The airspace above and around South East England is some of the busiest in the world and is likely to remain so for many decades to come

NATS video explaining why UK airspace needs to be redesigned. 

The Government has said that the existing UK airspace design, specifically above Southern England, is approaching the limit of its design capacity. The structure of the UK's airspace has remained the same for decades, despite the growing number of flights.

Department for Transport analysis predicted that there will be a sustained and significant increase in air traffic movements at all Southern England airports, driven by increasing passenger demand. This additional traffic will place further pressures on existing airspace capacity. Without a complete redesign of the airspace above London and Southern England, together with airport airspace and procedures, the consequences will be increasing delays and  disruption, personal and commercial costs and unnecessary environmental impacts.

As part of a wider review of aviation strategy the Government has directed the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to develop a strategy to modernise UK airspace. The CAA developed and consulted on an initial draft of this strategy in 2018 and the final version of the Airspace Modernisation Strategy was published in December 2018.

The process to modernise UK airspace is underway. It is, however, a very complex issue. The Q&A below is designed to help you understand both the national aspects of the modernisation programme and also how it will impact Gatwick.  

Airspace modernisation Q&As

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What is airspace?


What is the airspace modernisation programme?


Why is airspace modernisation needed?


What are the benefits or modernisation?


Airspace modernisation and Gatwick Q&As

How will airspace modernisation be planned and implemented at Gatwick? 

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How will airspace modernisation work at Gatwick?


What airspace will be modernised at Gatwick?


Broadly, what will the programme to modernise the UK’s airspace look like and how will does Gatwick fit into this?


What is the timeline for airspace modernisation at Gatwick?


What are the next steps?


How will the airspace modernisation process by guided?


Where can I find more information on airspace modernisation?