Luton Airport’s airspace design modified following consultation

Feedback from local communities enabled the project to go forward, with plans expected to take effect in February next year  

New arrival routes into Luton Airport (LLA) have now been modified in response to queries from residents and stakeholders during the public consultation that was held from October 2020 to February of this year.  

The London hub, alongside air traffic control provider, NATS, reviewed replies from more than 2,400 respondents.  

After taking the feedback into consideration, the airport has now published its final design.  

London Luton Airport
Photo London Luton Airport

Firstly, it decided to progress with option one, which states that there will be minimal changes to the flight paths currently in operation below 5,000ft and greater dispersion of aircraft travelling above this altitude.  

Secondly, the destination of the new holding area located near A1-A14 junction has been altered, with the lowest standard altitude of the hold raised by 1,000ft. This is to help reduce noise impacts for residents within the local area.  

“We listened carefully from the start of the consultation to the feedback we were getting, and provided more information as we went along, particularly on the hold and why we need it,” said Lee Boulton, head of airspace development and future operations for NATS. “I sincerely hope that people will see our genuine effort to respond to their concerns and I believe the adjustments we are making will make a real and positive difference. 

“It was clear from the outset that people’s two main concerns were around the need for, and position of, the new hold; and their preference for dispersion of flights under option one, rather than our preference for option two, which offered the very accurate use of two alternating routes.  In responding to those, other more indirect concerns have also been addressed, as we set out last week in the feedback report.” 

The consultation run by the airport and NATS discussed two options to modernise the arrival routes so that operations could be separated from Stansted’s to ensure safety.  

The final design is currently awaiting approval from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), with plans to implement the proposal no earlier than February 2022.