Plane Justice submits Response to DfT Consultation on Airspace Changes

Plane Justice has submitted its proposals for a radical overhaul of the aviation regulatory system.

These proposals form the centrepiece of our Response to the Department for Transport’s consultation on the Design & Usage of UK airspace.  You can read our full response here.

We see the outcome of the DfT’s review as a wasted opportunity, failing as it does to address the regulatory deficit in the current system and simply offering ‘more of the same’.  In so doing , the views of communities affected by noise continue to count for little and there is a lack of confidence that the DfT solutions will make any serious attempt to tackle levels of aviation noise.

In particular, we want to see recognition in government and regulatory policy of the special position and vulnerabilities of people who are or would be newly overflown, where both the DfT and the CAA continue to have an almost total ‘blind spot’. 

We also consider it an indictment on the government and CAA that since 2013, communities have been used as guinea pigs for testing RNAV, with little or no proper consultation and based on a set of ill-thought-out policies (as the need for this DfT consultation acknowledges).

Accordingly we call on the government in our proposals, to cancel forthwith any existing airspace changes which overfly new populations where they were introduced between 2013 and now, so that fresh airspace change proposals can be submitted under a more enlightened policy. If this is refused, then full financial compensation to these residents must follow.

We also call for the duties of the CAA to be redefined to address the regulatory deficit that exists, both in the current system and in that proposed by the Government in the consultation.

The CAA is perceived by communities as too much a creature of the industry, and we see little in the current proposals which will change this.

We believe the answer lies in government laying out a firm set of unambiguous principles for airspace usage which the CAA cannot ignore, while at the same time redefining the CAA’s duties – with the aim of creating some genuine responsibility for containing and reducing aviation noise and holding the ring between the interests of the aviation industry and those impacted thereby.