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Future Airspace

Find out how London Stansted Airport is modernising airspace.

In 2017, the Government set out its policy on the future of UK airspace which made it clear that airspace modernisation is essential. UK airspace has undergone very little change since it was first mapped out in the 1950s, and with the increasing demand for flying, a lot of the way our skies are managed is outdated.

Therefore, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) launched their Airspace Modernisation Strategy in 2018 with the objective of delivering quicker, quieter and cleaner journeys. 

London Stansted Airport fully supports airspace modernisation and the wide range of benefits that it can offer, notably helping to reduce carbon emissions, enabling us to better manage how noise impacts our local communities, reducing the need for aircraft stacking on arrival and reducing delays for passengers.

Click below to watch the video.

Stage 1

Step 1B requires us to define the high-level considerations that will inform our eventual airspace change proposals. CAP1616 expects us to draw up our Design Principles through engagement with our stakeholders.

Engagement on Step 1B, Design Principles, began in March 2020 and is now complete. You can view the information document we produced for Step 1B here, this is also available in black and white format. This pack outlined the need for Airspace Modernisation and how London Stansted Airport would engage during this stage. It also included a number of questions which we asked our identified stakeholders at focus group events. In addition to this, members of the public had the opportunity to tell us their views on these questions via our online feedback portal. The deadline for feedback was 13th April 2020. This was extended to 20th April 2020, in light of current events.

We considered all the feedback received through the engagement stage and, taking this on board, produced a set of proposed Design Principles which were submitted to the industry regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for review. You can view our submission report and all accompanying appendices on the CAA’s airspace change portal.

The CAA have now reviewed our submission report and our proposed Design Principles and have given their approval for London Stansted Airport to move to Stage 2 of the CAP1616 process.


Sign up for updates

The future airspace programme is a significant project and will be running for some time. If you would like to stay up to date with developments, please email with the following information and we will add you to our mailing list:

  • Your name
  • Your postcode
  • Your email address or postal address

Please note, in line with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), the information you will provide will be used solely for the purpose of corresponding with you about future airspace and all details will be destroyed at the end of the programme.

The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of London Stansted Airport and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union. 

Future Airspace