Skip to main content

Heathrow Airport: Public Participation

Volume 470: debated on Friday 25 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what criteria are to be used to assess the appropriateness of the need for a public consultation on flightpaths for a third runway at Heathrow airport once detailed design and simulation work has been carried out, as noted on paragraph 1.24, page 24 of the Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport public consultation document; and if she will make a statement. (181717)

[holding answer 24 January 2008]: It is not for the Secretary of State for Transport to determine consultation criteria for airspace changes.

Changes to airspace arrangements are subject to the independent Airspace Change Process, governed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). CAA Guidance on the Application of the Airspace Change Process (CAP725) provides detailed advice on the application of the process, including consultation requirements. It makes clear that all airspace changes will require some form of consultation but that the level of consultation will be determined by the impact that the change will have on others and not the size of the change itself.

Specific consultation requirements on airspace changes in support of a third runway at Heathrow would be a matter for the sponsor of the airspace change, in this case the airport operator, BAA, with the support of NATS, the air traffic service provider, to discuss with the regulator, the CAA, as and when a detailed proposal is developed.