FAS evidence to Transport Committee inquiry
The committee announced the inquiry earlier this year to identify the need for change to current airspace structures and potential barriers to implementing those changes.
The UK’s controlled airspace is described as the invisible motorways in the sky where commercial aircraft fly.The basic structure of this airspace was developed more than 50 years ago when aircraft were very different and traffic demand was much lower. Since then there have been major changes to the performance and operational capability of aircraft.
With 3.1 million flights a year, carrying 350 million passengers expected in the UK by 2030, forecasts show that – with a continuation of current infrastructure and airspace procedures – 23% of flights will delayed by more than 30 minutes by 2030.
This is anticipated to generate costs to the wider economy through lost flights and trade. It may also result in foregone environmental benefits, including a potential carbon saving, as aircraft are forced to fly longer and further than necessary.