Edinburgh Airport New Route - a legal persepctive.

Subject: FW: Consultation re aircraft routes

Dear Councillor Mahoney,

Re your query below, I can confirm that, where a permanent change is proposed to an aircraft route including, as appears from the information provided, in the circumstances described, there is a formal requirement to consult with stakeholders. That would include local communities and local authorities in affected areas.

The background is this:

S66(1) of the Transport Act 2000 provides that "The Secretary of State may give directions to the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) imposing duties of conferring powers (or both) on it with regard to air navigation in a managed area".

In exercise of the powers in that section, the Civil Aviation Authority (Air Navigation) Directions 2001 were issued which were later amended by a Variation Direction in 2004. I attach a copy of those Directions as amended from which you will see (last paragraph under the heading "Consultation and liaison arrangements") that "the CAA shall publish details of mechanisms for consultation with representatives of air users...and other bodies and individuals as appropriate who may be materially affected by any changes proposed by the CAA in UK air navigation arrangements...").

The CAA has published CAP 725 "Guidance on the Application of the Airspace Change Process" which sets out comprehensively the consultation procedure and process where a proposal is made for an airspace change (which would include most changes to routes or the introduction of new routes). I attach this document as I think you will find it useful. According to paragraph 52, page 17, the decision as to whether any Airspace Change Proposal is approved or rejected rests with the CAA's Director, Airspace Policy. 

These procedures appear only to apply where a permanent change is proposed. I understand that the current changes at Edinburgh are, at the moment, temporary. If it is intended that these changes become permanent, there will have to be a formal consultation process.

Finally, I attach Guidance to the CAA published by the Department of Transport in January 2014 on Environmental Objectives Relating to the Exercise of its Air Navigation Functions. Chapter 9 deals with changes to airspace arrangements and contains useful information on consultation on changes including temporary arrangements and trials.

I hope this is the information you need but if you need anything further please let me know.

Regards,

Karen

Karen Quin
Senior Solicitor

Falkirk Council

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