UK and Ireland agree new airspace policy

UK and Ireland agree new airspace policy

17-Nov-2011 Source: CAA

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) have approved a joint policy on Performance-based Navigation (PBN) to be implemented across UK and Irish airspace. PBN relies on new technology such as global navigation satellite systems, instead of more traditional ground based beacons, to enable aircraft to navigate to very high levels of accuracy. The two countries formed a ‘Functional Airspace Block’ in 2008 to co-ordinate airspace policy.

The move is a significant step towards activating PBN in line with ICAO recommendations and ahead of any legislation from the European Commission. It also forms an essential part of the CAA’s Future Airspace Strategy – the major initiative to manage the UK’s congested airspace through to 2030.

The policy is a joint initiative by the CAA and IAA and is a major step in the ongoing development of the UK/Ireland Functional Airspace Block, within which many other improvements have already been identified and implemented. It was agreed at a meeting in Dublin on 13 October by the CAA’s Director of Airspace Policy, Mark Swan and his counterpart in the Irish Aviation Authority, Kevin Humphreys.

Mark Swan, said: “Performance-based Navigation will play a major role in shaping our future airspace. The CAA and IAA are taking a lead in implementing the PBN concept for the benefit of UK and Irish airspace users. I would like to thank Kevin Humphreys and his colleagues for helping to make it happen.”

Kevin Humphreys said: “Performance Based Navigation is laying the foundations for the airspace system not just of tomorrow, but for years to come. The IAA and CAA are cooperating in implementing the vision of a Single European Sky.”

The agreement was reached following a consultation for industry and other stakeholders. The CAA has published both the approved policy document and a comment responsedocument.

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