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Airspace change process

Changes to Heathrow’s flight paths required for expansion are subject to a separate process to the expansion of the airport on the gorund. These flight path changes are approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), following their airspace design guidance.

It requires Heathrow to carry our consultation on the airspace proposals with a wide range of stakeholders, including potentially affected communities.

Heathrow is responsible for developing proposals for any changes to flight paths into and out of the airport. To ensure that all stakeholders are engaged and can influence the design of future flight paths, we will be carrying our consultation over the next few years. This means we do not have any future flight path options to consult  on at this early stage.

Airspace Regulation

Heathrow operates within a regulatory framework set by policy makers, including the UK Government through the Department for Transport (DfT). Any changes to Heathrow’s airspace need to consistent with Government policy and apporved by the CAA. Key airspace regulation documents include:

  • UK Airspace Policy (DfT)
  • Air Navigation Guidance (DfT)
  • Airspace Design Guidance (CAA)

For more information on the Government’s role in Heathrow operations, please see the Heathrow website Heathrow.com/Noise.

How do we get permission for expansion on the ground?

To get permission for the expansion of Heathrow we must apply for a Development Consent Order (DCO) under the Planning Act 2008. As part of this process there will be opportunities for you to get involved and participate.

Further information can be found on this website and in our DCO Process Information Paper (available in the “Documents & Resources” section of this website).

Airspace Principles Consultation Document

To view the consultation booklet for our airspace principles consultation please use the link below.
Download (PDF - 1mb)