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Aircraft Corridors

Volume 447: debated on Thursday 15 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the (a) current and (b) proposed aircraft corridors are across (i) Ribble Valley and (ii) Lancashire. (74826)

At present, all UK airspace is controlled above approximately 24,500 ft above mean sea level up to 66,000 ft. This will change in July next year when, in order to comply with European legislation, the lower limit of this Upper Airspace Control Area will be reduced to 19,500 ft. In the Upper Airspace Control Area, air routes UN615, UN57, UN601 and UL46 currently cross the Ribble Valley constituency. In addition, air route UY99 overflies Lancashire.

In lower airspace, above the Ribble Valley and the adjacent areas of Lancashire, controlled airspace exists in the form of airways with stepped lower limits to accommodate the climb and descent profiles of aircraft operations associated with airports at Manchester and Liverpool. From west to east the routes are N615, lowest limit 6,500 ft; N57, lowest limit 5,500 ft; and N601, lowest limit 9,500 ft.

I have arranged for a chart to be placed in the Libraries of the House indicating these routes as they pass over the Ribble Valley and northern Lancashire, together with the associated lower vertical limits.

South of a line, which approximately joins Barnoldswick and Woodfold Hall (south of Mellor Brook), the airways are in the Manchester terminal area. The lower limit of controlled airspace immediately to the south of this line is 4,500 ft. Below these specified levels/altitude the airspace is uncontrolled.

The Civil Aviation Authority is not aware of any proposals to change the dimensions of controlled airspace over the Ribble Valley and Lancashire.