Enabling a cleaner, greener airspace through modernisation

The Airspace Change Organisation Group has published its environment strategy, as the next milestone in the journey towards the modernisation of the UK airspace.

Marking the next milestone in the journey to modernise the UK’s airspace, the Airspace Change Organisation Group (ACOG) has published its environment strategy that will help facilitate the adoption of greener practices within airspace change proposals over the next few years.

ACOG’s Environment Strategy demonstrates how airspace change is helping to deliver a near-term contribution to the UK government’s ‘Jet Zero’ commitments for the sector while also reducing where possible noise nuisance from overflights and freeing up regulated airspace for other airspace users. It also provides ACOG with a platform to engage with airports and policymakers on how the industry can embed environment-led practices within aviation, which will aid in reducing carbon emissions and noise impacts from aircraft.

ACOG’s Environment Strategy identifies four key commitments to take this forward:

  1. The provision of information on the opportunities and challenges: ACOG will seek to be clear, accurate and informative in setting its information on environmental impacts, both forecasted and realised
  2. Creating guidance and toolkits to assist airports in evaluating their environmental impacts by undertaking work in collaboration with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and Department for Transport (DfT) to ensure that the processes are transparent and align seamlessly with existing regulations governing the process of airspace change
  3. Identifying and exploiting opportunities for better environmental performance by working with airport sponsors and the wider industry where appropriate to help share information on operational or technical changes that can potentially deliver environmental benefits
  4. Engaging with stakeholders to better understand their concerns and shape the development of the Airspace Masterplan by seeking feedback as it is developed.

Mark Swan, Head of ACOG said: “Our Environment Strategy marks a significant step in creating a greener, cleaner airspace through airspace modernisation. For the first time in 50 years, we have the potential to change the way that we structure the network of airspace routes operating in our skies while simultaneously delivering environmental improvements. This new strategy sets out our contribution and some of the actions we are taking to make this possible.”

ACOG’s Environment Strategy follows the launch of their One Sky, One Plan information campaign last year (2021), which outlines how this critical national infrastructure programme will be delivered. There are currently 21 of the UK’s biggest commercial airports involved in the airspace change programme, as well as NATS, the national air navigation service provider. The programme is part of the UK government’s Airspace Modernisation Strategy to deliver quicker, cleaner and quieter flights.

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