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Principle 5: Technology and Innovation

This airspace redesign is a once in a generation opportunity to modernise the way our airspace is used. The airspace we design now needs to be efficient for the foreseeable future.

We are therefore proposing that one of our design principles is to base our airspace on the latest navigation technology, and we are working in partnership with our airlines to ensure they invest in some of the older aircraft at Heathrow to bring them up to these more modern capabilities.

This technology will also be an important factor in how well we can meet the design principles set out previously, because it will give us more flexibility to position routes than is possible with older navigation technologies.

We are intending to design routes to a minimum Performance Based Navigation standard, and there may be parts of the design where aircraft with a higher specification of navigation technology have an advantage.

If this design principle is accepted it means that we will not design routes to accommodate aircraft with older navigation technologies.

We don’t offer an alternative to this principle, but we do ask for you to comment on aircraft technology and airline investment as part of this consultation.