London Luton Airport (LLA) has welcomed an announcement by the Department for Transport (DfT) that the Government is to provide funding to get the UK’s airspace modernisation programme back on track.
£5.5m has been made available to ensure LLA, along with 20 other UK airports, can continue to develop and assess ways of upgrading the current airspace structure and route network.
Neil Thompson, operations director at LLA said: “This announcement is very welcome news and we are extremely grateful to the local community groups for backing our campaign. Like our roads and railways, airspace is a vital piece of infrastructure, yet it has remained largely unchanged since the start of the jet age. An overhaul is long overdue and will bring benefits for the industry and the travelling public, as well as for the environment and local communities. LLA has been at the forefront of this programme since its inception and remains committed to its future.”
Andrew Lambourne chair of LADACAN, said: “This is a potential win-win for government, industry, noise-affected communities and carbon reduction. Airspace modernisation is 30 years overdue with aircraft still flying route patterns dating from the 1950s and 1960s. Luton Airport’s departing flights are often held low due to conflicts with flights from other airports preventing continuous climb and creating unwanted noise. This funding gives us all a chance to resolve those issues if approached in the right way”.
Mark Swan Head of the Airspace Change Organising Group (ACOG) who is leading the delivery of the Strategy said: “We’re delighted that the government has reaffirmed the essential role that airspace modernisation will play in helping the aviation industry to build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to work with our partners across the industry to ensure this programme is one that delivers for all of the UK”.