Flight paths condemned as not fit for purpose

15 January 2018, 05:45

Plane on a runway

Airport chiefs say flight paths are not fit for purpose as they launched a consultation on proposals to modernise the airspace.

Glasgow Airport managers launched the 13-week consultation on Monday which seeks feedback from the public on proposed flight paths.

The airspace change proposals form part of the UK Future Airspace Strategy (FAS) driven by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

A key element of the proposals involves removing ground-based navigation aids across the UK in favour of satellite navigation systems.

Ground navigation aids used by Glasgow Airport, which guide the aircraft to and from the airfield, will be decommissioned in 2019.

The move to satellite systems, supporters say, will help reduce the time planes queue in the air and on the ground and reduce overall CO2 and fuel emissions.

Mark Johnston, operations director at Glasgow Airport, said: "The flight paths used at Glasgow Airport have not changed in over 50 years and, as is the case with the wider UK airspace infrastructure, they are simply no longer fit for purpose.

"We now need to ensure the way we manage our airspace matches the advancements that have been made in aircraft technology.

"Modern aircraft are now equipped to use satellite navigation, meaning they can fly more efficient, reliable and direct routes.

"In moving to this new system, not only will we be able to improve the punctuality of flights, we will be able to reduce the amount of fuel burn from aircraft at Glasgow by over 4,000 tonnes."

Airport chiefs say the move will also be more eco-friendly and allow them to reduce CO2 emissions by 21% (12,910 tonnes).

Mr Johnston is urging communities and stakeholders to take part in the flight path consultation

"It is important to stress we will only make changes to the arrival or departure flight paths once we have considered the views of all those who respond to the airspace change consultation.

"We will host a number of drop-in sessions over the course of the coming months and all views will then be presented to our regulator, the CAA, before the necessary approval can be granted."

Further information on the airspace consultation, including how to respond, can be found at www.glasgowairport.com/airspace.