the regulated process it is not possible to predict the variations in aircraft track that may result. 

If the CAA draft decision above is finalised, Gatwick will plan the safe and orderly denotification and withdrawal of the temporary Route 4 RNAV1 SIDs, in accordance with the requirements set out in CAP 1872. 

Read more about Route 4

2018 Airspace Change Proposal - considering the implementation of Performance Based Navigation on Route 4

You may also be aware that Gatwick initiated a separate Route 4 airspace change in 2018, which seeks to address the legacy anomalies recently identified in the route. 

It will take some time to complete the regulatory process associated with this airspace change. This means that any variations in flight paths – that might follow the removal of the current RNAV SIDs  described above - are likely to continue until the new Route 4 satellite-based departure routes, being considered under the current 2018 airspace change, are approved by the CAA and then implemented. 

This proposal has recently passed Stage 1 of the CAP 1616 airspace process and we are currently developing route design options that align with the design principles that were formulated through engagement with our local communities and stakeholders. 

You can read more about this airspace change on the CAA Airspace Change Portal.

See below for previous blog updates.

Noise Management Board Public Meeting - 4 December 2019


Noise information portal - September 2019


NMB update - August 2019


Route 4 update - 12 July 2019


New Noise and Track Keeping System and launch of the Airspace Office


Route 4 update - 19 February 2019


Airspace update - 24 January 2019


Annual Airspace & NMB Public Meeting and Route 4 update - 14 January 2019


Reduced night noise trial update - 25 September 2018


Gatwick noise contours reduced in 2018 - 17 June 2019


Route 4 update - 16 May 2018


Route 4 update - 29 March 2018


Noise reduction initiatives - 16 January 2018


Improving information - 9 October 2017


Departures works and NMB - 14 September 2017


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